James Stuart, James II and VII King of England, Scotland, and Ireland

James F. Larkin, c.s.v. and Paul L. Hughes (eds), Stuart Royal Proclamations, Vol. 1: Royal Proclamations of King James I 1603–1625

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pg 12357. By the King.A Proclamation for the search and apprehension of Thomas Percy.[Westminster 5 November 1605]

SP 14/16/8: MS draft, corrected; date of endorsement, 5 Nov. CW, C 82/1723/69: sign manual; date of schedule as STC. E 351/1640/5d: Great Seal issue, 6 Nov. PR, C 66/1668/40d: date of schedule as STC; ed. Rymer xvi. 636. LondJ 27v: MS copy for London; date of writ to mayor and sheriffs, Westminster, 5 Nov; proclaimed 6 Nov. STC 8379: schedule as below. Other editions: STC 8380; Barker 114; Morgan ii. 52 (facsimile); Dutch (The Hague, H. Jacobszoon, 1605), CUL. Simancas E 2584/81: Spanish MS translation, dated 'Witel', 5 Nov. Local records: Cant 21/157, 160, 5s. 6d. paid for delivery, and 4d. for proclaiming; Rye 60/10/177v, entered 7 Nov. Steele 1019. Text: STC 8379, BM C. 112.h.1, 57.

Whereas one Thomas Percy, a Gentleman Pensioner1 to his Majestie, is discovered to have bene privie to one of the most horrible Treasons that ever was contrived, that is, to have blowen up this day, while his Majestie should have bene in the upper House of the Parliament, attended with the Queene, the Prince, all his Nobilitie and the Commons, with Gunpowder (for which purpose a great quantitie of Powder was conveyed into a Vault under the said Chamber, which is this morning there found) the Chamber where they should be assembled, which Percy is sithens fled:2

These are to will and command all our Officers and loving Subjects whatsoever, to do that which we doubt not but they will willingly perfourme, according to the former experience We have had of their love and zeale toward us, That is, to make all diligent search for the sayde Percy, and him to apprehend by all possible meanes, especially to keepe him alive, to the ende the rest of the Conspiratours may bee discovered. The sayde Percy is a tall man, with a great broad beard, a good face, the colour of his beard and head mingled with white haires, but the head more white then the beard, he stoupeth somewhat in the shoulders, well coloured in the face, long footed, small legged.

Given at our Pallace of Westminster, the fift day of November, 1605, in the third yeere of our reigne of great Britaine.

God save the King.

Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, Printer to the Kings most Excellent Majestie. Anno Dom. 1605.

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Editor’s Note
1 As a gentleman pensioner, Percy was one of 50 special bodyguards of the King. He had received his appointment on 9 June 1604, from his cousin, the Earl of Northumberland, Captain of the group (Morgan i. 146).
Editor’s Note
2 Though Robert Catesby was the instigator of the Gunpowder Plot, Guy Fawkes, who was apprehended on the scene, is reported to have identified Percy in his first examination that day, according to one document in the Gunpowder Book (SP 14/216/6).
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