CATESBY, Robert, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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CATESBY, Robert (1573-1605). Gunpowder conspirator.
Document Signed, 1 page large folio on vellum in brown ink with calligraphic initial letter, 230 x 412 mm (ca 9 x 16 inches), mounted on card, 1 May 1594. Grant of land at Lapworth, Warwickshire, to John Price of Lapworth, husbandman, signed by Catesby, his father Sir William Catesby, his father-in-law Sir Thomas Leigh and Thomas Spencer.
Reared in the small, closely-intermarried, Elizabethan recusant society of the South Midlands, Robert Catesby married Catherine, the daughter of Sir Thomas Leigh of Stoneleigh, in 1592 at the age of nineteen. The following year he inherited the manor of Chastleton, on the Oxfordshire/Gloucestershire border, while his parents came into possession of an estate at Ashby St Legers, Northamptonshire, through his mother's family, the Roman Catholic Throckmortons of Coughton, Warwickshire. Constantly harassed by fines levied on the richer recusants, they seem to have lived from preference at Ashby St Legers, and may have had to sell off part of the Catesby family estate at Lapworth in order to meet the fines. In 1602 the younger Catesby sold Chastleton to pay a £30,000 penalty imposed on him for his involvement in the Earl of Essex's conspiracy and thereafter lived with his widowed mother at Ashby St Legers. He fled from Westminster to Ashby following the arrest of Guy Fawkes on 5 November 1605, and was killed resisting arrest three days later.
[No: 6307]


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