SIR RONALD (OR ROWLAND) KETCHUM STORY
This story has never really been proven or dis-proven as
yet. There has been numerous newspaper
articles printed regarding Sir Ronald Ketchum, but no proof has been
forthcoming. As there has been no birth
records found, a lot of people have discounted this story as being false. In reality, no birth record being found does
NOT constitute proof that Sir Ronald Ketchum did not exist. Many birth records have been destroyed or lost.
The following is one of many, many, many newspaper articles that
was printed on Sir Ronald Ketchum. This
particular one was printed in Saint. John, New Brunswick, Canada. The printing
date is unknown.
I believe the original article was quite old and handed down
in the Ketchum family from generation to generation, and was brought to the
attention of the Saint John New Brunswick Newspaper by the members of the
Ketchum family living in Saint John at the time of this printing. This is an exact copy of the Newspaper
THE MAN ON THE STREET – Saint John, New Brunswick
Nov. 5, ????
This is the day when English
children celebrate the discovery of the famous “Gunpowder Plot”, an attempt to
blow up the the English House of Parliament, back in the year 1605. The plotters began their project in
December, 1604, when one of them went to France and approached a man noted for
exceptional coolness and courage to carry it out.
He was Guy Fawkes, a Yorkshireman, on his way from service in the
Spanish Army and his military experience is supposed to have been an asset to
The plans were so well laid
that the attempt, which was to culminate in a grand explosion on
Nov. 5, would probably succeeded if one of the plotters, anxious about a
friend in the House of Lords, hadn’t tipped him off by urging him not to attend
the meeting of the house.
Even with this warning, the gunpowder
which had been in readiness in the cellar under the House since May, 1605, was
not found until the day before it was to have been detonated.
A house adjoining the House of
Parliament had been rented and Fawkes took up residence there, acting as sentry
while workmen tunneled into the cellar next door. He made frequent inspections of his installation and in August
replaced some of the gunpowder which he thought had been damaged by dampness.
The man credited with finding
the gunpowder – all thirty-five barrels of it weighing more than a ton and a
half – hidden under coal and faggots with a covering of iron bars to make the
explosion more effective – was given a singular name and was entitled to his
He was named Sir Ronald Ketchum,
because he had managed to “ketch” Guy Fawkes in readiness to set a slow match
to the charge. And so for more than
three centuries his successors have proudly borne their historic name and some
of them have worn the crest.
A tracing of the heraldic design
is in possession of embers of the Ketchum family now living in Saint John. They include H.W. Ketchum, Mrs. Jean Kean
and Miss Ida Ketchum. The book by
William Osborne, a Boston, Mass. authority on heraldry describes the crest as
“The Crest he beareth quarterly
argent and azure in the first and third quarters a Talbot’s Head erased Sable
by the name of Ketchum granted to Sir Ronald Ketchum of the Principality of
Wales, a true and loyal subject of his Prince and Country and well deserves the
honours of the above grant.”