Please to Remember...
Photo of Guy Fawkes
 Guy Fawkes 1570 - 1606
"Please to Remember
The Fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
We see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!"

It all dates back to 1605 when a group of Roman Catholics were unhappy with laws passed by the English Parliament against their religion. King James I had said he would end the persecution of Roman Catholics but, Parliament had overturned his decision. They felt a new Roman Catholic king would be more sympathetic to them and decided to kill the King and his Parliament by blowing them up when they met for the State opening of Parliament. The fateful day was to be November 5th. Gunpowder was secreted in the cellars of the House of Parliament and everything was ready for the awful deed. Guy Fawkes, an explosives expert, waited in the cellars with 36 barrels of gunpowder to light the fuse.

There were a few Roman Catholic Members of Parliament and the plotters felt they should be warned not to attend on that day. They failed to appreciate however, that not all Roman Catholics were disloyal to the King and before Parliament met, a search was made of the cellars. Guy Fawkes was discovered with the gunpowder and was arrested. Under torture, he revealed the names of his fellow conspirators and all were executed. Guy Fawkes suffered the fate of being hung, until he was nearly dead, had his stomach cut open and entrails drawn out and burnt before him and was finally killed by being beheaded and quartered

Relieved at their lucky escape, Parliament decreed that hence forth the day should be celebrated.

Guy Fawkes was born in Yorkshire on April 13, 1570. He was the son of Edward Fawkes of York and his wife Edith Blake, both devout Catholics.

Guy Fawkes became an explosives expert by serving in the Spanish Flanders Army, which consisted of English Catholic mercenaries doing their best to encourage an invasion of England by the Spanish military. They believed this would solve the Catholic problems in their England. Catholic Spain and Protestant England has been long at war.

The conspirators had rented storage space in a building adjoining The Houses of Parliament and from its cellars, gained access to the space below Parliament. Over a period of time they had brought in a large amount of gunpowder.

There's little doubt that Guy Fawkes was a brave man dedicated to his cause. It took two days for him to break under the torture of the rack but, despite his confession, treason could not be forgiven and he was tried, convicted and executed publicly.

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