The rhyme the children are chanting, is repeated all over England every year on the 5th November, around a bonfire watching fireworks and eating toffee apples.  

This year, once again, the children in 4th Primary have celebrated this event for themselves, performing a play for other children in the school so they too know a little more about the history and culture of England.  

.

But what is the celebration about?

.

Guy-Fawkes

.

.

“Remember, remember the 5th of November…” (Children from 4th Primary)

More than four hundred years ago, in 1605, a man called Guy Fawkes and a group of plotters attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London with barrels of gunpowder placed in the basement. They wanted to kill King James and the king’s leaders.

.

Why did Guy Fawkes want to kill King James 1st and the king’s leaders?

.

When Queen Elizabeth I took the throne of England she made some laws against the Roman Catholics. Guy Fawkes was one of a small group of Catholics who felt that the government was treating Roman Catholics unfairly. They hoped that King James I would change the laws, but he didn’t.

Catholics had to practise their religion in secret. There were even fines for people who didn’t attend the Protestant church on Sunday or on holy days. James I passed more laws against the Catholics when he became king.

.

6461406153_cc8b6860a3

.

What happened – the Gunpowder Plot

.

A group of men led by Robert Catesby, plotted to kill King James and blow up the Houses of Parliament, the place where the laws that governed England were made.

The plot was simple – the next time Parliament was opened by King James l, they would blow up everyone there with gunpowder. The men bought a house next door to the parliament building. The house had a cellar which went under the parliament building. They planned to put 36 barrels of gunpowder under the house and blow up parliament and the king. 

.

.

Guy Fawkes Discovered

.

But as the group worked on the plot, it became clear that innocent people would be hurt or killed in the attack. Some of the plotters started having second thoughts. An anonymous warning letter reached the King, and the King’s forces made plans to stop the conspirators.

Guy Fawkes was given the job to keep watch over the barrels of gunpowder and to light the fuse. On the morning of 5th November, soldiers discovered Guy hidden in the cellar and arrested him. The trail of gunpowder at his feet would never be lit.

.14376033645_0b7cc5dcfd

.

Guy Fawkes was taken to the Tower of London

.

He was tortured and questioned about the other plotters. To start with he didn’t tell the soldiers anything about the plot. But, eventually he started to tell the truth and was later executed.

.5153468919_1f5b2deac7

.

A Celebration

.

In celebration of his survival, King James ordered that the people of England should have a great bonfire on the night on 5thNovember.

The event is still commemorated annually in England on 5th November by fireworks and burning ‘guys’ (effigies of GUy Fawkes) on bonfires.

And that is what 4th grade have done, together with Ruth and Sofía, their teachers.  They made their own Guy Fawkes which they sat on top of the bonfire, they lit their sparklers and chanted the rhyme.

.9478624881_4747f706c7

.

Thank you to all of you for sharing this experience with us!

.

.

Sheila Taylor.

  Sheila Taylor 

Head of Foreign Languages

.

 .

.

.

Leave a Reply