Remember Remember the 5th November!

“Remember remember the 5th November” is a rhyme that many of us were taught in school, although perhaps not the full poem:-

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
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 Queen)!

And the 5th November, the day on which James I had a rather lucky escape, is still commemorated today in the United Kingdom with bonfires, fireworks and the burning of “the Guy”.

We all know that today we commemorate the day on which Guy Fawkes was caught red-handed in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament with a shed load of gunpowder, but what is it exactly that we’re supposed to be remembering amongst all of the celebrating? Treason is the answer, we are supposed to remember the serious nature of the crime of treason, because, as the poem says, “treason should ever be forgot”.

You can read more about Guy Fawkes, the plot and how it actually had its origins in Elizabeth I’s reign, in my article “The Gunpowder Plot”. You will also find a list there of historical houses which have links to the Gunpowder Plot and which can be visited.

Have fun tonight if you’re going to a bonfire party or firework display, save me a toffee apple (yum!) and do remember to keep your pets inside and safe – I sound like Blue Peter now! Enjoy!