The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli’ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England’s overthrow;
By God’s providence he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!"
Or, as we have a queen on the throne at present, "God save the Queen!"
This is the traditional rhyme that many people learned at school in the UK about Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night or Firework Night. Behind the bonfires, fireworks, "penny for the guy", toffee apples and baked potatoes, is a story of "treason and plot", an attempt to blow up King James I and Parliament. The failure of this plot is what people all around the UK are really celebrating on 5th November every year, even though some of them may not realise.
Click here to read all about the plot.
Here are some other resources you might find helpful:
- Oh, for Fawkes' Sake by Heather R. Darsie
- Remember Remember, Gunpowder Treason and Plot - This article from Historic Royal Palaces includes a photo of "a large marble and alabaster memorial that records the names on the Gunpowder Plot conspirators alongside those of the Privy Councillors who oversaw their interrogation."
- The Gunpowder Plot and the First World War - A BBC History Magazine podcast which includes historian Clare Jackson paying a visit to Coughton Court in Warwickshire to explore its connections to the Gunpowder Plot.
- Gunpowder Plot Quiz
- Gunpowder Plot Places to Visit
- Gunpowder 5/11: The Greatest Terror Plot Video - A BBC documentary about the Gunpowder Plot.