Who was Guy Fawkes and why are we celebrating Bonfire Night?
Bonfire Night dates back to the early 17th century when a group of disgruntled Catholics led by Robert Catesby began to prepare to blow up the House of Parliament in an attempt to restore Catholicism to Britain.
They planned to put almost 40 barrels of gunpowder under the House of Lords. Guy Fawkes is in charge of overseeing the operation, which is set for the opening day of Parliament on November 5, 1605.
But their plans were dashed when an anonymous letter received by the crown warned them to stay away from Parliament buildings on its opening day. Because of this, King James I, a Protestant, sent search teams to investigate and that’s when they came across the shocking supply of gunpowder.
He then ordered Fawkes to be tortured at the Tower of London in an attempt to have him reveal the names of all the people behind the foiled event. However, four of those involved, including leader Catesby, had been killed and the rest had already been arrested before Fawkes reached the Tower.
But Fawkes was not spared. In a trial shortly after the arrest, he and the rest of his group were sentenced to death after being convicted of treason. Learn more here