The Exeter Conspiracy, 1538, was a supposed attempt to depose the reigning Henry VIII and replace him with a Yorkist, Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter, KG who was 1st cousin to the King. An Act of Attainder was brought against the Marquess of Exeter and he was found guilty of treason by his peers in Westminster Hall, along with other supposed conspirators. Some sources suggest the 'conspiracy' was largely exaggerated by Thomas Cromwell, at this point Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Richard Rich, 1st Baron Rich. Victorian historian J. A. Froude, however, writes that the Courtenays were 'petty sovereigns in Devonshire and Cornwall', which may go some way to explaining the true nature of the conspiracy. Yet there is no evidence to suggest that Courtenay ever had the means to or intended to muster any kind of rebellion against the King, the charges brought against Lord Exeter were based on the correspondence he had with Cardinal Pole and the testimony of Sir Geoffrey Pole, whose brother Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu was also arrested and beheaded alongside Courtenay and another supposed plotter Sir Nicholas Carew KG, the Master of the Horse to Henry VIII on 9 December 1538 on Tower Hill.
- The events of the 'Exeter Conspiracy' were dramatised for the stage in a play called Our Father/Pater Noster (2009). It took place in May 2009 at St Nicholas' Priory in Exeter.
- J. P. D. Cooper, 'Courtenay, Henry, marquess of Exeter (1498/9-1538)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004
- Froude, 3.131, cited in J. P. D. Cooper, 'Courtenay, Henry, marquess of Exeter (1498/9-1538)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004
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