Following the receipt of an anonymous letter which was passed to King James I, a search of the Palace of Westminster was conducted in the early hours of this day (5 November) in 1605. Thirty-six barrels of gunpowder were found, enough to obliterate the whole ruling class of England later that day as they gathered for the State Opening of Parliament.
Guarding the barrels, carrying a lantern, and wearing a cloak and hat, was Guy Fawkes, although the Gunpowder Plot was masterminded by Robert Catesby. His ancient family dreamed of returning the English people to the Roman Catholic faith, and saw this act of terrorism as the means to an end.
It didn’t end well for the conspirators, but we continue to celebrate every year on Bonfire Night.