QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2005-01 > 1107222259
Subject: Jan 31, 1606
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 20:44:19 EST
1606 The death of Guy Fawkes
At Westminster in London, Guy Fawkes, a chief conspirator in the plot to
blow up the British Parliament building, jumps to his death moments before his
execution for treason.
On the eve of a general parliamentary session scheduled for November 5,
1605, Sir Thomas Knyvet, a justice of the peace, found Guy Fawkes lurking in a
cellar of the Parliament building. Fawkes was detained and the premises
thoroughly searched. Nearly two tons of gunpowder were found hidden within the
cellar. In his interrogation, Fawkes revealed that he was a participant in an
English Catholic conspiracy organized by Robert Catesby to annihilate England's
entire Protestant government, including King James I. The king was to have
attended Parliament on November 5.
Over the next few months, English authorities killed or captured all of the
conspirators in the "Gunpowder Plot" but also arrested, tortured, or killed
dozens of innocent English Catholics. After a brief trial, Guy Fawkes was
sentenced, along with the other surviving chief conspirators, to be hanged,
drawn, and quartered in London. On January 30, 1606, the gruesome public
executions began in London, and on January 31 Fawkes was called to meet his fate.
While climbing to the hanging platform, however, he jumped from the ladder and
broke his neck, dying instantly.
In remembrance of the Gunpowder Plot, Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated across
Great Britain every year on the fifth of November. As dusk falls in the
evening, villagers and city dwellers across Britain light bonfires, set off
fireworks, and burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes, celebrating his failure to blow up
Parliament and James I.
|Jan 31, 1606 by|