| Guy Fawkes, the most infamous conspirator in the Gunpowder Plot, was a
tall athletic man with brown hair and auburn beard, modest, self contained
and valiant. He was highly intelligent, direct of purpose, simple
of heart, well-read and, as a soldier of fortune in the Netherlands,
not only "Skilful in the wars" but apart from his fanaticism, which
seems to have grown by degrees into a positive megalomania, possessed
of many attractive and even endearing moral qualities. "He was a man
of great piety, of exemplary temperance, of mild and cheerful demeanour,
an enemy of broils and disputes, a faithful friend and remarkable
for his punctual attendance upon religious observances" wrote Jardine.
|In 1595 Guy Fawkes was present at the
capture of Calais by the Spaniards and according to the testimony
of Father Greenway, "was sought and admired by all the most distinguished
in the camp for his nobility and virtue". On the death of Elizabeth,
Fawkes and Christopher Wright visited Philip Ill of Spain with a view
to securing relief for their Catholic countrymen.
Fawkes was selected to join the Gunpowder Plot by Robert Catesby on account
of his military qualities and his face being unknown to the Government
spies. At that time he was aged about 35 and was unmarried.
The firing of the gunpowder was entrusted to Fawkes
whose coolness and courage had been remarkable. Indeed after three
distinct warnings that the Government had intelligence of the Plot
he still returned to his post in the cellar which he undertook to
He was discovered and arrested just before midnight
on 4th November 1605. Under torture he revealed the names of his
fellow conspirators and in January the following year he was tried,
found guilty and hanged.