A failed attempt to assassinate James VI and I by blowing up the House of Lords, the Gunpowder Plot was intended as the prelude to a revolt initiated in the Midlands, which would bring James' nine-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, to the throne in his place. It was orchestrated by a group of English Catholics led by Robert Catesby. Charge of the explosives was given to a member of the group who had a decade of military experience in the Spanish Netherlands, Guy Fawkes. It is this man, therefore, who was discovered with 36 barrels of gunpowder in an undercroft beneath Westminster Palace, and who has gone down in history as the hero (or villain) of the piece.
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