“Remember, Remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, Treason & Plot.
I know of no reason,
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!”
English Folk Verse, (c.1870)
In 1605, thirteen young men planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Among them was Guy Fawkes, Britain’s most notorious traitor.
Guy Fawkes has become the quintessential Robin Hood Figure of the Gunpowder Plot.
As part of a now famous Catholic Plot to kill the new Protestant King, James VI & I, Guy Fawkes was in the cellar of the houses of parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder waiting for him to enter parliament. Unfortunately for him, authorities stormed the cellars in the early hours of November 5th, and he was caught, tortured & executed!
After Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, English Catholics who had been persecuted under her rule had hoped that her successor, James I, would be more tolerant of their religion. James I had, after all, had a Catholic mother. Unfortunately, James did not turn out to be more tolerant than Elizabeth and a number of young men, 13 to be exact, decided that violent action was the answer.
To carry out their plan, the conspirators got hold of 36 barrels of gunpowder – and stored them in a cellar, just under the House of Lords.
But as the group worked on the plot, it became clear that innocent people would be hurt or killed in the attack, including some people who even fought for more rights for Catholics. Some of the plotters started having second thoughts. One of the group members even sent an anonymous letter warning his friend, Lord Monteagle, to stay away from the Parliament on November 5th.
The warning letter reached the King, and the King’s forces made plans to stop the conspirators.
Gunpowder Plot Celebrations today
The Gunpowder Plot struck a profound chord for the people of England.
Even today, the reigning monarch only enters Parliament once a year on a day called “the State Opening of Parliament”, and as has become tradition, the Yeomen of the Guard now search the cellars of the Palace of Westminster before they enter.
As with the bonfires that were set to celebrate the safety of the King on November 5th, 1605, every year from then on this day has been celebrated with fireworks and the burning of effigies of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire. This is Bonfire Night!
Bonfire night style suggestion
Here at RaspberryPlum we are firm believers that you should be stylish on any occasion. The way you dress should be an expression of your personality and you could never be too old or too young to be chic (in your own way). Bonfire night should be another opportunity to show of your individuality whilst keeping warm. We also suggest that you wear natural fibres on this night as much as possible as they are less flammable then synthetic fibres.