Guy Fawkes’ storey with his co-conspirators is about intrigue, sloppiness, renown and strength, and religion of course.
In fact, robert Catesby the aristocrat, Thomas Wintour the lawyers, Thomas Percy the aristocrat and Jack Wright, fellow shirt and buddy of guy Fawkes and royal spy-master Robert Cecil, were the primary participants in the play.
Religious adulation had been a no-no, as the Catholic-Protestant wars continued here and in Europe, where the Catholic Spanish army, Guy Fawkes had served in Spain to uphold his faith.
In the few years he was on the throne, King James had become a highly despised Scottish monarch who had made life terrible for Catholics. He realised he needed to be harsher on Catholics, so he sought to prohibit their religion, making prayer and worship more difficult.
Catholic Faith England
Determined to assassinate King Henry VIII and his cohorts and restore Mary Queen of Scots to the throne, re-establish the Catholic faith in England, which had taken a beating since Henry VIII’s accession.
They rented the basement beneath the Palace of Westminster near to the Houses of Parliament and began accumulating 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow “everyone upstairs to the pits of damnation.”
The Plague struck London again in 1604, causing the King to go hunting for the summer and autumn, and the beginning of Parliament was pushed back from October 3rd to November 5th.
The gunpowder then unexpectedly ‘went off,’ rendering it useless. So Guy Fawkes, a man on a mission and more than a little irritated at having gathered the gunpowder just once, was off to find additional gunpowder and support for the cause.
The problem is that the more people participating in a “secret,” the lower the chances of it succeeding.
The gunpowder arrived, was transferred back to the under-croft, and the plot was in motion as time passed.
Light The Gunpowder Fuse
Everything was set to go on the 26th of October when a letter, purportedly sent to Lord Monteagle, came informing him of the impending conspiracy to assassinate the monarch and his entourage.
The question of who sent the letter has never been resolved, and it is only speculation that it came from his brother-in-law, Francis Tresham, who was one of the final conspirators to join the scheme.
The undercrofts near the Houses of Parliament were meticulously examined many days after receiving the letter, and they came across a man carrying a lamp who said his name was John Johnson.
The search team believed ‘John’ when he said he was just gathering firewood for his master, Thomas Percy.
They returned to report their results, and because the King was not satisfied that every portion had been fully investigated, he demanded that a more thorough search be conducted.
Guy was apprehended and searched in the undercroft, where he was discovered to be carrying a torch, matches, touchwood, and a magnificent pocket watch.
The gunpowder barrels were discovered, and Guy Fawkes was brought before the King the following morning, November 5th.
As a result, the plot was foiled, and Guy was tortured into handing over his co-conspirators. The torture was described as being “milder in character” at first, but when they saw they weren’t getting anywhere after a whole day.
Oh The Torture
The monarch gave them permission to use the rack and even sent a list of questions he wanted asked to “John Johnson.”
He finally had enough and gave the names of five conspirators, the rest of whom were incarcerated in a house in Staffordshire.
They tried to dry up their moist gunpowder in front of an open fire, which was really foolish!! Needless to say, the expected explosion occurred, and in an attempt to avoid capture, they bolted from the house, directly into the musket fire of the pursuing authorities.
The same shot struck both Robert Catesby and Thomas Percy, as the musket ball travelled through one and into the other, but the others were tried.
Guy Fawkes, Thomas Wintour, Ambrose Rookwood, and Robert Keyes were all supposed to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. Guy the last to be executed, leapt from the gallows to ensure he was dead before they began cutting off his genitals.
They divided him into four pieces and carting him off to be displayed in the four corners of the kingdom as a stark warning to other wretches.