Gunpowder, Treason and Plot

Ref: C2339988

Explore a heady mix of faith and treason at the start of James I's reign. Untangle the knotty problems of religion, politics and personalities in the events leading up to the Gunpowder Plot including the Main and the Bye Plot. Find out the price paid by Sir Walter Raleigh and Arbella Stuart as well as the gunpowder conspirators. We remember gunpowder, treason and plot every year - find out what really happened and why.

Course aim

To provide an insight into the the truth of the Gunpowder Plot which will in turn encourage discussion on popular history, the use of primary sources and the way in which history is manipulated to foster a national identity.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Describe the religious background to the plot.
  • Describe the Main and the Bye Plot as well as the consequences for two or three key individuals.
  • Describe the principal aims of the Gunpowder conspirators
  • List the key events of the plot and its discovery
  • Discuss three primary sources and reflect on the impact of the plot.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • You could read Antonia Fraser's book on the gunpowder plot or any of the other popular historical texts available on the topic but it is not essential.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot


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  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
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  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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