Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
This might remind you of the excellent movie V for Vendetta released in 2005 (If you haven’t seen the movie, it is excellent). But what exactly was the Gunpowder Treason and Plot? History Today has an excellent article on the history and the modern festivals that commemorate it.
Guy Fawkes’ Night, the ‘Fifth of November’, has been popular and long-lived for two different reasons. The first is the spectacular nature of the event that it commemorated. Had the Gunpowder Plot succeeded, it would have killed the majority of the English political nation of the time, including most of the royal family, aristocracy and leading gentry and many merchants, as well as demolishing Westminster Palace and much of the Abbey and surrounding houses. It was intended not just to overthrow the existing monarch and central and local government, but the Church of England, as established since the Reformation, and the Protestant faith dominant in England. In its place the plotters planned to restore the Roman Catholic religion and enthrone a puppet princess.