Thursday, November 05, 2009

GUY FAWKES / BONFIRE NIGHT



Ok I'm super into Guy Fawkes nights, I'm stoked that its one of the main traditions that we still have......for those who have no idea here's what its all about:

Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606), belonged to a group of Roman Catholic restorationists from England who planned the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Their aim was to displace Protestant rule by blowing up the Houses of Parliament while King James I and the entire Protestant, and even most of the Catholic, aristocracy and nobility were inside. The conspirators saw this as a necessary reaction to the systematic discrimination against English Catholics.

The Gunpowder Plot was led by Robert Catesby, but Fawkes was put in charge of its execution. He was arrested a few hours before the planned explosion, during a search of the cellars underneath Parliament in the early hours of 5 November prompted by the receipt of an anonymous warning letter.

Fawkes was tortured over the next few days in an effort to extract from him the names of his co-conspirators. King James directed that the torture be light at first, but more severe if necessary. Sir William Wade, Lieutenant of the Tower of London at this time, supervised the torture and obtained Fawkes's confession. For three or four days Fawkes said nothing, nor divulged the names of his co-conspirators. Only when he found out that they had proclaimed themselves by appearing in arms did he succumb. The torture only revealed the names of those conspirators who were already dead or whose names were known to the authorities. On 31 January, Fawkes and a number of others implicated in the conspiracy were tried in Westminster Hall. After being found guilty, they were taken to Old Palace Yard in Westminster and St Paul's Yard, where they were to be hanged, drawn and quartered. Fawkes, weakened by his torture, was the last to climb the ladder to the gallows, from which he jumped, breaking his neck in the fall and thus avoiding the latter part of his execution.... thats what happen's if you mess with the King?

Guy Fawkes Night (or "bonfire night"), held on 5 November in the United Kingdom and some parts of the Commonwealth, is a commemoration of the plot, during which an effigy of Fawkes is burned, often accompanied by a fireworks display. The word "guy", meaning "man" or "person", is derived from his name.

It has become a tradition for children to display a grotesque effigy of Fawkes, termed a "guy", as part of the Bonfire Night celebration. As part of the tradition, they would often stand on streetcorners begging for "a penny for the guy". The "guy" would be burned on a bonfire at the end of the evening. As a consequence, "guy" came to mean a man of odd appearance.

7 Comments:

Blogger Andrew said...

Did you copy and paste that?

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Ray said...

you forgot to mention that when the king's soldier's went to arrest the plotters, two of them were killed with a single musket shot, which passed straight through the first and retained enough velocity and impact to take down the second. gnarls

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