King James I of EnglandThe Gunpowder Plot was a plan to blow up James I, the first Stuart king of England, on 5th November 1605. English Catholics had been persecuted during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, a Protestant. When James came to the throne in 1603, the Catholics expected the new king to be more tolerant of them. Instead, he had all Catholic priests banished from the country. Thus it was that a group of Catholics decided to plot against the king. One of their number was a man named Guy Fawkes.