The Gunpowder Plot

Two months after the death of Sir Thomas Tresham the estate was left to his son, Francis Tresham, who was implicated in the Gunpowder Plot later that year, along with his cousins Catesby and Wintour.

The 1604 plot aimed to bring down the government by blowing up the Houses of Parliament, and is remembered in Britain each year on 5 November. Imprisoned for his actions in the Tower of London, he met an early death in December 1605. The estate now passed to Francis’s younger brother, Lewis Tresham.

His mother, Lady Tresham, shouldered the pending debt left by her husband. For ten years she devoted the profits of Sir Thomas’s property and even her own goods and chattels to repay the burden. Just before her death in 1615, she acknowledged debts of only £1000. She settled this debt with Sir Thomas Brudenell of Deene with the corn and the hay on her Lyveden grounds, and her 1,092 sheep.

Lewis was as reckless as his older brother Francis, and despite becoming a baronet in 1611, his rise in rank was combined with rapid financial descent as his debts grew larger and larger.