Gunpowder, treason and plot.

YOU WILL ALL BE RELIEVED TO LEARN THAT A DASTARDLY PLOT BY TERRORISTS HAS BEEN FOILED IN LONDON. FOLLOWING FAILED ATTEMPTS LAST YEAR TO UNSEAT THE GOVERNMENT, MINISTER’S INTRODUCED TIGHTER SECURITY MEASURES, INCLUDING THE CAPTURE AND INPRISONMENT OF RELIGIOUS ZELOTS WHO HAD INSIGHTED ADHERENTS TO CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. THE GOVERNMENT DENIES THAT TORTURE TO OBTAIN CONFESSIONS WAS USED.
THE LEADER OF THESE PREACHERS IS BELIEVED TO BE LIVING IN CAVES IN CENTRAL ITALY. YOU WILL RECALL HOW HE ENCOURAGED OTHERS TO JOIN IN COALITION TO OVERTHROW OUR DEAR DEPARTED MONARCH, ELIZABETH. HE ACTUALLY FINANCED THE ABORTED INVASION OF OUR ISLAND BY THE SPANIARDS. HIS STATED AIM WAS TO END OUR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND INSTALL HIS IDEOLOGY ON OUR MONARCH AND PEOPLE.
AS EARLY AS MARCH OUR OPERATIVES IN ITALY INFORMED THE HEAD OF MI5 THAT YET ANOTHER JESUIT PLOT WAS IN THE MAKING. HENRY GARNETT, A HIGH RANKING OFFICIAL IN THAT ORGANISATION WAS PUT UNDER SURVIELLANCE. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE TERRORIST CELL WAS BASED IN THE MIDLANDS AND IT IS ALLEGED THAT THE DASTARDLY SCHEME WAS TO ASSASSINATE OUR KING, HIS FAMILY AND THE LORDS AND KNIGHTS OF THE REALM DURING THE STATE OPENING OF PARLIAMENT. THE 9 YEAR OLD PRINCESS ELIZABETH, [WHO WAS DEEMED TOO YOUNG TO ATTEND], WAS TO BE KIDNAPPED AND HELD BY THE CATHOLIC GENTRY OF THE MIDLANDS AS THEY MARCHED ON OUR CAPITAL TO USURP POWER.
IT CAME TO THE ATTENTION OF OUR INTELLIGENCE SERVICE, THROUGH THE INTERCEPTION OF HIS MAIL THAT A LEADING CATHOLIC LANDOWNER, [LORD MONTEAGLE], WAS BEING STRONGLY ADVISED NOT THE ATTEND TODAY’S STATE OPENING. THIS IMMEDIATELY ROUSED SUSPICIONS AND LAST WEEK THE SECURITY LEVEL WAS RAISED TO RED.

A GOVERNMENT STATEMENT WAS ISSUED EARLIER TODAY:
“Yesterday evening, 4 November, royal officials, Sir Thomas Knyvett, and Edward Doubleday, discovered a cache of some 36 barrels of gunpowder beneath the Parliament buildings. Several suspects, including Guy Fawkes, were arrested at the scene and are now being questioned.
Warrants have been issued for the immediate arrest of Henry Garnett, Edward Oldcorne, John Gerrard and Oswald Tesimond, Thomas Winter, Ambrose Rookwood, Sir Everard Digby, Thomas Bates, Robert Keyes, Robert Winter and Earl of Northumberland.
Several terrorists escaped immediate capture. They refused to surrender to our colleagues in the Midlands and in the ensuing exchange of fire, Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, Christopher Wright and Jack Wright were killed. Trials will be scheduled to take place early next year.

THE COURT OF KING JAMES SAID THAT THE OPENING OF PARLIAMENT WILL NOW TAKE PLACE ON SATURDAY NOVEMBER 9TH. THE COUNTRIES SECURITY ALERT WILL REMAIN RED UNTIL AFTER THE CEREMONY.”

I was going to write a little about the background to the annual celebration of the foiling of the popish plot to eradicate the king of England and all the intelligentsia of the day. Then I asked myself who would be interested? Some will tell you that good King Henry sacked the Abbey’s and Monasteries in 1547 because the pope had refused him permission to divorce his first wife.

PIFFLE & BALDERDASH.

The church, that is the Roman Catholic Church, held almost as much land as the sovereign and was far richer – it wielded too much influence over the peasants. The Lutheran renaissance was sweeping Europe. In France, Spain and Holland a more tolerant belief was taking hold, its adherents were labelled “Protestants”. During the 1500’s tens of thousands of non conformists were slain on the orders of the pope. In 1572 Pope Gregory XIII had a medal struck commemorating one such massacre, [Paris – St Bartholomew’s Day]. French and Dutch refugees flooded into England. [Huguenots]. Many set sail on the perilous journey to the Americas to escape further religious intolerance. The people were beginning to feel their collective muscle as indeed they would do 200 years into the future. The Barons and Earls, the ruling classes of the day, feared foreign involvement in the countries affairs and saw the wealth of the church as an added bonus to the nation’s exchequer. In 1547 Henry usurped the power of Rome and proclaimed himself head of the Catholic Church in England. Forty years later the Spanish Armada, financed by Pope Sixtus V, was defeated by Sir Francis Drake. Seventeen years later a further assault on the establishment was launched – on November 5th 1605.
15 years after this event a group of non conformists left England on a ship named “Mayflower” . . . . .

HISTORICAL NOTE:
Elisabeth survived the plot and later became, through marriage, the Electress Palatine and Queen of Bohemia. Her direct descendants, the Hanoverians, succeeded to the British throne when George 1 was crowned in 1714.

Sadly we never learn the lessons of history and history tells us that these 16th century terrorists, funded by an unyielding, fundamentalist religion, attacked the very heart of England. Perhaps this nursery rhyme will help:

“Please to remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason,
Should ever be forgot……..”

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4 thoughts on “Gunpowder, treason and plot.

  1. Laird, you always supply such interesting snippets of history Highlighting past lessons often forgotten if not forgotten at all.
    Take care and enjoy your week-end

  2. History always was and always will be in the perspective of the beholder’s eye.
    Did love the ‘hot news’ reportage style of delivery though – gives a very real feel to it.
    Yet again an interesting read over morning coffee 🙂

  3. Hi Laird! This all sounds very famillier! A very good comparison with modern times. Good to see you here on WP, I am having trouble finding my way around, it takes time but I wil get there eventually

    Susan x

    • thank you for your visit and pleased you enjoyed the piece. I am having a great deal of trouble unlearning simplicity and substituting it for the unfathomable !! MSN have succeeded in allowing my apathy to overcome my enthusiasm ! Still I plod on and with a bit of luck I may be able to visit your space !!

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