Home
Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Folger Exhibitions
• Past Exhibitions
History in the Making
The Gunpowder Plot

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

The Gunpowder Plot



The fifth of November was the day on which King James, his queen, peers and Parliament should have died. A group of English Catholic gentlemen, dissatisfied with the state’s treatment of Catholics, plotted to explode barrels of gunpowder under the Parliament House in Westminster, during the opening ceremony of Parliament. Betrayed by a panicked colleague the conspirators were either killed trying to escape or executed later. James proclaimed the fifth of November a public holiday—a “red letter day”—effectively inscribing this event (or non-event) into Britain’s calendar.



Samuel Ward. The Papists Powder-Treason. 1689

The near escapes from the Armada and the Gunpowder Plot allowed historians to see Britain—and especially Protestant Britain—as somehow divinely favored. A typical pamphlet on the Gunpowder Plot lauded Great Britaines great deliverance from the great danger of Popish powder, and in time writers drew up lists of nefarious plots against the sovereign and the country, all of which were foiled, and thus proved that Britain’s survival was guided by Providence.

 


Bookmark and Share   
 
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
RSS   
 
  Address:
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
    Hours:
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
    Phone:
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623