Guy Fawkes was born on April 13th, 1570 in Yorkshire and he died on January 31st 1606 in the Old Palace Yard at Westminster. He is famous because of his plot to kill King James, that plot is called the Gunpowder Plot. Let’s note though that Fawkes was born in a prestigious family, so this wasn’t a peasant riot. This was part of the court members.
The Gunpowder Plot was a plot to blow up Parliament with King James, mainly because of the treatment tours the Catholics during James rule. Basically the conspirators wanted an uprising of the Catholic people. During that time, there were increased penal laws against the practice of Catholicism.
What these men did was they put 36 barrels of gunpowder under the House of Lords, but they were caught because of a mysterious letter, telling a Member of Parliament to not go, that day. It’s never been prove but that letter went to Lord Monteagle and he was the brother-in-law of a conspirator whom was named Francis Tresham. He was said to have written this letter. Luckily for that because there was probably around 2 tons of gunpowder under the house of Parliament.
Since their plan was found out, all the conspirators were killed. Guy Fawkes on January 31st with Thomas Wintour, Ambrose Rookwood, and Robert Keyes, were all taken to the Old Palace Yard of Westminster and hanged, drawn, and quartered. It is said that Guy was so sick and weak from torture that he could barely walk up the ladder, that the hangman had to help him.
It’s your own opinion if you think he is a criminal or not. To some he is an extremist but to others he was just a man fighting for his religion because in that time, being a Protestant was kind of the law, it started with Queen Elizabeth, and then James was also that religion. Before Elizabeth though, Catholicism was the countries religion because of her Sister Queen Mary. Anyway Fawkes act didn’t help too much and the laws got harsher but he will always be remembered in history.
Why they celebrate, will one reason it is said that when the plot was overtaken, people in London celebrated with lighting fires and street festivals. So now it’s a tradition. Till this day, the people in Great Britain (besides Northern Ireland) celebrate with fireworks, and other festivities. Even in the states, they celebrated mostly in New England as late as the 18 Century, which was called Pope Day. Other countries like New Zealand and New Foundland on this day celebrate too.
So now you know a little bit about the Gunpowder Plot, and maybe you’ll celebrate it just for it’s historical aspect because it is quite interesting..
David Herber, “Guy Fawkes A Biography”, Britannia