The notorious Guy Fawkes was a member of a group of Roman Catholic revolutionaries in England in the early 17th century. In 1605, this group planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill James I of England, his family and most of the Protestant aristocracy during the State opening of Parliament on 5th November 1605. However, the plot was discovered and Guy Fawkes was captured. On 31st January, Fawkes and a number of others implicated in the conspiracy were tried in Westminster Hall. After being found guilty, they were taken to Old Palace Yard in Westminster and St Paul’s Yard, where they were hung, drawn and quartered. Fawkes, however, managed to avoid the worst of this cruel execution by jumping from the scaffold where he was supposed to be hanged, breaking his neck before he could be drawn and quartered.
In the Abbey Museum you will find a copy of the Queen Anne Prayer Book, one of only seven known. This rare book contains a prayer of thanksgiving for discovery of the gunpowder plot against the Stuart King James I.