Saturday, 8 November 2014

Gunpowder Treason and Plot …


I was enticed by a lunch to ‘celebrate’ The GunPowder Plot’s failure … it’s good to fail: well for us, not for Mr Fawkes!!




We had a luncheon without wine this time bloody wine we might have had, but no … we resisted



… however we had Parliamentary Gunpowder Chicken, Char Grilled Bacon, BBQ sauce with veggies … and a not very scintillating … very tomatoey sauce … or



“Guy Fawkes” Pie: lamb with steamed vegetables … just looked rather dull …


The White Chocolate Bombe

Then to sweeten us up further for the insight into the Conspirators’ Tale of 1605



Iced Chocolate Bombe with Raspberry Coulis and exploding chocolate … the bombe was very sweet, the coulis delicious … but no popping chocolate, or

Lemon Posset


a mini barrel of Lemon Posset, Vanilla Wick, with Lemon sorbet and gunpowder … I had this and it was quite tasty … the gun-powder didn’t pop …



Parliamentary Chicken
Coffee served with Bonfire Toffee – the waiter as he served the plate of toffee said “Wotch Yeer Teef”!!



Now I say … Wotch yeer historeeeee!  This comes next!





The Gunpowder plot of 1605 stems back a further 120 years to Richard III’s death at the Battle of Bosworth 1485 … the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses.

Edward VI

Henry VII (1485 - 1509) came next, then Henry VIII – and we know what he did … created the Church of England … so now Britain has two religions vying for supremacy … Catholicism of old, and the Reformation ... offering a new approach to our religious way of life.


Henry VIII (1509 - 1547) effectively remained a Catholic in all but name as Head of the Church of England, though he had used the idea of the new religion in his own desperate attempts in trying to conceive a male heir.



Edward VI (1547 - 1553), his heir, was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty, but who had been raised as a Protestant – and on accession promoted an obligatory Reform – which continued apace during his Kingship.


Mary (1553 – 1558), Henry VIII’s very Catholic daughter, and Edward’s heir in substance, tried to turn back the tide of Protestantism … but to no avail – the reformed doctrines had been made official.

James VI of Scotland and
James I, King of England and Scotland


Elizabeth I (1558 – 1603), Henry VIII’s second daughter and who had been brought up in the Protestant faith, followed the middle path … letting Protestantism take its course.


Elizabeth died childless … her heir was James VI of Scotland – Mary, Queen of Scots’ Catholic son – who became James I (1603 – 1625) from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on 24 March 1603.



Now what?   A foolish idea by desperate Catholics to overthrow the sudden unification of the two nations.


Gather a group of Catholics … meet in a pub … decide to do something, swear to get rid of the Protestant King …


State Opening of Parliament 1523
The Opening of Parliament began out of practical necessity …. by the late 14th century, the means by which the King gathered his nobles and representatives of the Commons had begun to follow an established pattern … once “the register had been ticked” … the Lords and Commons went separately to discuss the business in hand.  The monarch normally resided.

The Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011 has amended the timings … our next general election will occur on 7 May 2015 and the State Opening of Parliament will happen soon afterwards.



Barrels stacked, kindling ready to help
Back to our 17th C conspirators … Guy Fawkes and his cohorts … they rented an undercroft (vault) under parliament … stacked it with 36 barrels of gunpowder, disguised as beer barrels, covered with faggots and wood … enough to blow up the Palace of Westminster and the surrounding districts …


… had the ruse worked most of the important people in England would have been annihilated … fortunately – the conspirators let the cat out of the bag by notifying some Catholic big-wigs that they might like to not be present for the opening …

Guy Fawkes by George Cruickshank:
published in William Answorth
Harrison's novel in 1840

… that the espionage service caught wind of the plot and searched the cellars ... found Guy Fawkes, who held out before giving his co-conspirators away ...


There is a Guy Fawkes room in the White Tower at the Tower of London … and on hearing the talk about the torture that was meted out to Guy Fawkes … my bloody moat resonates to me rather more … I suspect the teacher (speaker) thought he was speaking to young lads – except we were a somewhat different group … I’m glad I’d eaten!


Guy Fawkes signature - before
and after torture - frankly
I'm surprised he could write
However the downside to the Catholic Rebellion was that they were never likely to try something like that against the King or English government again … the deterrent was fool-proof … Protestantism was here to stay.


Part of the State Opening of Parliament today always starts overnight with a ceremonial searching of the cellars …



Traitors Gate - entrance from the Thames -
the main transport system
I have to say this talk was rather more explicit than I needed to know – I realise torture went on, I know some of the grisly details … but I am distinctly ‘wealthier’ in gruesome thoughts … however I survived and slept well that night!



The meal did not match up to the South African we had a fewweeks ago – which really stood out.  Different hotel … the chef at the Langham obviously has talent … this was alright (polite euphemism for ok!).


Gunpowder toffee - my 'teef'
are still intact!

The talk was interesting to say the least … and I’ve only given you a half of it … the history tied in with some of my University of the Third Age classes – funny how much I’m learning …


The meal didn’t really match up – much more could have been made to the menu … still we met some interesting diners and had a fun time …


A guy being taken to be burnt
I also have next year’s post jotted down … as I haven’t written about the Lewes, East Sussex connection with the Protestant martyrs … also ‘celebrated’ (remembered/
commemorated) on Bonfire Night:  I wrote about the Lewes Bonfire Societies in2012 … though I’ve mentioned Guy Fawkes on a few other occasions.


Not such a successful lunch … but we had fun, were entertained at our table, and by the speaker … we were amused!

PS I'm having connectivity issues ... hence my in/out of the blogosphere or internetosphere!  It's being resolved so I'll be sporadic for ten days or so ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories








40 comments:

Betsy Brock said...

The menu is very clever, isn't it? What a fun lunch you had!

Patsy said...

Like the sound of the lunch.

I'm never sure if people are celebrating that GF attempted to blow up parliament, or that he failed. Maybe there are some of each?

Manzanita said...

A delightful take on the menu. Thans for the history lesson. I never knew what GF was all about and too lazy to look it up. Typical of me. Ha

Out on the prairie said...

Wish you were closer and I would share a lot of trout. The history sounds fun.

Chatty Crone said...

Gosh that was a great lunch! Now that I am watching Dowbton Abbey - I am understanding the English system and the heirs and the religion. It is hard to get all that in ones head - at least mine.

TexWisGirl said...

the toffee sounds like a treat!

D.G. Hudson said...

I like your combos of history and food, Hilary. Makes the history much more palatable. . . Guy Fawkes was an interesting part of that history, as those who rebel usually have a reason for their uprisings and sometimes reform bad laws. Protesters can be destructive as we see in modern society, but freedom of speech and thought (or the right to protest) is something to relish. Remember the Inquisition. . .a really bad form.

Gattina said...

That's a dangerous menu ! Fortunately you survived, lol ! Very interesting post about this Gunpowder plot. Never heard of it. Blogging enlarges general knowledge !!

Botanist said...

Shame the lunch wasn't up to scratch. Reading between the lines, I get the feeling that "disappointed" would be an understatement. However it sounds like there was entertainment to make up for it.

Paula Kaye said...

How interesting and with some delightful pictures too....too bad the food didn't match up!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Betsy - the menu was clever .. just wish the dishes had matched up. But it was fun ... and informative ..

@ Patsy - the lunch was a good interlude ... as for Guy Fawkes - probably both I guess ... politicians doomed anywhich way!

@ Manzanita - glad you enjoyed the foodie part .. and the history lesson - I've done Guy Fawkes before ... more in the way we took him when I was a kid ...

@ OOTP - well I could sure do with some of your trout .. but I suspect the Prairie is rather a long way away! I'm (now) finding history very interesting ..

@ Sandie - these educative lunches are fun.

Now you're watching Downton (as you know I don't) ... our English way of life is different, as well as religion - and it was distinctly worse 500 years ago!!! I find it practically impossible ...

@ TWG - ruinous for the 'teef' - I had small bits!

@ DG - I try not to do solid history ... at least I think I do that!

But food and history is a good mix.

This was the Catholics and their religion v the reforming ways of Martin Luther, John Knox et al - from which Protestantism came .. our less formal system in England ..

Freedom of Speech and thought is definitely something to relish - good word.

We're going to be doing the Inquisition in December ... I shall learn more!!

@ Gattina - it could have been a dangerous menu .. blowing up Eastbourne I'd have been somewhat distressed!

Hadn't you heard of the Gunpowder Plot ... it's part of our tradition - we always had Guy Fawkes days as kids .. a bonfire and some fireworks in the garden ... loved it!!

@ Ian - you're right it wasn't up to scratch ... and 'disappointed' was the understatement! I go to another meeting up there where we have supper - and it's also dull ..

But as you say the entertainments make up for the meals - thankfully ...

@ Paula - glad you enjoyed the post, the food wasn't brilliant - but am glad the photos helped ..

Cheers to you all .. Hilary

Jo said...

I had always been given to understand there weren't any cellars under the Houses of Parliament. Obviously I was misinformed.

The food didn't sound all that wonderful, but glad you had fun anyway. I used to enjoy Guy Fawkes night. Didn't know he'd been tortured; I suppose that's how they got the other names. Poor man and now we burn his effigy every year.

Sarah E. Albom said...

Sounds yum. I remember learning about Fawkes on a tour while we were in England. A few nights ago we got plenty of fireworks to watch, but there won't be too many more for another year as fireworks are banned here except on Guy Fawkes Day.

dolorah said...

I like having food named for certain events. Sounds like it was better than staying home and cooking for yourself at the least. Can't believe you skipped the wine though.

Sharon Himsl said...

Same here...never heard of the gunpowder plot, but what an innovative way to teach (and learn) history. History doesn't have to be boring!

Val Poore said...

A fantastic post with so much fascinating history. Thank you, Hilary. I grew up with the Gunpowder plot stories, but have forgotten them in all my years away.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Sounds like you had a blast... even if the gunpowder chocolate didn't pop.

Keep it up, Hilary, and I might actually learn something about British history. (Thanks!)

Cheers!

Robyn Campbell said...

What a fabulous post, Hil. So glad you survived. *wink* The gunpowder plot is one I will teach the in homeschool. You sure do make me look good. I do love toffee. Sorry about your connection problems.

Geo. said...

A delightful gathering. I would enjoy it and see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.

Marja said...

Your luncheon sounds great Wonder how gunpowder chicken tastes. Guy Fawkes was on here as well. We've got all the English traditions in NZ. We didn't go to the fireworks this time as it was quite fresh.
Sorry you had to listen to the torture stories. Not the best entertainment

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jo - well remember this was 400 years ago and the land levels have changed - we sit on 30 feet of added height.

He held out for three days - but some of the torture methods were frankly ghastly to have been told about .. and now we burn his effigy. He did jump from the gallows before he could be hung, drawn and quartered ... not nice at all ...

@ Sarah - the dessert was good. That's good you remembered the learning while you were here.

I'm glad you get a chance for fireworks .. they are beautiful, but can be dangerous and are mighty loud at times. Interesting about the restriction to once a year though.

@ Donna - well it made the lunch interesting ... I was driving and busy later on - so wine was not a good idea ...

@ Sharon - delighted to read I'm teaching you some things and yes I'm learning history doesn't have to be boring!

@ Val - so pleased you enjoyed the post ... and for the remembrances re Gunpowder plot ... well now you can remember, remember!!

@ Susan - it was entertaining .. just wish the main course particularly had been better ...

More history - I put little bits in here and there in my posts .. but don't want to overwhelm everyone ... still I shan't change my posting style I don't think ...

@ Robyn - yes still here today too ... more home schooling material - glad you make use of the posts! Especially if I make you look good - that's great to read ...

Toffee - sticks the teef! But it was good - the small pieces I had ...

@ Geo - we certainly learnt and had some good times chatting .. and I don't think gunpowder treason will ever be forgot! Good to see you ...

@ Marja - it was a spicy tomato sauce on chicken - not scintillating! I gather you do Guy Fawkes and have fireworks ... a special annual event - all the English bits ...

Yes - torture was interesting and not what I really wanted to hear - amazing what man can stand ...

Thanks so much - great to see you all - cheers Hilary

mail4rosey said...

Some dinners are a big hit, some are not, right? :) It does all sound very interesting though!! And I'm with you... I know about the torture, but I don't want to hear the grisly.

rosieamber said...

Great post Hilary, you do dig out great details for your posts.

Milo James Fowler said...

Remember, Remember... =]

Rosalind Adam said...

This is such a gruesome period of history. Why were they all so cruel to each other? And I have to admit that I hate fireworks. They are, after all, gunpowder and so more akin to war. That meal looked fun though!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Yeah, I don't think a description of Guy Fawkes's torture would have helped my appetite. Urg.

It's a shame that in all the intervening centuries, religion is still used as an excuse for violence. But it's always just an excuse, isn't it. Because the violence is always about power, not belief.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Searching the cellars - wise idea regardless.
Suppressing any religion is nearly impossible.
And Eddie Izzard's reasoning for Henry's start of the Church of England was rather humorous...

TALON said...

That sounds like a delightful time, Hilary. I remember my mother explaining Guy Fawkes when I was a child. I felt bad that my English cousins weren't going trick or treating! :)

Christine Rains said...

What a fun menu! And, oh, the desserts looked divine. Real life conspiracies are even more fantastic than fiction.

SittieCates said...

What a lovely lunch! It made me hungry. :-)

Interesting piece of history you've shared.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Rosey – we had the good lunch the other week – still the talk was interesting … but torture isn’t my thing – nor the grisly …

@ Rosie – thanks re the compliment and the digging – I just enjoy writing about the informative and quirky things ..

@ Milo – exactly … remember, remember …

@ Ros – I’ve no idea .. but I guess you have to quell the opposition and that’s what they did here. I’m not keen on fireworks either … but I love the colours – and as long as I’m far away … so the bangs don’t break my ear-drums … so I’m with you on that. The meal was alright! – company fun …

@ Dianne – thankfully the torture details came afterwards … but you’re right about religion being an excuse for violence – still is unfortunately … and it is about power, not belief – couldn’t agree more.

@ Alex – I suspect there’s quite a lot of undercover protection work going on. Religion is fine for what it is – but let everyone do their thing and don’t rule with it … which of course was what was happening back in the 1500s leading up to the Guy Fawkes event.
I haven’t seen Eddie Izzards reasoning for Henry’s start of the CofE – must check it out .. thanks for the tip off …

@ Kim – it was entertaining and that’s what mattered. Guy Fawkes – there’s so much more to those times … and I don’t think we missed trick or treating … we had fireworks, baked potatoes in the bonfire and sticky toffee apples … now they’re all muddled up …

@ Christine – it was interesting to read the menu, not so good to eat – the desserts were ok – and as you say divine (rich … I think!). You’re right re the real life conspiracy re fictional ones …

@ Sittie – the food does sound tasty doesn’t it … and I’m glad you enjoyed the history.

Cheers to you all – good to see and I’m glad Guy Fawkes still strikes a chord … Hilary

beste barki said...

You must have had such a fun day Hilary. I'm glad you shared it with us. Salut, Beste.

Annalisa Crawford said...

It's an interesting subject, made all the better by a delicious-sounding menu!

I love that they check the cellars before the state opening.

Empty Nest Insider said...

What a fitting menu, and I would've been particularly fired up to try the Iced Chocolate Bombe! Sorry you had to hear all of the gruesome details of GF's torture. I wonder what they had him sign afterward?
Seems like your connectivity issues have been resolved, and I hope things continue to run smoothly.

Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Beste - it was entertaining and I did learn some history ...

@ Annalisa - it's an interesting period of history, as I've been finding out ... but I'm glad I live in today's age and could have some fun food ...

Interesting they still check the cellars, isn't it ...

@ Julie - I had the posset ... but the Iced Chocolate Bombe was quite rich and sweet ...

Guy Fawkes' torture was a bit much - he signed a confession that he was going to blow up the King and/or Parliament ...

Next week the connectivity issues will be finally over - it's hit and miss at the moment, but seems to be working - thankfully!

Cheers to you three .. have good weeks - Hilary

Lisa said...

Neat that there was a "celebratory" lunch, sorry it wasn't that good eating wise! The only GF day I've ever partaken of was in Lewes! Too many years ago to talk about!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lisa - it made for an interesting day ... and I learnt things I didn't know ..

You were here in Lewes at the celebration - it's chaotic isn't it - but so much fun, so loud and those tar barrels, tar torches ... and that 'smell' of fire ...

Ah well - time passes!! Thanks for visiting - Hilary

Julia Hones said...

What a paradox that Henry VIII was desperate to conceive a male. Yet his daughter Elizabeth turned out to be a powerful queen. His son Edward died when he was a boy.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

You put so much time and effort into your posts, Hilary. It's really admirable. I always learn something. Turner, considering the times, lived to be a ripe old. He certainly accomplished a lot.

Our Canadian poppy looks a bit difference, but means much to our country. This year our youngest and his family got to celebrate Remembrance Day in the UK. He said he was moved deeply and it's an experience they'll never forget.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Julia - yes you're right about Henry VIII - Elizabeth I was an amazing Queen ..we've been very lucky to have two Elizabeth's who've both proved particularly good rulers - or setting examples for others ...

@ Joylene - thanks so much for your complement - appreciate that and am so pleased you enjoy visiting ...

Turner did live to a ripe old age didn't he ...

I think inevitably your poppy would be slightly different - but each is so relevant to their country's way of life. I bet your youngest and his family are really seeing our different ways of life .. and learning about the traditions we have here ... I'm glad they took full advantage of the Remembrance Day celebrations ...

Thanks to you both .. lovely to see you - cheers Hilary