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Old 11-03-2010, 02:26 PM
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Default Remembering the Gunpowder Plot

Remembering the Gunpowder Plot

11-03-2010 07:23 AM

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Wed, 2010-11-03 14:18


Remembering the Gunpowder Plot


Heather Joy


feature_story_photo:
"Remember, remember the fifth of November, Gunpowder, treason and plot. We See no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot." Courtesy Illustration






Remembering the Gunpowder Plot

Heather Joy

On Friday, November 5 effigies of Guy Fawkes will be burned, bonfires will be lit, and fireworks will be launched to remember Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder plot. In 1605 Guy Fawkes and a group of conspirators attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament at the State opening by King James I.
The History
In 1603, James VI of Scotland succeeded Queen Elizabeth I after her death becoming King James I. Many English Catholics initially celebrated believing that he would be more tolerant of their religion. However, King James I was not to be their liberator, the extreme persecution of Catholic sympathizers continued. Thus the “Gunpowder Plot” was hatched as a protest against James I refusal to grant religious toleration to Catholics.
Guy Fawkes, a former Spanish Army commander, was one of 13 conspirators chosen because of his military experience and munitions acumen.
The Plot
Guy Fawkes met with plot mastermind Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright and Thomas Wintour in 1604 at the Duck and Drake in London, to pledge to carryout the gunpowder plot. The original plan was to tunnel through to the Parliament Buildings from a local inn, but that proved unrealistic for the men not used to physical labor. They had failed to consider the water from the Thames and the building’s thick walls. Then, in March 1605 Percy acquired a cellar within the Parliament building and over time Fawkes helped fill the room with 36 barrels of gunpowder, hidden beneath iron bars, wood and coal.
Fawkes had been trained to “fire a slow train” while in the military so the idea was for him to ignite the barrels using a long fuse, get out and spread news of the explosion on the continent.
The Discovered Plot
According to the Gunpowder Plot Society it is thought the gunpowder plot was discovered due to an anonymous letter sent to Lord Montague, a member of the House of Lords. The letter was an attempt to warn Montague not to attend the Parliament opening as “a great calamity would consume it.”
When word of the letter reached the conspirators, they were afraid they had a traitor among their midst. Since the letter was considered vague, Catesby decided that they should move forward with the plan. Fawkes was apparently ignorant of the letters existence according to the Plot Society.
In the early hours of November 5, Fawkes was discovered in the cellar near the gunpowder. He was also found with a watch, slow matches and torchwood. Fawkes was arrested and taken before the King, were Fawkes admitted his intentions to blow Scotsmen present back into Scotland according to “Faith & Treason – The Story of the Gunpowder Plot,” by Antonia Fraser. Before being publically hung in March 1607 Fawkes endured 15 months of horrific torture.
The Outcome

Word of the foiled plot spread around London and the locals began to light fires in celebration that the king had been saved. Today the tradition continues and a search of the Houses of Parliament takes place before the official opening by the monarch. In 1606 Parliament agreed to make the 5th of November a day of public thanksgiving and people all over Britain let off fireworks, light bonfires and Guy Fawkes is burned in effigy.


Guy Fawkes Bonfire and Fireworks Displays
Lakenheath's annual fireworks display
When: Friday Nov. 5
Where: At the football club Back Street Lakenheath.
Gates open at 6:30 p.m. with the display to start at 7:30 p.m.
Hot food and drinks
Adult price in advance: £3-50 - or - On the gate: £4-50
Child/OAP in advance - £2-50 - or - On the gate: £3-50
For information call 01842 860163
All funds raised from this event are given to local charities.
Midsummer Common, Cambridge -
When: Nov. 5
'The Largest Free Firework Display in East Anglia'. Held since 1930. Fairground rides from 6 until 10 p.m. Fun starts at 6pm with the fireworks at 7.30 p.m. followed by the bonfire. Roads around the common will be closed so use the public transport that is provided.
Sparks in the Park at Norwich
When: Saturday Nov. 6
Two dazzling firework shows, Bonfires, Funfair, Heart soundstage, Guy Fawkes.
6.:0 p.m Children's fireworks
6:45 p.m. Burning of the Guy
8 p.m. The Big bang fireworks!








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