When the Gunpowder Plot came to light in November, 1605, the Government tried to implicate the leading Jesuits on the mission, among them John Gerard who was known to have been on friendly terms with several of the plotters. He was publicly named as a traitor, the hue and cry was raised, but through the kindness of friends he remained safely in hiding and was well looked after until, in May, 1606, he escaped to the continent. He never returned to England but spent the rest of his life teaching and performing spiritual duties at English colleges abroad. He was in charge of the Jesuit novices at Louvain from 1609 to 1614 and when the novitiate was transferred to Liège in 1614 he accompanied it, becoming the first rector of the new house. In 1627 he was made spiritual director of the English College at Rome, a post which he held until his death in 1637.