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Guy Fawkes.


Rural

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We never did this in history at school, but when I lived in London, the bangers, fireworks and bonfires were more than a little annoying.

I Googled a piece here that doesn't say much & if there is any more knowledge I would be grateful.



Guy Fawkes, the son of a Edward Fawkes, was born in York in 1570. Edward Fawkes was a proctor of the ecclesiastical courts and advocate of the consistory court of the Archbishop of York.

As a child Fawkes attended St. Peters School in York with John Wright and Christopher Wright.

Fawkes was brought up as a Protestant but was converted to Roman Catholic after reading about the way Henry VIII had persecuted religious dissents.

In 1592 married Maria Pulleyn. The following year Fawkes went to the Netherlands where he enlisted in the Spanish army under Archduke Albert of Austria. He also helped the Spanish capture Calais in 1596. Later he travelled to Spain in an attempt to persuade the king to send Catholic troops to invade England.

When Elizabeth I died in 1603 without children, Mary's son, was next in line to the throne. As James was a Protestant, Parliament was also in favour of him becoming king. The Roman Catholics in England were upset that there was going to be another Protestant monarch. They also became very angry when James passed a law that imposed heavy fines on people who did not attend Protestant church services.

In May 1604, Robert Catesby devised the Gunpowder Plot, a scheme to kill James and as many Members of Parliament as possible. At a meeting at the Duck and Drake Inn Catesby explained his plan to Guy Fawkes, Thomas Percy, John Wright and Thomas Wintour. All the men agreed under oath to join the conspiracy. Over the next few months Francis Tresham, Everard Digby, Robert Wintour, Thomas Bates and Christopher Wright also agreed to take part in the overthrow of the king.

After the death of James in the explosion, Robert Catesby planned to make the king's young daughter, Elizabeth, queen. In time, Catesby hoped to arrange Elizabeth's marriage to a Catholic nobleman. It was Everard Digby's task to kidnap Princess Elizabeth from Coombe Abbey.



Crispen van de Passe, The Gunpowder Plot Conspirators (c.1606)

Catesby's plan involved blowing up the Houses of Parliament on 5th November. This date was chosen because the king was due to open Parliament on that day. At first the group tried to tunnel under Parliament. This plan changed when Thomas Percy was able to hire a cellar under the House of Lords. The plotters then filled the cellar with barrels of gunpowder. Fawkes, because of his munitions experience in the Netherlands, was given the task of creating the explosion.

One of the people involved in the plot was Francis Tresham. He was worried that the explosion would kill his friend and brother-in-law, Lord Monteagle. On 26th October, Tresham sent Lord Monteagle a letter warning him not to attend Parliament on 5th November.

Lord Monteagle became suspicious and passed the letter to Robert Cecil, the king's chief minister. Cecil quickly organised a thorough search of the Houses of Parliament. While searching the cellars below the House of Lords they found Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder. Fawkes claimed he was John Johnson, the servant of Thomas Percy.

Fawkes was tortured and admitted that he was part of a plot to "blow the Soctsman (James) back to Scotland". On the 7th November, after enduring further totures, Fawkes gave the names of his fellow conspirators.

Guy Fawkes was found guilty of treason and executed along with Thomas Wintour, on 31st January, 1606. The two men were both hanged, drawn and quartered.
1605. After being tortured in the Tower of London, Guy Fawkes confessed to planning to blow up Parliament. (17 November 1605)

If Guy Fawkes case came up before the Court of Appeal today, the... judges would surely... acquit him... First, no one has ever seen the attempted tunnel. Builders excavating the area in 1823 found neither a tunnel nor any rubble. Second, the gunpowder. In 1605, the Government had a monopoly on its manufacture... The Government did not display the gunpowder and nobody saw it in the cellars. Third, these cellars were rented by the government to a known Catholic agitator... Fourth, the Tresham letter. Graphologists (handwriting experts) agree that it was not written by Francis Tresham.
 

Levellers

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He was set up by Robert Cecil the head of intelligence for James I.
 
Last edited:

Cato

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He was set up by Francis Walsingham the head of intelligence for Elizabeth I.
That was some trick considering that he had been dead for a decade and a half by then.
 

Rural

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He was set up by Francis Walsingham the head of intelligence for Elizabeth I.
Thanks for that. The mode of execution was horrific and if he was "set up", why do children burn his effigy on a bonfire every year? Seems even more horrific to me.

And do the children even know the story?
 

Levellers

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That was some trick considering that he had been dead for a decade and a half by then.
OK I got the monarch and spy wrong - but the rest was OKpetunia

I would have bet money it was Walsinghm.
 

Cato

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Thanks for that. The mode of execution was horrific and if he was "set up", why do children burn his effigy on a bonfire every year? Seems even more horrific to me.

And do the children even know the story?
From wiki:

On 5 November 1605 Londoners were encouraged to celebrate the King's escape from assassination by lighting bonfires, "always provided that 'this testemonye of joy be carefull done without any danger or disorder'".[3] An Act of Parliament[nb 8] designated each 5 November as a day of thanksgiving for "the joyful day of deliverance", and remained in force until 1859.[58] Although he was only one of 13 conspirators, Fawkes is today the individual most associated with the failed Plot.[59]

In Britain, 5 November has variously been called Guy Fawkes Night, Guy Fawkes Day, Plot Night[60] and Bonfire Night; the latter can be traced directly back to the original celebration of 5 November 1605.[61] Bonfires were accompanied by fireworks from the 1650s onwards, and it became the custom to burn an effigy (usually the pope) after 1673, when the heir presumptive, James, Duke of York, made his conversion to Catholicism public.[3] Effigies of other notable figures who have become targets for the public's ire, such as Paul Kruger andMargaret Thatcher, have also found their way onto the bonfires,[62] although most modern effigies are of Fawkes.[58
 

redhead

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Thanks for that. The mode of execution was horrific and if he was "set up", why do children burn his effigy on a bonfire every year? Seems even more horrific to me.

And do the children even know the story?
Yes of course they do, in a very truncated black and white form. They really aren't into interrogating the facts just 'he's a baddie, let's put him on the bonfire and see him burn' which for small kids is very entertaining.

As a modern event it has as much to do with its history as Halloween, Easter, Christmas etc. but it still provides celebration and ritual within communities.
 

Seanie Lemass

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Fawkes was horrifically tortured before he broke. When he was being taken to be drawn and hung he jumped off the edge to hang himself.
 

Cruimh

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Yes of course they do, in a very truncated black and white form. They really aren't into interrogating the facts just 'he's a baddie, let's put him on the bonfire and see him burn' which for small kids is very entertaining.

As a modern event it has as much to do with its history as Halloween, Easter, Christmas etc. but it still provides celebration and ritual within communities.
We celebrate Saint Patrick - although it seems he was a murderous misogynist who also traded in slaves.
 

Eire1976

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Nov 20, 2010
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We never did this in history at school, but when I lived in London, the bangers, fireworks and bonfires were more than a little annoying.

I Googled a piece here that doesn't say much & if there is any more knowledge I would be grateful.
Having lived in London for over 20 years, I always thought this spectacle of naked anti catholicism very distasteful.

Imagine the furoe if he was a black muslim.
 

Ex celt

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Fawkes was horrifically tortured before he broke. When he was being taken to be drawn and hung he jumped off the edge to hang himself.
Is it too late to get an enquiry up and running or even a quick jaunt over to Strasbourg?
 

loaf

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Guy Fawkes was voted the 30th 'Greatest Briton' when the BBC ran a poll in 2002.

Many Brits regard him as a revolutionary martyr. But not that many.
 
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