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 Guy “Guido” Fawkes

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Guy “Guido” Fawkes

  • Birth 13 Apr 1570 England
  • Death 31 Jan 1606 Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
  • Burial Body lost or destroyed
  • Memorial ID 43688809

Gunpowder Plot conspirator. The Gunpowder Plot was hatched by disillusioned Catholics, upset with the new King James who had pledged, but failed, to ease restrictions and punishments for practising Catholics. After assassinating the King by blowing up Parliament during its opening session, the conspirators planned to kidnap the child Princess Elizabeth and install her on the throne as a Catholic Queen. The plot was foiled a few days before it was due to be carried out when authorities received an anonymous letter informing them of the plot. An early member of the conspiracy and a former military man with explosives experience, Fawkes' role in the plot was to collect, place and guard the gunpowder barrels under the Houses of Parliament and to actually set the explosions off. He assumed the identity of "John Johnson", servant of co-conspirator Thomas Percy, and was installed in an apartment leased by Percy adjacent to Parliament to organize the explosives which he later placed in a storage cellar, also rented by Percy, under the Parliament buildings. Although the leader of the conspiracy, Robert Catesby, was aware that authorities had been tipped off about the plot on October 26th 1605, Fawkes was never told and remained in place at Parliament guarding the explosives. On November 4th he was found in the cellar by the Lord Chamberlain, who was not satisfied with his explanation when challenged as to his presence, and he was arrested later that day when the gunpowder was discovered. During his imprisonment and trial he was unrepentant, and his confession was wrought from him only under torture. He refused to name his fellow conspirators until word reached him that they were all either dead or in custody. While he may have appeared unremorseful, being described in one report as "the greatest devil of them all", it is apparent from contemporary accounts that his fanatacism was borne of a genuine belief that the plot would free English Catholics from the bonds resultant from following an illegal faith. Although he pled not guilty at his trial, a guilty verdict had already been handed down and he was executed by the traditional method of hanging, drawing and quartering. He has no grave; in keeping with custom for executed traitors, his body was placed on public display outside the Tower of London, after which the remains would have been thrown into the Thames River and lost forever. Prior to his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot, he was a respected military man and commander, fighting for ten years in the Spanish Army for the Catholic cause. It was during his time in Spain that he adopted the name "Guido" in place of his original birth name. He was generally held to be a brave soldier, an honest and pious man and a loyal friend. Although not the leader of the conspiracy, it is he who has become the modern face of the Gunpowder Plot, remembered in poems and songs and the English tradition of "Penny for the Guy", in which children display an effigy of Fawkes, usually carried door-to-door, to raise money to buy fireworks symbolizing the thwarted explosion of Parliament.

Bio by: Mount Hope NY


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Mount Hope NY
  • Added: 29 Oct 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 43688809
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Guy “Guido” Fawkes (13 Apr 1570–31 Jan 1606), Find A Grave Memorial no. 43688809, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Body lost or destroyed.