The Throckmorton Plot was an attempt by English Roman Catholics in 1583 to murder Queen Elizabeth I of England and replace her with her second cousin Mary, Queen of Scots. The plot is named after the key conspirator, Sir Francis Throckmorton (cousin to Elizabeth Throckmorton, Elizabeth's first lady in waiting), who confessed to the plot under torture.
The plot aimed to assassinate Elizabeth I, who had ruled England since 1558. The Roman Catholics wished to free Mary, Queen of Scots, held under house-arrest in England since 1568, and to place her on the throne of England with aview to legally restoring Roman Catholicism. The plan envisaged co-ordinating the assassination with an invasion of England led by Henry I, Duke of Guise, financed by Spain and by the Pope, and a simultaneous revolt of English Roman Catholics, involving both the Jesuits and the English Cardinal Allen.
Throckmorton acted as a Spanish agent.
The plot was unsuccessful. After discovering incriminating evidence in Throckmorton's house, Francis Walsingham ordered the arrest of Throckmorton as a go-between between Mary, Queen of Scots, and Bernardino de Mendoza, the ambassador of King Philip II of Spain in London, and tortured Throckmorton into a confession.
The plot itself resulted in the creation of the Bond of Association in 1584; a document drafted by Francis Walsingham and William Cecil, Lord Burghley, which obliged all signatories to execute anyone who attempted to usurp the throne or to assassinate the Queen.
Throckmorton was convicted of high treason and executed in 1584.
Mary, Queen of Scots was placed under strict confinement after the plot and was confined to Chartley Hall in Staffordshire.
- O'Day, Rosemary (1995). The Tudor Age. England: Longman Group Limited.
- Warren, John (2002). Elizabeth I: Religion and Foreign Affairs. Singapore: Hodder Murray.
- Lotherington, John (ed.) (1994). The Tudor Years. Hodder and Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-53794-9.
- Butler, Charles (1822). "The Treason of Francis Throckmorton". Historical Memoirs of the English, Irish, and Scottish Catholics, Since the Reformation. pp. 376–377. OCLC 588795283.
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