||1570 - Welwick, Yorkshire
||8 November 1605 - Holbeche House, Staffordshire
Christopher (Kit) Wright was the third and youngest son of Robert Wright of Plowland in Holderness, and
the second son of Robert's second wife Ursula Rudston of Hayton. He was probably born at Plowland Hall in the
parish of Welwick along with his elder brother John. He also attended the free school of St Peter in York with
John, Guy Fawkes, Oswald Tesimond, Edward Oldcorne, and Robert Middleton .
Christopher was tall and strongly built, his large features having a somewhat ruddy tan. He was discreet,
a man of few words in fact, and well able to keep a secret. He was also devoted and fervent in religious
matters, and after he became a Catholic, lived a life that was exemplary . Tesimond also say's of
him,"He resembled his brother in all his valour and gallantry, and was a close and loyal friend of Mr
"He was very like to the other [his brother John] in conditions and qualities, and both esteemed and tried
to be as stout a man as England had, and withal a zealous Catholic and trusty and secret in any business as
could be wished" .
Christopher Wright was married to Margaret Ward, sister of Marmaduke Ward of Mulwith who married his
sister Ursula Wright. He was thus brother-in-law to Thomas Ward, the servant in Lord Monteagle's household who
told the plotters about the letter. By her he had at least one son, John, who married into the Busfield
family of Lincolnshire. Spink makes the claim that four children born between 1589 and 1601 in the parish of
Ripon were also his - Edward, baptised 6 October 1589; Elizabeth, baptised 23 July 1594; Francis, baptised
12 July 1596; and Marmaduke, baptised 3 February 1601 .
Spink uses this strong family connection between Christopher Wright, the Wards, and Monteagle as the basis
for his argument that Christopher Wright was the conspirator who betrayed his friends and coerced the Jesuit
Oldcorne into writing the famous letter .
In 1601, Kit Wright was one of a number of Catholic's involved in the failed rebellion of Robert Devereux,
2nd Earl of Essex, and like his brother, he escaped a more serious punishment.
Edward Coke claimed at the conspirators trial that in 1603, upon the death of Elizabeth, Christopher
Wright was sent into Spain in accordance with the arrangement made by Thomas Wintour and John Gerard to
inform Phillip of the Queen's death and to solicit the aid of the Spanish forces in a catholic uprising. He
was, like Thomas Wintour who was also earlier sent on a similar mission, furnished with letters of
introduction and recommendation by Garnet to Father Joseph Creswell, the Jesuit Superior in that country. It
is believed that during this visit, Christopher Wright rekindled his old school friendship with Guy Fawkes,
who had been sent on a similar mission by Sir William Stanley, Hugh Owen, and the Jesuit Superior of Flanders,
Father William Baldwin .
Like the missions of Fawkes and Wintour, Christopher Wright's failed to gain the support the catholics had
hoped for. Although they supported the uprising against the new monarch, they would not commit resources to
an invasion. By 31 July 1603, the date of their final verdict, the time was well passed to act anyway as
Spain was by now negotiating peace with her old enemy .
Christopher Wright was not drawn into the Gunpowder Plot until after Christmas 1605 , as late as
25 March according to Fraser , at the same time as Robert Wintour and John Grant, when it is
believed the original five, plus Robert Keyes, had become weary, and needed additional help in the mine.
He spent a great amount of time in London, probably at the property he owned in Lambeth , but
towards the end of October, he was residing temporarily at White Webbs with his brother and Robert Catesby .
Upon the discovery of the plot, Kit was sent by Thomas Wintour to warn Thomas Percy and "bid him
begone" , who had been named in a proclamation through the capture of Fawkes. He and Percy left
London together before daylight, eventually meeting up with Catesby and John Wright, and Ambrose Rookwood
travelling firstly to Ashby St Ledgers, then Huddington, and lastly Holbeche House in the late evening of 7
On the morning of the 8th November the house was surrounded and laid siege to by the Sheriff of Worcester's
men. In a brief stand, Christopher was killed outright, along with Catesby and Percy, while his brother John
received a mortal wound, lingering at death's door for almost a day. In the fracas surrounding the storming
of the house, the moribund bodies of the traitors were crudely stripped, Kit's boots and fine silk stockings
were taken, as well as a number of souvenirs. Fraser claims that even though the victims were "in extremis",
they might have been kept alive despite their "many and grievous wounds" had a surgeon been available .
 Dictionary of National Biography, 1895
 Edwards, Francis, S.J., "The Gunpowder Plot: the narrative of Oswald Tesimond alias Greenway, trans. from the Italian of the Stonyhurst Manuscript, edited and
 Spink, Henry Hawkes, "The Gunpowder Plot and Lord Mounteagle's Letter", 1902
 Gerard, John, "The Autobiography of a Hunted Priest, tr. Philip Caraman"
 Edwards, Francis, S.J., "Guy Fawkes: the real story of the Gunpowder Plot?", 1969
 Fraser, Antonia, "Faith & Treason - The Story of the Gunpowder Plot", 1996
 Poulson, George, "The History and Antiquities of the seignatory of Holderness Vol. II"
 Simons, Eric N., "The Devil of the Vault", 1963