The plotters were arrested, hung, drawn and quartered and then had their heads stuck on to the spikes of Tower Bridge.
This story was told by Robert Cecil, a minister at the time of the event, and has been believed to be the real version. I will look at different sides of the story and see if there is another version which fits best to the evidence.
Guy Fawkes was guilty as charged. All accusations made by Cecil were true.
I think this could be true as Guy Fawkes was put on the rack and tortured. He confessed who he really was, about the plot and named who else was involved. Also, when he was first caught, he called himself John Johnson and had matches and a tinder box. If he was truly innocent then he wouldn't have needed to makeup a false name and also he would have been up to something if he was found in a cellar with gunpowder in it and carrying matches and a tinder box. I think that this possibility is quite believable, but I don't think it has enough evidence to back it up.
Guy Fawkes is totally innocent and he had nothing to do with the whole plot.
I think that this possibility is highly unlikely to be true as there is only one piece of evidence and it is not really evidence anyway as it doesn't properly support the possibility. The evidence is that gunpowder could only be obtained from the Tower of London – its sale was controlled by the government and you needed a license (which Guy Fawkes didn't have) to buy it. This is not complete evidence as it doesn't completely prove him innocent as someone could have got it for him. I don't think this is the correct possibility as there is not any evidence to back it up.
Robert Cecil – a Protestant and the King's Chief Minister – planned the whole thing. Guy Fawkes and the rest of the plotters were framed by Cecil. If Cecil had done this plan it would have meant that firstly he'd be getting revenge on the Catholics that he really didn't like, and secondly, he'd be liked very much by the King and may even get a promotion as it'd seem like he was saving the King's life if he mysteriously captured the plotters just before the plot was due to take place.
Guy Fawkes confessed on the rack on the 9th of November and told them who was involved, but somehow the government managed to arrest the other plotters early on the 5th of November even though Guy Fawkes had not yet told them the other people's names. If Cecil had framed them then this piece of evidence backs it up as it shows he already had everything planned and so knew what was about to happen next. At the trial, no witnesses were called as there were none to back it up as it was not true and if there were any then they would tell the truth about the whole plot and Cecil's story would then be mucked up. It was highly unlikely that the Catholics were the plotters as the ones who fled were almost completely unarmed. They only had a few weapons on them which is unlikely for people taking out a plot like this as they would be carrying more weapons if they knew that there was quite a high risk of them getting caught. In court, Cecil never actually showed the confessions of other plotters to the court. He had new copies made for the trial which he could of easily got forged. Also on the confession of Guy Fawkes, the signature is a lot different then normal and looks like it's been forged which again fits in well with this possibility. So far, this is the possibility that fits best in to the story line. But I'm still not totally convinced as there are still small holes in it. For example: How would Cecil get Guy Fawkes to go down in to the cellar with some matches and a tinder box and give a different name
to anyone who asked who he was. Also, Guy Fawkes must have had something to do with the plot as he confessed to it when he was on the rack.
The plotters were originally planning but Robert Cecil found out and let them continue – even making it easier for them. They were all set up and got in to deeper trouble until they eventually couldn't get out of it.
Evidence that the plotters were plotting:
On the rack, Guy Fawkes confessed who he really was, about the plot and named who else was involved. Also, when he was first caught, he called himself John Johnson and had matches and a tinder box. If he was truly innocent then he wouldn't have needed to makeup a false name and also he would have been up to something if he was found in a cellar with gunpowder in it and carrying matches and a tinder box. Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy and other plotters were well known as Catholic conspirators (the had been in trouble before) and so it was quite likely that they would be again.
How could Cecil have found out?
Robert Cecil employed spies and informers on all important Catholics. This way, he could have easily found out about the plotter's plans in the first place.
Evidence that Cecil helped the plotters:
Thomas Percy rented a cellar near the Houses of Parliament froma man employed by the Government and friend of Cecil. This man died suddenly on the morning of November 5th which meant that conveniently he could not be a witness. Gunpowder could only be obtained from the Tower of London. The sales were controlled by the Government and so Cecil was able to get hold of it but when the records for the sale of gunpowder went missing, Cecil refused to permit any investigation. Also, Cecil, being Chief minister had the power to move the KIng's dates around and the King's speech at Parliament was put off to November 5th, the exact day the plotters needed.
I think that the more believable story is possibility 4 as it just fits in better and the evidence is more strong and pacific compared to all the other possibilities which all seem to have tons of holes in the story lines.