The Gunpowder Plot was an attempt to kill King James I of England, his wife and elder son, much of his court and most of his government by detonating gunpowder beneath the Houses of Parliament in London on November 5th 1605. The King's younger children were to be abducted the same day and one declared as monarch by the plotters, hopefully starting a great rebellion, one in which a Catholic minority would rise up, form a new government around the child ruler and seize back control of an increasingly Protestant England.
The Plot failed how and why is discussed in articles below but it left an indelible mark on the English national consciousness: even today, November 5th is commemorated by the lighting of huge bonfires, onto which effigies of the plotters are often thrown. Guy Fawkes is closely identified with the plot as he was caught with the gunpowder beneath parliament, but the plot was the brainchild of other men, mainly Robert Catesby.
The Background to the Gunpowder Plot
1: The Desire for Treason
2: Forlorn Hope
The Gunpowder Plot
1: Catesby's Gunpowder Plot
2: A Cellar Under Parliament
3: The Plotters Expand
The Jesuits and the Gunpowder Plot
1: Drawn into Treason
Was the Gunpowder Plot Terrorism?
List of Plotters