Guy Fawkes…American-Style

Remember, Remember the 5th of November.

England.  1605.  13 young men planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

Among them was Guy Fawkes…Britain’s most notorious traitor.

A Snippet of British History

After Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, English Catholics who had been persecuted under her rule had hoped that her successor, James I, would be more tolerant of their religion.  James I had a Catholic mother.  That didn’t happen.  James I was not more tolerant than Elizabeth.

It was then that 13 men decided to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill the King and maybe even the Prince of Wales.

The plan was to place 36 barrels of gunpowder in the basement under the House of Lords.

Guy Fawkes was to stand guard over the barrels at night and set them on fire in the morning.

That was the plan…but some members of the group got worried and realized that innocent people would also be killed.

A secret letter was sent to a Lord to warn him to stay away from Parliament.

The letter made its way to the King.

The Yeoman Guard was sent in to secure the buildings.  Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder were found.

Guy Fawkes was caught, tortured and executed.

Even today, the ritual of securing the Houses of Parliament is done before the Queen enters for the State Opening of Parliament.


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And the Famous Poem to Remember the Day.

English Folk Verse (c.1870)

            The Fifth of November

    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 and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England’s overthrow.
But, by God’s providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James’s sake!
If you won’t give me one,
I’ll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn’orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

Our American-Version of the Guy Fawkes Bonfire Night.

Making History Come Alive.

First We Need to Create Guy Fawkes.

Paper and Markers and All Hands On Deck.

Creating Guy Fawkes.

November 5, 1605 –  The Gunpowder Plot.

As We Color the Masterpiece, We Chat about Who Guy Fawkes Was.

And of His Failed Plan to Blow Up the Houses of Parliament.  And King James.

We decide Guy Fawkes was an Early English Terrorist.

Ready for the Flames.

A Little Wonky…But There He Is.

We prepare the Bonfire and Wait for Darkness to Fall.

With the Time Change, Darkness Comes Early.

Getting Ready to Feel the Heat.

Light the Fire.

Burn Guy Fawkes.  Burn.

Watch Guy Fawkes Go Up In Flames.

The End.

Time to Celebrate with Hot Chocolate while Sitting Around the Fire.

A Little Silly Magic.  412 Years in the Making.

Did You Miss Guy Fawkes Night?

There’s Always Next Year.

Remember, Remember the 5th of November. 🙂

9 thoughts on “Guy Fawkes…American-Style

  1. Excellent! Always nice to see you peeps across the Pond indulging in our silly British pastimes (and a great Fawkes!!) 🙂 I guess it’s pretty bad that it seems we celebrate a terrorist but it’s really celebrating that he was caught I suppose. Next year, you’ll need to include some fireworks too 😉

    1. Fireworks would be fun…my family knows how much I love the Royals…they go along with my pseudo-British celebrations…but it was silly fun. Although I have to say Miss Doodle 2 was a bit frightened when she heard the whole Guy Fawkes plot…she was a bit unnerved by it.

  2. Great history lesson! Loved your celebration! (I must confess, however, I looked at the picture of the house and thought, OML! Look at all those steps! Wow! You must get a lot of exercise! 😀 )

  3. This is just the best way to learn! Incorporating creativity, history, a physical activity that are all related. But that’s such a good Fawkes it must have been a little sad to see him go up in flames!

  4. Hi Jeanie…it was very silly and entertaining until we really thought about exactly what we were doing…then Miss Doodle 2 got a bit frightened…but as for a history lesson…they all got it. 🙂

  5. I feel your pain! I did that for 20 years when we moved our bedroom downstairs when we adopted Stef. We STILL haven’t put in that second bathroom! Why do we always wait for the kids to be gone to do that stuff???

  6. A great read, Jeanne. This is a story taught in History lessons in most – if not all – UK schools, It’s from a very sad and dangerous time in England but the story of the plotters never fails to engross. Has the recent 3-part series been screened on US television yet? It isn’t for the squeamish in some parts, but it is true to all the historical evidence. I loved the way you celebrated the day/night and the great activities will help the girls to remember the facts. A wonderful history lesson!

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