Saturday, 5 November 2016

Guy Fawkes - 'Remember, remember the Gunpowder Plot'

Guy Fawkes being arrested in 1603.
Guy Fawkes was born in April 1570 at York. He was brought up in a family and country of Protestants. However, he was Catholic and refused to attend Protestant services.

At the age of 21, Fawkes sold his estate and went to Europe to fight for Catholic Spain against the Protestant Dutch. In 1603 he was made captain. That same year he appealed to King Philip III of Spain to support a rebellion in England against James I. Philip refused to give his support.

While fighting for Spain at Flanders, Fawkes meet Thomas Wintour, who asked him to join a plot which would become known as the Gunpowder Plot.

After 18 months of planning, the plot failed when Fawkes was arrested at midnight on 4 November 1605 under the Houses of Lords. With him they found 36 barrels of gunpowder was found in a cellar directly below where the King would have sat to open Parliament the next day.

He was tortured for two days by James I's spymaster, Robert Cecil. After which, Fawkes confessed to it all. He was then sentenced to death - to be hanged, drawn and quartered. However, he jumped from the gallows, breaking his neck and so avoiding the horror of being cut down while still alive, having his testicles cut off and his stomach opened and his guts spilled out. His dead body was then hacked into quarters and his remains were sent to four corners of the Kingdom to serve as a warning.

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