Guy Fawkes: Guilty or Innocent? Essay

1343 Words Sep 28th, 2013 6 Pages
Guy Fawkes was born in York on the 13 April 1570. A protestant by birth, he became a Roman Catholic after the marriage of his widowed mother to a man of Catholic background. In 1593 he enlisted in the Spanish Army in Flanders and in 1596 participated in the capture of the city of Calais by the Spanish in their war with Henry IV of France. He became implicated with Thomas Winter and Robert Catesby and others in the Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament, as a protest against the anti-Roman Catholic laws and was known to be Britain’s greatest conspirators. We celebrate every 5th of November by throwing a doll replica of Guy Fawkes onto the bonfire to commemorate his failure to blow up the Houses of Parliament. But did he actually attempt to …show more content…
Thirty six barrels would have been a sizeable quantity to move without causing suspicion.
Why were men who were known to be Catholics allowed to rent out a house so near to the Houses of Parliament? How did they move 36 barrels from that house to the cellar of the Houses of Parliament without anyone noticing along with hay, straw etc?
Why, for the first time in history, was there a search of Parliament's cellars that conveniently found "John Johnson" (as Guy Fawkes called himself) before he lit the fuse?
Why was the soldier who killed Catesby and Percy at Holbeech House in the Midlands, given such a large pension for life (10p a day for life) when their arrest and torture was more desirable so that the names of any other conspirators might be found out?
Some historians have pointed out these issues and claimed that the plotters were pawns in the hands of Robert Cecil and that he orchestrated the whole affair in his bid to get James to ban Catholics altogether.
There are, however, counter-arguments of the above points.
Gunpowder may have been government property but just as today, there was a black market for it. The conspirators would have had the money to pay for this and it could have been smuggled in from Catholic France, for example. The south coast was riddled with smugglers havens. Fawkes could have used his contacts with Spain to acquire it. In many senses, this would not have been a difficult

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