“Put your coats on “ smiled the boys great grand father, as the old man theatrically whirled his long red woollen scarf around his neck.
“It’s cold outside.” “Let’s be going, where’s Innis?”
Gramps enquired, as he opened the front door.
“I’m here and ready to go.” exclaimed the excited girl, who as we know, lives next door.
“We won’t be late back will we?” Innis enquired.”I don’t want to miss our Guy Fawkes party.”
“You have given me an idea.” laughed Gramps, “let’s go back to where it all happened.”
They piled into Mini,”Og og inim og “ they chanted.
The familiar swishing was heard and flashing lights, then silence.
It was nighttime. All was quiet, the flicker of oil lamps and the sound of the night watchman’s hobnailed boots striking the cobbled dimly lit passage could be heard slowly fading away, as he disappeared from view.
“We are in London, next to the Palace of Westminster by The River Thames, aren’t we? guessed Innis. “Yes” said Gramps, “we are.”
“ As it’s dark nobody will see us, no need to change our clothes, we will leave Mini, I want you to stay very still and listen.” instructed the old man, as he jumped out of Mini.
They turned their backs on the impressive Palace of Westminster, and looked directly at the black, moonlit silver edged river. Soft gentle paddle blade oars could be heard stroking the inky water as it lapped at the sides of a dark creaking wooden row boat deeply ladened in the water.
Had there been strong winds the river would have swallowed the rower and cargo easily.
“That boat has been carrying thirty six barrels of gunpowder from Lambeth, from across the river to The House of Lords for many nights undercover of darkness” murmured Gramps, “this plot against the Protestant King James the first, the first Stuart king of England James the Sixth of Scotland, first king to call himself king of Great Britain, joining Scotland and England and Ireland together, first to use the Union Jack flag. Jack in Latin means James.” Gramps drew a deep breath, “this plot to blow up Parliament and the establishment, has been three years in the planning.”
“ But why blow up The Palace of Westminster?”inquired Innis. “The Catholic’s felt their Rights were not met under a Protestant King.
“Keep very quiet, here are the plotters, thirteen of them, they are celebrating the last barrel to be delivered.
It was lifted onto a cart and steered down to a vault which the gang had rented, directly under The House of Lords,
part of The Palace of Westminster, to this day the seat of government.
The children and Gramps crept up closer to the group who were discussing ways they were going to kidnap The king’s young daughter, princess Elizabeth.
“We must stop them.” exclaimed Hector.
“quickly into the mini.” Ordered Gramps.
Marching soldiers feet could be heard, the gang of conspirators melted away.
They were back inside the mini.
The mini gave a shudder, “ we must see what happens at 11pm” said the old man.
Obviously the car was invisible, however the children could see, through the window, a man hiding behind a pile of wood close to one of the barrels, with matches in his hands, “ that’s Guy Fawkes isn’t it? “ exclaimed Felix. “The expert in explosives.”
They saw the man, caught red handed by the soldiers, who dragged him away. The soldiers had been ordered to search the vaults by the King, because of a tip off, a letter warning one of the nobles not to attend the opening of Parliament the next day.
“Were all the plotters caught.” asked Innis.
“Yes eventually, then they were tortured and killed horribly.”
“Guy Fawkes, rather than coming to a grizzly end, jumped to his death.” explained the old man.
“Did you know the word Guy comes from Guy Fawkes?”
Also I know there is an island in the Galapagos called Guy Fawkes Island.” stated Innis.
“And did you know that every year soldiers search in The Palace of Westminster, in case another plot is being hatched?” Stated Felix.
“And did you know bonfire means an open fire burning bones?” asked Hector, not to be outdone by Innis and his brother.
“How clever you all are, I’m impressed,” laughed Gramps,
“ Our school is taking us to Westminster on a trip, I wonder if we shall see the vaults again, where Guy Fawkes hid, murmured Hector.”
“ You can’t see that part of the old Palace. I’m going to show you why.”
Go go Mini go, Gramps pushed the button to 1834.
King William the 4th is on the throne.
They found themselves in a grass field, quite close to Windsor Castle, far in the distant they could see an amber glow in the night sky.
“The Palace is on fire, due to an accident in the boiler room; all that will remain of the old building will be Westminster Hall, that, you will, see on your trip.
The famous architect, Sir Charles Barry, has just seen what we are now looking at. A moment ago, he left for London in his coach to make a bid to rebuild The Houses of Parliament as we see them now, in our time.The fire of The Palace of Westminster was the most significant fire in London between 1666, the great fire, and the start of the Blitz in 1940.world war 2.
“Well let’s get to our fireworks party; firecrackers first made in China, to ward off evil spirits, did you know that?” smiled the old man?
Then Gramps recited an old rhyme.
“Remember remember the fifth of November, gunpowder treason and plot,
I know of no reason, why the fifth of November,
Should ever be forgot.”
“Go go mini go” they all chanted happily and they were off, back for tea, and the firework party.
When James the first also known as King James the 6th of Scotland came to the throne, he was tolerant of Catholics, however after the gunpowder plot he became anti catholic. The catholic’s had a hard time under a Protestant King, they thought with James 1st, their rights would be protected, they were disappointed.