Guy Fawkes Day

On this day 5th November in 1605 Guy Fawkes was taken in the cellars beneath Parliament, sitting, figuratively speaking,  on an arsenal of gunpowder buried beneath piles of coal and firewood obviously with the intent of blowing up the House of Lords with the King in it!

He admitted his guilt and his intent, and under torture named his co-conspirators, they were rounded up and all received the penalty for ‘High Treason‘;  sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered.

They were first hanged then cut down before dying, their genitals were cut off and burned before their eyes after which they were disembowelled (drawn) had the head cut off and the body cut into quarters. Guy Fawkes watched his comrades suffer this agonizing death and when it came to his turn climbed the ladder to the gallows and jumped off breaking his neck killing himself to avoid the pain and torture in store for him. Nevertheless, his body was mutilated and carved up.

Since then the 5th of November has been a day of thanksgiving and a stuffed Guy is burned on a giant bonfire followed by fireworks in celebration of deliverance.

Actually it was more fun than that, as a boy in England I’d make a Guy along with the other boys in our street with whatever came to hand a week or so before the day, then we’d take it and wait outside Beacontree Railway Station, and when the passengers came rolling off their trains go into the spiel “Please to remember the 5th of November with gunpowder treason and plot….” and collect the pennies, ha’pennies and if we were lucky a few tanners, which they’d toss into a cap and which we’d use to buy our fireworks and on the night we’d light our bonfire at the bottom of th ‘Banjo’ and let off our fireworks.

Naturally we didn’t do this between 1939 – 1945 for obvious reasons.

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