Paula reminisces about Bonfire Night.
not only the king would be present,
but also the Protestant Lords and Bishops.
However, the plot was
revealed to the authorities and during a search at about midnight on November
4th, one of the conspirators, Guy Fawkes, was discovered, guarding 36 barrels
of gunpowder, enough to blow up the whole of Parliament as well as a lot of the
The other conspirators fled from London, but they were
pursued and caught. The leader of the conspiracy, Robert Catesby, was shot and
killed, and the others were captured and, along with Guy Fawkes, they were
hung, drawn, and quartered.
The following January, Parliament passed the ‘Observance of
5th November’ Act, which called for a public, annual thanksgiving for the failure of the Plot.
This began the tradition of marking the day with the ringing of church bells
and the burning of bonfires. Fireworks were a later addition to the celebrations.
remember the Fifth of November,
Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
know of no reason
the Gunpowder Treason
ever be forgot.
The guy was later thrown onto the bonfire, amid loud cheers.
In fact, poor old Guy Fawkes was the "fall-guy" in all this, but his is the name
that is remembered. During the 19th century, the word 'guy' came to mean an oddly dressed person, but gradually came to refer to any male person.
I remember making guys when I was a child but this custom
has largely died out now (presumably in favour of trick or treating at Hallowe’en
instead, once the American tradition started to increase over here).
Photos from Wikimedia Commons, either public domain or licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.