05 Nov 2014

Guy Fawkes: Needed Now More Than Ever

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Guy Fawkes arrested in the cellar of Parliament with the explosives.

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason, and plot;
There is no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!’

Early in the morning of November 5, Guy Fawkes crept, torch in hand, into the cellar beneath the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster. In that cellar, he and his fellow conspirators had previously placed a cache of 1800 pounds ((36 barrels, or 800 kg) of gunpowder. Just as he was about to ignite the barrels, blowing himself and the House of Lords to Kingdom Come, the torch was snatched from his hand by a man named Peter Heywood.

Fawkes was arrested and taken before the privy council where he remained defiant. When asked by one of the Scottish lords what he had intended to do with so much gunpowder, Fawkes answered him, “To blow you Scotch beggars back to your own native mountains!”

So went the attempted Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

The intention of the plotters was to use the explosion, timed to coincide with the opening of Parliament, to kill King James I and eliminate much of the ruling Protestant aristocracy. They also intended to kidnap the royal children, then raise the standard of revolt in the Midlands with the object of restoring the freedom to practice Catholicism in England.

Dr. Mercury, at Maggie’s Farm, is on the side of Gunpowder Treason, and serves up a nice video excerpt from James McTeigue’s V for Vendetta (2005).

One Feedback on "Guy Fawkes: Needed Now More Than Ever"

Andrew B

Poor Guy. First, he takes the fall for the whole, crazy scheme. Then he’s tortured and executed. Next he is burned in effigy by 400 years worth of English children. The final and, I think, worst indignity was still to come, however. Guy Fawkes, one of the all-time leading arch-conservatives, who wanted to reinstall a Catholic theocracy in England, becomes the symbol of a bunch of hippies and trust fund anarchists. THAT must really hurt.


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