The 5th of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason,
Why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot!’
In 1605 (410 years ago today) a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London, His Majesty James I and Their Lordships was very narrowly avoided. It was hatched by a conspiratorial group of Catholics, headed by Robert Catesby, in protest at the increasingly oppressive treatment by the King and his ministers.
The date was the 5th November: the State Opening of Parliament.
The plot was foiled.
It is Guido (Guy) Fawkes (a 35 year old Yorkshireman) who was discovered in the tunnels under Parliament with piles of wood hiding 36 barrels of gunpowder. Fawkes, noted for his coolness and bravery, was consequently stretched and tortured on the rack, then hung, drawn and quartered in Westminster Yard on 31st January 1606.
He is sometimes toasted as ‘the last man to enter Parliament with good intentions!’
Traditional Bonfires and Fireworks are lit all across the country on 5th November, and a good old ‘guy’ (‘a penny for the guy’) is made and burned to rapturous delight!
Lights, fire, explosions and danger all for a plan that never succeeded…how the course of history ignites us!
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Ps These dashing men dressed in hats, leather and exhibiting masterful beards are not Musketeers but Conspirateurs…