Gunpowder Plot

1605. A conspiracy to blow up James I and the Parliament at the palace of Westminster, evidently with the aim of restoring Roman Catholic supremacy in England. Chief mover in the affair was Robert Catesby,* a zealous Catholic disappointed that his co-religionists had not received the greater toleration promised by James before his accession in 1603. Having gained access to the palace from a neighboring cellar, Guy Fawkes planted a considerable quantity of gunpowder some months before Parliament was due to assemble. Ten days before the opening on 5 November, the plot was revealed through an anonymous letter. Of the thirteen conspirators, four were killed resisting arrest, one died in prison, and the others were in due course executed.