Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot

On the 5th of November 1605, Guy Fawkes was caught trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London, England.

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Catholic dissidents wanted to overthrow Protestant rule in England.

They believed Parliament and King James I in the hopes that Catholic rule could be restored in the aftermath.

Contrary to popular belief, Guy Fawkes wasn’t the mastermind of the plot to overthrow the government of King James I.

The principal conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot include Guy Fawkes and the ringleader Robert Catesby.
The ringleader of the Gunpowder Plot was Robert Catesby (2nd from right). Guy Fawkes is 3rd from right.

Robert Catesby was the organiser of the Gunpowder Plot, but Fawkes became the most well-known conspirator.

The failure of the ‘Gunpowder Plot’ is celebrated on the fifth of November.

Celebrations include fireworks, and sometimes effigies of Guy Fawkes are burned on bonfires.

Guy Fawkes Mask

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The execution of Guy Fawkes was brutal – he was drawn and quartered.

He tried to overthrow the government, and so he was the face of treason.

However, he is now known for the mask his face has inspired – a famous symbol of protest and dissent.

Folk rhymes described the Gunpowder Plot:

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason, and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England’s overthrow.
But, by God’s providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James’s sake!
If you won’t give me one,
I’ll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn’orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

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