Remember, Remember… the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Conspiracy
The Powder Conspiracy is probably the most famous Attack on the english Parliament and King James VI. of Scotland, who at the same time was King James I. of England. It was intended to avenge the Suppression of Catholics triggered by the anglican-protestant Church.
Robert Catesby was eight years old when his Father -a staunch Catholic and proponent of the Jesuit Mission- was condemned several times for refusing to attend the Anglican service and for hosting the Jesuit Edmund Campion. During his later Education, Robert himself came into contact with the jesuit Faith. As an wealthy and influential Member of the landed Gentry, he was protected for some time from the harshness of anti-Catholic Legislation of his day and in 1601 participated in a coup attempt by Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex.
After the coup and other Attempts to recatholicize England failed, he, like many others, put hope in the heir James, as his Wife was a Catholic. Contrary to expectations, James even intensified the persecution of Catholics.
In May 1604, Catesby met with Guy Fawkes (Guido Fawkes), Thomas Wintour and John Wright in the London Pup ‘Duck and Drake’ to discuss an Explosive Attack on the ‘House of Lords’, including the King wanted to eliminate. While Catesby was the strategic head, Fawkes -an Officer and Explosives Expert of the english Army- took over the military Leadership of the Attack. But the Aussault had to be postponed twice.
The first time, because the Parliament unexpectedly parted. The second time, because the opening of the parliament has been postponed because of Pestepedemie. In March 1605, the thirteen Conspirators leased one of the Cellars in the Parliament Building and filled it with a total of 2.5 tons of Black-Powder and wanted to ignite it at the opening of the Assembly, in which the entire Royal Family would be present. In advance, the cath. Lord Monteagle was warned with a Letter asking him to stay away for some reason, but the Letter was forwarded to the Authorities.
On the morning of November 5, Justice of the Peace Thomas Knyvet checked the basement and discovered Fawkes, as well as the Explosives. Fawkes confessed to Torture and betrayed those involved. Four of them (Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, Christopher and John Wright) were killed on their Arrest. Sir Everard Digby, Robert Wintour, John Grant and Thomas Bates were executed in January 1606. A day later, Thomas Wintour, Ambrose Rookewood, Robert Keyes and Guy Fawkes died. The Discovery of the Assassination prevented the return of the catholic Faith for the next 200 years. The Role of Lord Monteagle is still not clear. Some Historians assume that he was a Participant in the Plot and betrayed his Confidants.
Even today, the Bodyguard (Yeomen of the Guard) examines the Cellars of the ‘House of Parliament’ before the reigning Monarch opens the annual parliamentary session. The Public celebrates the failure of the Plot every year on November 5 with a Street Parade, Fireworks and burning a Guy Fawkes Doll.
There was also a Poem:
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!
Even to Hollywood, it has made the assassination.
Thus, a portrayal and the beginning of the Poem can be found in the Comic ‘V like Vendetta’ from 1982, which was filmed in 2005. Also in the 2004 by the BBC appeared two-parter ‘Maria Stuart – Blood, terror and betrayal’ (Original Title: Gunpowder, Treason and Plot), the Attack plays a Role.
According to scientists, the accumulated amount of Explosives would have damaged all Buildings within 1093,61 Yards Radius and completely destroyed Westminster Palace.
In 2005, the british TV Station ITV broadcast a Reconstruction of the assassination.
The Broadcaster had spent the equivalent of 1.5 Million Euros (£ 1.295.560,23) to build on a Test Site an accurate Reconstruction of both, the former Opper House, as well as the Explosives in its 36 Barrels. After the Detonation of the Explosive, the Replica was completely destroyed, as were almost 150 Dolls that were to represent the Royal Court.