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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 article.

 

THE MAN ON THE STREET – Saint John, New Brunswick Newspaper

                                                 Nov. 5, ???? (Unknown Year)

                                                Unknown Author.

 

     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 plotters.

     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 own crest.

    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 follows:  

    “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.”

  

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