The Official History Website of International Bestselling Author John Paul Davis

Guy Fawkes

Arrest and Torture


Guy was taken to the King’s Chamber and questioned. Despite his willingness to admit to his role in the crime, he mentioned nothing of his accomplices, other than he was Johnson servant to Thomas Percy, a fact the authorities already knew. His bravery was praised by those present but his xenophobia against Scots and his hatred for the King as a person was evident.

Having learned little from questioning, the King decreed that Fawkes should be tortured. A letter written by James to Sir William Waad, Lieutenant of the Tower of London, instructed that the ‘gentler torturers’ should be used first, the manacles, and thereby ‘so proceeding to the worst’. Over the coming days he was questioned regularly and tortured severely. By 9 November he finally named his associates, many of whom had been killed or arrested in the last stand in Staffordshire. The effects of his torture are noticeable in his signature, noticeably shaky compared to days earlier. The signature is also incomplete, confirming reports that he collapsed before finishing it.