Thursday, 24 November 2011

Guy Fawkes Night


                                                                The conspirators

The Gunpowder Plot is the name given to the conspiracy to blow up the Houses of Parliament on 5th November 1605, which was discovered the night before. The plot centred around five conspirators, among them Guy (or Guido) Fawkes. 

                                                                   Guy Fawkes 

They were determined to blow up the House of Lords in 1605. The detonation was to take place on State Opening day, when the King, Lords and Commons would all be present in the Lords Chamber.

                                                      The Houses of Parliament in old times

On the 4th November, due to an anonymous letter warning one of the MPs not to attend the event, the Parliament was searched and Fawkes was found in the cellar at midnight with the gunpowder. He was then arrested and executed for treason in the Tower of London along with the co-conspirators.

                                      Tower Hill - the execution site in the Tower of London

The 5th November is variously called 'Firework Night', 'Bonfire Night' or 'Guy Fawkes Day'. It is still the custom for Britain on, or around, 5th November to let off fireworks and children to make guys.

                                                          Burning Guy in the Bonfire 

The Houses of Parliament are still searched by the Yeomen of the Guard just before the State Opening (normally held in November since 1928) to ensure no latter-day Fawkes is in the cellars, though this is retained as a picturesque custom rather than a serious anti-terrorist precaution.

                                                                     the Yeomen

Match the vocabulary items with their definition. There is one extra word.

conspiracy, cellar, gunpowder, arrest, execute, treason, custom, fireworks, yeoman, precaution

1. an underground room often used for storing things

2. an accepted way of behaving or of doing things in a society or a community

3. (in Britain in the past) a farmer who owned and worked on his land

4. explosive powder used especially in bombs or fireworks

5. something that is done in advance in order to prevent problems or to avoid danger

6. a secret plan by a group of people to do something harmful or illegal

7. to kill somebody, especially as a legal punishment

8. the crime of doing something that could cause danger to your country, such as helping its enemies during a war

9. to be taken to a police station and kept there because the police believe they may be guilty of a crime

Answer the following questions

What is the Gunpowder Plot?

When was it revealed?

Who was Guy Fawkes?

What happened to the conspirators?

How do British People commemorate this historical event?

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