Remember, remember, the 5th of November
On this day in 1605, a plot to blow up England’s royal family failed and the conspirators were captured. Guy Fawkes, one of the leaders of the conspiracy, was imprisoned in the Tower of London before he was hanged, drawn and quartered. Today, the British commemorate the event as “Bonfire Night” and “Guy Fawkes Night,” with bonfires, Fawkes burned in effigy and fireworks (Here’s a listing of events). The conspiracy is also remembered in an English folk verse:
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England’s overthrow.
But, by God’s providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James’s sake!
If you won’t give me one,
I’ll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn’orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!
Photo of the Lewes Bonfire Night by Flickr user montpelier.