Thomas Bates

Thomas Bates
Monochrome engraving

A contemporary engraving of Bates, by

Crispijn van de Passe.

Born Warwickshire
Spouse(s) Martha Bates
Occupation Retainer
Role Catesby’s retainer
Conviction(s) High treason
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.

Thomas Bates (died 30 January 1606) was a member of the group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

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.

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