Guy Fawkes, Call Your Office

shutterstock_331390244-998x666OK, I give up, here you go. The history of bonfire night, and the English Reformation in one somewhat long post. I note that any injuries from falling off your chair laughing, are solely the responsibility of The Federalist

On this day in 1605, an angry English Catholic named Guy Fawkes along with a group of other angry English Catholics with other names attempted to blow the House of Lords and King James I to high heaven. The so-called Gunpowder Plot gave birth to centuries of stringent anti-Catholic legislation, an infamous graphic novel with a persecution complex, hactivism, and the abbreviated inquiry “WTF?”

Fawkes was born in 1570 in York, for which he cannot be held responsible. That he began fighting on the side of imperial Catholic Spain against the Protestant Dutch Republic in theEighty Years War is a matter of moral culpability. It was not long before Fawkes was in Spain asking King Philip II to aid embattled Catholics in England.

A variety of factors created that embattlement. First there was Henry VIII, who asked Pope Clement VII for an annulment from Catherine of Aragon so he could marry a bunch of other women, but was denied in a tastefully crafted letter that opened, “To whom it may concern.” The pope stood his moral ground, thus denying Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and Catherine’s nephew, another excuse to bust up Rome. So Henry named himself head of the church in England, which enabled him to sleep with whomever he wanted, making things very difficult for those who remained loyal to the Bishop of Rome and traditional views of marriage.

King James Didn’t Pan Out for Catholics

Catholics had placed high hopes in the accession of James VI of Scotland to the English throne in 1603. (They had enjoyed a brief respite from persecution under Henry and Catherine’s Catholic daughter Mary Tudor, who did her best to kill as many Protestants as possible, earning her the nickname “Bloody,” after “Chloé” proved a tad precious.) James was the son of the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots, who was herself daughter of the French Mary of Guise (who was also Queen of Scots—whether the same Scots is unclear, there having been quite a lot of Scots at one time).

There’s only so much antisocial behavior any king can tolerate before someone loses an eye.

Believing that James would at least soften the anti-Catholic laws that had left many adherents of the Old Faith impoverished, imprisoned, or dead, and that had only become more onerous after the Spanish Armada launched, Catholics were soon disappointed. James had no such intention, especially given a clinical paranoia that made King Herod look like a bodhisattva. (To be fair, James had been the object of earlier, failed Catholic conspiracies, called the Bye and Main plots. One of the plans had been to kidnap the king and hold him in the Tower of London until Catholics were granted full toleration, which becomes increasingly difficult to argue for when you’re holding the monarch captive, as there’s only so much antisocial behavior any king can tolerate before someone loses an eye.)

Source: Guy Fawkes, Call Your Office

 

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37 Responses to Guy Fawkes, Call Your Office

  1. It is always funny how we sometimes try to simplify so many historical things, especially the English Reformation. The great truth of the matter is that the English Reformation surely came off of the Continental European ground! Luther, Zwingli, later of course Calvin simply but profoundly effected such great biblical and theological change. It was the beginning of not a few Evangelical renewals! But certainly the life and death/martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer moved the English Protestants, and any loss of this history would be profound in this study. Btw, Diarmaid MacCulloch’s book: Thomas Cranmer, A Life must be read here!

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  2. the unit says:

    The torture ( taken into custody at the Tower of London and interrogated) and admission of Guy Fawkes(until he eventually gave up his co-conspirators) is likely the origin of “plastic explosives.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Origins and history in England (Guy Fawkes Night)
      An effigy of Fawkes, burnt on 5 November 2010 at Billericay

      Guy Fawkes Night originates from the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a failed conspiracy by a group of provincial English Catholics to assassinate the Protestant King James I of England and replace him with a Catholic head of state. In the immediate aftermath of the 5 November arrest of Guy Fawkes, caught guarding a cache of explosives placed beneath the House of Lords, James’s Council allowed the public to celebrate the king’s survival with bonfires, so long as they were “without any danger or disorder”.[1] This made 1605 the first year the plot’s failure was celebrated.[2] The following January, days before the surviving conspirators were executed, Parliament passed the Observance of 5th November Act, commonly known as the “Thanksgiving Act”. It was proposed by a Puritan Member of Parliament, Edward Montagu, who suggested that the king’s apparent deliverance by divine intervention deserved some measure of official recognition, and kept 5 November free as a day of thanksgiving while in theory making attendance at Church mandatory.[3] A new form of service was also added to the Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer, for use on that date.[4]

      Little is known about the earliest celebrations. In settlements such as Carlisle, Norwich and Nottingham, corporations provided music and artillery salutes. Canterbury celebrated 5 November 1607 with 106 pounds of gunpowder and 14 pounds of match, and three years later food and drink was provided for local dignitaries, as well as music, explosions and a parade by the local militia. Even less is known of how the occasion was first commemorated by the general public, although records indicate that in Protestant Dorchester a sermon was read, the church bells rung, and bonfires and fireworks lit.[5]
      Early significance

      According to historian and author Antonia Fraser, a study of the earliest sermons preached demonstrates an anti-Catholic concentration “mystical in its fervour”.[6] Delivering one of five 5 November sermons printed in A Mappe of Rome in 1612, Thomas Taylor spoke of the “generality of his [a papist’s] cruelty,” which had been “almost without bounds”.[7] Such messages were also spread in printed works like Francis Herring’s Pietas Pontifica (republished in 1610 as Popish Piety), and John Rhode’s A Brief Summe of the Treason intended against the King & State, which in 1606 sought to educate “the simple and ignorant … that they be not seduced any longer by papists”.[8] By the 1620s the Fifth was honoured in market towns and villages across the country, though it was some years before it was commemorated throughout England. Gunpowder Treason Day, as it was then known, became the predominant English state commemoration. Some parishes made the day a festive occasion, with public drinking and solemn processions. Concerned though about James’s pro-Spanish foreign policy, the decline of international Protestantism, and Catholicism in general, Protestant clergymen who recognised the day’s significance called for more dignified and profound thanksgivings each 5 November.[9][10]

      What unity English Protestants had shared in the plot’s immediate aftermath began to fade when in 1625 James’s son, the future Charles I, married the Catholic Henrietta Maria of France. Puritans reacted to the marriage by issuing a new prayer to warn against rebellion and Catholicism, and on 5 November that year, effigies of the pope and the devil were burnt, the earliest such report of this practice and the beginning of centuries of tradition.[a][14] During Charles’s reign Gunpowder Treason Day became increasingly partisan. Between 1629 and 1640 he ruled without Parliament, and he seemed to support Arminianism, regarded by Puritans like Henry Burton as a step toward Catholicism. By 1636, under the leadership of the Arminian Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud, the English church was trying to use 5 November to denounce all seditious practices, and not just popery.[15] Puritans went on the defensive, some pressing for further reformation of the Church.[9] (Wiki)

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Yeah. The more things change the more they stay the same. Plastic, composite faith and composite leaders, i.e. congress, courts, and presidents, all countries. (non-Wiki)

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        • “composite faith and composite leaders” … interesting! Of course composite (compositus, Latin) means to ‘put together’, i.e. formed of distinct parts; compound. Myself as a Protestant and Biblicist Christian, I like the formed parts of progressive revelation in the Holy Bible! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • Btw, I am thinking of reading some of the Wesley brother’s (John & Charles) for Advent this year? Such men were most influential Protestants in their day! We need some fresh fire ourselves, the ideas of the Wesley’s were after reality in their faithfulness, conversion was only a beginning!

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Not a bad idea that! Even Newman doesn’t work well for me in Advent.

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        • the unit says:

          No and nothing I ever put together works for very long, sometimes for 40 years. Time running out on my composites. I’ll stick to rock of ages.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Yes, mere human faith is a man-made composite, I too will go with you to the Rock of Ages! 🙂

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      • NEO says:

        Somehow Fr. Robert, I never for a moment believed you to be a Laudian 😀

        I’m glad to see you guys entertaining yourself, my internet went down about 0900 and is just back, makes a long day!

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        • Newman was a great mind & intellect, but not always very biblical and exegetical to my understanding. The Wesley brothers were certainly effected by Luther, with of course Zinzendorf! If you can ever get a used copy of an old book by Harald Lindstrom, called Wesley And Sanctification, A Study In The Doctrine Of Salvation (London: The Epworth Press, 1950), get it and read it!… Perhaps one of the books in English on John Wesley’s theology of Salvation.

          Liked by 1 person

        • *best books

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        • Btw too, there is a little book (142 pages, Zondervan), and I think still in print? By Kenneth Collins: Wesley on Salvation, a Study in the Standard Sermons (John Wesley’s). (And indeed the Moral Law remained for John Wesley!)

          Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, I will take a form of theological-evangelical-biblicism, over Catholic mysticism any day! And here I see the Wesley brothers. I will die a Protestant Evangelical! 😉

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  3. the unit says:

    OT. Delete as per rules of being on thread.
    Friday news dump. Carson disingenuous about claims, including West Point appointment.
    Are they saying he a liar? Them? Who not backing him up? Is Muslim bro in administration? In staff maybe too?
    He not my choice anyway, but I can believe his take about deciding to not accept appointment to become doctor instead four year commitment to Army.
    I received similar appointment, not to a military academy, but appointment as officer in ’66. I won’t go into details as this is OT. Maybe at some site that harps on this.
    It church related, if anyone wants to know.

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    • Carson is going to get hit hard by the left and Dem’s, since he is one of the front runners! He is not my cup of tea, but then I don’t matter. And his religious views are almost worse than Romney’s Mormonism, my view anyway. But, at least the Mormons are taking a classic Judeo-Christian sexual road. (Save of course the nuts who want more than one wife!) America is in grave jeopardy, spiritually and morally! The handwriting is quite on the wall. Can Americans change this? That is the great question! Myself, I think not, but I would love to be wrong!

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        There were no local elections here this week, but evidentially where they were held dems lost badly. There is a article over at AT I guess I should return to read that conservatives should not put too much faith in it meaning much change.
        You know much more than me about the professions of different sects. I will have to go back and read about Mormons and 7th dayers. I forget, thought they were the same.
        Then again I not for Carson, so will pass research for now. But you right, as leading figure whatever he believes, he be open for fire like Hillary in Bosnia. 🙂 Except for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I am of course no political expert, but this just might be the end of Carson? Myself I have always felt that the so-called outsiders would finally fade to the more political minded Republican runners, after all this IS really politics, to run for the American Presidency! And Trump does not have the depth here either (my thoughts again), but time will tell?

          Liked by 1 person

        • “Politico reported Friday that West Point has no record of Carson applying for admission, let alone being extended an offer, as he claimed in his book “Gifted Hands.”

          Theresa Brinkerhoff, a West Point spokeswoman, told the political website that the academy has no records indicating that he even started the application process.

          “If he chose to pursue [the application process], then we would have records indicating such,” she said.

          When confronted with this information, the Carson campaign reportedly conceded that he never applied for a position at the academy.

          Later that day, Carson told the New York Times that the offer was informal.

          “I don’t remember all the specific details. Because I had done so extraordinarily well, you know, I was told that someone like me — they could get a scholarship to West Point. But I made it clear I was going to pursue a career in medicine,” he said to the New York paper.

          “It was, you know, an informal ‘with a record like yours we could easily get you a scholarship to West Point.’”

          This all sounds bogus to me too, the road (as I understand it to West Point) is layered, and even Westmoreland

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        • …(Back in the day), could not just get Carson into West Point.

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        • I am not picking on Carson personally, but he does appear to make some unrestrained, and just poor statements sometimes. And on many subjects, like no more Medicare?

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        • Btw, who’s vetting these Republican front-runners? Just like it appears Obama did not get vetted well! Sorry just thinking out-loud.

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        • And btw, the history of the SDA Church is quite messy, and I am not sure general Americans, certainly Evangelicals can abide with it? And Carson’s views here are surely on the wacky side! But then I am myself an evangelical Anglican, yes there are a few of us! But again, I cannot vote. But that does not keep me outside of the subject and opinion! 😉 I love America and Americans, and have fought with them…in two wars!

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Get a Cali. drivers license, a green card (I read O ordered then in spite of court), and EBT and probably you can vote come election time, if you promise to vote right, no left. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  4. the unit says:

    Had to backtrack a bit to find your late night comment about internet being kapook for a day and see your like clicks on comments today. Glad you back up. Guess I addicted, hate it when computer don’t work right. Welcome back.
    Welcome back,
    Your dreams were your ticket out.

    Welcome back,
    To that same old place that you laughed about.

    Well the names have all changed since you hung around,
    But those dreams have remained and they’re turned around.

    Who’d have thought they’d lead ya (Who’d have thought they’d lead ya)
    Back here where we need ya (Back here where we need ya)

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Thanks, Unit! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Yeppers back where we need ya, for sure, 🙂

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  5. the unit says:

    Well maybe someone will post what Bill Clinton’s ROTC instructor advised and ordered about him turning home from Oxford to serve his time. Nothing informal there. And what happened with that.
    I guess it’s still all on the internet.

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    • Btw, it’s NOT looking good historically for Dr. Carson and his so-called meeting with General Westmoreland, as to a “scholarship” to West Point. Which of course is not how one gets accepted into the Academy.

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      • NEO says:

        It’s looking fine, actually. Everybody at the Point as the academy themselves ay, in a full scholarship. The Politico article is a lying hatchet job, and was debunked by WAPO, no less.

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        • From my own historical efforts, and chatting with a few old friends… US Marine officers (one is a one time Intell officer), I would disagree! But I confess I am just not a fan of Dr. Carson, he is not qualified to my mind, i.e. especially in the political aspect. Not to mention his religious views! But again, who am I, I cannot even vote here! 😉 Btw, who is the WAPO?

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          USMA does say that, don’t know if Canoe U does! he’s not my number one either, perhaps in my top 5, for the reasons you state. WAPO is the Washington Post, and that’s why it was remarkable, coming from a progressive rag.

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        • Well historical truth is truth, even without the spin. And to my mind Carson spoke poorly here, as to the measure of how one gets into West Point. And the whole Westmoreland story sounds iffy to my mind, and just situational at best. But what the hell, I don’t like Trump either! And the Republican Party seems to be a mess right now also. If I were an American I would be an Independent, and something of a Libertarian. My little brother (a one time American Marine, 1980’s) and now a US citizen, is a Republican, though he likes Huckabee. And I too like old Huck! But sadly he is not going to make it, bumped now to the second tier, with Rand Paul still in the top? Crazy stuff! My choice would be Cruz, but can he beat old lady Clinton would be the big question? It seems to my logical mind that Americans are going to go Democrat again, but I sure hope I am wrong!

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          I think it’s true enough, he was the exec of Detroit’s Jr ROTC, pretty impressive in those days, and Westmoreland was at their final parade with a couple of MOH winners. I can certainly see why they’d want him in the Army, especially since he’s black, so they offered to help, is all there really is.

          My two ten to be Carly​ andCruz​z, in no particular order, neither is perfect, of course. I think you are wrong, if they can overcome the bloody media. If not, you’re right, and America is in big (er) trouble.

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        • Yes, I am sure Carson was the pop-culture boy for the moment with ROTC (back in his day), but of course Westmoreland, could only suggest, Carson had to move in the direction that all who wanted it must go, and he did not. Case really closed!

          My pessimism is twofold, seeing so-called Great Britain become just Britain, and lose it’s moral and spiritual way. And of course seeing modernity & postmodernity just choke-hold the whole of the West! Apostasy, both moral (now just the veneer in culture) and the religious are upon us, without God (Elohim) and the covenant we are doomed in the West. Lord have mercy!

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  6. Al DeFilippo says:

    Thank you for the post. For more on John Wesley and early Methodism, I would like to invite you to the website for the book series, The Asbury Triptych Series. The trilogy based on the life of Francis Asbury, the young protégé of John Wesley and George Whitefield, opens with the book, Black Country. The opening novel in this three-book series details the amazing movement of Wesley and Whitefield in England and Ireland as well as its life-changing effect on a Great Britain sadly in need of transformation. Black Country also details the Wesleyan movement’s effect on the future leader of Christianity in the American colonies, Francis Asbury. The website for the book series is http://www.francisasburytriptych.com. Please enjoy the numerous articles on the website. Again, thank you, for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The theology of Whitefield (pronounced “Whitfield” btw) and Wesley was about a different as night and day! Of course Whitefield was an Anglican Calvinist (a Calvinist Methodist), and took the Thirty-Nine Anglican Articles from a Puritan position. Btw too, Whitefield is buried in Boston, Mass. USA.

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