The Gunpowder Plot - Communication4All

Guy Fawkes was born in
York in 1570. At school his
teacher and his friends
were all Catholic.
At that time, Catholics
had practise their religion
in secret. If a Catholic
priest was caught holding
a religious service the
punishment was death.
As Guy grew older, he
became angry about the
way Catholics were
In the 1590s he left
England for Spain. Spain
was a Catholic country.
While he was in Spain Guy
Fawkes became a soldier
fighting for the Spanish.
In 1603, Queen Elizabeth I
died. King James IV of
Scotland became King
James I of England. King
James was a Protestant
and passed more laws
against Catholics.
Guy Fawkes wanted to stop the
punishment of Catholics in England.
While he was in Spain he met a
Catholic called Thomas Winter.
Thomas had a plan: to blow up King
James and the Houses of Parliament.
It was a very dangerous plan, but Guy
Fawkes wanted to be involved in it.
Guy returned to England to be involved in the
gunpowder plot. He had to be very careful and
all meetings were held in secret.
On 20th May 1604, Guy met the rest of the
plotters in the Duck and Drake Inn in London.
The leader of the gang was called Robert
Catesby and Thomas Winter was also there.
The gang planned to put King James’ daughter,
Princess Elizabeth, on the throne. Although she
was only nine years old she was going to marry a
Catholic prince from Spain. With her on the
throne England would be a Catholic country
The plotters decided that
Guy should stay in
London. He took a false
name and found a small
house to rent next to the
Houses of Parliament.
The Houses of Parliament were just a few small
buildings in 1605. Guy’s house was perfect for
the plan as it had a cellar that led beneath the
Parliament buildings.
By the autumn of 1605, thirteen people
were involved in the plot but Guy was
the one who lived in the house and it
was his job to look after the
When the time was right, Guy
was the one who was going to
light the fuse to make the
gunpowder explode.
Parliament was due to open at the end of October,
1605. Everything was in place but, unfortunately,
the plotters did not realise that news of the plot
had leaked out.
On October 26th 1605 a letter was sent to a
Catholic called Lord Monteagle. It warned him not
to attend the opening of Parliament. The Lord
decided the letter had to be brought to the King’s
The King ordered that the buildings next to
Parliament be searched. Guy was found in
the cellar with the barrels of gunpowder.
Guy Fawkes was taken to the Tower
of London, where he was tortured
and questioned about the other
plotters. At first he didn’t tell the
soldiers anything but, eventually, he
started to tell the truth.
Robert Catesby and the other men
were found in Holbeach House in
Worcester. Four of the plotters,
including Robert Catesby, were
shot dead. The others were
sentenced to a traitor’s death and
were executed.
Although he died a horrible
death, Guy Fawkes died
believing in everything he had
done and his story has not
been forgotten.
Each year, at the Opening of
Parliament, the Yeoman of the
Guard search the cellars of the
Houses of Parliament in memory of
the Gunpowder Plot.
Resource and illustrations ©Bev Evans, 2010