Remember, Remember – The history behind bonfire night

Remember, Remember – The history behind bonfire night

Having discussed firework safety in a previous post, we thought it would be useful to offer some insight as to why we have the ritual of the firework display.

Firstly, we have all been taught the simplistic version of events regarding the infamous ‘Gunpowder Plot’, with the incident being called Guy Fawkes Night. Interestingly, Guy Fawkes was only one of a number of co-conspirators who plotted the demise of the Monarchy, the leader was in fact a Robert Catersby. Take this chance to get your children interested in a piece of crucial British History, with their interest already peaked by the fireworks on display, it is a great opportunity to educate them on the iconic Gun powder plot.

On Friday November 1st 1605, an anonymous letter which had been given to the Earl of Salisbury, who was a close advisor of King James the 1st, was shown to the King. The contents of the letter revealed the existence of a plot created by disgruntled Catholics to eliminate the King. It was a time of social upheaval, with Catholics and Protestants at odds as Catholics were finding themselves increasingly marginalised by the Protestant Church of England, which was the Church of the Monarch.

The kegs of gun powder were discovered on the morning of November the 5th, along with a cloaked figure who turned out to be Guy Fawkes, who had been guarding the deadly amount of gunpowder. The gunpowder was in a chamber located directly beneath the House of Lords, to this day when the Queen performs her State visit to Parliament, the Royal Guards will complete a search of the cellars, though this has become more of a ritual, rather than a genuine security check.

What many people do not realise is that the Houses of Parliament Guy Fawkes and his fellow plotters had intended to destroy is very different from the Parliament we have today. In fact, the original Houses of Parliament did burn down in 1834, thanks to a fire which had started in the Lords furnace chambers.

Nowadays, we call the anniversary of this plot ‘Guy Fawkes Night’, and whilst we recall this precautionary tale; for kids the night is about the spectacle and the excitement of seeing fireworks. Depending on the age of your children, the season of fireworks can be a great opportunity to teach them some iconic British history. After all, this plot had a significant impact on the history of this Country, had the plotters succeeded British History may very well have unfolded in an entirely different way.

Remember, whether you are attending any locally organised events, or lighting the bonfire in your back garden, it is going to very cold. Ensure your child is well protected from the cold November night. However, always remember the key safety tips, fireworks are extremely dangerous if they are not respected; please Click Here to read our article on firework safety.

We wish everyone all the best for this year’s festivities, enjoy a safe and warm spectacle as fireworks dominate the nation's skyline. Enjoy this great tradition and make sure you and your family wrap warm this winter.

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