A contemporary engraving of Bates, by
|Penalty||Hanged, drawn and quartered|
|Died||30 January 1606
|Cause||Hanged, drawn and quartered|
Thomas Bates was born in about 1570. He worked as a servant in the household of Robert Catesby. Bates had many duties including purchasing animals for the estate.
Bates was born at Lapworth in Warwickshire, and became a retainer to Robert Catesby, who from 1604 planned to kill King James I by blowing up the House of Lords with gunpowder, and inciting a popular revolt during which a Catholic monarch would be restored to the English throne. Bates was invited to join the conspiracy after he accidentally became aware of it. As he rode with Catesby to prepare for the group’s planned uprising on 5 November 1605, Guy Fawkes was found guarding the gunpowder stored under the House of Lords and arrested. Bates subsequently accompanied Catesby and his small group of fugitives to Holbeche House in Staffordshire, but left shortly before his master was killed there by government forces on 8 November. He was subsequently captured and taken to London.
Bates was the only member of the group to implicate the Jesuits in the conspiracy, but may have done so only to alleviate his punishment. He retracted his statement when it became clear he was to be executed. Three days after his trial on 27 January 1606, he was hanged, drawn and quartered.