In 1605, there was an audacious attempt to assassinate King James the First of England and his entire parliament. The so-called Gunpowder Plot was exactly that – a plot using gunpowder to send the king sky high. But why was this plot hatched?
It was very much rooted in the religious strife that was gripping England between Catholics and Protestants. Catholics had been forbidden to worship openly and their priests were executed in a very gruesome manner if caught. When James became king, some Catholics thought matters might improve as his late mother and wife were Roman Catholic.
DISCOVER: The Great Plague of London in 1665
But it was not to be. James decided not to rock the boat and accepted the Protestant settlement put in place by King Henry VIII decades earlier. He might have expected his subjects to just accept his decision. But that wasn’t going to be the case.
A man called Robert Catesby and like-minded plotters conspired to end the monarch’s life. One of the conspirators was Guy Fawkes – whose name has survived down the centuries. He was a military man who took charge of placing the explosives under parliament.
The plot was betrayed and those who were caught and taken to prison would later die horrifically in public on the scaffold. Watch the video on this page to get the fully story!