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Tudor Minute April 16, 1570: Guy Fawkes was baptized in York

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for April 16.

Today in 1570 Guy Fawkes was baptized in York. Guy Fawkes is now remembered for his role in the Gunpowder Plot – it was Fawkes who was caught beneath the Parliament building with at least 20 barrels of gunpowder, in an attempt to destroy the Protestant King James I, and the nobility who would be at Parliament’s opening the next day.

Fawkes supposedly left England in the early 1590’s to serve in the Spanish army. His upbringing left him with Catholic sympathies, and he fought in the Netherlands against the Protestant rebels. He also petitioned the King of Spain to invade England again after Elizabeth’s death in 1603.

The conspirators recruited Fawkes to join the group led by Robert Catesby. Parliament’s opening session was November 6, 1605, and they wanted to kill the king, his son, and the members of the houses of Lords and Commons. At the same time, they wanted to kidnap James’s daughter Elizabeth, and force her to marry a foreign Catholic ruler.

Of course the plot was discovered, and the conspirators were all hanged. Fawkes managed to avoid his traitor’s death – being hung, drawn, quartered alive – by jumping from the scaffold on his way up, and breaking his neck instantly.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com where there is an episode on James I.

James I episode