Remember, remember! The fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot; I know of no reason, why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot. 🔥
Off with the pumpkin mask and on with the vendetta mask as Bonfire Night is just around the corner. Another strange tradition we Brits hold dear, how much do you really know about the historic gunpowder plot?
Since it happened way back in 1605, we figured it’s time for a quick recap of the facts – just in time for Bonfire Night on Sunday (5 November).
- There is only one place in the entire UK that does not celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. St Peter’s School in York refuses to burn the image of Guy Fawkes as he was a former pupil of the school. Respectful.
- Apart from the UK nowhere else, in the world celebrates Bonfire Night – it must look like a strange tradition to celebrate.
- We have Guy Fawkes to thank for the slang term ‘guy’. Although back in the day it was to reference an ugly, repulsive person before changing to simply mean man. Always best to check what you’re calling people.
- The gunpowder plot required a lot of explosives to blow up Parliament. Did you know that fireworks were invited by accident? Yes, a Chinese cook made the discovery after he accidentally made explosive black powder using three common kitchen ingredients in the tenth century. We bet that dish went down with a bang…
- Fireworks didn’t come to Europe until the fourteenth century though, and we can thank the Italians for the introduction. The first recorded display was in Florence, and England’s introduction to fireworks was during the wedding of King Henry VII in 1486.
- Although everyone remembers Guy Fawkes, he wasn’t the main conspirator in the gunpowder plot. There were actually 13 conspirators working to blow up Parliament and kill King James I.
- Recently, Game of Thrones’ very own Jon Snow – aka Kit Harrington – revealed he is a distant descendent of gunpowder conspirator Robert Catesby. In fact, Catesby wasn’t just an extra in the plot, he was the ringleader. We suspect some juicy family tales at the dinner table.
- Everyone remembers Guy Fawkes because he was the explosives expert.
- Fawkes was also the reason the plot failed after being caught and arrested while guarding the explosives. After being arrested, Fawkes was tortured until he revealed everyone part of the plot. Tough day at work.
- After being sentenced to the regular traitor’s death of hanging, Fawkes jumped from the gallows to ensure he broke his own neck and avoided being cut down while still alive. As if that wasn’t horrific enough, his lifeless body was cut up into quarters and the remains sent to the four corners of the UK as a reminder to anyone thinking of planning a similar attack. They were a cheery bunch back in the 1600s.