Christopher Wright

Christopher Wright, the son of Robert Wright, was born in Welbeck, Yorkshire, in 1570. Winter's parents were staunch Roman Catholics and spent 14 years in Hull Prison for religious offences. As a child he attended St. Peters School in York with his brother John Wright and Guy Fawkes.

Christopher Wright married Margaret Ward and the couple had a son, John Wright. In 1596 Elizabeth I became ill. As a precautionary measure, a group of leading Roman Catholics, including Christopher Wright, Robert Catesby, John Wright and Francis Tresham, was arrested and sent to the Tower of London.

In 1601 John Wright was involved with Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, in the failed attempt to remove Elizabeth I from power. Due to the minor role he played in the rebellion he was not executed and instead spent time in prison. Two years later he travelled to Spain with Thomas Wintour in an attempt to persuade Phillip III to provide aid to support a Catholic uprising.

In 1605 Robert Catesby devised the Gunpowder Plot, a scheme to kill James and as many Members of Parliament as possible. Catesby planned to make the king's young daughter, Elizabeth, queen. In time, Catesby hoped to arrange Elizabeth's marriage to a Catholic nobleman. Over the next few months Catesby recruited John and his brother Robert Christopher Wright, to join the conspiracy.

Crispen van de Passe, The Gunpowder Plot Conspirators (c.1606)
Crispen van de Passe, The Gunpowder Plot Conspirators (c.1606)

Catesby's plan involved blowing up the Houses of Parliament on 5 November. This date was chosen because the king was due to open Parliament on that day. At first the group tried to tunnel under Parliament. This plan changed when a member of the group was able to hire a cellar under the House of Lords. The plotters then filled the cellar with barrels of gunpowder. Guy Fawkes was given the task of creating the explosion.

One of the people involved in the plot was Francis Tresham. He was worried that the explosion would kill his friend and brother-in-law, Lord Monteagle. Tresham therefore sent Lord Monteagle a letter warning him not to attend Parliament on 5 November.

Lord Monteagle became suspicious and passed the letter to Robert Cecil, the king's chief minister. Cecil quickly organised a thorough search of the Houses of Parliament. While searching the cellars below the House of Lords they found the gunpowder and Guy Fawkes. He was tortured and he eventually gave the names of his fellow conspirators.

The conspirators left London and agreed to meet at Holbeche House in Staffordshire. News of their hiding place reached the Sheriff of Worcester and on 8th November the house was surrounded by troops. The men refused to surrender and gunfire broke out. Over the next few minutes Christopher Wright, Thomas Percy, John Wright and Robert Catesby were killed.