Thomas Bates: Thomas Bates' birthdate is unknown, but
he was born at Lapworth. He was a long-standing retainer to Robert Catesby and
the Catesby family. Bates' position as a servant was definitely not the index
of his social standing. Though he was addressed as a yeoman in his indictment,
Bates was far from being a menial. He had servant to serve him and also possessed
a suit of armour. He was probably a cattle-dealer on behalf of Catesby, whom he
served devotedly. Bates proved invaluable to the conspirators, being absolutely
loyal and reliable. Being a man of "ordinary condition," acted as his
advantage as he was able to undertake many activities, such as driving wagons
and acting as a messenger, without inviting suspicion. After the plot was revealed,
Bates fled London along with Catesby, but lost all resolve after he saw Catesby's
injuries in the gunpowder explosion at Holbreche House. He was given 100 pounds
sterling by Christopher Wright after which he fled the scene only to be captivated
in Staffordshire on November 12th. Being of low birth, he was imprisoned in the
Gatehouse Prison instead of the Tower. During his examination on December 4th,
it is believed that the evidence Bates gave may have been falsely used to implicate
the Jesuits in the Gunpowder Plot and that he may have tried to purchase a pardon
for himself by offering to pay the 100 pounds given to him by Christopher Wright.
As he was being taken to the execution site (St. Paul's Churchyard) on January
30, 1606, Bates' wife broke through the guards and threw herself on her husband.
It is assumed that Bates took this opportunity to tell her where he had hidden
the 100 pounds. On the scaffold, Bates was penitent, pleaded with the authorities
for forgiveness and claimed that it was loyalty to Catesby which had prevented
him from obeying God, his country and the King.