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Guy Fawkes also known as Guido Fawkes, the name he adopted while fighting for the Spanish, was a member of a group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
He travelled to Spain to seek support for a Catholic rebellion in England without success but met Thomas Wintour, with whom he returned to England.
Thomas Wintour introduced Guy Fawkes to his cousin Robert Catesby. Robert Catesby was the leader of a group of provincial English Catholics who planned to blow up King James I and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne.
There were 13 conspirators in the plot. These conspirators leased a cellar beneath the House of Lords, (part of Westminster Palace and home of parliament for the United Kingdom). Guy Fawkes was placed in charge of guarding and igniting the 36 barrels of gunpowder which were placed directly below where the king would have been sitting for the opening of parliament.
Prompted by the receipt of an anonymous letter warning Lord Monteagle to stay away from the state opening of Parliament where both King James 1 and many of the parliamentarians would be present, the authorities searched Westminster Palace and during the early hours of 5 November found Guy Fawkes with the explosives.
After Guy Fawkes was caught he claimed that his name was John Johnson, he was questioned and tortured and eventually signed a confession in the name of Guido Fawkes, the name he adopted when fighting for the Spanish. His sentence was to be hung drawn and quartered but immediately before his execution on 31 January, Guy Fawkes leapt from the scaffold where he was to be hanged and broke his neck, saving him the agonising process of being drawn and quartered before his death. His body was subsequently quartered and his remains were sent to the “four corners of the kingdom” as a warning to others.