Fireworks for Fifth of November

Facts About Remember, Remember, The Fifth of November

The Fifth of November, written by John Milton, is a famous poem about an infamous act of mutiny known as the gunpowder Plot. Although most people only know about it because of the movie “V for Vendetta,” the fifth of November is an important day in British history. Many fun traditions are associated with this holiday, but there is more to it than just celebration and fireworks. And that’s what we want to take a closer look at and understand its significance. 


The Fifth of November Poem

The Fifth of November

What is the GunPowder Plot?

Fifth of November: Gun Powder Plot

The Gunpowder Plot was a failed attempt to assassinate King James I of England and destroy the Houses of Parliament. The plot was hatched in 1605 by a group of Catholic conspirators led by Robert Catesby.

The plan was to smuggle Gunpowder into the Houses of Parliament and detonate it during the State Opening of Parliament, killing the King, his family, and all those in attendance. However, the plot was foiled when one of the conspirators, Guy Fawkes, was caught trying to ignite the Gunpowder.

The Gunpowder Plot is commemorated annually on 5th November in the UK with bonfires and fireworks. This tradition is known as Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night.


Who is Robert Catebsy?

Robert Catesby was the mastermind behind the Gunpowder Plot. He led a group of Catholic conspirators and devised a plan to overthrow the government in 1605 because of religious intolerance.

Catesby was born into a family of minor gentry in Warwickshire, England. He attended Oxford University and converted to Catholicism around 1593. After his father’s death, Catesby inherited a large estate, which he used to finance the plot.

On November 5, 1605, the plotters tried to detonate 36 barrels of gunpowder hidden beneath the Houses of Parliament. The plot was foiled, and Catesby was killed in a shootout with government forces. The other conspirators were captured and executed.

Catesby’s failed plot helped to fuel anti-Catholic sentiment in England. It led to the passage of the 1606 Act of Uniformity, which required all English citizens to attend Anglican church services.

Who is Guy Fawkes?

Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes was a member of the English Parliament, best known for his role in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. He was the one who was caught in the act of attempting to blow up the House of Lords and assassinating King James I. But, he was arrested before the plot could be carried out and was executed for treason. Guy Fawkes has become a symbol of rebellion and is remembered each year on Guy Fawkes Night.

Who is King James I?

Fifth of November: King James I

King James I was King of England and Ireland from March 27, 1603, until his death. He was also King of Scotland from July 24, 1567, until his deposition in 1689. King James I is perhaps most famous for commissioning the King James Bible, published in 1611 and still used by many Christians today. He was also a patron of the arts and sciences and helped to finance the first English settlements in North America. King James I died on March 27, 1625, at 58.

However, to some of his subjects, he was considered a tyrant. He had imposed unpopular policies, such as the levying of taxes, and had cracked down on dissenters. The plotters hoped that killing the King would spark a rebellion that would overthrow the government. However, the plot was uncovered, and the conspirators were executed. King James, I went on to rule for another 20 years until his death in 1625.


Why is the Fifth of November Celebrated?

The failed plot commemorates religious rebellion to protect the freedoms of worship within their own country. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, England was intolerant of the Catholic faith, but her successor King James I wasn’t any better.

Fawkes was a Catholic who opposed the Protestant government of King James I, and he hoped that by detonating explosives in the Houses of Parliament, he could kill the king and bring about a change in religious policy. Catholic followers felt they had no choice but to resort to this mutiny because of the strict laws Catholics had to follow within their faith. Today, the Fifth of November is celebrated with bonfires and fireworks, and it is a day for people to come together and celebrate their British heritage.


While the gunpowder plot ultimately failed, it has gone down in history as one of the most famous attempted coups. November 5th is now a day of remembrance in England, and the poem “Remember, Remember The Fifth Of November” is recited annually to commemorate the event. Whether you’re English or not, take a moment on the day and the circumstances, and enjoy the fireworks and bonfire. But, while you are relaxing through out the day, always remember, remember, the Fifth of November. 

Book Recommendation

God’s Secret Agents by Alice Hogge

Book Review

Alice Hogge’s Book, God’s Secret Agents, is about the Catholic underground in England during the Reformation. The book tells how these agents worked to keep the faith alive during great turmoil and persecution.

Hogge does an excellent job of bringing to life the daily excitement and danger these agents face. The book is well-researched and provides a detailed account of the brave men and women who risked their lives to keep the Catholic faith alive. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the Reformation or the history of Catholicism in England.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who wrote remember remember the 5th of November poem?

A: John Milton is the author of the Fifth of November poem. However, that’s only part of what he has done. He was England’s most prominent writer since Shakespeare. John Milton is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost. He is considered one of the most essential authors in English literature.
Born in London in 1608, John Milton was the son of a prosperous scrivener and property owner. He attended St. Paul’s School, where he learned Latin and Greek. He then attended Christ’s College, Cambridge, from 1625 to 1632.

Milton began writing poetry at Cambridge, and his first collection of poems, Paradoxes and Problems was published in 1641. His second collection, Poems of Mr. John Milton Both in English and Latin Compos’d at Several Times (1645), included the pastoral elegy “Lycidas.”

In 1649, Milton published Areopagitica, a treatise on press freedom. This was followed by the political pamphlets Eikonoklastes (1649) and The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649). During the English Civil War, Milton served as Secretary for Foreign Tongues to the Council of State.

In 1667, Milton published Paradise Lost, an epic poem about the Fall of Man. He followed this with Paradise Regained (1671) and Samson Agonistes (1671), two shorter works.

Q: Do Catholics celebrate Guy Fawkes?

A: Catholics do not celebrate Guy Fawkes. Catholics believe that the commemoration of Guy Fawkes is a reminder of the Gunpowder Plot, which was an attempt to kill King James I and overthrow the government. Catholics believe that celebrating Guy Fawkes Day is a way of honoring those who died for their faith and those that faced persecution in England.

Q: What happens if Guy Fawkes succeeded?

A: If Guy Fawkes had succeeded in his plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, England would likely have descended into a period of civil war. The King would have been killed and without a strong monarch on the throne. The country would have been plunged into chaos.

The resulting power struggle could have torn England apart, and it is unlikely that the country would have emerged unscathed. In all likelihood, Guy Fawkes’ success would have had catastrophic consequences for England and its people.

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