Guy Fawkes Day: Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot from 1605

The most famous conspiracy in the history of Great Britain, “the gunpowder plot” aimed at blowing the Houses of Parliament in London and murder, thus, King James I and the entire Protestant aristocracy, whose place in the country’s leadership was to be taken by Catholics. The plot was discovered only few hours before its implementation, quite accidentally, by Sir Thomas Knyvet, who found the rebel leader, Guy Fawkes, hiding in a cellar which was extended under the Parliament’s building.

Suspecting that something bad is going to happen, he ordered a searching in that place and with this occasion has been found no less than 20 barrels of gunpowder filled eyes, enough quantity to destroy the entire edifice. Arrested and tortured, Fawkes revealed the threads of the conspiracy, so most of his accomplices were arrested in the morning of November 5, when the plot was to take place. The main leaders of the conspiracy, led by Fawkes, were sentenced to death by hanging, but before being killed, their guts were burned.

Unwilling to share this terrible fate, the day of execution – 31 January 1606 – Fawkes took advantage of a moment of inattention of the executioners and while he was climbing the scaffold’s ladder, he throw himself on his head, breaking his neck and died instantly. The other convicts were not as lucky as Fawkes and ended up in a terrible agony.

In the same year, the Parliament will set on 5 November as “the national thanksgiving day”. Today, the Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated in a unique way across Great Britain, to commemorate the plot: people lit huge pyres, launch fireworks and burn effigies of Fawkes’s, thus celebrating the triumph of Protestantism in the UK.