Sun 05 Nov 2017
Guy Fawkes will forever be remembered as the traitor who tried to blow up parliament, and we have grown up hearing the rhyme;
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
But as it turns, Guy Fawkes, or Guido Fawkes as he later became known, was perhaps one of the biggest scapegoats in British history. There is no doubt he was guilty of a crime, but he was never the mastermind behind the plot, which was to kill the King and install a new monarch with Catholic sympathies.
While fighting in Spain in the early 1600, Guy Fawkes was asked to join what would later be called the gunpowder plot; the leader of the plot was a man named Robert Catesby. Guy Fawkes became the explosives expert, whose role it would have been to light the fuse, an act, that had it succeeded, would have changed the country.
The plot was uncovered and Guy Fawkes was arrested on the 4th November. As torture was illegal at the time, the king had to give special permission for the torture of Fawkes, which lasted two days. The King himself even commented on the fortitude of Fawkes withstanding the worst kind of torture.
It’s not surprising that it was Guy Fawkes who became synonymous with the plot and not the ringleader, who died evading the authorities. Guy Fawkes was tortured then publicly executed.
It wasn’t until the 19th century that effigies started to appear on bonfires up and down the country, an act to commemorate the failure of the plot.
Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England's overthrow.
But, by God's providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James's sake!
If you won't give me one,
I'll take two, The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn'orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!