Four hundred years ago, in January 1606, all the prisoners who schemed to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London were tried and found guilty and sentenced to death. One of the core members was York–born Guy (Guido) Fawkes, who was 35 years of age at that time. The conspirators (reportedly 13 men) were disgruntled with King James l and his ministers for their persecution of Roman Catholics in England. They rented a house across the Parliament building and filled the vault with 20 barrels of gunpowder and dug a tunnel into the cellars of the House of Lords. Fawkes had served in the Spanish army and was an expert in mining and gunpowder. Everything was ready. On November 5th., when the Parliament was to reconvene, Guy waited to set the fuse in the cellar. However, earlier than that, an anonymous letter allegedly written by one of the conspirators had reached and the information was passed consequently to the Parliamentary guards. The plot was foiled. However, their attempt had a significant effect on the nation. Even today throughout Britain the Fifth of November is observed by fireworks and sometimes effigies of Guy Fawkes are burned on bonfires.
#115 Parkway Vol.20 No.1 January-March 2006