Who was Guy Fawkes?

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Guy Fawkes was included in a group of provincial English Catholics who planned, and later failed with, the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. He was born originally as Guy Fawkes on April 13, 1570, but also is known as Guido Fawkes, a name he adopted while he fought for the Spanish in the Low Countries.

The group of English Catholics that Guy Fawkes was a part of was lead by Robert Catesby. This group planned to assassinate Protestant King James, only to replace him with his daughter who was third in line in the succession, Princess Elizabeth. Catesby initially planned to kill the king and his government by blowing up the parliament house with gunpowder.

They originally planned to dig a tunnel underneath the parliament house, but as they began to undergo this plan, they heard someone above the tunnel and decided to forgo a new, devised plan. Fawkes then relayed the information that a widow was clearing out and she lived in an undercroft directly beneath the House of Lords.

Upon moving their equipment, the undercroft housed them as they continued to derive plans, as well as 36 barrels of gunpowder. They continued to work towards executing their plan, however, the plague epidemic delayed the process of their plan, pushing the date back to the end of King James.

Fellow Catholics were also in parliament, and the group sent anonymous letters to these members of parliament and advised them to stay away from parliament that night. A member of parliament who received one of these letters showed it to King James, and King James proceeded to command that the cellars underneath the parliament house and nearby be searched. Guy Fawkes was on watch that night, was discovered, and proceeded to get arrested.

Initially upon being interrogated, Fawkes would not even claim his identity, and would not give reasoning behind being in possession of such a large quantity of gun powder. He finally revealed the names of his fellow conspirators, and they were set to be executed. They were all executed in 1606, however, Fawkes died before he made it up to the scaffold because his body was so weak from being tortured.

Photo Credit: zigazou76 via photopin cc

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