Gunpowder, Treason and Plot

Whisper of Scandal bookmark 1 Nicola here! Actually I’m not here, I’m on holiday in Wales, out of internet range, so the other Wenches have generously offered to cover for me and take any comments and discussion on the blog today. I did however make a case of special pleading to write this blog because today is Guy Fawkes' Night in the UK, the night on which we celebrate with fireworks and bonfires the thwarting of a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. It’s a very special day in the UK!

The Plot

It was the intention of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators to kill King James I and his eldest son and heir, Prince Henry, plus all the nobility sitting in the House of Lords and all the members of parliament sitting in the House of Commons. They wanted to put a Catholic monarch on the throne. The plot was thwarted when Henry Parker, 4th Lord Monteagle, received an anonymous letter warning him not to attend parliament:

“My lord out of the love i beare to some of youere frends i have a caer of youer preseruacion therfor i would advyse yowe as yowe tender youer lyf to devys some excuse to shift of youer attendance at this parleament for god and man hath concurred to punishe the wickednes of this tyme… for thowghe theare be no appearance of anni stir yet i saye they shall receyve a terrible blowe this parleament and yet they shall not seie who hurts them…”

Monteagle was married to the sister of one of the Gunpowder Plotters, Thomas Tresham, so although the author of the letter was never identified it’s tempting to think Tresham was warning his family. Monteagle took the letter to Robert Cecil, who informed the King. The king ordered a search of the cellars at the Palace of Westminster. The plot was discovered and Monteagle became the hero who saved Parliament. He was rewarded to the sum of £700 a year – £500 in cash and £200 in the value of land donated to him. He invested the money in business ventures in Virginia.

The Figurehead

One of the lesser-known aspects of the Gunpowder Plot is what the plotters intended to happen if they Elizabeth of Bohenia had actually succeeded. Their aim was to put James I’s daughter Elizabeth on the throne as a Catholic figurehead. In 1605 the nine-year-old Elizabeth was living at Coombe Abbey in Warwickshire.  Lord and Lady Harington, staunch Protestants, had been charged with "the keeping and education" of the young Princess, as was the wont with royal children in those days. At Coombe, Elizabeth was taught amongst other things, French and Italian, music and dancing. King James did not approve of the education of women, stating that: "to make women learned and foxes tame had the same effect – to make them more cunning." However I think we may assume that by most people's standards Elizabeth was very well educated.

In late October 1605 strange rumours of a plot to overthrow the monarchy were circulating in Warwickshire, which was a stronghold of Catholicism. Lord Harington was warned of a threat to the princess and Elizabeth was taken for her own safety to the city of Coventry, for it was suspected that she might be seized should a rebellion take place. She was lodged in the city with an armed guard. Later, after the gunpowder plotters had been arrested and tortured, it emerged that it had been their intention to kidnap "the person of the Lady Elizabeth, the king's daughter, in Warwickshire, and presently proclaim her queen." The plan had been to seize her from Coombe Abbey and carry her off to Ashby St Legers, a Catholic safe house and the home of Lady Catesby, mother of one of the conspirators.

It is said that when Elizabeth heard of the plot she declared that she would rather have died with her father and brother than become queen under such circumstances. What the plotters had intended to do with her brother Prince (later king) Charles is not clear. He would not have been in the parliament nor was there apparently any plan to seize him. Perhaps they simply had not thought that part of the plot through.

 The Conspirators

Gunpowder plotters The Catholic gentry who hatched the gunpowder plot were known as "the gentlemen of the sword." Robert Catesby, the ringleader, was considered very personable, a man of action and talented swordsman, but headstrong and sadly lacking in judgement. He was a man "afire" for the Catholic cause and constantly chose to wear red clothes to symbolise this.

Catesby drew his friend Thomas Percy into the plot, along with the Wright brothers, Christopher and John, who were notoriously "ready to draw sword at any opportunity." Catesby's cousins Thomas and Robert Winter were less eager to become involved in the plot, mainly because Thomas Winter had been a soldier and was accustomed to calculating risk. Blowing up the Houses of Parliament, Winter thought, would never succeed. As it turned out, he was right. The Winters, the Wrights, Catesby and Thomas Tresham were all related by marriage. Guy Fawkes was the outsider, a soldier and siege master who was experienced with explosives.

The Houses

As part of a "Guy Fawkes Tour" last year I visited as many of the gunpowder plotters' houses as I could, Coombe Abbey 1 to see the places where the conspiracy was hatched. Here is a selection of the houses. Some are open to the public, some privately owned.

Coombe Abbey, the childhood home of Princess Elizabeth, was my first port of call. It's now a luxury hotel and we were fortunate enough to be given the rooms that were originally Elizabeth's in the 17th century. Here I am at her bedroom window!

Coughton_Court This is Coughton Court. In 1605 it was occupied by the family of Sir Everard Digby, who was the man deputed to abduct the Princess Elizabeth from Coombe Abbey. It was in the drawing-room of the Coughton Gatehouse that the news was broken to Lady Digby and other Catholic supporters that the plot had failed and the conspirators, including her husband, were on the run. The gatehouse still stands as it was in the seventeenth century and you can enter the drawing-room where Thomas Bates, Catesby's servant, broke the bad news.

Ashby St Ledgers was the principal residence of the Catesby family. It was at Ashby that the Ashby St Legers conspirators met to discuss the details of the Gunpowder Plot. They assembled in a room above the gatehouse that was private from the main house and also commanded a view of the surrounding area so that they were safe from the danger of sudden attack. Ashby St. Ledgers was also the place where Catesby amassed the armaments and gunpowder for use in the plot. The Gunpowder Plot Society relates that the "Gunpowder Plot Room" in the gatehouse "has its original panelling, and its atmosphere is such that it doesn't take much imagination to picture the plotters, sitting around, amid flickering candles, making their plans in here." I haven't managed to visit Ashby yet.

Lyveden One property far removed geographically from the focus of the Gunpowder Plot and yet devastatingly affected by the involvement of its wonder is Lyveden New Bield in Northamptonshire. Lyveden belonged to the Tresham family.  Sir Francis Tresham died in the Tower of London for his part in the Gunpowder Plot. The heavy recusant taxes paid by the family coupled with the disaster of Sir Francis's death meant that the Treshams were ruined and the house at Lyveden never completed. Today it stands as a 400 year old ruin to the memory of a plot that was foiled and the complicated tangle of family relationships and catholic loyalties that were destroyed as a result. It one of the most haunting places I have ever seen. Here is a picture of Lyveden and the free range chickens that we met there.

In the UK different places celebrate Bonfire Night in different ways, such as the famous spectacle of Fireworks rolling the flaming tar barrels down the streets of Ottery St Mary in Devon and the torchlit processions in Lewes. Do you have a favourite local or national celebration, with or without fireworks? 

100 thoughts on “Gunpowder, Treason and Plot”

  1. Great post, Nicola. My favorite “local” celebration is an old Quebec tradition, the Feast of Ste. Catherine, patron saint of spinsters, on November 25th. Each year, a huge party was held in honor of Ste. Catherine – in order that unwed girls might find a mate for the upcoming Christmas parties. There was music and dancing, of course, but the most enjoyable part was the making of “Le Tire Ste. Catherine,” a taffy pull that might get a little sticky. These days, you can still buy ready-made bags of the taffy at most grocery stores, but I like the romance of the original celebration.

    Reply
  2. Great post, Nicola. My favorite “local” celebration is an old Quebec tradition, the Feast of Ste. Catherine, patron saint of spinsters, on November 25th. Each year, a huge party was held in honor of Ste. Catherine – in order that unwed girls might find a mate for the upcoming Christmas parties. There was music and dancing, of course, but the most enjoyable part was the making of “Le Tire Ste. Catherine,” a taffy pull that might get a little sticky. These days, you can still buy ready-made bags of the taffy at most grocery stores, but I like the romance of the original celebration.

    Reply
  3. Great post, Nicola. My favorite “local” celebration is an old Quebec tradition, the Feast of Ste. Catherine, patron saint of spinsters, on November 25th. Each year, a huge party was held in honor of Ste. Catherine – in order that unwed girls might find a mate for the upcoming Christmas parties. There was music and dancing, of course, but the most enjoyable part was the making of “Le Tire Ste. Catherine,” a taffy pull that might get a little sticky. These days, you can still buy ready-made bags of the taffy at most grocery stores, but I like the romance of the original celebration.

    Reply
  4. Great post, Nicola. My favorite “local” celebration is an old Quebec tradition, the Feast of Ste. Catherine, patron saint of spinsters, on November 25th. Each year, a huge party was held in honor of Ste. Catherine – in order that unwed girls might find a mate for the upcoming Christmas parties. There was music and dancing, of course, but the most enjoyable part was the making of “Le Tire Ste. Catherine,” a taffy pull that might get a little sticky. These days, you can still buy ready-made bags of the taffy at most grocery stores, but I like the romance of the original celebration.

    Reply
  5. Great post, Nicola. My favorite “local” celebration is an old Quebec tradition, the Feast of Ste. Catherine, patron saint of spinsters, on November 25th. Each year, a huge party was held in honor of Ste. Catherine – in order that unwed girls might find a mate for the upcoming Christmas parties. There was music and dancing, of course, but the most enjoyable part was the making of “Le Tire Ste. Catherine,” a taffy pull that might get a little sticky. These days, you can still buy ready-made bags of the taffy at most grocery stores, but I like the romance of the original celebration.

    Reply
  6. Obviously, religious terrorists are nothing new in history!
    Our biggest celebration, of course, is Independence Day, the 4th of July. Fireworks, parades, bands, picnics, etc. I don’t think we’ve ever celebrated not being blown up, though. “G”

    Reply
  7. Obviously, religious terrorists are nothing new in history!
    Our biggest celebration, of course, is Independence Day, the 4th of July. Fireworks, parades, bands, picnics, etc. I don’t think we’ve ever celebrated not being blown up, though. “G”

    Reply
  8. Obviously, religious terrorists are nothing new in history!
    Our biggest celebration, of course, is Independence Day, the 4th of July. Fireworks, parades, bands, picnics, etc. I don’t think we’ve ever celebrated not being blown up, though. “G”

    Reply
  9. Obviously, religious terrorists are nothing new in history!
    Our biggest celebration, of course, is Independence Day, the 4th of July. Fireworks, parades, bands, picnics, etc. I don’t think we’ve ever celebrated not being blown up, though. “G”

    Reply
  10. Obviously, religious terrorists are nothing new in history!
    Our biggest celebration, of course, is Independence Day, the 4th of July. Fireworks, parades, bands, picnics, etc. I don’t think we’ve ever celebrated not being blown up, though. “G”

    Reply
  11. What a wonderful post, Nicola! I knew about the plot in general, of course, but none of these delicious details. To think that you were able to stay in the Princess Elizabeth’s own room!
    Now that I think of it, the Gunpowder Plot had something to do with the suspense thread in my next book, Nowhere Near Respectable…
    I trust you’re enjoying Wales and the local celebrations!

    Reply
  12. What a wonderful post, Nicola! I knew about the plot in general, of course, but none of these delicious details. To think that you were able to stay in the Princess Elizabeth’s own room!
    Now that I think of it, the Gunpowder Plot had something to do with the suspense thread in my next book, Nowhere Near Respectable…
    I trust you’re enjoying Wales and the local celebrations!

    Reply
  13. What a wonderful post, Nicola! I knew about the plot in general, of course, but none of these delicious details. To think that you were able to stay in the Princess Elizabeth’s own room!
    Now that I think of it, the Gunpowder Plot had something to do with the suspense thread in my next book, Nowhere Near Respectable…
    I trust you’re enjoying Wales and the local celebrations!

    Reply
  14. What a wonderful post, Nicola! I knew about the plot in general, of course, but none of these delicious details. To think that you were able to stay in the Princess Elizabeth’s own room!
    Now that I think of it, the Gunpowder Plot had something to do with the suspense thread in my next book, Nowhere Near Respectable…
    I trust you’re enjoying Wales and the local celebrations!

    Reply
  15. What a wonderful post, Nicola! I knew about the plot in general, of course, but none of these delicious details. To think that you were able to stay in the Princess Elizabeth’s own room!
    Now that I think of it, the Gunpowder Plot had something to do with the suspense thread in my next book, Nowhere Near Respectable…
    I trust you’re enjoying Wales and the local celebrations!

    Reply
  16. I didn’t know all those details either, Nicola. Thanks!
    Interesting, the hero of my next book is a distant descendant of Catesby. His mother gave him her family name, so he’s Catesby, or more familiarly, Cate.
    My publisher carefully didn’t use the name Cate on the back copy, wary of confusing people. 🙂
    Who knows where these ideas come frome, but your passage “Robert Catesby, the ringleader, was considered very personable, a man of action and talented swordsman, but headstrong and sadly lacking in judgement.”
    Sort of fits. It’s how Cate ends up married to Prudence Youlgrave, The (most) Unlikely Countess!
    Jo

    Reply
  17. I didn’t know all those details either, Nicola. Thanks!
    Interesting, the hero of my next book is a distant descendant of Catesby. His mother gave him her family name, so he’s Catesby, or more familiarly, Cate.
    My publisher carefully didn’t use the name Cate on the back copy, wary of confusing people. 🙂
    Who knows where these ideas come frome, but your passage “Robert Catesby, the ringleader, was considered very personable, a man of action and talented swordsman, but headstrong and sadly lacking in judgement.”
    Sort of fits. It’s how Cate ends up married to Prudence Youlgrave, The (most) Unlikely Countess!
    Jo

    Reply
  18. I didn’t know all those details either, Nicola. Thanks!
    Interesting, the hero of my next book is a distant descendant of Catesby. His mother gave him her family name, so he’s Catesby, or more familiarly, Cate.
    My publisher carefully didn’t use the name Cate on the back copy, wary of confusing people. 🙂
    Who knows where these ideas come frome, but your passage “Robert Catesby, the ringleader, was considered very personable, a man of action and talented swordsman, but headstrong and sadly lacking in judgement.”
    Sort of fits. It’s how Cate ends up married to Prudence Youlgrave, The (most) Unlikely Countess!
    Jo

    Reply
  19. I didn’t know all those details either, Nicola. Thanks!
    Interesting, the hero of my next book is a distant descendant of Catesby. His mother gave him her family name, so he’s Catesby, or more familiarly, Cate.
    My publisher carefully didn’t use the name Cate on the back copy, wary of confusing people. 🙂
    Who knows where these ideas come frome, but your passage “Robert Catesby, the ringleader, was considered very personable, a man of action and talented swordsman, but headstrong and sadly lacking in judgement.”
    Sort of fits. It’s how Cate ends up married to Prudence Youlgrave, The (most) Unlikely Countess!
    Jo

    Reply
  20. I didn’t know all those details either, Nicola. Thanks!
    Interesting, the hero of my next book is a distant descendant of Catesby. His mother gave him her family name, so he’s Catesby, or more familiarly, Cate.
    My publisher carefully didn’t use the name Cate on the back copy, wary of confusing people. 🙂
    Who knows where these ideas come frome, but your passage “Robert Catesby, the ringleader, was considered very personable, a man of action and talented swordsman, but headstrong and sadly lacking in judgement.”
    Sort of fits. It’s how Cate ends up married to Prudence Youlgrave, The (most) Unlikely Countess!
    Jo

    Reply
  21. Fascinating and intriguing, Nicola! One often wonders what goes through the minds of people who decided to do such desperate things.
    We were fortunate enough as children to celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Night the three years we lived in England. I remember fireworks and a street festival in the village. Loads of fun!
    Here in the Deep South we really go nuts for the Fourth of July. There are several fireworks displays, but my favorite is the one here in our little town as it is takes place over the river which makes for spectacular viewing.
    Another favorite is our annual Christmas on the Coosa (our local river) because it includes a nighttime boat parade featuring boats decorated with lights and Christmas scenes and at the end Santa Claus arrives on water skis. Only in Alabama! LOL

    Reply
  22. Fascinating and intriguing, Nicola! One often wonders what goes through the minds of people who decided to do such desperate things.
    We were fortunate enough as children to celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Night the three years we lived in England. I remember fireworks and a street festival in the village. Loads of fun!
    Here in the Deep South we really go nuts for the Fourth of July. There are several fireworks displays, but my favorite is the one here in our little town as it is takes place over the river which makes for spectacular viewing.
    Another favorite is our annual Christmas on the Coosa (our local river) because it includes a nighttime boat parade featuring boats decorated with lights and Christmas scenes and at the end Santa Claus arrives on water skis. Only in Alabama! LOL

    Reply
  23. Fascinating and intriguing, Nicola! One often wonders what goes through the minds of people who decided to do such desperate things.
    We were fortunate enough as children to celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Night the three years we lived in England. I remember fireworks and a street festival in the village. Loads of fun!
    Here in the Deep South we really go nuts for the Fourth of July. There are several fireworks displays, but my favorite is the one here in our little town as it is takes place over the river which makes for spectacular viewing.
    Another favorite is our annual Christmas on the Coosa (our local river) because it includes a nighttime boat parade featuring boats decorated with lights and Christmas scenes and at the end Santa Claus arrives on water skis. Only in Alabama! LOL

    Reply
  24. Fascinating and intriguing, Nicola! One often wonders what goes through the minds of people who decided to do such desperate things.
    We were fortunate enough as children to celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Night the three years we lived in England. I remember fireworks and a street festival in the village. Loads of fun!
    Here in the Deep South we really go nuts for the Fourth of July. There are several fireworks displays, but my favorite is the one here in our little town as it is takes place over the river which makes for spectacular viewing.
    Another favorite is our annual Christmas on the Coosa (our local river) because it includes a nighttime boat parade featuring boats decorated with lights and Christmas scenes and at the end Santa Claus arrives on water skis. Only in Alabama! LOL

    Reply
  25. Fascinating and intriguing, Nicola! One often wonders what goes through the minds of people who decided to do such desperate things.
    We were fortunate enough as children to celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Night the three years we lived in England. I remember fireworks and a street festival in the village. Loads of fun!
    Here in the Deep South we really go nuts for the Fourth of July. There are several fireworks displays, but my favorite is the one here in our little town as it is takes place over the river which makes for spectacular viewing.
    Another favorite is our annual Christmas on the Coosa (our local river) because it includes a nighttime boat parade featuring boats decorated with lights and Christmas scenes and at the end Santa Claus arrives on water skis. Only in Alabama! LOL

    Reply
  26. LOL, Louisa on all the celebrations with fireworks. Clearly we humans have a deep-seated fascination with fire!
    Thank you Nicola for all the wonderful details regarding the plot. I love learning this stuff.
    Hope you are enjoying a bang-on-the-mark holiday in Wales!

    Reply
  27. LOL, Louisa on all the celebrations with fireworks. Clearly we humans have a deep-seated fascination with fire!
    Thank you Nicola for all the wonderful details regarding the plot. I love learning this stuff.
    Hope you are enjoying a bang-on-the-mark holiday in Wales!

    Reply
  28. LOL, Louisa on all the celebrations with fireworks. Clearly we humans have a deep-seated fascination with fire!
    Thank you Nicola for all the wonderful details regarding the plot. I love learning this stuff.
    Hope you are enjoying a bang-on-the-mark holiday in Wales!

    Reply
  29. LOL, Louisa on all the celebrations with fireworks. Clearly we humans have a deep-seated fascination with fire!
    Thank you Nicola for all the wonderful details regarding the plot. I love learning this stuff.
    Hope you are enjoying a bang-on-the-mark holiday in Wales!

    Reply
  30. LOL, Louisa on all the celebrations with fireworks. Clearly we humans have a deep-seated fascination with fire!
    Thank you Nicola for all the wonderful details regarding the plot. I love learning this stuff.
    Hope you are enjoying a bang-on-the-mark holiday in Wales!

    Reply
  31. Excellent post, Nicola. I knew about the plot generally but not in the detail you shared.
    in Australia, we also used to celebrate Guy Fawkes night, and the lead-up to the 5th November was all about building the bonfire. We used to drag fallen branches from the bush (it was a good time to be clearing it away, before summer and bushfire season) and collect old tyres and anything that would burn. The pile would get bigger and bigger and the various bonfire groups would be quite competitive and on the night everyone had a neighborhood bonfire to go to. There would always be a stuffed “Guy” on top, though far from celebrating his demise, I always felt sorry for him in a vague sort of way. In any case he often represented some unpopular local person.
    We used to chant “Remember, remember the 5th of November” as it was lit with a whoosh! and there were fireworks everywhere and crackers, which I adored. It was the annual highlight of my childhood, trumped only by Christmas.
    We’d stay up really late, and before we finally went to bed, we’d push potatoes into the ashes. First thing in the morning we’d be out at the “bonnie” again, raking the still warm potatoes out, and eating the fluffy middles (and sometimes the charred outsides) and eating them with butter and salt for breakfast. Sometimes the bonfire would still be going — a pile of red embers under the ash, and we’d start up a bit of a fire again and cook sausages and toast bread on long forks or sticks. We made those bonnies last as long as possible.
    They died out here as a regular tradition after crackers and fireworks were banned. So sad. I do so love a good bonfire.
    Thanks for reminding me.

    Reply
  32. Excellent post, Nicola. I knew about the plot generally but not in the detail you shared.
    in Australia, we also used to celebrate Guy Fawkes night, and the lead-up to the 5th November was all about building the bonfire. We used to drag fallen branches from the bush (it was a good time to be clearing it away, before summer and bushfire season) and collect old tyres and anything that would burn. The pile would get bigger and bigger and the various bonfire groups would be quite competitive and on the night everyone had a neighborhood bonfire to go to. There would always be a stuffed “Guy” on top, though far from celebrating his demise, I always felt sorry for him in a vague sort of way. In any case he often represented some unpopular local person.
    We used to chant “Remember, remember the 5th of November” as it was lit with a whoosh! and there were fireworks everywhere and crackers, which I adored. It was the annual highlight of my childhood, trumped only by Christmas.
    We’d stay up really late, and before we finally went to bed, we’d push potatoes into the ashes. First thing in the morning we’d be out at the “bonnie” again, raking the still warm potatoes out, and eating the fluffy middles (and sometimes the charred outsides) and eating them with butter and salt for breakfast. Sometimes the bonfire would still be going — a pile of red embers under the ash, and we’d start up a bit of a fire again and cook sausages and toast bread on long forks or sticks. We made those bonnies last as long as possible.
    They died out here as a regular tradition after crackers and fireworks were banned. So sad. I do so love a good bonfire.
    Thanks for reminding me.

    Reply
  33. Excellent post, Nicola. I knew about the plot generally but not in the detail you shared.
    in Australia, we also used to celebrate Guy Fawkes night, and the lead-up to the 5th November was all about building the bonfire. We used to drag fallen branches from the bush (it was a good time to be clearing it away, before summer and bushfire season) and collect old tyres and anything that would burn. The pile would get bigger and bigger and the various bonfire groups would be quite competitive and on the night everyone had a neighborhood bonfire to go to. There would always be a stuffed “Guy” on top, though far from celebrating his demise, I always felt sorry for him in a vague sort of way. In any case he often represented some unpopular local person.
    We used to chant “Remember, remember the 5th of November” as it was lit with a whoosh! and there were fireworks everywhere and crackers, which I adored. It was the annual highlight of my childhood, trumped only by Christmas.
    We’d stay up really late, and before we finally went to bed, we’d push potatoes into the ashes. First thing in the morning we’d be out at the “bonnie” again, raking the still warm potatoes out, and eating the fluffy middles (and sometimes the charred outsides) and eating them with butter and salt for breakfast. Sometimes the bonfire would still be going — a pile of red embers under the ash, and we’d start up a bit of a fire again and cook sausages and toast bread on long forks or sticks. We made those bonnies last as long as possible.
    They died out here as a regular tradition after crackers and fireworks were banned. So sad. I do so love a good bonfire.
    Thanks for reminding me.

    Reply
  34. Excellent post, Nicola. I knew about the plot generally but not in the detail you shared.
    in Australia, we also used to celebrate Guy Fawkes night, and the lead-up to the 5th November was all about building the bonfire. We used to drag fallen branches from the bush (it was a good time to be clearing it away, before summer and bushfire season) and collect old tyres and anything that would burn. The pile would get bigger and bigger and the various bonfire groups would be quite competitive and on the night everyone had a neighborhood bonfire to go to. There would always be a stuffed “Guy” on top, though far from celebrating his demise, I always felt sorry for him in a vague sort of way. In any case he often represented some unpopular local person.
    We used to chant “Remember, remember the 5th of November” as it was lit with a whoosh! and there were fireworks everywhere and crackers, which I adored. It was the annual highlight of my childhood, trumped only by Christmas.
    We’d stay up really late, and before we finally went to bed, we’d push potatoes into the ashes. First thing in the morning we’d be out at the “bonnie” again, raking the still warm potatoes out, and eating the fluffy middles (and sometimes the charred outsides) and eating them with butter and salt for breakfast. Sometimes the bonfire would still be going — a pile of red embers under the ash, and we’d start up a bit of a fire again and cook sausages and toast bread on long forks or sticks. We made those bonnies last as long as possible.
    They died out here as a regular tradition after crackers and fireworks were banned. So sad. I do so love a good bonfire.
    Thanks for reminding me.

    Reply
  35. Excellent post, Nicola. I knew about the plot generally but not in the detail you shared.
    in Australia, we also used to celebrate Guy Fawkes night, and the lead-up to the 5th November was all about building the bonfire. We used to drag fallen branches from the bush (it was a good time to be clearing it away, before summer and bushfire season) and collect old tyres and anything that would burn. The pile would get bigger and bigger and the various bonfire groups would be quite competitive and on the night everyone had a neighborhood bonfire to go to. There would always be a stuffed “Guy” on top, though far from celebrating his demise, I always felt sorry for him in a vague sort of way. In any case he often represented some unpopular local person.
    We used to chant “Remember, remember the 5th of November” as it was lit with a whoosh! and there were fireworks everywhere and crackers, which I adored. It was the annual highlight of my childhood, trumped only by Christmas.
    We’d stay up really late, and before we finally went to bed, we’d push potatoes into the ashes. First thing in the morning we’d be out at the “bonnie” again, raking the still warm potatoes out, and eating the fluffy middles (and sometimes the charred outsides) and eating them with butter and salt for breakfast. Sometimes the bonfire would still be going — a pile of red embers under the ash, and we’d start up a bit of a fire again and cook sausages and toast bread on long forks or sticks. We made those bonnies last as long as possible.
    They died out here as a regular tradition after crackers and fireworks were banned. So sad. I do so love a good bonfire.
    Thanks for reminding me.

    Reply
  36. I should explain, fireworks aren’t banned completely — just that you need a licence to set them off, so it’s no longer a thing families and kids can have.
    I suppose there were too many injuries from people, especially kids, being stupid.
    Still makes me sad. I love the smell of crackers, but these days I only smell it in Chinatown or Little Saigon on special occasions.

    Reply
  37. I should explain, fireworks aren’t banned completely — just that you need a licence to set them off, so it’s no longer a thing families and kids can have.
    I suppose there were too many injuries from people, especially kids, being stupid.
    Still makes me sad. I love the smell of crackers, but these days I only smell it in Chinatown or Little Saigon on special occasions.

    Reply
  38. I should explain, fireworks aren’t banned completely — just that you need a licence to set them off, so it’s no longer a thing families and kids can have.
    I suppose there were too many injuries from people, especially kids, being stupid.
    Still makes me sad. I love the smell of crackers, but these days I only smell it in Chinatown or Little Saigon on special occasions.

    Reply
  39. I should explain, fireworks aren’t banned completely — just that you need a licence to set them off, so it’s no longer a thing families and kids can have.
    I suppose there were too many injuries from people, especially kids, being stupid.
    Still makes me sad. I love the smell of crackers, but these days I only smell it in Chinatown or Little Saigon on special occasions.

    Reply
  40. I should explain, fireworks aren’t banned completely — just that you need a licence to set them off, so it’s no longer a thing families and kids can have.
    I suppose there were too many injuries from people, especially kids, being stupid.
    Still makes me sad. I love the smell of crackers, but these days I only smell it in Chinatown or Little Saigon on special occasions.

    Reply
  41. Thanks for a great post Nicola. As a child I used to celebrate Guy Fawkes day here in Australia. I lived in a small town in New South Wales and different parts of the town used to compete about who could build the biggest bonfire and get the best guy etc. There was always competition and some years it would go too far and someone would burn the opposition’s bonfire before the night. Of course fire works were the thing. One night a fire work landed in a baby’s pram, much to everyone’s consternation. You will be pleased to know the firework was removed before exploding. Today, one of the biggest problems with Guy Fawkes night, apart from having to get permits as Anne mentioned above, is the fact that much of the time it is complete fire ban times, because of the possibility of bush fires. Trying to get permits for anything is just too hard.
    Some years ago I was studying International Politics at university and as part of that course I chose to study the gunpowder plot. I only wish I had been able to visit all those lovely buildings associated with the plot, Nicola. I envy you the opportunity.

    Reply
  42. Thanks for a great post Nicola. As a child I used to celebrate Guy Fawkes day here in Australia. I lived in a small town in New South Wales and different parts of the town used to compete about who could build the biggest bonfire and get the best guy etc. There was always competition and some years it would go too far and someone would burn the opposition’s bonfire before the night. Of course fire works were the thing. One night a fire work landed in a baby’s pram, much to everyone’s consternation. You will be pleased to know the firework was removed before exploding. Today, one of the biggest problems with Guy Fawkes night, apart from having to get permits as Anne mentioned above, is the fact that much of the time it is complete fire ban times, because of the possibility of bush fires. Trying to get permits for anything is just too hard.
    Some years ago I was studying International Politics at university and as part of that course I chose to study the gunpowder plot. I only wish I had been able to visit all those lovely buildings associated with the plot, Nicola. I envy you the opportunity.

    Reply
  43. Thanks for a great post Nicola. As a child I used to celebrate Guy Fawkes day here in Australia. I lived in a small town in New South Wales and different parts of the town used to compete about who could build the biggest bonfire and get the best guy etc. There was always competition and some years it would go too far and someone would burn the opposition’s bonfire before the night. Of course fire works were the thing. One night a fire work landed in a baby’s pram, much to everyone’s consternation. You will be pleased to know the firework was removed before exploding. Today, one of the biggest problems with Guy Fawkes night, apart from having to get permits as Anne mentioned above, is the fact that much of the time it is complete fire ban times, because of the possibility of bush fires. Trying to get permits for anything is just too hard.
    Some years ago I was studying International Politics at university and as part of that course I chose to study the gunpowder plot. I only wish I had been able to visit all those lovely buildings associated with the plot, Nicola. I envy you the opportunity.

    Reply
  44. Thanks for a great post Nicola. As a child I used to celebrate Guy Fawkes day here in Australia. I lived in a small town in New South Wales and different parts of the town used to compete about who could build the biggest bonfire and get the best guy etc. There was always competition and some years it would go too far and someone would burn the opposition’s bonfire before the night. Of course fire works were the thing. One night a fire work landed in a baby’s pram, much to everyone’s consternation. You will be pleased to know the firework was removed before exploding. Today, one of the biggest problems with Guy Fawkes night, apart from having to get permits as Anne mentioned above, is the fact that much of the time it is complete fire ban times, because of the possibility of bush fires. Trying to get permits for anything is just too hard.
    Some years ago I was studying International Politics at university and as part of that course I chose to study the gunpowder plot. I only wish I had been able to visit all those lovely buildings associated with the plot, Nicola. I envy you the opportunity.

    Reply
  45. Thanks for a great post Nicola. As a child I used to celebrate Guy Fawkes day here in Australia. I lived in a small town in New South Wales and different parts of the town used to compete about who could build the biggest bonfire and get the best guy etc. There was always competition and some years it would go too far and someone would burn the opposition’s bonfire before the night. Of course fire works were the thing. One night a fire work landed in a baby’s pram, much to everyone’s consternation. You will be pleased to know the firework was removed before exploding. Today, one of the biggest problems with Guy Fawkes night, apart from having to get permits as Anne mentioned above, is the fact that much of the time it is complete fire ban times, because of the possibility of bush fires. Trying to get permits for anything is just too hard.
    Some years ago I was studying International Politics at university and as part of that course I chose to study the gunpowder plot. I only wish I had been able to visit all those lovely buildings associated with the plot, Nicola. I envy you the opportunity.

    Reply
  46. Great post Nicola
    Here in Australia we used to have cracker night on 24th May then they moved it to the Queens birthday weekend in June then they cancelled it altogether as Anne has already said fireworks are very hard to buy here in Oz and they are used for big celebrations only
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  47. Great post Nicola
    Here in Australia we used to have cracker night on 24th May then they moved it to the Queens birthday weekend in June then they cancelled it altogether as Anne has already said fireworks are very hard to buy here in Oz and they are used for big celebrations only
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  48. Great post Nicola
    Here in Australia we used to have cracker night on 24th May then they moved it to the Queens birthday weekend in June then they cancelled it altogether as Anne has already said fireworks are very hard to buy here in Oz and they are used for big celebrations only
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  49. Great post Nicola
    Here in Australia we used to have cracker night on 24th May then they moved it to the Queens birthday weekend in June then they cancelled it altogether as Anne has already said fireworks are very hard to buy here in Oz and they are used for big celebrations only
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  50. Great post Nicola
    Here in Australia we used to have cracker night on 24th May then they moved it to the Queens birthday weekend in June then they cancelled it altogether as Anne has already said fireworks are very hard to buy here in Oz and they are used for big celebrations only
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  51. Another Aussie. I am a child of the ’50’s; when we had Guy Fawkes night, the following morning I would hunt for any crackers that had been lost the night before.
    There are a lot of things I did as a child that has now been regulated out of existence. Some I regret, some I don’t. One pass time I don’t mind foregoing is the Elephant ride at the Melbourne Zoo. It scared the B-Geebers out of me.

    Reply
  52. Another Aussie. I am a child of the ’50’s; when we had Guy Fawkes night, the following morning I would hunt for any crackers that had been lost the night before.
    There are a lot of things I did as a child that has now been regulated out of existence. Some I regret, some I don’t. One pass time I don’t mind foregoing is the Elephant ride at the Melbourne Zoo. It scared the B-Geebers out of me.

    Reply
  53. Another Aussie. I am a child of the ’50’s; when we had Guy Fawkes night, the following morning I would hunt for any crackers that had been lost the night before.
    There are a lot of things I did as a child that has now been regulated out of existence. Some I regret, some I don’t. One pass time I don’t mind foregoing is the Elephant ride at the Melbourne Zoo. It scared the B-Geebers out of me.

    Reply
  54. Another Aussie. I am a child of the ’50’s; when we had Guy Fawkes night, the following morning I would hunt for any crackers that had been lost the night before.
    There are a lot of things I did as a child that has now been regulated out of existence. Some I regret, some I don’t. One pass time I don’t mind foregoing is the Elephant ride at the Melbourne Zoo. It scared the B-Geebers out of me.

    Reply
  55. Another Aussie. I am a child of the ’50’s; when we had Guy Fawkes night, the following morning I would hunt for any crackers that had been lost the night before.
    There are a lot of things I did as a child that has now been regulated out of existence. Some I regret, some I don’t. One pass time I don’t mind foregoing is the Elephant ride at the Melbourne Zoo. It scared the B-Geebers out of me.

    Reply
  56. Now, I’m a great fan of Halloween.
    If you’re young, you get to dress up in costumes and mug innocent homeowners for candy.
    If you’re old you get to dress up in costumes and say, “Aaaawwww,” a lot. And somehow there’s always candy left over that you get to eat up because it is widely known that Halloween candy has no calories in it.
    I will admit Halloween does not have fireworks. This is a drawback.
    Yes.
    But it does have candles put in pumpkins. That’s one of those inherently difficult things to do, btw. Putting lighted candles into pumpkins falls into the ‘washing cats’ category of reality — something that sounds like a good idea but does not work well in practice.
    What else?
    Halloween has luminaria. Nowadays it has glow sticks which continue to delight me with their improbability. And it has flashlights shooting all over the place in the trees which is surprisingly beautiful.
    With luck, everybody is out enjoying the moon, which happens all too infrequently.
    Some places, everybody goes out and enjoys the harvest moon in silence and tranquility, exchanging poems.
    In America we dress like menacing supernatural beings and dispense candy, with the occasional minor vandalism thrown in just to keep things exciting.
    My kinda holiday.

    Reply
  57. Now, I’m a great fan of Halloween.
    If you’re young, you get to dress up in costumes and mug innocent homeowners for candy.
    If you’re old you get to dress up in costumes and say, “Aaaawwww,” a lot. And somehow there’s always candy left over that you get to eat up because it is widely known that Halloween candy has no calories in it.
    I will admit Halloween does not have fireworks. This is a drawback.
    Yes.
    But it does have candles put in pumpkins. That’s one of those inherently difficult things to do, btw. Putting lighted candles into pumpkins falls into the ‘washing cats’ category of reality — something that sounds like a good idea but does not work well in practice.
    What else?
    Halloween has luminaria. Nowadays it has glow sticks which continue to delight me with their improbability. And it has flashlights shooting all over the place in the trees which is surprisingly beautiful.
    With luck, everybody is out enjoying the moon, which happens all too infrequently.
    Some places, everybody goes out and enjoys the harvest moon in silence and tranquility, exchanging poems.
    In America we dress like menacing supernatural beings and dispense candy, with the occasional minor vandalism thrown in just to keep things exciting.
    My kinda holiday.

    Reply
  58. Now, I’m a great fan of Halloween.
    If you’re young, you get to dress up in costumes and mug innocent homeowners for candy.
    If you’re old you get to dress up in costumes and say, “Aaaawwww,” a lot. And somehow there’s always candy left over that you get to eat up because it is widely known that Halloween candy has no calories in it.
    I will admit Halloween does not have fireworks. This is a drawback.
    Yes.
    But it does have candles put in pumpkins. That’s one of those inherently difficult things to do, btw. Putting lighted candles into pumpkins falls into the ‘washing cats’ category of reality — something that sounds like a good idea but does not work well in practice.
    What else?
    Halloween has luminaria. Nowadays it has glow sticks which continue to delight me with their improbability. And it has flashlights shooting all over the place in the trees which is surprisingly beautiful.
    With luck, everybody is out enjoying the moon, which happens all too infrequently.
    Some places, everybody goes out and enjoys the harvest moon in silence and tranquility, exchanging poems.
    In America we dress like menacing supernatural beings and dispense candy, with the occasional minor vandalism thrown in just to keep things exciting.
    My kinda holiday.

    Reply
  59. Now, I’m a great fan of Halloween.
    If you’re young, you get to dress up in costumes and mug innocent homeowners for candy.
    If you’re old you get to dress up in costumes and say, “Aaaawwww,” a lot. And somehow there’s always candy left over that you get to eat up because it is widely known that Halloween candy has no calories in it.
    I will admit Halloween does not have fireworks. This is a drawback.
    Yes.
    But it does have candles put in pumpkins. That’s one of those inherently difficult things to do, btw. Putting lighted candles into pumpkins falls into the ‘washing cats’ category of reality — something that sounds like a good idea but does not work well in practice.
    What else?
    Halloween has luminaria. Nowadays it has glow sticks which continue to delight me with their improbability. And it has flashlights shooting all over the place in the trees which is surprisingly beautiful.
    With luck, everybody is out enjoying the moon, which happens all too infrequently.
    Some places, everybody goes out and enjoys the harvest moon in silence and tranquility, exchanging poems.
    In America we dress like menacing supernatural beings and dispense candy, with the occasional minor vandalism thrown in just to keep things exciting.
    My kinda holiday.

    Reply
  60. Now, I’m a great fan of Halloween.
    If you’re young, you get to dress up in costumes and mug innocent homeowners for candy.
    If you’re old you get to dress up in costumes and say, “Aaaawwww,” a lot. And somehow there’s always candy left over that you get to eat up because it is widely known that Halloween candy has no calories in it.
    I will admit Halloween does not have fireworks. This is a drawback.
    Yes.
    But it does have candles put in pumpkins. That’s one of those inherently difficult things to do, btw. Putting lighted candles into pumpkins falls into the ‘washing cats’ category of reality — something that sounds like a good idea but does not work well in practice.
    What else?
    Halloween has luminaria. Nowadays it has glow sticks which continue to delight me with their improbability. And it has flashlights shooting all over the place in the trees which is surprisingly beautiful.
    With luck, everybody is out enjoying the moon, which happens all too infrequently.
    Some places, everybody goes out and enjoys the harvest moon in silence and tranquility, exchanging poems.
    In America we dress like menacing supernatural beings and dispense candy, with the occasional minor vandalism thrown in just to keep things exciting.
    My kinda holiday.

    Reply
  61. Sherrie here. Not only did I enjoy Nicola’s post greatly (I’ve always wondered why Guy Fawkes Night was such a big deal), but I also enjoyed everyone’s comments.
    Anne, I can understand the ban on fireworks in Australia. I wish they’d ban them here in the US. Alas, we Americans love our noisy bangs and blasts. They start selling fireworks from roadside stands weeks before Independence Day, and though there are laws against shooting off firecrackers and the like before July 4, the booms and bangs invariable start at least a week before, and last 1-2 weeks after, much to my annoyance, and the terror of my dogs and horse.
    My cats, however, are another matter. My neighbor always buys lots of fireworks, the kind that burst in the air with pretty colors. My two cats are fascinated by them. They curl up in front of the slider and watch the fireworks burst brilliantly above the trees. You can see their heads tilt back in unison as they watch each firework soar into the sky and burst. Meanwhile, my two dogs are a quivering mass of terror, and my horse hides in fear in the barn.

    Reply
  62. Sherrie here. Not only did I enjoy Nicola’s post greatly (I’ve always wondered why Guy Fawkes Night was such a big deal), but I also enjoyed everyone’s comments.
    Anne, I can understand the ban on fireworks in Australia. I wish they’d ban them here in the US. Alas, we Americans love our noisy bangs and blasts. They start selling fireworks from roadside stands weeks before Independence Day, and though there are laws against shooting off firecrackers and the like before July 4, the booms and bangs invariable start at least a week before, and last 1-2 weeks after, much to my annoyance, and the terror of my dogs and horse.
    My cats, however, are another matter. My neighbor always buys lots of fireworks, the kind that burst in the air with pretty colors. My two cats are fascinated by them. They curl up in front of the slider and watch the fireworks burst brilliantly above the trees. You can see their heads tilt back in unison as they watch each firework soar into the sky and burst. Meanwhile, my two dogs are a quivering mass of terror, and my horse hides in fear in the barn.

    Reply
  63. Sherrie here. Not only did I enjoy Nicola’s post greatly (I’ve always wondered why Guy Fawkes Night was such a big deal), but I also enjoyed everyone’s comments.
    Anne, I can understand the ban on fireworks in Australia. I wish they’d ban them here in the US. Alas, we Americans love our noisy bangs and blasts. They start selling fireworks from roadside stands weeks before Independence Day, and though there are laws against shooting off firecrackers and the like before July 4, the booms and bangs invariable start at least a week before, and last 1-2 weeks after, much to my annoyance, and the terror of my dogs and horse.
    My cats, however, are another matter. My neighbor always buys lots of fireworks, the kind that burst in the air with pretty colors. My two cats are fascinated by them. They curl up in front of the slider and watch the fireworks burst brilliantly above the trees. You can see their heads tilt back in unison as they watch each firework soar into the sky and burst. Meanwhile, my two dogs are a quivering mass of terror, and my horse hides in fear in the barn.

    Reply
  64. Sherrie here. Not only did I enjoy Nicola’s post greatly (I’ve always wondered why Guy Fawkes Night was such a big deal), but I also enjoyed everyone’s comments.
    Anne, I can understand the ban on fireworks in Australia. I wish they’d ban them here in the US. Alas, we Americans love our noisy bangs and blasts. They start selling fireworks from roadside stands weeks before Independence Day, and though there are laws against shooting off firecrackers and the like before July 4, the booms and bangs invariable start at least a week before, and last 1-2 weeks after, much to my annoyance, and the terror of my dogs and horse.
    My cats, however, are another matter. My neighbor always buys lots of fireworks, the kind that burst in the air with pretty colors. My two cats are fascinated by them. They curl up in front of the slider and watch the fireworks burst brilliantly above the trees. You can see their heads tilt back in unison as they watch each firework soar into the sky and burst. Meanwhile, my two dogs are a quivering mass of terror, and my horse hides in fear in the barn.

    Reply
  65. Sherrie here. Not only did I enjoy Nicola’s post greatly (I’ve always wondered why Guy Fawkes Night was such a big deal), but I also enjoyed everyone’s comments.
    Anne, I can understand the ban on fireworks in Australia. I wish they’d ban them here in the US. Alas, we Americans love our noisy bangs and blasts. They start selling fireworks from roadside stands weeks before Independence Day, and though there are laws against shooting off firecrackers and the like before July 4, the booms and bangs invariable start at least a week before, and last 1-2 weeks after, much to my annoyance, and the terror of my dogs and horse.
    My cats, however, are another matter. My neighbor always buys lots of fireworks, the kind that burst in the air with pretty colors. My two cats are fascinated by them. They curl up in front of the slider and watch the fireworks burst brilliantly above the trees. You can see their heads tilt back in unison as they watch each firework soar into the sky and burst. Meanwhile, my two dogs are a quivering mass of terror, and my horse hides in fear in the barn.

    Reply
  66. We still celebrate Guy Fawke’s night in New Zealand, replete with fireworks etc. You have the choice of going to big displays or having some at home in your own backyard. When we were kids we’d have a big family gathering with a stuffed guy on top of the bonfire. I used to love the double happy crackers but unfortunately the fun police banned them a few years back.
    Here in the US I did enjoy the 4th of July celebrations, the sky rockets that make a huge canopy of stars up in the sky are my favourite now.
    I tried to explain to everyone here about Guy Fawkes, and the plot to blow up parliament and why we celibrate it etc, but as with alot of things, they think we’re nuts….lol.
    Viva le difference!!

    Reply
  67. We still celebrate Guy Fawke’s night in New Zealand, replete with fireworks etc. You have the choice of going to big displays or having some at home in your own backyard. When we were kids we’d have a big family gathering with a stuffed guy on top of the bonfire. I used to love the double happy crackers but unfortunately the fun police banned them a few years back.
    Here in the US I did enjoy the 4th of July celebrations, the sky rockets that make a huge canopy of stars up in the sky are my favourite now.
    I tried to explain to everyone here about Guy Fawkes, and the plot to blow up parliament and why we celibrate it etc, but as with alot of things, they think we’re nuts….lol.
    Viva le difference!!

    Reply
  68. We still celebrate Guy Fawke’s night in New Zealand, replete with fireworks etc. You have the choice of going to big displays or having some at home in your own backyard. When we were kids we’d have a big family gathering with a stuffed guy on top of the bonfire. I used to love the double happy crackers but unfortunately the fun police banned them a few years back.
    Here in the US I did enjoy the 4th of July celebrations, the sky rockets that make a huge canopy of stars up in the sky are my favourite now.
    I tried to explain to everyone here about Guy Fawkes, and the plot to blow up parliament and why we celibrate it etc, but as with alot of things, they think we’re nuts….lol.
    Viva le difference!!

    Reply
  69. We still celebrate Guy Fawke’s night in New Zealand, replete with fireworks etc. You have the choice of going to big displays or having some at home in your own backyard. When we were kids we’d have a big family gathering with a stuffed guy on top of the bonfire. I used to love the double happy crackers but unfortunately the fun police banned them a few years back.
    Here in the US I did enjoy the 4th of July celebrations, the sky rockets that make a huge canopy of stars up in the sky are my favourite now.
    I tried to explain to everyone here about Guy Fawkes, and the plot to blow up parliament and why we celibrate it etc, but as with alot of things, they think we’re nuts….lol.
    Viva le difference!!

    Reply
  70. We still celebrate Guy Fawke’s night in New Zealand, replete with fireworks etc. You have the choice of going to big displays or having some at home in your own backyard. When we were kids we’d have a big family gathering with a stuffed guy on top of the bonfire. I used to love the double happy crackers but unfortunately the fun police banned them a few years back.
    Here in the US I did enjoy the 4th of July celebrations, the sky rockets that make a huge canopy of stars up in the sky are my favourite now.
    I tried to explain to everyone here about Guy Fawkes, and the plot to blow up parliament and why we celibrate it etc, but as with alot of things, they think we’re nuts….lol.
    Viva le difference!!

    Reply
  71. I enjoy visiting this blog because I love all the historical tidbits I read here.
    I think my fave holiday that has big display is the Fourth of July— Oohing and aahing at all the different and beautiful colors of fireworks.
    The little town I live in has a day of Christmas celebration and after day-long events, there is a community program with singing and skits and then fireworks. Fireworks in a winter’s sky are so different than a summer’s night sky. The colors almost seem brighter and crisply colorful.

    Reply
  72. I enjoy visiting this blog because I love all the historical tidbits I read here.
    I think my fave holiday that has big display is the Fourth of July— Oohing and aahing at all the different and beautiful colors of fireworks.
    The little town I live in has a day of Christmas celebration and after day-long events, there is a community program with singing and skits and then fireworks. Fireworks in a winter’s sky are so different than a summer’s night sky. The colors almost seem brighter and crisply colorful.

    Reply
  73. I enjoy visiting this blog because I love all the historical tidbits I read here.
    I think my fave holiday that has big display is the Fourth of July— Oohing and aahing at all the different and beautiful colors of fireworks.
    The little town I live in has a day of Christmas celebration and after day-long events, there is a community program with singing and skits and then fireworks. Fireworks in a winter’s sky are so different than a summer’s night sky. The colors almost seem brighter and crisply colorful.

    Reply
  74. I enjoy visiting this blog because I love all the historical tidbits I read here.
    I think my fave holiday that has big display is the Fourth of July— Oohing and aahing at all the different and beautiful colors of fireworks.
    The little town I live in has a day of Christmas celebration and after day-long events, there is a community program with singing and skits and then fireworks. Fireworks in a winter’s sky are so different than a summer’s night sky. The colors almost seem brighter and crisply colorful.

    Reply
  75. I enjoy visiting this blog because I love all the historical tidbits I read here.
    I think my fave holiday that has big display is the Fourth of July— Oohing and aahing at all the different and beautiful colors of fireworks.
    The little town I live in has a day of Christmas celebration and after day-long events, there is a community program with singing and skits and then fireworks. Fireworks in a winter’s sky are so different than a summer’s night sky. The colors almost seem brighter and crisply colorful.

    Reply
  76. I remember going out “guying” with my cousins . Guy stuffed in an old pushchair & asking for “Penny for the Guy”….& doing well enough out of it for sparklers to go with our fireworks.
    Hallowe’en bores me, but I love the 5th of November….even if we got a bit wet this year.
    Christie Dickason published The Kings Daughter this year, which is a fab book about Elizabeth Stuart,& it kicks off with the Gunpowder Plot. A great read

    Reply
  77. I remember going out “guying” with my cousins . Guy stuffed in an old pushchair & asking for “Penny for the Guy”….& doing well enough out of it for sparklers to go with our fireworks.
    Hallowe’en bores me, but I love the 5th of November….even if we got a bit wet this year.
    Christie Dickason published The Kings Daughter this year, which is a fab book about Elizabeth Stuart,& it kicks off with the Gunpowder Plot. A great read

    Reply
  78. I remember going out “guying” with my cousins . Guy stuffed in an old pushchair & asking for “Penny for the Guy”….& doing well enough out of it for sparklers to go with our fireworks.
    Hallowe’en bores me, but I love the 5th of November….even if we got a bit wet this year.
    Christie Dickason published The Kings Daughter this year, which is a fab book about Elizabeth Stuart,& it kicks off with the Gunpowder Plot. A great read

    Reply
  79. I remember going out “guying” with my cousins . Guy stuffed in an old pushchair & asking for “Penny for the Guy”….& doing well enough out of it for sparklers to go with our fireworks.
    Hallowe’en bores me, but I love the 5th of November….even if we got a bit wet this year.
    Christie Dickason published The Kings Daughter this year, which is a fab book about Elizabeth Stuart,& it kicks off with the Gunpowder Plot. A great read

    Reply
  80. I remember going out “guying” with my cousins . Guy stuffed in an old pushchair & asking for “Penny for the Guy”….& doing well enough out of it for sparklers to go with our fireworks.
    Hallowe’en bores me, but I love the 5th of November….even if we got a bit wet this year.
    Christie Dickason published The Kings Daughter this year, which is a fab book about Elizabeth Stuart,& it kicks off with the Gunpowder Plot. A great read

    Reply
  81. Hi Nicola, welcome back from my homeland – I’ve only just returned from visiting my mother in Wales this weekend myself — Did you mean Frederick ? Because William Craven really truly means nothing, when you read what Elizabeth did to ensure her own happiness !

    Reply
  82. Hi Nicola, welcome back from my homeland – I’ve only just returned from visiting my mother in Wales this weekend myself — Did you mean Frederick ? Because William Craven really truly means nothing, when you read what Elizabeth did to ensure her own happiness !

    Reply
  83. Hi Nicola, welcome back from my homeland – I’ve only just returned from visiting my mother in Wales this weekend myself — Did you mean Frederick ? Because William Craven really truly means nothing, when you read what Elizabeth did to ensure her own happiness !

    Reply
  84. Hi Nicola, welcome back from my homeland – I’ve only just returned from visiting my mother in Wales this weekend myself — Did you mean Frederick ? Because William Craven really truly means nothing, when you read what Elizabeth did to ensure her own happiness !

    Reply
  85. Hi Nicola, welcome back from my homeland – I’ve only just returned from visiting my mother in Wales this weekend myself — Did you mean Frederick ? Because William Craven really truly means nothing, when you read what Elizabeth did to ensure her own happiness !

    Reply
  86. Hi Cate – and thank you! I love Wales and discovered only recently that I have Welsh ancestry, which made me very happy! My husband too is a quarter Welsh and we feel a very strong tie to that country.
    No, I didn’t mean Frederick. I appreciate that Frederick and Elizabeth were devoted but William Craven devoted his life to Elizabeth’s service.

    Reply
  87. Hi Cate – and thank you! I love Wales and discovered only recently that I have Welsh ancestry, which made me very happy! My husband too is a quarter Welsh and we feel a very strong tie to that country.
    No, I didn’t mean Frederick. I appreciate that Frederick and Elizabeth were devoted but William Craven devoted his life to Elizabeth’s service.

    Reply
  88. Hi Cate – and thank you! I love Wales and discovered only recently that I have Welsh ancestry, which made me very happy! My husband too is a quarter Welsh and we feel a very strong tie to that country.
    No, I didn’t mean Frederick. I appreciate that Frederick and Elizabeth were devoted but William Craven devoted his life to Elizabeth’s service.

    Reply
  89. Hi Cate – and thank you! I love Wales and discovered only recently that I have Welsh ancestry, which made me very happy! My husband too is a quarter Welsh and we feel a very strong tie to that country.
    No, I didn’t mean Frederick. I appreciate that Frederick and Elizabeth were devoted but William Craven devoted his life to Elizabeth’s service.

    Reply
  90. Hi Cate – and thank you! I love Wales and discovered only recently that I have Welsh ancestry, which made me very happy! My husband too is a quarter Welsh and we feel a very strong tie to that country.
    No, I didn’t mean Frederick. I appreciate that Frederick and Elizabeth were devoted but William Craven devoted his life to Elizabeth’s service.

    Reply

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