Gunpowder Treason and Plot!

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot.
We see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

Guy Fawkes, guy, t’was his intent
To blow up king and parliament.
Three score barrels were laid below
To prove old England’s overthrow.

By god’s mercy he was catch’d
With a darkened lantern and burning match.
So, holler boys, holler boys, Let the bells ring.
Holler boys, holler boys, God save the king.

And what shall we do with him?
Burn him!

Guy Fawkes is perhaps one of the best known historical charaters in the history of England after trying to burn down the houses of parliament in 1605. He was to be executed on 31 January 1606 but before he was hanged he fell from the scaffold and broke his neck.

There is much written about Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot so I am not going to recount the events here. It is fascinating though that event of bonfire night and its traditions of burning the guy on the bonfire, whether you termed it a celebration or commemoration, has stood the test of time.

But what is known about Guy Fawkes’s life and family?

Guy fawkes was an educated man, being born and educated in my home city of York. He had three siblings, Guy being the second born being baptised in the church of St Michael le Belfrey, York on 16 April 1570. His elder siblings, a sister named Anne, died after only about seven weeks, his younger two siblings were Anne (b. 1572), and Elizabeth (b. 1575). Both were married, in 1599 and 1594 respectively

His parents were Edward Fawkes, a proctor and an advocate of the consistory court at York, and Edith. His father died when was eight years old and his mother went on to marry a recusant Catholic.

Antonia Fraser, in his 1996 (reprinted 2005) book  The Gunpowder Plot (published by Phoenix) it is suggested that Guy Fawkes did marry and have children but no supporting documentation has been found, as yet!

Given he had sistes who married, could you be related to Guy Fawkes?

What about his co-conspirators? Robert Catesby, John and Christopher Wright, Robert and Thomas Wintour, Thomas Percy, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates, John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, Sir Everard Digby and Francis Tresham – could you be related to any of them?

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