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Remember Remember the Fifth of November

05/11/2023 @ 5:00 pm

Remember remember the Fifth of November, Gunpowder treason and Plot

For centuries the people of Britain were required by law to commemorate the Gunpowder Treason plot and to give thanks to God for his deliverance of the King, Lords and Parliament. Parliament met in January 1606 and passed the Thanksgiving Act. This made services and sermons commemorating the plot a regular annual feature each 5 November.

Thousands of sermons were delivered on that date over the next two centuries and hundreds of them were published. The tradition grew of marking the day with the ringing of church bells and bonfires. Fireworks were also included in some of the earliest celebrations.

Following the capture of Guy Fawkes on 5th November 1605 and the arrest of his fellow conspirators, the Government responded immediately to this attempt to blow up the King and Parliament.


An Act entitled ‘An Acte for a publique Thancksgiving to Almighty God everie yeere of the Fifte day of November’ was passed in January 1606 This proclaimed the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot should ‘be held in a perpetual Remembrance’ and that the day be ‘a holiday for ever in thankfulness to God for the deliverance and detestation of the Papists’. This annual ‘remembrance’ was to be marked by a morning service in every parish church at which a special prayer of thanksgiving was to be offered up.

These celebrations were always more lively when people saw a present Catholic threat. The custom of burning effigies of the Pope, or the devil, seems to have begun in the reign of Charles I (1625-49) and became more popular during the crisis over the succession of James II in 1678-81. It was only later that Guy Fawkes replaced the Pope as the figure burned on the 5 November bonfires. It became a night when Protestants across Britain reflected on events of the past and how they were preserved from a number of Catholic terrorist plots and coup d’etats.

Today the tradition continues in England primarily, with Bonfire night and the burning of the Guy. Children create a guy to be burnt in effigy to accompany the collection of money and firewood on Bonfire Night. This is a tradition that thrives in British playgrounds, parks and streets to this day.

Bonfire Prayers

Remember, remember the Fifth of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot,
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes ’twas his intent
To blow up the King and the Parliament,
Three score barrels of powder below
Poor old England to overthrow.

By God’s providence he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and burning match,
Holler boys, holler boys, ring bells ring
Holler boys, holler boys, God Save the King!

A penny loaf to feed the Pope
A farthing o’cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to rinse it down
A faggot of sticks to burn him.

Burn him in a tub of tar
Burn him like a blazing star,
Burn his body from his head
Then we’ll say old Pope is dead.

Hip Hip Hoorah!
Hip Hip Hoorah!
Hip Hip Hoorah!



5:00 pm
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McNeillstown Independent Orange Hall
15 Blackstone Road
Portglenone, BT448HB United Kingdom


McNeillstown True Blues ILOL 46