Signature of Guy Fawkes Under Torture.

Guy Fawkes, most famous of the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot, which was intended to blow up the King, the Prince of wales, and the Lords and Commons at the opening of Parliament on November 5, 1605, was arrested while in charge of preparations for the explosion. He was immediately put to torture so that a complete confession could be forced from him.

The document here is part of his examination under torture, and the signature, incomplete and obviously shaky, appears to have been written during or immediately after his ordeal.

Two months later Guy Fawkes and his six accomplices were tried at Westminster by a Special Commision. All were found guilty and condemned to death (January 26, 1606). So that the punishment should serve as a warning, care was taken to make their execution, the next day but one, as solemn and terrifying as possible.

Transcript of the last two paragraphs of his evidence (November 10, 1605).

Click here for larger view of Guy Fawkes documentHe Further saith that the Wednesday before his apprehencion he went forth of the Towne to a house in Enfield chase on this side of Theobalds where Wally doth ly - and thither came Robert Catesby, graunt and Thomas Winter, where he stayed Sonday night following.

He confesseth also that there was speech emongst them to drawe Sir Walter Rawley to take part with them being one that might stand them in good stead, as others in like sort were named.


Taken before us and subscribed by the examinate before us Edw. Coke W. Waad Edward Forsett.

(Public Records Office)
 [Fawkes, Guy (1570-1606), was a member of the group of conspirators who plotted to blow up King James I of Great Britain and his Protestant Parliament on Nov. 5, 1605. This conspiracy is popularly known as the Gunpowder Plot. The conspirators were led by Robert Catesby, who hired a cellar beneath the Houses of Parliament and filled it with barrels of gunpowder. Guy Fawkes was to light the fuse. But the conspiracy was anticipated. Fawkes was caught and tried, and hanged on Jan. 31, 1606.]

- Home - Lady Jane Grey - Sir Philip Sydney - Guy Fawkes - Charles I - Oliver Cromwell

- John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough - Horatio Nelson - Duke of Wellington - Napoleon - links -