On This Day – 31 January 1606

Guy Fawkes (born 13 April 1570) was executed for his involvement in the 1605 Catholic plot against the Anglican King James I of England and VI of Scotland.

The conspiracy commonly known as the Gunpowder Plot sought to blow up the House of Lords using 36 barrels of gunpowder during the opening of the Parliament on the 5th of November 1605.

The plotters planned to foment popular revolt in the Midlands, before crowning James’ daughter, the nine year-old Elizabeth, as the Catholic Monarch. Fawkes was put in charge of the explosives by his fellow conspirators but was discovered guarding the barrels of gunpowder under the House of Lords around midnight on the 4th of November 1605.

Fawkes’ trial took place on the 27th of January the following year. He and his fellow surviving conspirators were sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, and the bodies of two of the conspirators killed trying to escape immediately after the plot’s discovery were exhumed and decapitated.