Sunday, November 05, 2006

I need grandchildren

It was noticeable at tonight's firework display that everyone was either part of a teenage couple or with children. I was with husband.

He took me because I have grumbled so much for the last few years when we haven't been.

I love fireworks, and it was a very good display, with twizzley ones and fishy ones and just plain dazzling ones. I'm sure though that they make fireworks quieter than they used to. I can remember oh-ing and ah-ing - because of the noise - much more than I did tonight.

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.

Knowing as little about history as I do, I googled (what did we do before Google?) Guy Fawkes, whom we commemorate with fireworks on 5th November.

After Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, English Catholics, who had been persecuted under her rule, hoped that her successor, James I, would be more tolerant of their religion. He wasn't, and a group of 13 men decided to blow up the Houses of Parliament in order to kill the King, and maybe the Prince of Wales, and the Members of Parliament who were making life difficult for the Catholics.

Their plan might have worked if one of the group members hadn't sent an anonymous letter warning his friend, Lord Monteagle, to stay away from the Parliament on November 5th. The warning letter reached the King, and plans were made to stop the conspirators.

Guy Fawkes, who was in the cellar of the parliament with the 36 barrels of gunpowder when the authorities stormed it in the early hours of November 5th, was caught, tortured and executed in 1605.

6 comments:

Clare said...

you need grandchildren whereas my mother's biggest fear (at the moment) is that one of her children will anounce she's having grandchildren. Don't get me wrong, she likes kids. Just, not yet... You can always count on the Catholics to have screwed something up in history. I can say that as I am one... But, hey, I like fireworks too much to complain! xx

Anonymous said...

As a child, we always went to the RAF camp bonfire night and I hated the firework bangs. As a young mother, I managed to busy myself in the kitchen while the children enjoyed the display put on by their father, the school PTA or a church group. This evening, we went for a drive to watch the brilliant red sunset and then came indoors where I feel safest.

Steve G said...

Do Catholics celebrate the night, not in rememberance of the failed attempt, but as a fireworks or bonfire night. Or is there still hard feelings about it.

Liz said...

Everyone celebrates it. I doubt if many people know about the Catholic link: I didn't.

Although I notice that it happened in 1605, which means that last year was the 400th anniversary. I assume the anniversary would have been mentioned but I missed out on the fact. I can be interested in history but only when I want to be - if I decided to find something out not because every channel on the television has a programme about something. That is more likely to make me switch off!

Anonymous said...

I had read about Guy Fawkes Day, but I didn't know it was celebrated with fireworks. Sounds like a grand time.

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