“Remember remember the Fifth of November, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot” .
With November 5th slowly approaching everyone will be going out buying their fireworks and sparklers to celebrate the evening. A lot of people even going as far as setting up their own bonfires in their back gardens and throwing on a stuffed, dressed up sack man, representing Guy Fawkes, to celebrate the evenings festivities.
Still, many Brits may still be unaware of why we celebrate this event itself – why we actually have bonfire night all together.
November 5th, 1605.
On this day, November 5th, marks the anniversary of the night known as “Guy Fawkes” night.
In 1605 the gunpowder plot failed; in the attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament happening during the reign of King James I & VI of Scotland. The purpose behind this plot was due to a clash of religions; once Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603 her cousin King James I took over the English Throne, meaning a change in religion from Church of England to Protestant.
Religion during the time of the 17th Century was something that held huge significance in everyone’s day to day lives. They lived their lives believing God would judge them when they passed on, so something as huge as getting a new ruling with a new faith mattered a great amount to the people of England. Considering their religion had changed around 3 times during the ruling with King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I, assuming they may have been just slightly infuriated is an understatement.
Also known as Guido Fawkes, around 1604 he joined a small group of Catholic believers run by a man named Robert Catesby.
Catesby along with the rest of his supporters planned to dispose of King James and put his daughter, Princess Elizabeth; 3rd in line to the succession, on the throne instead. A woman had now proven she could rule the country and he believed she had more of a claim to the throne then James. However late November 4th – early November 5th 1605 Guy Fawkes was discovered in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament on the eve on the opening of King James I’s English Parliament, with barrels of gunpowder hidden under bundles and coal.
Guy Fawkes was arrested along with the rest of the supporters and they were all executed. So it is due to this single event that we now remember November 5th as Bonfire Night. For the Houses of Parliament would have gone up just as the fireworks we set off today do, in one big explosion.
Make sure you actually enjoy the night itself, a lot of people throw some brilliant bonfire nights and create beautiful displays which look so pretty in the sky. Just be careful with fireworks and sparklers of course! It’s there to celebrate for a reason, so do it!
With love, Charlotte x