Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606), also known as Guido Fawkes, the name he adopted while fighting for the Spanish in the Low Countries, was a member of a group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Fawkes was born and educated in York, England.
asked “all OCCUPY Protestors to come together on November 5th, 2011, to rally again for our efforts to end corruption and social injustice.”
As part of a group of anti-terrorist measures, the cellars of the Houses of Parliament are still searched by guards each year before the legislature opens in November.
Some four centuries after Fawkes was caught, tortured and executed for his role in a scheme that never came to fruition, Britons still celebrate his demise each Nov. 5 by burning his likeness in effigy and setting fireworks ablaze.
Guy Fawkes was a Catholic who, spurred by religious persecution, led a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and bring down England’s Protestant monarchy.
Fawkes was described as a man of “excellent good natural parts, very resolute and universally learned.” Other references refer to Fawkes’ “virtue” and “nobility”. Others noted his religious devotion and his punctual attendance at religious ceremonies.
it provoked hostility against all British Catholics and led to an increase in the harshness of laws against them. Even to this day, it is the law that no Roman Catholic may hold the office of monarch and the reigning king or queen remains Supreme Head of the Church of England.
In the aftermath of the plot, James I was in no mood for tolerance. New laws were passed removing Catholics' right to vote and restricting their role in public life. It would be another 200 years before these restrictions were fully lifted.
In his interrogation, Fawkes revealed that he was a participant in an English Catholic conspiracy organized by Robert Catesby to annihilate England's entire Protestant government, including King James I. The king was to have attended Parliament on November 5.
Fawkes seemed the perfect foot soldier for the plan's execution. He knew guns and explosives well, and since he had been away from England for many years, his name and face were unknown to Sir Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury and the head of the English monarchy's secret police.
The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, as it became known, was the brainchild of Robert Catesby, a well-to-do gentleman of Warwickshire. Together with Guy Fawkes and three other plotters, they formulated a plan to strike at the opening of parliament on 5 November.
He served for many years as a soldier gaining considerable expertise with explosives. In 1593 he enlisted in the army of Archduke Albert of Austria in the Netherlands, fighting against the Protestant United Provinces in the Eighty Years' War.
Fawkes claimed that he was ‘John Johnson’ but he made clear his real intention when he said that he wanted to blow a Scotsman back to Scotland.
In Fawkes' possession were a watch, slow matches and touchpaper. On arrest Fawkes did not deny his intentions, stating that it had been his purpose to destroy the King and the Parliament.
The plotters sought wider support, and, as the story goes, one of the individuals to whom they reached out alerted his brother-in-law, a lord, not to attend Parliament on Nov. 5. The building was searched, and Fawkes was apprehended along with his stockpile of gunpowder.
It was hoped that such a disaster would initiate a great uprising of English Catholics, who were distressed by the increased severity of penal laws against the practice of their religion.
Inebriated by faith and outraged by the persecution of Catholicism under Queen Elizabeth and James, 13 Roman Catholic conspirators planned to blow up the king, his wife and sons and members of Parliament
Fawkes assisted in filling the room with gunpowder which was concealed beneath bric-a-brac in the cellars of the House of Lords building. The 36 barrels belonging to John Whynniard contained an estimated 2500 kg of gunpowder.