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In 1605 King James passed some laws against Catholics and told Catholic priests to leave the country or they could be arrested and executed. A small group of Catholics decided that King James needed to die.

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In 1605 King James passed some laws against Catholics and told Catholic priests to leave the country or they could be arrested and executed. A small group of Catholics decided that King James needed to die.

The plotters, lead by a man called Robert Catesby, made a plan to blow King James up and put James’ young daughter Elizabeth on the throne who would be advised by Catholics and therefore nice to them.

One of the plotters, Thomas Percy, rented a house next to parliament and the gang tried to tunnel under the Houses of Parliament. The problem was that the River Thames is next to the Houses of Parliament and as soon as they started to tunnel the tunnel filled with water. They abandoned the tunnel plan.

The plotters changed their idea and rented a cellar that was under parliament itself. It was going to be tricky to sneak gunpowder into the building to take down to the cellar but this is exactly what they did.

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On October 26th a mysterious letter arrived at the house of Lord Monteagle who was a member of parliament. The letter warned him not to attend Parliament when it opened on 5th November. Lord Monteagletook the letter straight to King James’ advisor Robert Cecil on the same day.

On 5th November the cellars below the Houses of Parliament were searched and a man was found with some matches, he was arrested and gave his name as John Johnson. He was taken before the King but refused to answer questions, so he was dragged off for questioning under torture.

It took two days of torture for John Johnson to reveal his real name was Guy Fawkes. It took another two days before he admitted he was there to blow up Parliament. It took a further six days before he gave the names of the other plotters. He was clearly a hard-case to endure ten whole days of torture before he gave his friends names away.

On 7th November the rest of the plotters were found in the Midlands, quite a long way from London, hiding in a house. Soldiers were alerted because the plotters decided to dry out some of their wet gunpowder in front of the fire, this worked because the gunpowder subsequently exploded – duh! Catesby and Percy were shot and killed in a shootout but the rest of the plotters were arrested. They were hung, drawn and quartered after a quick trial.