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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 February, 2005, 08:34 GMT
Handshake marks plot anniversary
The Marquess of Salisbury, Peter Knyvett and the Duke of Northumberland
Family descendents gathered at Westminster Hall
A unique reconciliation is to take place between descendants of the gunpowder plotters and loyal Royals.

The ceremony, marking the 400-year anniversary of the plot, will see the Duke of Northumberland shaking hands with the Marquess of Salisbury.

The Duke descends from the family of plotter Thomas Percy while the Marquess' ancestor, Robert Cecil, was a minister under James I.

The event will happen in Westminster Hall, where the plotters were tried.

It will also take place against a backdrop of powder barrels and an enlarged version of a painting depicting Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators.

Chris Pond, project director, said February 1605 was the final month in which the plotters were trying to dig a tunnel under the Houses of Parliament as part of their scheme.

Commemorative events

In March the gang discovered that the cellar underneath Parliament, where Guy Fawkes was eventually arrested, was available to rent.

Mr Pond said: "The handshake will be a sort of gesture of reconciliation between adversaries at the time.

"Because it is very difficult to provide images of the gunpowder plot we hope it will be an opportunity to highlight a series of commemorative events."

The commemorations will begin with an exhibition at Shakespeare's Globe in London, which tells the story of Guy Fawkes and his gang who planned to assassinate the King of England and Scotland, his nobles, bishops and all members of parliament.

Events will culminate in the premiere of a new play about the plot at Tower Hill, London on 5 November.

Special exhibitions and events will also take place at Waltham Abbey, Essex, Coughton Court, Warwickshire, The Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon and Syon House, Brentford, Middlesex.




SEE ALSO:
Guy Fawkes plot 'was devastating'
05 Nov 03 |  Science/Nature
Gunpowder Plot hall for sale
02 Oct 02 |  England
Guy Fawkes' gunpowder 'found'
21 Mar 02 |  UK News


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