5.11.06

The Gunpowder Plot

Today is the celebration of Guy Fawkes In 1605, thirteen young men planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Among them was Guy Fawkes, AKA Guido Fawkes {Faux} Britain's most notorious traitor. After Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, English Catholics who had been persecuted under her rule had hoped that her successor, James I, would be more tolerant of their religion. James I had, after all, had a Catholic mother. Unfortunately, James did not turn out to be more tolerant than Elizabeth and a number of young men, 13 to be exact, decided that violent action was the answer. Of course it is now history and is celebrated in the UK with bonfires, crackers or fireworks, here in Ozz we don’t bother although we do have a cracker night but not on this day in history. Crackers here or pyrotechnics if you want to get all techie is mainly used on Australia Day, New Year’s Day on the stroke of midnight and other events of celebration I do know it was celebrated in the state of Victoria here at one time however, It most likely still is down there as at one time they were very Victorian in their attitude And it is not solely a British celebration. The tradition was also established in the British colonies by the early American settlers and actively pursued in the New England States under the name of "Pope Day" as late as the Eighteenth Century. Today, the celebration of Guy Fawkes and his failed plot remains a tradition in such places as Newfoundland (Canada) and some areas of New Zealand, in addition to the British Isles but not in Northern Ireland Also known as "Firework Night" and "Bonfire Night," November 5th was designated by King James I (via an Act of Parliament) as a day of thanksgiving for "the joyful day of deliverance." This Act remained in force until 1859. On the very night of the thwarted Gunpowder Plot, it is said that the populace of London celebrated the defeat by lighting fires and engaging in street festivities. It would appear that similar celebrations took place on each anniversary and, over the years, became a tradition. In many areas, a holiday was observed. Thinking about this in depth today these 13 blokes would be called terrorists. Even for the period which was notoriously unstable, the Gunpowder Plot struck a very profound chord for the people of England. In fact, even today, the reigning monarch only enters the Parliament once a year, on what is called "the State Opening of Parliament". Prior to the Opening, and according to custom, the Yeomen of the Guard search the cellars of the Palace of Westminster. Nowadays, the Queen and Parliament still observe this tradition. All images are clickable. Wiki

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