When Mark first responded to my comments, he also included a small file commenting on the information I presented in my section on Guy Fawkes. He corrects me on some of the history, which I incorrectly reported, as well as expanding on some of his views on Bonfire Night presented in our ongoing dialogue.
Mark's corrections about the history of The Gunpowder Plot were added when I revised this site, but I would like to share Mark's thoughts about the Plot itself. As I did not respond to this information during the course of my discussion with Mark, I present is information here without comment. (However, I do address this issue in my essay, "V and Terrorism".)
"there seems to be a bit of a debate regarding whether people are celebrating Guy's failure, or what a good idea he and his conspirator's had."
Like many other major issues, there are two sides to every story and people are divided over this. Even Guy Fawkes is recognised as a brave man who put a good fight at the time of his arrest and of all the men involved he was quite convinced he was doing the right thing! What is in question is his methods and that is why most people tend to celebrate his failure!
There were doubts even among the plotters. They knew that many of the victims would include friends and relatives who would be in Parliament. Many fellow Catholics would inevitably be caught in the explosion. Catesby had a power of persuasion and managed to convince his fellow conspirators that killing so many innocents would be a small price compared to getting rid of King James I, a man who had once promised fair treatment to Catholics but had since gone back on his word.
The plot was "betrayed" when one of the plotters, probably Francis Tresham, sent a letter to Lord Mounteagle advising him to stay away from Parliament on the fateful day, warning that there "shall receive a terrible blow this parliamment". Mounteagle put two and two together and was part of the search teams that checked the cellars under Parliament and led to the arrest of Guy Fawkes. Tresham or not, whoever gave the game away was probably trying to save a friend without betraying the actual plot.