Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot

Ref: C2345582

The background to the Gunpowder Plot and what the plotters hoped to achieve. How the continuing conflict between Catholics and Protestants in England and abroad meant that the plotters felt it necessary to assassinate James I only two years after he became king. We'll also focus on the early life of Guy Fawkes and how he came to have the responsibility for carrying out the operation to blow up the parliament chamber, as well as the involvement of some of the other people behind the plot, including Robert Catesby, generally regarded as the main instigator. We'll also look at how the failure of the plot and the killing of most of the conspirators had significant consequences, and why some aspects of the story remain unexplained.

Course aim

A look at the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and the roles of Guy Fawkes and the other conspirators. Also covers the background of the continuing religious conflict in England and why James I became a target of a Catholic plots so soon after he became king.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explain the meaning of the terms "recusant" and "Church Papist"
  • Outline the aims of the Gunpowder Plot
  • Give reasons why Guy Fawkes was chosen to carry out the plan
  • Explain why some aspects of the events surrounding the attempt to blow up parliament and assassinate the king remain in doubt

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

You will need access to the internet between sessions.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot


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  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
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  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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