The Rookwoods of Coldham Hall in Stanningfield, Suffolk were Roman Catholic recusants whose notoriety rests on Ambrose Rookword’s involvement in the Gunpowder Plot. In 1606 he was hanged, drawn and quartered for treason for supplying the plotters with horses. A century later another Ambrose Rookwood suffered the same fate for conspiring to assassinate William III. Tainted by treason, the Rookwood family nevertheless managed to hold on to their estates in Suffolk and Essex.
The documents in this volume tell a remarkable story of their resilience, survival and reinvention, underlining the Rookwoods’ profound Catholic faith, their patronage of the Jesuits, and their cultural and literary interests.