Guy Fawkes was one of the prominent devout and militant Catholics in Britain who fought for the Spanish through planning and plotting. He was a member of a group of provincial English Catholics who planned the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 to assassinate the then King James. Fawkes also fought for Catholic Spain in the Eighty Years’ War against Protestant Dutch reformers in the Low Countries thus converting into catholicism. Each year on November 5, people celebrate “Guy Fawkes Day” in remembrance of him.
What was Guy Fawkes Famous for?
- Famous as the late figure who was one of the conspirators who tried initiating the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
Where was Guy Fawkes From?
Guy Fawkes was born on April 13, 1570, in Stonegate, York, England. His other name was Guido Fawkes. His nationality was British. Fawkes belonged to White ethnicity while Aries was his zodiac sign.
Guy Fawkes was born in a religious Fawkes family in the late 70s. He was the second child born to Edward Fawkes(father) and Edith Fawkes(mother). His father, Edward was a proctor and an advocate of the consistory court at York and both of his parents were regular communicants of the Church of England. Fawkes was baptized in the church of St Michael le Belfrey, York on 16 April.
Fawkes was raised along with his three siblings: sisters, Anne(who died in seven months) and Anne(b. 1572) and Elizabeth(b. 1575). When Fawkes was 8, his father died and following his father’s death, Fawkes’s mother married Denis Bainbridge, who was a Catholic.
Fawkes attended the St. Peter’s School in York where the teachers were known for their recusant Catholic beliefs. Due to his Catholic family connections and education from a Catholic school, Fawkes became a staunch Catholic believer.
After Fawkes left his school, he joined the service of Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montagu but he was dismissed by the viscount soon. Later, he joined the services of Anthony-Maria Browne, 2nd Viscount Montagu. In October 1591, when Fawkes was 21, he sold the estate in Clifton in York that he had inherited from his father.
Guy Fawkes Career Highlights: Gunpowder Plot
- Guy Fawkes began his journey by traveling to fight in the Eighty Years War for Catholic Spain against the new Dutch Republic.
- He joined Sir William Stanley, an English Catholic and veteran commander and began getting trained under the proper guidance.
- At the siege of Calais in 1596, he fought well as an alferez or junior officer and soon was recommended for a captaincy.
- In 1603, Fawkes traveled to Spain to seek the support of King Philip III, in starting a Catholic rebellion in England. he also changed his name to its Italian version, “Guido”.
- In 1604, Fawkes became involved in a plan to assassinate the Protestant King James.
- On May 20, 1604, the first meeting of the five central conspirators took place at an inn, “Duck and Drake”.
- Fawkes was included in the plan to blow up the “Parliament of England” using gunpowder.
- Fawkes and his associates planned to construct a tunnel to the “House of Lords” which was accessed by the conspirators.
- Fawkes and others had gathered 20 barrels of gunpowder but the plan was postponed. He moved to other places to support Catholics.
- In August 1605, Fawkes returned to England by the time all the gunpowder stored in the undercroft had decayed.
- Fawkes was to light the fuse after which he was to escape across the Thames and help to capture Princess Elizabeth.
- On November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes was captured by King James’s army and was ordered to be tortured, to reveal the names of his co-conspirators.
- Fawkes was claimed to be John Johnson and then was taken to the “Tower of London”.
- After he underwent severe torture, he revealed his name and the names of his fellow conspirators. All the conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot were captured and after trial, they all were sentenced to death.
- On January 31, 1606, Fawkes and three of his fellow conspirators Thomas Wintour, Ambrose Rookwood, and Robert Keyes were dragged from the Tower of London to Westminster.
- His fellow plotters were then hanged and quartered and Fawkes was the last to stand on the scaffold. But he broke his neck and ended the story.
What is Guy Fawkes Day?
Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated every year on November 5 as a day of thanksgiving to Fawkes and his fellow conspirators. Way before, on November 5, 1605, the people of London celebrated the king’s escape from the assassination plot, by “Lighting bonfires” which was initiated by Fawkes.
Since then November 5 has become a part of the cultural celebrations of London. On this day, kids make effigies of Guy, using old clothes and newspapers and are burnt with the accompaniment of fireworks.
It is celebrated in England as “Guy Fawkes Night” or the “Bonfire Night” as well.
What was the Cause of Death of Guy Fawkes?
Guy Fawkes was one of the conspirators who were involved in “Gunpowder Plot” in 1605. Fawkes was captured and tortured after which he revealed all of his fellow conspirators involved. In 1606, after the trial, all of them were sentenced to death. On January 31, 1606, his fellow plotters were hanged and Fawkes was the last man to stand on the scaffold.
He asked for forgiveness of the King and state before climbing the ladder but then he fell from the ladder and broke his neck, thereby he escaped half of the execution. His lifeless body was nevertheless quartered. It is still unknown that whether he had jumped to his death or the rope had been incorrectly fixed.
Was Guy Fawkes Married?
There is no any other information related to Guy Fawkes’s personal life. However, it is claimed that he was married and had a son but there are no records to prove this. Besides, Fawkes was very pleasant of approach and cheerful of manner, as opposed to quarrels and loyal to his friends. He was a man highly skilled in matters of war.
How Did Guy Fawkes Look Like?
The great personality, Guy Fawkes was a good looking guy with charming dress-up and look-up. He was a tall and powerfully built man with courage and determination. He had a fair complexion with thick reddish-brown hair, a flowing mustache in the tradition of the time, and a bushy reddish-brown beard.