“Remember, remember, the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot”
I remember saying that rhyme as a child. Well, it’s November 5th and it’s Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night or Fireworks Night. Anyway, whatever you call it, November 5th commemorates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot in 16o5 to assassinate James I. The plan was to blow up the House of Lords during the state opening of parliament and install James’s 9 year old daughter as a Catholic Queen. Things didn’t go according to plan as the plot was revealed in an anonymous letter sent to authorities. During a search of the House of Lords Guy Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder. Guy Fawkes and 8 other conspirators were sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered. And so Bonfire night was born and for years little boys made stuffed effigies of Guy Fawkes asking “a penny for the Guy?” The Guys were burnt on bonfires and fireworks were set off. Today fireworks and bonfires are still a big part of Bonfire Night but stuffed Guys are not seen as much these days.
Fun Fact: There is a connection between the conspirators and Coughton Court, a National Trust Property in Warwickshire. If you visit you can find out the whole story.
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