War and Conflict

Renaissance and the Enlightenment

What was the Gunpowder Plot?

In 1605 a group of 12 men, who believed the English government to be hostile to Roman Catholics, laid plans to blow up the Houses of Parliament—with King James I (1566–1625) and government officials in it. Their scheme was discovered, however, and all of the conspirators were put to death. The event is remembered today in two ways: On the night of November 4, which was when the plot was supposed to be carried out, the English hold a festival in which Guy Fawkes (1570–1606), the conspirator who originated the Gunpowder Plot, is burned in effigy. Further, the vaults beneath the Houses of Parliament are searched before each new session.


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