Tag Archives: Guy Fawke

HOT OFF THE PRESS

Many of you may know already but Guy Fawkes, the main conspirator in the Gunpowder Plot was actually from our own fair County, Yorkshire. In fact, from what would at the time have been the ‘City Centre’ of the North of England, York from just off the High Street and he and his family lived there for much of his early life.

It has just been announced in the National Press that there are plans afoot to produce a £20 million film about Guy and the Gunpowder Plot.

The film is being created to appeal to the 18-25-year-old audience and will take a format similar to the Pirates of the Caribbean with some of the darker side of the story being compared to the film Se7en.

The brilliant Orlando Bloom, famous for his portrayal of Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean stories and Legolas Greenleaf in Lord of the Rings, has been approached about the role but there is no firm information at this time but we believe he would be absolutely perfect for it.

The filming will take place for the most part in and around the City of York and the studio/production teams will be based at the local University Campus.

ELSA Productions are the team responsible for bringing this project together and they have backing from all over the World, including some investment from the UAE as one backer has already put £8 million in the pot to kick off the funding. ELSA are unique in the way they approach funding for film production as they are hoping for investments and have created a little ‘montage’ for their prospective backers

The film about Guy Fawkes, including all the mystery and intrigue surrounding the actions of Guy, Robert Catesby and the other conspirators of 1605 still captures the imagination and remains a human interest story where hopefully, you will be able to see the rationale behind taking the radical steps that they did, to rid the country of a King who to all intents and purposes, was permitting the persecution and killing of those wanting to remain faithful to Catholicism irrespective of the changes in the ruler of the country.

As and when more information becomes available, we will let you know.

Share

Lewes Bonfire Society Carry On Their Traditions

Lewes Bonfire Night 2001

The Lewes Bonfire celebration is the largest event of its kind in the world and held annually on November 5th in the otherwise peaceful county town of Lewes.

The Lewes Bonfire Society has held processions through the Town since the 1800’s when following the dissolution of the earlier Guy Fawkes celebrations by Oliver Crowell 1649 – 1660, they were re-introduced by King Charles II in 1820.  The first recorded parade of Guy Fawkes, enemies etc was in November 1679 when the Pope, Guy Fawkes and others were paraded in picture form on long poles by young armed men in Lewes.

However, the Bonfire Boys of yesteryear were a little over-zealous in their celebrations and they generally deteriorated into fighting and riots and once again, the Police had to redress the balance.

By the 1850’s, celebrations were fully re-introduced in a very similar format to those of today and the parades of the Lewes Bonfire Societies were allowed back on the streets.  The original societies were Lewes Borough and Cliffe and the others, most of which continue to this day were initiated around the late 19th Century.

In 1901, a memorial was erected on Cliffe Hill by public donation to commemorate the 17 Martyrs burned in Lewes for their religious beliefs.  A service of thanksgiving is held annually for the lives lost in the name of religion.

Today, Cliffe Hill (the site of the memorial) is fully floodlit during the Lewes Bonfire celebration parade and the area is treated like a consecrated ground.

Nowadays, 25 to 30 visiting Bonfire Societies from across the County intermingle on the narrow streets of Lewes. Each of the societies begins the event by parading their quarter before joining together for the main ‘street parade’.  They carry burning torches, effigies of the famous and sometimes infamous faces from history including The Pope, Colonel Gadaffi, George Bush and whichever ‘Celebrity’ happens to be hitting the headlines at the time.

As a footnote, this is not a family event where you can pop along for a coke and a candy floss.  It feels almost like a really fancy political march but the history behind it remains fascinating as the gathered societies have a wonderful, if not a particularly safety-conscious time but when all said and done, these are adults exercising their right to free speech and long may it continue.

Share

The Jesuit Gunpowder Plot

In 1605, London was a very different place and the Houses of Lords were the hub of all political decision-making at the time.

In the late 16th and early 17th centuries across England and the rest of Europe, Catholics were being persecuted mercilessly thanks to the Protestant ‘reformers’ who said that his holiness The Pope Paul IV, Head of the Catholic Church, was, in fact, the antichrist! Guy Fawkes and his friends were all recusant Catholics. This meant that they were forced to attend the service at the local Anglican Church and refusal to do would result in them being labelled as ‘recusant’ and fines were levied along with the removal of personal property and sometimes imprisonment. There are reports of fines levied of £60.00 and even loss of land if they refused to receive the sacrament of the Lords Supper at least once annually in an Anglican Church.

The King was expected to take the side of the Catholic’s to a small degree which would remove the need to take action but he seemed to back off with his reforms re-introducing the Recusancy Acts.

Guy was so incensed by the ongoing pseudo political rumblings in the country that he actually went over to Spain to fight for the Catholics in the 80-years war and returned some while later with Robert Wintour and the plan was created to kill the King and kidnap the 9-year old Princess Elizabeth, a Catholic and put her back on the throne.

They collected together a group of men who felt much the same about the situation in the country and hatched a plot to place 16 barrels of gunpowder under the Houses of Lords and blow them all to pieces in the most daring terrorist attempt England had ever seen.

At the same time, the Country was quite literally under siege from the added threat of the Plague which in turn delayed the state opening from October to November.

The plans were eventually uncovered thanks to a letter being sent to Lord Monteagle advising him to stay away from the State Opening which in turn was passed onto the King and the search began.

On the first attempt of the search of the undercrofts beneath the Houses of Lords they failed to find anything but on the second attempt, they came upon Guy Fawkes who gave his name as John Johnson. He was arrested on the spot and consequently tortured until he gave up the remainder of his conspirators. Needless to say, the court was a bit of a whitewash as the sentencing took a couple of minutes at the most and they were all to be put to death by being hung, drawn (dragged along the streets whilst tied to wooden pallets upside down) and quartered.

Guy, knowing that the end was in sight decided that he wasn’t keen on having his genitalia removed (ooch) and his bowels displayed for the birds and fowl to eat before being chopped into pieces and distributed to the ‘four corners of the Kingdom’ and once on the scaffold, he leapt to his death.

Here we are, over 400 years later and we still hold the same fascination for the Gunpowder Plot and of course Guy Fawkes.

Share