Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
should ever be forgot.

A mere four lines of verse set down to remember the events of 5 November 1605 when Guy Fawkes was caught in the cellars of the House of Lords guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder. He was subsequently tried with his co-conspirators and sentenced to a brutal death of hanging, draw and quarter.

The plot itself was an attempt on the part of English Catholics to assassinate King James I of England and VI of Scotland. At the time, religious intolerance was running high, but Catholics had had some hope of tolerance when King James ascended to the throne. Catholics quickly grew disappointed when the greater tolerance didn’t materalise and the plot was born. The plan was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England’s Parliament, during which there is a Speech from the Throne. The King and half of Parliament would’ve been wiped out in one blow.

I find it interesting, though, that this is the only date in any given calendar year where a failure is remembered.



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