The Name Is Fawkes, Guido Fawkes

Remember, remember the fifth of November. On this day four hundred and ten years ago, thirteen Englishmen with some serious sacks saw their conspiracy to kill King James I and everyone in the House of Lords of English Parliament foiled when Guido Fawkes (yes this was his real name) was caught in the cellar beneath the Parliament building. Early reports claimed that he was tap dancing too loudly to traditional Latin organ hymns while watching over the gunpowder that was supposed to blow the building, but the credibility of these sources has since been questioned. In any event, the discovery marked the beginning of a nationwide frenzy to discover the truth behind the plot, and the end of Guido’s limbs being attached to his body. Yes, Fawkes was first tortured to divulge the identities of his large-sacked comrades, then he was killed and chopped into four pieces of which two made up the king’s meal that night (This is also a an unconfirmed report).

Most probably know at least some version of the events I have outlined above, however, many probably do not know the reason why this gunpowder plot even came about in the first place. In truth, the underlying problem that plagued England at this time involved a bunch of pansies getting catty over who’s version of the New Testament was correct. Guido and his posse were Catholics who had long been disdained by Jamie and Queen Elizabeth before him. Prior to Elizabeth, however, Queen Mary, Elizabeth’s older sister and a devout Catholic, burned a bunch of Protestants at the stake, which was nice of her. In short, these rulers just wanted to blow off steam by engaging in genocide so they all claimed God was on their side. Call me stupid, but something tells me that when Jesus said “Peace be with you” it was not code for “lets go get some oil and douse people in it and set them on fire”. But what do I know?

Why, do you ask have I presented you with a history lesson on this most auspicious of days? I have done so because a depressingly large amount of people that do not possess brains still feel the need to argue over which version of the same God is the real God, and unfortunately, many of these people carry large weapons which have proven vastly more efficient in inducing death than nooses. Either we do not understand that history ought to be studied so that mistakes might be avoided in the future, or we just do not care whether we make these mistakes again, but regardless of which is true, both propositions are equally terrifying. If we all do not learn how to subvert the urge to behead people simply because they go to a different church down the street from our own, we will all one day, by one means or another, end up like Guido and his band of ballsy collaborators: as the protein at the King’s feast. Good day to all and go have fun burning some Guido effigies.

Yours very sincerely and respectfully,

A Not-So-Well Respected Man

For more information about King Jamie and Guido and his gang check out these links:

For more on religious conflict in Tudor England check out some of this stuff: (I do not typically condone Wikipedia, but in this case, it is pretty safe)


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