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Everard Digby

Everard Digby (May 16, 1578 - January 30, 1606) was a member of the group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Although he was raised in a Protestant household, and married a Protestant, Digby and his wife were converted to Catholicism by the Jesuit priest John Gerard. In the autumn of 1605 he was part of a Catholic pilgrimage to the shrine of St Winefride's Well in Holywell. About this time he met Robert Catesby, a religious fanatic who planned to blow up the House of Lords with gunpowder, killing James I. Catesby then planned to incite a popular revolt, during which a Catholic monarch would be restored to the English throne. The full extent of Digby's knowledge of and involvement in the plot is unknown, but on Catesby's behest Digby rented Coughton Court and prepared a "hunting party", ready for the planned uprising. The plot failed however, and Digby joined the conspirators as they took flight through the Midlands, failing to garner support along their way. Digby left the other fugitives at Holbeche House in Staffordshire, and was soon captured and taken to the Tower of London. Digby was tried on 27 January 1606. Despite an eloquent defence, he was found guilty of high treason, and three days later was hanged, drawn and quartered.

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