10 interesting facts about the gunpowder plot

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Involving thirteen participants, Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was an attempt to assassinate the English King James I and other important targets by blowing the Parliament of England. Led by Robert Catesby and involving Guy Fawkes, the plot was a formed due to the persecution of Catholics in Protestant England. Know more about it through these 10 facts.

1. England became increasingly Protestant during the reign of Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I

Henry VIII, who became king of England in 1509, is credited with transforming England from a Catholic country to a Protestant one. When Henry’s daughter Elizabeth I took over the reins of the country, she furthered the Protestant cause and Catholicism was marginalised. By the time of her death in 1603, Catholic priests were forced to say Mass in secret in private houses and Catholics were required to attend Protestant services.

2. Disappointment over the religious policies of James I led to the Gunpowder Plot

James I of England

When James I, who had a Catholic wife, succeeded the throne after Elizabeth’s death, the Catholics hoped that he would end the persecution of Catholics. However after showing positive signs in that direction early on, James succumbed to pressure from extreme Protestants and once again increased penalties on those who practised the Catholic religion. Discontent grew among Catholics and some were willing to take extreme measures.

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