Guy Fawkes 1570 – 1606He really should have chosen his friends better than he did.A group planned to assassinate King James and restore a Catholic Monarch to the throne of England.An anonymous letter caused the authorities to search Westminster Palace.Left by his Catholic friends to guard the Gunpowder under the House of Lords, Guy Fawkes was arrested. He was questioned and tortured for the following few days and then taken out for execution.The holiday was proclaimed as a warning that was supposed to remind anyone who may have had the same idea that they won’t get away with it.They were really peeved that they couldn’t pull him apart and send the parts to all points of the compass. Would you sit on a keg of Gunpowder in a cellar?Gruesome Lot, weren’t they?There is a comprehensive biography here: www.britannia.com/history/g-fawkes.html
HISTORY IN POETRY
REMEMBER, REMEMBER THE 5TH of NOVEMBER.
The world still remembers Mr Guy Fawkes,
who plotted to blow up the House of Lords.
Tortured, guilty of treason, the story is told
how he cheated The Hangman; he jumped off the scaffold.
A broken neck did not appease the Crown,
who hung and quartered all foes of renown.
In response, a decree that all people remember
the failed plot; a holiday, for the 5th of November!
Children hunt while mothers groan,
‘Why can’t we be left alone?
All we want is a place to rest,
But all we hear is, ‘Where’s Grandpa’s vest?
You want those old trousers I threw out,
and those old shoes, with their soles half out?
If I threw them out, then they’re no good,
So please be quiet you know you should.’
‘We won’t be noisy; we will be good.
We’re looking for two long bits of wood.’
‘Hey Mum, we found these sticks, in the bombed out houses.
Can we have Dad’s old coat; and those old trousers?’
Stuffed with paper, gosh, he’s fat!
The bonfire’s ready, but where’s Guy’s hat?
Oh there it is, stuck fast in that briar,
Now Guy Fawkes was ready for our street’s Bon-Fire.
We couldn’t bother Mum, and Dad was at his works,
but, we needed money to buy fireworks.
‘Penny for the Guy, Mister,’ we called outside the shop,
‘we must have some crackers when we put him up top.’
Bangers and Jumping Jacks, were thrown on the ground
to give a fright and a scare as all dodged around.
There were bottles with rockets that fly to the sky.
There were hands in pockets; warm and dry.
The flames rose high, we could see through the fire.
The Guy stood up on his funeral pyre.
He cannot jump off that pile of wood;
he’s tied tight to the chair that used to be good.
On the chair’s legs, we all scratched our names,
And remember the reason as it goes up in flames.
Guy Fawkes, on barrels of gun powder; a patsy
for the treasonable reasons of Robert Catesby.
Remember, remember the 5th of November
not for the gunpowder, the treason or the plot.
Betrayed, found guilty, Fawkes cheated being slaughtered.
By the government who wanted him drawn and quartered,
but Guy Fawkes? He died his way, whether they liked it or not.