Watson, William

Biography: Also known as William Watson. Roman Catholic priest and conspirator. Born 1559, claimed to attend Oxford aged 10 but there is no record of him. Very well-read however. Confirmed Rheims 1581, received minor orders 1583, ordained deacon and priest at Laon 1586. Sent into England June 1586 and soon arrested, managed to escape 1588. Travelled to Liege, returned to England 1590, further imprisoned in Brideswell and the Gatehouse, escaped 1597 and 1599, arrested again 1600. Took an oath of allegiance 1602 and released. Conspirator in the Bye plot 1603 - plan to surprise the court at midnight, kidnap the king, seize the Tower of London and hold the king hostage. But, lost heart and fled to the country. Betrayed by Anthony Copley, remained at large for 2 months, but captured in Herefordshire. Imprisoned in the Tower, confessed to treason and was sentenced to death 1603. Hanged, drawn and quartered Nov 1603.

Biography Date: 1559-1603.

Biography References: DNB;


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