Too Dumb to Live

History’s most famous conspirators are usually notable for either being spectacularly successful or too dumb to live. A lot (a LOT) of them fall into the latter category, including Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators, who failed spectacularly at blowing up Parliament and went on trial starting January 27, 1606.

I’ve already covered the plot itself, which was pretty much a giant lesson in how not to start a rebellion. When all was said and done, Fawkes and eight fellow conspirators were arrested and arraigned in Westminster Hall by the Lords Commissioners, which included the Earls of Suffolk, Worcester, Northampton, Devonshire, and Salisbury as well as Lord Chief Justice Sir John Popham, Lord Chief Baron of ht eExchequer Sir Thomas Fleming, and two Justices of the Common Pleas, Sir Thomas Walmsley and Sir Peter Warburton. The outcome was a foregone conclusion: all eight were found guilty of treason. Four were executed by drawing and quartering on January 30; the others followed the next day, poetically meeting their ends just opposite the very building they had hoped—and failed—to blow up.



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