Today is the anniversary of the discovery of Gunpowder Plot conspirator, Guy Fawkes, and 36 barrels of gunpowder in a cellar beneath the Palace of Westminster on the night of 4th/5th November 1605. The plotters were planning to blow up the Houses of Parliament on the opening of Parliament and assassinate the king, his government and leading bishops and nobles.
But why and what has this event in James I’s reign got to do with Tudor history?
Well, a lot, because the Gunpowder Plot had its roots in Elizabeth I’s reign.
Find out more about the Gunpowder Plot, and those involved, in today’s talk.
On this day in history, 31st January 1606, Gunpowder Plot conspirators Thomas Winter, Ambrose Rookwood, Robert Keyes, and Guy Fawkes were executed for treason at the Old Palace Yard, Westminster.
Two of them cheated the executioner and crowd by leaping at the gallows, but they still had awful ends. Hear a contemporary account of their executions, including what they did and said, in today’s talk.
On this day in Tudor history, 16th April 1570, Gunpowder Plot conspirator Guy Fawkes was baptised in York.
In today’s video, I talk about how the Gunpowder Plot has its origins in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and why these men were driven to try and blow up Westminster.
One thing I do miss about living in the UK is the annual fireworks display we used to attend as a family. The annual ritual of putting on warm clothes, going out to watch some spectacular fireworks (we lived near a fire college and the firemen did a wonderful job), then coming back to hot chocolate and other warm treats – bliss! Here, where I live in Spain, of course, it’s a normal day and Guy Fawkes doesn’t mean anything to anybody. The only fireworks we have here are the bangers let off when the football results are good or at our village fiesta in January. There’s no colour to them, they just flash and bang – very sad!
On 27th January 1606, the eight surviving conspirators of the November 1605 Gunpowder Plot were tried at Westminster for high treason. Those tried were Guy Fawkes, Robert and Thomas Wintour (Winter), John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates and Sir Everard Digby. Jesuits Henry Garnet, Oswald Tesmond (Tesimond) and John Gerard were said to have “traitorously move[d] and persuade[d]” the conspirators. The other conspirators had died shortly after the plot had been discovered; John Wright, Christopher Wright, Thomas Percy and Robert Catesby were shot dead at Holbeche House in a siege on 8th November, and Francis Tresham died in the Tower of London on 23rd December 1605.
Wherever you are in the world, you can still enjoy a taste of the UK’s bonfire celebrations with the following recipes and videos that I’ve found for you.
Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli’ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England’s overthrow;
By God’s providence he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!”
This week was the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, which actually had its roots in the reign of Elizabeth I, but how much do you know about the plot?
Test yourself with this fun quiz.
As it’s 5th November today, I just thought I’d share with you some articles and resources on the Gunpowder Plot of 1605:
The Protestant King James I of England had recently taken the throne in March 1603 after the death of Elizabeth I. There was hope that anti-Catholic laws would become less severe, but as of 5 November 1605, that had yet to happen.
Guy Fawkes was recruited in May 1604 by Thomas Wintour, cousin of Robert Catesby, to assist with the diabolical plot of blowing up the King, the Prince of Wales, and others at the next Opening of Parliament. The conspirators would then kidnap Prince Charles and Princess Elizabeth and return the country to the catholic fold.
An article about Bonfire Night and the Gunpowder Plot.
Watch Gunpowder 5/11: The Greatest Terror Plot