Guy Fawkes was a catholic who led a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and bring down England’s protestant monarchy. He was caught, imprisoned in the Tower of London, and tortured for four days under personal orders from King James I.
Interestingly over time, Guy Fawkes has become a symbol of equality and social justice. In fact, in recent history, a lot of people have worn masks of him during social, economic or political protests.
If you are a culture vulture and you want to know the origin of this British custom please click here.