Guy Fawkes Day, fifth of November.

As a boy, my English husband always celebrated Guy Fawkes night with family and sometimes friends in his back garden (yard). His dad would set off the fireworks, then light an enormous bonfire they had built. Sometimes they had an effigy of Guy Fawkes to toss on the bonfire. They all stood around and sang:


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

Marilyn Holdsworth describes gunpowder plot

Members of Gunpowder Plot

Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in Great Britain. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords.

Marilyn Holdsworth shows Westminster Palace as it was in 1605

Houses of Parliament in 1605

The Gunpowder Plot was not just about blowing up Parliament as many believe. It was an attempt to kill King James I of England, his wife and elder son, much of his court and most of his government by detonating gunpowder beneath the Houses of Parliament. The King’s younger children were to be abducted the same day and one declared as monarch by the plotters, hopefully starting a great rebellion, one in which a Catholic minority would rise up, form a new government around the child ruler and seize back control of an increasingly Protestant England.

2 thoughts on “Guy Fawkes Day, fifth of November.

  1. Hi Phyllis,

    I love history too. This day in history, December 2, 1823, James Monroe, our fifth president, gave his Monroe Doctrine speech. My novel, The Beautiful American, deals with a fascinating time for James and Elizabeth Monroe, in the bloody streets of Paris as the reign of terror comes to an end.

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