On 5th November each year people in Britain celebrate Guy Fawkes night (also known as Bonfire night) by lighting bonfires, holding torchlit processions and letting off fireworks. Guy Fawkes night commemorates the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
In 1605 A small group of Catholics, Robert Catesby, Guido (Guy) Fawkes, Thomas Winter, John Wright and Thomas Percy decided to blow up the King on the State opening of Parliament. They hoped that this would lead to a Catholic King coming to the throne. Guido (Guy) Fawkes was an explosives expert who had served with the Spanish army in the Netherlands.
The group rented a cellar beneath the Houses of Parliament and stored 20 barrels of gunpowder, supplied by Guido Fawkes. The date for the deed was set for November 5th.
They recruited others sympathetic to their cause including Francis Tresham whose brother-in-law, Lord Monteagle, was a member of Parliament. Concerned for his brother-in-law’s safety, Tresham sent him a letter advising him not to attend Parliament on November 5th.
Monteagle alerted the authorities and a search of the Houses of Parliament led to the discovery of Guido Fawkes standing guard over the barrels of gunpowder. He was tortured and revealed the names of the conspirators. Catesby and Percy and two others were killed resisting arrest. The others were tried for treason and executed.