The Gunpowder plot
The Gunpowder plot was a November 5, 1605 plot to blow up King James of England and the parliament for their continued persecution on Roman Catholics in the country. The plan to blow up the monarch was hatched by Robert Catesby and other like-minded people who had the hope of replacing the Protestant government with a Catholic system of governance. Unfortunately, one of the conspirators, Guy Fawkes was discovered in the basement of the building with barrels of gunpowder before exploding it. Guy and his team of conspirators were tried and found guilty of treason, which handed them direct execution. Following their execution, Britain remembers November 5 annually by celebrating Guy Fawkes Day.
If not for Sir Thomas Knyvet who discovered Fawkes, probably King James and the parliamentarians would have perished. The discovery of Fawkes led to a thorough search of the premise, with 36 barrels found. After torture in custody, Fawkes exposed other conspirators who were behind a plot to annihilate the King and his government and install a pro Catholic leadership. It is believed that Catesby was a bitter man, an English Catholic, who sought to revenge against the government because Queen Elizabeth I persecuted his father for rejecting conversion to the Church of England. On his side, Fawkes had converted to Catholicism and fought in the Catholic Spain forces in Netherlands, which was also under Protestant leadership.
The aborted gunpowder plot is believed to have been leaked to authorities, which called for a thorough search of The House of Lords building. Lord Monteagle was related to one of the planners of the plan. He received an anonymous letter, warning him against attending parliament because of possible attacks. He however alerted the authorities, resulting into the last minute discovery. Importantly, all the plotters were either killed or put on trial and executed for treason.
After their trial Fawkes and his team were to be hanged in London. Fawkes however killed himself moments before the execution by jumping from a ladder as he climbed the gallows on January 31, 1606.
The failed gunpowder plot was to have far-reaching effects on English Catholics. The government introduced repressive laws, eliminating them the right to vote. In other words, the government did not recognize them as English citizens following the attempt to kill the King and members of Parliament.
Without the capture of Fawkes, it would have been impossible to discover the barrels of gunpowder. Additionally, it would have been a toll order to seize the conspirators, who included Catesby. After his capture, he was detained at the Tower of London, where he underwent bodily torture. By the time he revealed all the plotters, most of them had fled to the countryside, fearing their arrest. This did not deter authorities from catching up with them. During the countrywide search, a shootout ensured at Hobeach house, leaving four of the conspirators dead, including the ringleader, Catesby. Eight others were rounded up and tried for treason before being hanged in London. On the material day, some of the plotters are said to have begged for forgiveness while others remained mum as their fate was already sealed. Fawkes was the last to face the gallows having suffered mental and physical damage because of prison torture. He however survived the disembowelment by jumping from the ladder and dying.
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