I am a lover of history. Give me a historical fact from any time period and I will be hooked into discovering more.
When I first started writing, I was interested in 1820 England, The Regency Time period, 1795 to 1837 and formally ended when William IV succeeded Queen Victoria.
I had a portion of my plot already in my head but needed a historical event so I purchased a small book at a London bookstore. The book British History a Chronological Dictionary of Dates by Rodney Castleden, which gave me the information I needed.
There were twelve entries for 1820. In reviewing the listings, the Cato Street Conspiracy caught my eye and my interest.
Once I return home, I found out much too my pleasant surprise a state university near where I lived at the time had microfiche of The London Times. With a dear friend, who just happened to be a librarian. I was able to follow the events which began on February 23, 1820, and ended May 1, 1820.
A group of men called the Cato Conspirators led by Arthur Thistlewood, an English revolutionary, planned to kill the entire British Cabinet and set up a provisional government.
The Bow Street Runners chose not to wait for the Coldstream Guards to apprehend the conspirators. Thistlewood killed a police officer, Richard Smithers, with a sword.
Of the men caught five were hung at Newgate Prison. The other five were transported for life. Which I took to mean they were sent to Australia.
I added two people to the list of conspirators; one as a villain and one as an informant for the simple reason I needed them to enrich my story – The Sisterhood of the Coin.
I hope on my next trip to England to find the actual location where the Cato Conspirators were apprehended.
History has a way of finding me either by something I read, saw on TV or on the Internet.
I think what amazes me the most in reading through historical documents such as old newspapers people haven’t changed – no matter the year.