Person Born 1570 Died 31/1/1606
Born a protestant in York but became a Catholic when his widowed mother married a Catholic. A professional soldier, he fought for Spain but when he realised that Spain would not invade Britain and replace the Protestant James I with a Catholic monarchy he joined the conspirators who planned to blow up Parliament on the day it opened, which in 1605 was to be November 5th, much delayed due to an outbreak of plague. At first the conspirators rented a nearby property from where they started digging a tunnel towards Parliament but then a cellar actually under Parliament became available so they, gratefully, rented that, and stocked it with 36 barrels of gunpowder, very nearly a ton. Fawkes was given the job of lighting the fuse.
But someone chose to warn Baron Monteagle who was sympathetic to the Catholic cause and was due to attend the opening of Parliament. The letter-writer was probably Tresham, one of the conspirators and Monteagle's brother-in-law. Monteagle passed the information on to the authorities who initiated a search and on 4th November Fawkes was found in the cellar with the gunpowder. Some of the conspirators died while being held and questioned in the Tower of London, allegedly of natural causes. Those remaining were executed in the usual gruesome fashion, four on 30 January in St Paul's Churchyard and the other four, including Fawkes, the following day in Old Palace Yard, Westminster.
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