Guy Fawkes

Early Years

Guy Fawkes was born in York on 13 April 1570, the same year that Queen Elizabeth I was excommunicated by the papacy. Guy was the first surviving child of Edward Fawkes of York and his wife, Edith. He was also their only son. He was baptised on 16 April in the Protestant parish of St Michael le Belfrey.

Guy grew up in the Stonegate area of York, living in a small house close to York Minster. His father, Edward, worked as a lawyer, holding various positions including proctor of the ecclesiastical courts and advocate of the consistory court of the Archbishop. It is possible that his father was descended from the Fawkes’s of Farnley, a famous family whose number included a Steward of Knaresborough Forest and several Freemen of the City of York. Guy’s grandmother was Ellen Harrington, daughter of the former sheriff and mayor, William Harrington. Of Guy’s mother, less is known. According to some independent research, Edith Fawkes was from the Blake family, well-known aldermen and merchants from York. Alternatively it may have been Jackson, which if true probably gave her a Catholic background. Guy had two sisters, Anne, born in October 1572 and Elizabeth, born in May 1575.