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Gunpowder Plot: 1605 Thomas Percy link found in Aberdeen archives


A document dating from 1605 urging people to search for a member of the infamous Gunpowder Plot has been found in Aberdeen’s archives.

Thomas Percy was a co-conspirator of Guy Fawkes, who inspired Guy Fawkes Night – or Bonfire Night – after being caught guarding explosives placed beneath the House of Lords.

Percy was among those who fled after the 5 November plot was exposed.

The document on behalf of King James I offered a description of Percy.

He was ultimately shot and killed in Staffordshire.

‘Compelling document’

The original proclamation found in Aberdeen describes Percy as “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 than the beard, he stoupeth somewhat in the shoulders, well coloured in the face, long footed, small legged”.

Aberdeen Lord Provost Barney Crockett said: “It’s fascinating to think that we have an original document which was issued on the very day of the Gunpowder Plot.

“The description of Thomas Percy as a tall man with a broad beard, long footed and small legged suggests if you’d seen him you would definitely remember him.”

Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives archivist Phil Astley said: “This compelling document is a tangible connection to the Gunpowder Plot and the events of 1605, which are still a source of public fascination after more than 400 years.”

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