Guy Fawkes & The Gunpowder Plot
In 1605, 13 conspirators planned to kill King James I & VI, his family, and most of the aristocracy by blowing up the House of Lords. Known as the Gunpowder Plot, Guy Fawkes was placed in charge due to his military & explosives experience. The plotters rented the cellar beneath the House of Lords and had hidden 36 barrels of gunpowder in the cellar.
Concerned that fellow Catholics might be at Parliament the day of the planned attack, an anonymous letter was send to Lord Monteagle warning him not to go to Parliament that day. Monteagle forwarded the letter to the Secretary of State who initiated a search of the vaults on the early morning of Nov 5th. They were careful not to move anything as to alert the plotters.
Although aware of the letter, the conspirators continued with their plans. Fawkes was seized just as he tried to ignite the powder. He was arrested & tortured for days, but refused to give up the names of his co-conspirators. After hearing that others had been killed or captured, Fawkes gave up the names of the dead & those in positions of authority. They were tried on Jan 31st in Westminster Hall, then taken to Old Palace Yard to be hanged, drawn, & quartered.
A celebration is thrown on November 5th to celebrate the deliverance of the King. It was compulsory by Royal Decree until 1859, but is still celebrated in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and some Caribbean islands. In many places, it is referred to as Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night instead of Guy Fawkes Night.
| Scottish Humour
At an art auction in Edinburgh, a wealthy American lost his wallet containing £20,000. He announced to the gathering that that he would give a reward of £200 to the person who found it.
From the back of the hall a Scottish voice shouted, 'I'll give £250.'
| Scottish Trivia
Scottish Naming Customs
The general custom was to name children as follows:
Eldest son after the paternal grandfather,
Second son after the maternal grandfather,
Third son after the father,
Eldest daughter after the maternal grandmother,
Second daughter after the paternal grandmother,
Third daughter after the mother.
Younger children would be named after earlier family members, but the pattern in their case was less settled.