Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot.
We see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes, guy, t’was his intent
To blow up king and parliament.
Three score barrels were laid below
To prove old England’s overthrow.
By God’s mercy he was catch’d
With a darkened lantern and burning match.
So, holler boys, holler boys, Let the bells ring.
Holler boys, holler boys, God save the king.
And what shall we do with him?
Having grown up and lived in a country that generally does not persecute anyone for their religious beliefs I cannot fully understand the motivations based on religious persecutions. I do feel that the measures that I would go through to protect my family could be extreme, and I pray that my nation, and my family never face the kind of persecutions that would cause them harm.
Guy Fawkes, English born soldier who adopted the name Guido Fawkes as he fought for Catholic Spain in the Eighty Years War, was found in an apartment under the House of Lords guarding barrels of gunpowder 410 years ago today.
I find conspiracy plots fascinating, and these guys almost did it. If it was not for an anonymous warning letter to Lord Monteagle–one of the thirteen conspirator’s brother-in-law–warning him to stay away, they would have succeeded.
Because of a letter, the buildings were searched, and an unsuspecting Fawkes was found in the early morning of November 5th. After two days of torture (not sure I would make two days) Fawkes gave a full confession.
Their plot was to kill King James I as he addressed parliament and replace him with his daughter Elizabeth as a Catholic Queen. Catholics had been greatly persecuted in England since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I forcing people to swear allegiance to the crown and the Queen as the head of the Church of England.
The conspirators felt that a Catholic Queen could turn the tides for them, and they would be able to worship freely as they chose. As a result of the failed plot, the following things happened:
- The conspirators were caught, hanged, cut down while still alive, castrated, disemboweled, and finally quartered. (wow! – what a way to die)
- Catholics were restricted from voting and holding public offices
It would be 200 years before the Catholic Emancipation gave Catholic’s rights back to them.
It has been 410 years since the conspirators attempted regicide, and although most Americans only know of Guy Fawkes from the movie V for Vendettta.
So, as the poem suggested, the event has not been forgotten.