Fawkes, Guy

Fawkes, Guy (properly GUIDO), the head of the conspiracy known by the name of the Gunpowder Plot, was born of a Protestant family in Yorkshire in the year 1570. He became a Roman Catholic at an early age, and served in the Spanish army in the Netherlands. Inspired with fanatical zeal for his new religion, on his return to England he entered into a plot with several Catholic gentlemen for blowing up the king, his ministers, and the members of both houses at the opening of Parliament, November 5, 1605. Guy Fawkes was taken with the burning match in his hand, tried, and, after being put to the torture, was publicly executed January 31, 1606. In remembrance of this event, in most English towns, but particularly in London, a grotesque figure, stuffed with straw, is carried about the streets on the 5th of November, and finally committed to the flames. A political and religious signification was again imparted to this custom by what was, called the papal aggression' in the year 1850, when the figure of cardinal Wiseman (q.v.) was substituted for that of Guy Fawkes." SEE GUNPOWDER PLOT.

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