The 1605 Gunpowder Plot was a failed assassination attempt on King James I. Guy Fawkes, with his group of conspirators planned to load the basement of the House of Lords with gunpowder and set it off during the opening of parliament on 5th November 1605.
An anonymous letter was sent to one of the members of the House of Lords, exposing the plot. A search was made of the House of Lords, and Guy Fawkes was caught setting up the gunpowder. Others in the group fled when they heard Fawkes had been caught. Eight of the survivors were caught (including Fawkes) and were sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered.
The King celebrated by having a bonfire, which has evolved into the Bonfire Night which we still celebrate today. In 2005, a £2 coin was issued to celebrate the 400th anniversary of this event.
The reverse design by Peter Forster shows symbols of the state – swords, maces and crosier – arranged in a circle, much like a Catherine Wheel firework. The stars around the edge of the coin also allude to the firework celebrations we have today. The obverse features the 4th portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley. The edge inscription states “REMEMBER REMEMBER FIFTH OF NOVEMBER” the rhyme which arose with bonfire celebrations.