Guy Fawkes was a member of a group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. He was born and educated in York, England but left for mainland Europe, where he fought for Catholic Spain in the Eighty Years' War. He sought support in Spain for a Catholic rebellion in England but was unsuccessful. He later met Thomas Wintour, with whom he returned to England, and Wintour introduced him to Robert Catesby, who planned to assassinate King James I and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne. The plotters leased an undercroft beneath the House of Lords, and Fawkes was placed in charge of the gunpowder which they stockpiled there. The authorities were prompted by an anonymous letter to search Westminster Palace during the early hours of 5 November, and they found Fawkes guarding the explosives. He was questioned and tortured over the next few days, and he confessed to wanting to blow up the House of Lords.
Immediately before his execution on 31 January, Fawkes fell from the scaffold where he was to be hanged and broke his neck, thus avoiding the agony of being hanged, drawn and quartered. He became synonymous with the Gunpowder Plot, the failure of which has been commemorated in Britain as Guy Fawkes Night since 5 November 1605, when his effigy is traditionally burned on a bonfire, commonly accompanied by fireworks.
- How was Guy Fawkes caught?
- What was Fawkes doing when he was caught?
- How did Fawkes die?
- Where did Fawkes meet his first co-conspirators?
- What is something you will not see in a Guy Fawkes celebration in England?