Greetings, dear web log readers! I am Lord Bigus Baddiesworth IV, Historian-in-Training and the author of this Internet journal you are perusing. Today is November 5th, a date that is of notable importance to English history for it was the same day in 1605 when a group of young English Catholics plotted to remove King James I from his throne by blowing him up to Kingdom Come. The “Gunpowder Plot”, they called it. There is no better time to start a new web log series about History than on a day with historical significance, don’t you agree? I shall call this series Quickie History Lesson for it is short and quite shockingly educational. Shall we begin? Excellent.
Catholics in England were like “King James I will totally be our friend, you guys!” but King James was like “Fuck you guys, I want your priests out of England, like, right now!” so the Catholics were like “Bummer.” A fine Roman Catholic dude named Robert “Bobby” Catesby was then like “Shit, guys. This is whack! Let’s blow up the Parliament! Who knows stuff about explosions? Anyone? Guys?” ENTER: Explosives expert Guido “Guy” Fawkes.
Guy Fawkes, using his porn star name “John Johnson”, along with his fellow conspirators rented a crib right beside the House of Lords so they can mine under the awesomely named building and lay the gunpowder. The plot of blowing up the Parliament with King James and his posse inside during the State Opening seemed like it was going down without a hitch until a little thing called the Black Plague visited London in the summer of 1604 which caused the State Opening to be suspended until 1605. The Gunpowder Plotters were all like “GODDAMMIT!”
The State Opening was postponed a couple more times before the final date was set: November 5th, 1605. With all 36 barrels of gunpowder set under the House of Lords months before November 5th, the plotters took some time off to chill out separately. During this time, one of the plotters named Francis “Franny” Tresham was like “Holy crap, my brother-in-law will be at the Parliament on November 5th! I must warn him and shit!” And so he did. He wrote a letter to his brother-in-law , Lord Monteagle, and here’s an excerpt:
They shall receive a terrible blow, the Parliament, and yet they shall not see who hurts them. DON’T FUCKING GO THERE, MAN! LIKE, SERIOUSLY!
The letter was eventually handed over to the Secretary of State. The secret was out. The plot was uncovered. The plotters were all like “Fuck it, let’s do it anyway!”
On the night of November 4th, government thugs searched underneath the House of Lords. At midnight on November 5th, said thugs discovered Fawkes guarding a bunch of stuff that totally screams “I’m an explosives expert and I’m going to blow the shit out of the Parliament with the king and his douchebag entourage inside!” and they were like “Guy, you are Fawked! Haw! Haw! Haw!” then Fawkes was like “BLOODY SHIT!”
Most of the Gunpowder Plotters were caught by the Sheriff of Worcestershire (LOL!) while some were killed in a shootout or killed after enduring unspeakable torture. Good times.
On the night of November 5th, the people of London celebrated the deliverance of their king by lighting fires. They did this every year on the same date until it became a tradition. It is called Fireworks Night, Bonfire Night, or Guy Fawkes Night. I’m guessing it’s because they burn Guy Fawkes effigies on a bonfire then they light up fireworks to increase the celebratory mood.
And so our tale of gunpowder, treason and plot ends. I shall see you again soon, web log readers! Be safe and don’t kill your king!