Remember, Remember the 5th November? We do! Every year, people all over Britain become light bonfires and set off fireworks, our way of remembering the events of November 5th 1605 when a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and King James I was foiled. Unsurprisingly we are currently getting lots of bookings for our Gunpowder Plot drama workshop and Gunpowder Plot Play in a Day and are looking forward to revisiting schools we saw last year and getting to know new schools. It’s a fascinating event in our history, so no wonder we still remember, remember it today! Here are some interesting facts about Guy Fawkes himself.
1. Guy Fawkes, or Guido Fawkes as he also liked to be known, was born on April 13th 1570 in Stonegate in York. He was educated at St. Peter’s School in York.
2. Guy Fawkes converted to Catholicism when he was about 16.
3. Guy Fawkes was an experienced soldier. He fought for the Spanish against the Dutch in the Netherlands. This is where he gained experience with explosives, and also where he decided to call himself Guido.
4. Guy Fawkes had one of the most important roles in the Gunpowder Plot. Guy Fawkes was in charge of guarding and lighting the gunpowder.
5. During his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot, Fawkes called himself John Johnson and when he was arrested this is the name he gave.
6. Despite being involved in what is basically a terrorist plot, Guy Fawkes was named the 30th Greatest Briton in a poll conducted by the BBC in 2002.
7. Shortly after being discovered, Fawkes was taken to the King’s bedchamber to explain why he wanted to kill him and blow up Parliament.
8. Under torture, it took up four days for Guy Fawkes to admit to his part in the Gunpowder Plot and give names of other people involved in it. Fawkes and other people involved in the Gunpowder Plot were tried on January 31st 1606 and then hung, drawn and quartered in the Old Palace Yard in Westminster. Contrary to popular belief, Fawkes wasn’t thrown onto a bonfire. That only happens to straw dummies made of him since.
9. An uninhabited island to the north of Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands is named Isla Guy Fawkes, or Guy Fawkes Island. Who knows why?