Here's a page full of fun and interesting facts all about Guy Fawkes. It is an ideal resource for parents, carers, teachers and adult educators to read so that they can aid the learning of children who need this information.
My daughter and I both had a lot of fun doing the research needed to fact find all the information for a school project that she was doing. Now we are sharing the research that we did in a nicely presented format so you will have a much easier and a quicker time gathering up the information that you need whether it is for a school project or even just a fun, fact finding exercise.
Historical projects really don't need to be dull at all. You will find lots of inspiring 5th of November trivia on this page, including how Guy Fawkes Night is related to our favorite time of year, Halloween.
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Lots of Guy Fawkes Facts for Kids and Adults to Discover
This Guy Fawkes facts page has been written so that both school and also home educated children can enjoy discovering more about this intriguing character who comes from English history.
1) When was Guy Fawkes Born?
The point of time when he was born was called the Elizabethan Age and that's because Queen Elizabeth I (also written as Queen Elizabeth the First) was in charge and ruling England at this time. Guy Fawkes was born in the year 1570 in York, England.
Guy grew up during the time of the great bard, William Shakespeare; he was a very famous English writer of both plays and poetry. William Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet as well as Macbeth. You may have heard of this famous writer or you may have watched one of his plays acted out on television.
Guy Fawkes drawn by the artist, George Cruikshank, in 1840.
Image Credit: Original image Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
This is a picture of Guy Fawkes by George Cruikshank. Cruikshank was an artist who was famous for drawing caricatures. Caricatures are often rather unusual looking pictures of people which highlight prominent and unusual features that they have.
How did People Dress in the Elizabethan Age of Guy Fawkes?
When he was born and growing up into a man, it was known as the Elizabethan Era. People wore clothes which are very different to what we wear today.
You can get a coloring book called Tudor and Elizabethan Fashions that contains many clothes and costumes from the fashions belonging to the time when Guy was alive.
2) Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London. Photo taken at night with light reflections in the River Thames.
The Gunpowder Plot was a plan made by a group of people (including Guy Fawkes) to blow up and destroy the Houses of Parliament on the 5th of November 1605. The Houses of Parliament are in London which is the capital city of the United Kingdom.
The 5th of November was deliberately chosen as a date. It was significant because that was when King James I (King James the First) and other rich and important people would be inside the building.
So the plan was not only to blow up and destroy the Houses of Parliament building but also to kill the people inside it. If the plan had worked out then it would have been the most terrible crime.
It is thought that the famous writer and poet William Shakespeare made some remarks about the Gunpowder Plot in his very well known play, Macbeth.
3) Why did Guy Fawkes want to Blow Up Parliament?
The English people planning the Gunpowder Plot belonged to the Catholic religion. They wanted to see a Catholic on the throne to rule rather than King, James I, who was a Protestant. Although Protestants and Catholics both belonged to the Christian religion, they had very different ideas about their own branch or type of religion and didn't always get along very well with each other.
So, who did Guy Fawkes try to destroy? The whole idea behind blowing up the Houses of Parliament was to get rid of King James and the King's leaders or supporters as well. That would ensure that Protestant leadership could be overthrown.
4) Who was Guy Fawkes and what was his Real Name?
Guy Fawkes was this man's real name. He was also known as Guido Fawkes but Guido was a name that he chose while he was fighting for the Spanish. After being caught plotting against the King, he lied and said he was called John Johnson.
The leader of Guy's group was someone called Robert Catesby. Robert, Guy and a group of other Catholic men all planned and plotted together because they wanted to kill King James.
Perhaps Guy is remembered more because he was the person who was caught with the gunpowder. He also had to be questioned by soldiers for a long time in the Tower of London. That simply means that there is more written about Guy in the history books than the other plotters in the group.
5) Why was it Called the Gunpowder Plot?
Gunpowder was stored in wooden barrels in a cellar under the Houses of Parliament.
A black powder named gunpowder was stored by Guy and his group in wooden barrels underneath the Houses of Parliament in London. They didn't have to dig beneath this building because there was already a cellar there. A cellar is a room under the ground also known as a basement.
Gunpowder is as a dangerous explosive and has been used in guns and fireworks. It can be very dangerous and can hurt and even cause serious injury and death.
It was known as the Gunpowder Plot because Guy and the other Catholic men in his group were planning to destroy the Houses of Parliament in London with this explosive powder. They wanted to get rid of the building as well as all the people who were in it.
6) What was Guy Fawkes Famous for?
Guy Fawkes was not famous for fireworks as some people believe.
Soldiers found Guy hiding with the gunpowder in the cellar belonging to the Houses of Parliament. He is the man that most people think of when we talk about the plot or the 5th of November. Even though he was not actually the leader of the group who wanted to kill the King. It is now thought that Guy was actually just one of the minor members within the group.
He is not famous for inventing fireworks as some people think. He is famous for being caught out while attempting to destroy King James. The plan backfired and Guy was caught before the powder was lit and could cause any damage to the Houses of Parliament or the people inside it.
7) What did the Soldiers do to Guy?
Soldiers questioned Guy about the whole plot in the famous and old English building, the Tower of London. King James the First really wanted to find out who else had been trying to kill him so he could prevent it from happening again. The room where Guy was questioned by soldiers in the tower became known as the Guy Fawkes Room.
8) Did Guy tell on his Group Members?
Print showing 8 members of the group who were involved in this plot.
Image Credit: Original image Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Guy didn't want to say who else was in his group but the soldiers tortured him and caused him pain until he finally told the truth. Eight people from this plot were put on trial and then found guilty of high treason. High treason is a very serious crime of being disloyal to the Crown which essentially meant going against the King. You can see these 8 men in the image above.
9) What Happened to Guy?
Guy Fawkes was put to death for his crime of high treason on the 31st January 1606. 1606 was now the Stuart Era in England and had been since 1603 when Queen Elizabeth died and King James came to the throne instead.
10) Bonfire Night, Fireworks Night and Guy Fawkes Night History
The 5th of November, which is the date that Guy and other plotters planned to kill the King, is now celebrated as Guy Fawkes Night, Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night mainly in the UK. It is really a date held in thanks that the Houses of Parliament did not get destroyed and that the King and other people did not come to any harm. It celebrates the fact that King James survived the plot to get rid of him and has become an annual or yearly celebration.
11) How is the 5th of November Celebrated?
The Fifth of November Poem or Rhyme.
Bonfire Night is still traditionally celebrated in England with big bonfires and also firework displays. People may have small firework and bonfire celebrations in their own gardens or they go out to big firework events held right across the country. It is an exciting night for children and also adults. However many animals and pets don't like the loud noises and bangs that come from all the fireworks.
This pretend person is known as an effigy. It became customary to burn his effigy on a bonfire because he was disliked so much for what he had attempted to do. Other effigies were made of unpopular people in history but the tradition of making a guy has very much stuck.
12) What is the Guy Fawkes Poem or Rhyme about this Event of History?
There is a very old poem or rhyme about the whole plot and the famous events of the 5th of November.
Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…
You can read the entire rhyme or folk verse here: The Fifth of November Rhyme.
13) How is Bonfire Night Related to Halloween?
Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations, 5th November: The Gunpowder Plot
After the failed plot in 1605 to get rid of King James I and Protestant rule, Bonfire Night became extremely popular in England itself and this celebration took the place of many traditional Halloween customs and rituals. These Halloween traditions were in any case not popular under Protestant rule and some were banned outright.
The exception to this in the UK was Scotland and also Ireland. The age old Halloween customs such as Souling continued in these parts of Great Britain. Trick or Treating is linked back to a custom called Guising which is something that still occurs in parts of Scotland today.
Although the tradition of burning a 'guy' on a bonfire still remains largely intact. Other November 5th traditions such as wearing masks and asking for pennies have been taken over in England by Trick or Treating which occurs just 5 days before Firework celebrations.
Some British people are annoyed that Trick or Treating has taken over from Guy Fawkes Night because they see it as an unwelcome Americanism. However, Trick or Treating is a British custom. It originally comes from UK history and it did not originate in America as many people wrongly think.
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Articles are accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.