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The true meaning of Bonfire night

Hello! tomorrow is Bonfire Night and everyone knows about fireworks and big bonfires and burning the guy. YAY!

BUT! How many of you know the true story, the GORY version? And why you shouldn’t burn the guy, but cut him into quarters? No? Well, come into my lair…

On 5th of November, 1605, James I was opening the first English Parliament when the guards found the Catholic Guy Fawkes in the cellar with 36 barrels of gunpowder (try to smuggle that into airport customs!). It turns out that Guy and some other people were trying to blow up parliament so they could make James’s daughter Elizabeth a Catholic queen and wipe out the Protestant rule.

Guy Fawkes

BUT the plan failed miserably and the plotters were killed horribly. They were hung to near unconsciousness, then had their internal organs removed and burned, then the body was cut up into quarters.


About Ben Williams

I am a 17 year old pop culture addict from the south of England. I write about Doctor Who, superheroes, fantasy, films and occasionally dive into the random world of British culture.

13 responses »

  1. Dude! Thanks for the pingback! Cheers mate!!

  2. Graham Williams

    I read the articles in the Telegraph as well, and it was a timely reminder of how great Guy Fawkes Night used to be before Health & Safety and the compensation culture kicked in. Unfortunately, the sanitised pap that is Halloween has been brought over from America and is being used by marketeers to extract even more money from gullible parents. Long live the bonfire! Halloween go home!

  3. Hi, If memory serves, Guy Fawkes was sentenced to be ‘hung, drawn and quartered’ but fell from the scaffold whilst trying to escape, breaking his neck and dying from his injuries. So, perhaps we oughtn’t to burn, or hang and quarter our effigies, but rather leave them to stumble and fall. Not so much fun but, somehow, more English…

  4. They knew how to punish people in ye olden days 😉

  5. This really is grim Ben and i had no idea that had happened

  6. We had a little Guy Fawkes Party in our garden on Sunday. However we had to make sure we obeyed all the Munich rules…no fire lit on the ground, only in a ‘feuerkorb’ (fire basket). Only burning special smoke-free wood. No fireworks, because they are only sold around New Years Eve, and making sure we informed our neighbours a week in advance so they had time to raise an official protest to stop the party if they objected. So, you think Health & Safety has gone mad in Britain! We still managed to have fun though. 🙂

  7. Pingback: Why does no one remember the 5th of November? |

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