Guy Fawkes was a soldier and Roman Catholic who left his native Yorkshire to fight for the Spanish armies who were facing Protestant rebels in the Spanish territories within what we know today as the Netherlands.
As a known expert in explosives, Guy Fawkes was approached by a group of Catholic extremists back in England, who were planning the now infamous Gunpowder Plot.
By 1605, English Catholics had suffered 50 years of repression. Catholic worship was illegal in England and fines were imposed on all those who failed to attend Anglican services.
Some Catholics – including those who approached Fawkes – now thought direct action against the government was both justified and necessary.
The idea was to blow up King James, the royal family and the assembled ruling classes of England at the State Opening of Parliament on 5 November 1605.
The plot failed and Guy Fawkes was captured, held prisoner and almost certainly tortured at the Tower of London.
Along with the other conspirators, he died the horrible death which was inflicted on traitors at that time – being hanged, drawn and quartered.