Was Guy Fawkes a fall guy?

He is the most notorious of traitors to the British Crown.

Who now can immediately name William Joyce as Lord Haw-Haw, English propagandist for Nazi Germany? Or Roger Casement, who canvassed for German support for the 1916 Easter Rising? Or the British Free Corps, a unit of the Waffen-SS formed of British men? Individual names haven’t made it out of the history books.

In contrast, each schoolchild in Britain learns the story of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, and every year we burn his effigy to the accompaniment of fireworks.

But have we been commemorating a triumphant victory of the law over a violent usurper, or slandering the memory of an unwitting dupe?

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