Capital146 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2003, 2125 posts, RR: 49 Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 771 times:
In brief, a certain chap called Guy Faulkes made a plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London on November 5th many centuries ago (sometimes referred to as the gunpowder plot).
The plan was foiled. Guy Faulkes was sentanced and believe was burned at the stake (hence having a 'guy' on top of bonfires) and now every November 5th, (or the weekend nearest the 5th) there are huge bonfires and firework displays throughout the UK. Its a huge tradition here and the organised displays which seem to take place in every town and city are fantastic.
Whitehatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 688 times:
What's been missed so far is that it wasn't actually an attempt to destroy Parliament itself, but actually to assassinate the King who would be in the building at the time. The barrels of powder were placed roughly below the position of the state throne used by the King in the chambers.
So the 5th of November was started as a celebration of the failed attempt on the life of the King.
"Remember, remember, the Fifth of November
Gunpowder treason and plot"
Another more recent tradition, where I come from, is that not one house on the estate had a garden gate on the 6th of November. They were all built with wooden gates and were brilliant for bonfires....
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13329 posts, RR: 64 Reply 14, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 655 times:
The whole thing comes from a dispute between Roman Catholics and Protestants. After Henry VIII split from the Roman Catholic church over a divorce dispute and founded his own Anglican church, with the king being head of the church, all of his subjects had to swear an oath on him as the head of church. Who objected was thrown into jail. Also RC church property was confiscated under chancellor Thomas Cromwell.
Under his successor, young Edward IV, the division was even more pronounced through the adoption of a newly translated version of the Bible. At the same time radical Protestants hunted Catholics for what they considered to be idoltry (statues of Christ, and Mary etc.).
After edward´s death (he was always sickly and died very young), mary Tudor, a staunch Catholic, became queen. She was also married to a Spanish prince and tried, with the help of the Spanish, to restore the Roman Catholic church as the state religion. She did this very clumsily by reintroducing the inquisition and now persecuted Protestants.
After she died, there was a period of religious chaos, with hardliners of both religions killing each other. Queen Elisabeth I managed to restore order, on oner hand by slapping down on the more radical Protestants (who, because they were angry that they were not allowed to burn Catholics at the stake anymore, moved to America on the Mayflower, they were the Puritans), and at the same time by banning Catholics from public office. Additionaly everybody had to swear an oath on her, refusal was punishable by death. Catholics were also banned from political positions, like becoming MPs. This was mostly a popular reaction on Catholics previously cooperating with an external enemy (the Spanish).
Of course, her and her successor´spolitics were not liked by everybody. A militant group of 12 Catholics decided to blow up the Protestant parliament, free imprisoned Sir Walther Raleigh from the Tower of London and install a Catholic king.
Guy Fawkes was a veteran mercenary and former miner, who used to fight for the Spanish in Flanders as a sapper. Due to his knowledge in using explosives he was chosen to execute the plan.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12701 posts, RR: 80 Reply 15, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 631 times:
I remember as a kid going to Bonfire parties, either big public events with huge firework displays, or smaller ones in our street, then someone would volunteer their garden for the evening, others would get fuel for the fire and the pyrotechnics in, the rest would sort the food.
These days, every vile little chav seems to chuck fireworks around for weeks before and after the event.
JGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 19, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 561 times:
Fawkes and the other conspirators were sentenced to the standard death for traitors, to be hung drawn and quartered, which involves being hanged by the neck but not killed, then taken down while still alive, castrated and disembowelled, with your organs burnt in front of you on a brazier, then the body is chopped into four quarters and the parts distributed for general viewing. Not pretty. Fawkes escaped this gruesome execution by jumping from the gallows ladder after the hangman had put the noose round his neck - the noose broke his neck and killed him.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12701 posts, RR: 80 Reply 20, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 556 times:
This is reminding me of the seminal episode in series 2 of Blackadder, when Edmund gets the job of 'Lord High Executioner', as Queen Elizabeth explains to him, 'you see there are lots of Catholics just dying to have their heads sneaked off, but no one to organize it'.
Eg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1829 posts, RR: 13 Reply 23, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 534 times:
Well, I had the pleasure of joining 40,000 of my fellow sarf-London-ers on Clapham Common on Friday evening to watch a fantastic fireworks display....although I bet the arrivals on 27L/R at Heathrow got a better view!
(Also, I flew NCL-LHR on Sunday evening and it seemed that the whole country was having a display...quite something from 27,000ft.)