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The Gunpowder Plot

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1 The Gunpowder Plot

2 Who was Guy Fawkes? Guy Fawkes was born in York in At school his teacher and his friends were all Catholic. At that time, Catholics had practise their religion in secret. If a Catholic priest was caught holding a religious service the punishment was death.

3 As Guy grew older, he became angry about the way Catholics were treated.
In the 1590s he left England for Spain. Spain was a Catholic country. While he was in Spain Guy Fawkes became a soldier fighting for the Spanish.

4 A Plot to Kill the King In 1603, Queen Elizabeth I died. King James IV of Scotland became King James I of England. King James was a Protestant and passed more laws against Catholics.

5 Guy Fawkes wanted to stop the punishment of Catholics in England.
While he was in Spain he met a Catholic called Thomas Winter. Thomas had a plan: to blow up King James and the Houses of Parliament. It was a very dangerous plan, but Guy Fawkes wanted to be involved in it.

6 Guy returned to England to be involved in the gunpowder plot
Guy returned to England to be involved in the gunpowder plot. He had to be very careful and all meetings were held in secret. On 20th May 1604, Guy met the rest of the plotters in the Duck and Drake Inn in London. The leader of the gang was called Robert Catesby and Thomas Winter was also there.

7 The gang planned to put King James’ daughter, Princess Elizabeth, on the throne. Although she was only nine years old she was going to marry a Catholic prince from Spain. With her on the throne England would be a Catholic country again! The plotters decided that Guy should stay in London. He took a false name and found a small house to rent next to the Houses of Parliament.

8 The Houses of Parliament were just a few small buildings in 1605
The Houses of Parliament were just a few small buildings in Guy’s house was perfect for the plan as it had a cellar that led beneath the Parliament buildings. By the autumn of 1605, thirteen people were involved in the plot but Guy was the one who lived in the house and it was his job to look after the gunpowder. When the time was right, Guy was the one who was going to light the fuse to make the gunpowder explode.

9 What went wrong? Parliament was due to open at the end of October, Everything was in place but, unfortunately, the plotters did not realise that news of the plot had leaked out. On October 26th 1605 a letter was sent to a Catholic called Lord Monteagle. It warned him not to attend the opening of Parliament. The Lord decided the letter had to be brought to the King’s attention. The King ordered that the buildings next to Parliament be searched. Guy was found in the cellar with the barrels of gunpowder.

10 Guy Fawkes was taken to the Tower of London, where he was tortured and questioned about the other plotters. At first he didn’t tell the soldiers anything but, eventually, he started to tell the truth. Robert Catesby and the other men were found in Holbeach House in Worcester. Four of the plotters, including Robert Catesby, were shot dead. The others were sentenced to a traitor’s death and were executed.

11 Although he died a horrible death, Guy Fawkes died believing in everything he had done and his story has not been forgotten. Each year, at the Opening of Parliament, the Yeoman of the Guard search the cellars of the Houses of Parliament in memory of the Gunpowder Plot.

12 Resource and illustrations ©Bev Evans, 2010

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