Guy Fawkes Day / Bonfire Night

bonfire-night-november-5-guy-fawkes

Remember, remember the 5th of November: Gunpowder, treason, and plot!

[Today] is November 5th, a very special day where the great people of Britain mark the execution of a chap who, along with 12 other conspirators, tried to blow up the houses of Parliament to reinstate Catholic rule in England. His name was Guy Fawkes – also known as Guido Fawkes. Even though he wasn’t the leader, he’s still considered the most famous of all those involved in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

Bonfire/Guy Fawkes night is celebrated today by burning an effigy of the “Guy”, or more controversially, the Pope, on top of towering piles of wood, whilst scoffing sticky toffee apples and baked potatoes. And of course setting fireworks off in the streets with wild abandon. Basically, it’s quite mad.

Source: 8 Things you need to know about Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night

Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in Great Britain. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.

Source: Guy Fawkes Night 2017 (Bonfire Night)

The Fifth of November

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England’s overthrow.
But, by God’s providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James’s sake!
If you won’t give me one,
I’ll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn’orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

Source: Poem of the Week: English Folk Verse (c.1870)

Please note that my inclusion of the above poem in celebration of this traditional British holiday in no way is intended to imply disrespect of the Bishop of Rome, Patriarch of the West! While I am not of the Roman observance, and I may not always agree with the current holder of the See of Peter, I have great respect for the office itself.

 

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Homing in – review of “The Story of England” by Michael Wood | Derek Turner

Source: Homing in – review of The Story of England by Michael Wood | Derek Turner

An interesting review – generally sympathetic toward, but not blind to the faults of, what sounds like an interesting book:

The Story of England – A Village and Its People Through the Whole of English History. Michael Wood, London: Penguin, 2011, 440 pp.

From Turner’s review:

“The place is Kibworth, an outwardly unremarkable assemblage of three settlements – Kibworth Beauchamp, Kibworth Harcourt, and Smeeton Westbury – nine miles southeast of Leicester. It was chosen because it is close to the geographic centre of England and because, since 1270, parts of the township have been owned by Merton College, Oxford. Centuries of busy bursars have therefore kept voluminous records on their every transaction with their outlying asset. Such completeness is rare and, when combined with other evidence, BBC money, the author’s imaginativeness, and the interested involvement of residents, allows an unusually intimate glimpse into the private life of a place inhabited continuously for at least 2,000 years. Kibworth is ’emphatically England in miniature’ – a representative locus whose triumphs and travails mirror those of the rest of the country, and which will share England’s fate, for better or worse.”

The review itself is worth a read, and I strongly suspect the book – reviewer’s caveats duly noted and accepted – is, too.

The British Policeman (1959)

The British Policeman (1959) – Public Information Film produced for the Colonial Office

Source: Facebook – British & Commonwealth Forces added a new video: The British Policeman (1959).

The good ol’ days!

This portrait of a British Policeman was commissioned by the Colonial Office to promote Britain’s Police Service to the colonies and Commonwealth states.

Released in 1959, this film upholds one of the Central Office of Information’s (COI) founding principles and the reason for its commitment to producing Public Information Films. In December 1945 the incumbent Prime Minister Clement Attlee stated it was important “a true and adequate picture of British institutions and the British way of life should be presented overseas” through such films.

Following a ‘typical’ day in the life of Police Constable Jack Edwards, the film shows his ‘typical’ duties over an eight-hour shift. The film portrayal of PC Edwards as a guardian of law and order in 1950s Britain, understandably looks dated, when compared to today’s modern Police Service.

This film made available courtesy the UK National Archives.

British actor and historian Robert Hardy dies at aged 91 – 3 August 2017

Robert Hardy (pictured centre), the star of All Creatures Great and Small who appeared as Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter films, has died at the age of 91, his family has announced.

Source: Actor Robert Hardy dies aged 91 | Daily Mail Online

Robert Hardy passed from this life and onto a farther shore and into a greater light yesterday, 3 August 2017. A greater loss, in my opinion, than many who are better known:

“The family of All Creatures Great and Small star Robert Hardy have paid tribute to the ‘gruff, elegant, twinkly, and always dignified’ actor following his death aged 91.

“The actor was best known for his roles as vet Siegfried Farnon in the BBC show, which was popular in the Seventies and Eighties, and as Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter franchise.”

The late Mr. Hardy was more than just an actor, however gifted:

“Paying tribute, Hardy’s children said: ‘Dad is remembered as a meticulous linguist, a fine artist, a lover of music and a champion of literature, as well as a highly respected historian, and a leading specialist on the longbow.

‘He was an essential part of the team that raised the great Tudor warship The Mary Rose.

‘He is celebrated by all who knew him and loved him, and everyone who enjoyed his work.'”

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon him.

A traditional Englishman speaks out on immigration

Source: Democracy NEEDS Borders 2 – Taking Back Control

“We were never asked!”

Live and Let Die – Maccabee Society

 

What does the decision of Charlie Gard say about society today? Parents should have every right to save their children. How did this become negotiable?

Source: Live and Let Die – Maccabee Society

I have not heretofore chosen to say much about the Charlie Gard situation, in which the parents of a child with a rare and typically-fatal disease were prevented by the authorities in the British health system from seeking experimental medical assistance which – though without guarantees – might have extended, or even saved, his life, if tried soon enough.

They prevented this even though the family had received more than ample donations to ensure that there would be no cost to the state, and even though the child, Charlie, had been granted permanent resident status here in the States, where doctors waited to do what they could for him.

And at the end, they even prevented the parents from taking him home to die – despite the fact that their argument had been, originally, that he deserved to “die with dignity.”

A British professor of law and legal ethics even went so far as to argue, in an op-ed piece in The Guardian (UK), that “children do not belong to their parents,” asserting that parents have no rights with respect to their children (!!!), only duties – “the principal duty being to act in their children’s best interests.”

Well, even if one buys the whole “no rights” argument – which I emphatically do not – the fact is that Charlie’s parents were attempting to do precisely that: since he was an infant, and not able to speak for himself, they were attempting to give him the best possible fighting chance for survival. In this they were actively, emphatically, and repeatedly hamstrung and blocked by the authorities.

Stemming from these specific circumstances of Charlie Gard, this Maccabee Society article points out the wider implications of this incident, and the precedent it has set. I found this an especially cogent warning:

“The cause for alarm behind the death of Charlie Gard lies in the fact that the court actively stopped the parents from seeking treatment. This marks a shift in attitude from one of permitting a parent to kill his or her child to one that orders the parent to kill the child. This obviously sets a dangerous precedent: if the state does not think it is worth it to save a life, even if it does not bear the cost, it can deny treatment.

“This bodes nothing less than death for so many others, especially the majority who do not have the moral and financial support that Charlie’s parents had.”

It is very far down the “slippery slope” to go from “you must not kill your child” (traditional viewpoint / classical Christian morality) to “okay, you can allow your child to die (‘death with dignity’) / kill your child (abortion) if that’s what you think is best,” to “you must allow your child to die, and you may not seek treatment to prolong his life!”

What are we becoming? May God help us.