Guy Fawkes.

Guy Fawkes.Getty

"Remember, remember the 5th of November" but how much do you know about Guy Fawkes in what's now the Guy Fawkes Inn in York.

The Guy Fawkes Inn, located in York, England, is a historic building that played a significant role in the life of one of the most infamous figures in British history: Guy Fawkes. Born in 1570 at this very house, Fawkes would go on to become a key player in the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, which aimed to blow up the Houses of Parliament in an attempt to overthrow the Protestant King James I.

Guy Fawkes, also known as Guido Fawkes, was born to Edward Fawkes and his wife, Edith Blake, in the city of York. His birthplace, now the Guy Fawkes Inn, was a stone building with a timber frame, typical of the Tudor period. At the time of Fawkes' birth, the house was owned by Edward Fawkes, a proctor of the ecclesiastical courts in York.

Little is known about Fawkes' childhood, but it is believed that he was raised as a devout Catholic in a Protestant-dominated society. In 1593, he converted to Catholicism and left England to fight for the Spanish in the Low Countries (present-day Belgium and the Netherlands) in their struggle against Dutch Protestants and their English allies. It was during this time that he adopted the name Guido Fawkes.

Fawkes returned to England in 1604, where he became involved in a plot to overthrow King James I and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne. The plan, known as the Gunpowder Plot, was hatched by a group of Catholic conspirators, including Robert Catesby, Thomas Wintour, and John Wright. Fawkes' role in the plot was to ignite the gunpowder that had been placed in the cellars beneath the Houses of Parliament.

However, the plot was foiled when an anonymous letter warning of the conspiracy was sent to a member of Parliament, who alerted the authorities. On the night of November 4th, 1605, Fawkes was caught in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder. He was arrested and taken to the Tower of London, where he was interrogated and tortured until he revealed the names of his co-conspirators.

Fawkes and the other conspirators were executed in January 1606. Fawkes was hanged, drawn, and quartered in the Old Palace Yard in Westminster, and his remains were scattered across the country as a warning to others who might plot against the crown.

Today, the Guy Fawkes Inn is a popular tourist attraction in York, offering visitors a chance to step back in time and explore the birthplace of one of Britain's most notorious figures. The building has been restored to its Tudor-era splendor, with exposed timber beams, a cozy fireplace, and a traditional alehouse atmosphere. The inn also features a restaurant and bar, where visitors can enjoy a meal or a pint of ale in the same rooms where Guy Fawkes was born more than four centuries ago.

In conclusion, the Guy Fawkes Inn in York is a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of England's most infamous figures. Guy Fawkes, born in this very house in 1570, went on to become a key player in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a failed attempt to overthrow the Protestant King James I. Today, visitors can explore the historic building and learn more about the life and times of this controversial figure.

Check out this short documentary about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot: