Small picture Of Guy Faukes: 5KCelebrations:Events

Everyone likes a parade. Celebrations of the plot have been many and varied. As the plot is commemorated through time celebrations change. The plot is used by different persons and groups for differant purposes. These celebrations in turn change history as much as they commemorate it as reactions to them shape the future. What do our own celebrations tell us about ourselves? How will reactions to these events change the future?

Celebrations 1617

Adrian Mott of Braintree Essex encouraged the celebration of the 5th by leaving the profits from a land investment to be:”distributed every November 5th so that Guy Fawke’s treason should never be forgot”-Christopher Hill, Society and Puritanism in Pre-Revolutionary England (London, 1964)

Courtiers celebrated the day with banquets
1617- Buckingham sponsored a “great feast at Hatton House

The day became one of awards and promotions-
In 1617- Sir Henry Rich “received his charge of Captain of the Guard upon the Powder-treason holiday”- William S. Powell, John Pory, 1572-1636. The Life and Letters of a Man of Many Parts (Chapel Hill, 1977)


1625-Celebrations found Widespread in England  Hutton, The Stations of the Sun.,p.395.

1625-40 Celebration becomes known as "Bonfire Night" Effigies of the Pope and the Devil were burned.Hutton, The Stations of the Sun.,p.395.


Under Interregnum Celebrations become more popular than ever celebrating Protetestantism and Parliament-(Hutton, 395.)

Restoration= celebrations re-instated "Gunpowder Treason day", (Hutton, 396.)

Celebrations: Illuminations and Tar Barrels/Wine...c.1630
Churches were specially illuminated with candles on the night.
Communities would pay for public beer barrel or a supply of wine for one and all.
Parish Feasts were held. Worship and meditaion were combined with indulgence,drinking and festivity.
The day also became a day for donations to the poor. The end of the day brought bonfires, flaming tar barrels and bundles of faggots all purchased with funds from the parish.
Great St. Mary’s Cambridge- 2sa d for a bonfire on the 5th (1630s)
Holy Trinity, Cambridge 3s 8d “for a pitch barrel and faggots for a bonfire”-1635

Details of a Slap Up Dinner 1610
1610- Alderman and wives have a “slap up dinner and entertainment”
14s wine
6s8d waits
5sa musicians
15s gunpowder
A “martial parade” was held
20s for I”thirty of our soldiers which did show themselves with their muskets there.”

Misc. Festivities c.1600-30
The celebration took on the flavour of a Saints day as celebrated in pre-reformation England.
Norwich-waits were sung, bells rung three trumpeters were paid a shilling each by command of the mayor. In addition the Wheel-guns at Norwich Castle were fired each 5th of november. A sermon was preached in the church of St. Peter Mancroft”in commemoration of the great delivery of the king and state from the Gunpowder Treason”. In the eventing bells bonfires and drinking continued.
Carlisle-Mayoral feast, wakes, waits, actors bellringing
Nottingham- scarlet gownmen of the corporation ordered to church: “ on the fifth of November yearly, decently, clad in their scarlet gowns to give God thanks forthe great deliverance from the Powder Treason.” (They were fined one shilling if they failed to do this)
Wells Cathderal- Clergy are fined if they missed the formal service on the: “day of solemnity”.
1607-”there was delivered out of the tower in St. George’s triumph withal upon the 5th of November....106 lb. Of gunpowder and 14 lb of match”
St. Botllph Without Bishopsgate- known for the best bonfires
Celebrations included: fires, lights, bells, noise, charitable doles, outdoor rowdiness with a dinner at the White Hart for officials.
-1632-Spent 27s 6d on celebration.
David Cressy.,Bonfires and Bells.”National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England.,University of California Press, Berkeley,1989

Changes in Celebration c.1630

The celebration of the plot changed in the 1630s becoming less unified. The celebration remained
nationally important but with a Catholic queen celebrations were not as popular. Celebrants risked
being “put into the the black book” as their celebration marked them as being Puritains.
-David Cressy.,Bonfires and Bells.”National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England.,University of California Press, Berkeley,1989.

The Celebration c.1640
The everpresent Catholic threat demanded that the people of England continue to
rally around the images, celebrations and symbols of the deliverance from the Gunpowder Plot.

Mob Riot 1641 Chelmsford
5 November 1641- A mob in Chelmsford destroys a stained glass window which they determined
to have a Catholic theme. “On the fifth of November, in the evening, all the sectaries assembled together and in a riotous manner with long poles and stones beat down and deface the whole window....a thorough reformation”-Bruno Ryves.,”Mercujrius Rusticus; Or, The Countries Complaint of the Barbarous Out-Rages Committed by the Secrataries of this Late Flourishing Kingdom”.(London,1646)

1642-The Commons Turns against Celebration
Nov.5. 1642- The House Of Commons ordered: “the demolishing of all the popish ceremonies at Somerset House, and the banishing of the Capuchin Friars out of this kingdom.”-”A transcript of the Registers of the...Stationers...1640-1708 (London, 1913), vol. 1. p. 53.


1644- Parliamentary Newspaper: “Tuesday the 5 of November was a day of thanksgiving, ... for our deliverance from the Powder Plot, and it was kept very solemnly; mmany guns went off and many fine popish gods were burnt, which to do so in the reigh of Canterbury (Laud) was a mark of a puritan”-”The Parliamentary Scout: Communicating His Intelligence to the Kindgdome.”,31 Oct.-7-Nov. 1644.

Celebration Post Civil War 1647
The victory of the Parliament in the Civil War made the celebration of the 5th of November even
more important.

1647 Details of Firework Display -London
5 November 1647-

Firework display: “before the Lords and Commons of Parliament and the militia of london in commemoration of God’s great mercy in delivering this kingdom from the hellish plots of papists, acted in the damnable Gunpowder Treason”
Gunner George Brown designed the display with a printed programme which explained what each
tableau conveyed:-

“1. Fire-balls burning in the water, and rising out of the water burning, showing the papist’s conjuration and consultation with infernal spirits, for the destruction of England’s king and parliament.

2.Fire-boxes like meteors, sending forth many dozen rockets out of the water, intimating the popish spirits coming from below to act their treasonous plots against England’s king and parliament.

3. Fawkes with his dark lantern, and many fire-boxes, lights, and lamps, ushering the pope into England, intimating the plot to destroy England’s true king and parliament.

4. Pluto with his fiery club. Presenting himself maliciously bent to destroy all that have hindered the pope from destroying England’s king and parliament.

6. Runners on a line, intimating the papists sending to all parts of the world, for subtle cunning and malicious plotters of mischief against England’s king and parliament.

7. A fire-wheel, intimating the display of a flag of victory over the enemies that would have destroyed
England’s King and parliament.

8. Rockets in the air, showing the thankfulness of all well-willers to true religion, for the deliverance of England’s king and parliament.

9. Balloons breaking in the air, with many streams of fire, showing God’s large and bounteous goodness towards England’s king and parliament.

10. Chambers of lights, showing England’s willingness to cherish the light of the glorious gospel therin to be continued.

11. A great bumber -ball br eaking in pieces, and discharging itself of other its lights, holding forth the cruelty of the papists to England’s king and parliament.

12. Fire-boxes among the spectators, to warn them to take heed forthe future that they cherish none that are enemies to England’s king and parliament.
-A Modell of the Fire-Works to be presented in Lincolnes-Inne Fields on the 5th of Novemb. 1647. (London 1647) A good source for contemporary fireworks: Francis Malthus, “A treatise of Artifician Fire-Works, both for Warres and Recreation”(London, 1629) and John White. “A rich Cabinet, with Variety of Inventions...Whereunto is added avariety of Recreative Fire-works, both for Land, Aire, and water.” (London, 1651)

There were also bonfires and bells.

Press Report 1647
-Mercurius Elencticus (Royalist Newspaper) describes the event as : “some spuirting and squibbing fooleries in lincon’s Inn Fields” -Mercurius Elencticus 5-12 Nov. 1647.

Celebrations 1647-60
5 November 1647- an exceptional fireworks display and celebration in London

Some parishes may not have had celebrations or did not record them from 1655-60- St. Bartholemew Exchange

Details of a Gunpowder Treason Dinner 1658
1650s- St Botolph without Bishopsgate continued to celebrate with bells and by giving bread to the poor but discontinued bonfires. 1658- the parish held a “Gunpowder Treason dinner”, The Redlion
Expenses: 5pounds 12s 6d for:

“five stone, two pounds of beef 11s 6d
two legs of mutton 6s6d
four capons 10s 0d
four mince pies 12s0d
a gallon of canary 8s0d
agallon ofclaret 3s 4d
twenty dozen of bread 1pound 0s0d
for a sermon 10s 0d
the porter 4d
the sexton 8d
the maid 1s 0d
two ounces of tobacco 2s0d
the house bill of the Red Lion 1pound 5s 10d--David Cressy.,Bonfires and Bells.”National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England.,University of California Press, Berkeley,1989. p.165.

During the period celebrations were not as uniform throughout the country.
More private observances took place than official ones.
Parishes in the cities of Norwich, Derby and York kept up ringing
No ringing occured in Salisbury.
Holy Trinity Cambridge kept up with both bonfires and bells into the mid 1650s but stopped during
the end of the protectorate for three years.

Celebrations 1650-
Popular celebration declined in the 1650s

Celebrations 1660-
Samuel Pepys observerd: “boys in the street fling their crackers” He was blocked from his usual route home by bonfires.-Robert Latham and William Matthews (eds.) “The Diary of Samuel Pepys”.London 1970-83), vol. 2. p. 208, vol.5, p. 314.
5 November 1668- Fireworks wre thrown into the coach of the Spanish ambassador.- .- (David Cressy.,Bonfires and Bells.”National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England.,University of California Press, Berkeley,1989 p.173)
The Great Fire of London put a damper on festivities. Not only were bonfires feared but churches had lost their belfries and the bells were forced to be silent

Bonfires/Tar Barrels 1660-70’s
Bonfires: Holy Trinity and Great St Mary’s Cambridge had fires in the 1670s
Darlington, County Durham flaming coals and tar barrels- (David Cressy.,Bonfires and Bells.”National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England.,University of California Press, Berkeley,1989 p.174)
Fires were recorded in London up to the great fire of 1666
1666, November 5- Samuel Pepys records: “Not one bonfire through the whole town in going round the wall, which is strange, and speaks the melancholy disposition of the City at present, while never more was said and feared of and done against the papists than just at this time”-Latham and Matthews (eds.) “Diary of Samuel Pepys,”vol 7. P. 358.
The celebration was renewed once again following the countering of Charles II’s Declaration of Indulgency with the Test Act of 1673 and the marriage of James Duke of York to the Catholic Mary of Modena. Catholic succession loomed.

Celebrations 1670’s
5 November 1673- Apprentises exploded squibs: “to testify their joy and gladness for the wonderful preservation of their forefathers” coaches were stopped and money demanded for drink and fires. An effigy of the Whore of Babylon adorned with ornaments of papal crosses, keys, beads and a triple crown. It was taken to a bonfire in the Poultry. It was suspended over the street and was made to dance in the air as a target for pistols before being burned. A noisy rowdy and drunken crowed cheered. At this time the incident described above was linked to the words of Hugh Latimer who was one of the Marian Martyrs. Fire was noted as a weapon of the Catholics. The paper noted that the “fire of the GunpowderTreason in the thoughts of the present generation” would not be put out.- .- (David Cressy.,Bonfires and Bells.”National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England.,University of California Press, Berkeley,1989 p.175)

Celebrations c1670
4 November 1677- The marriage of Princes Mary, to William of Orange was celebrated and “occasioned great acclamations of joy” on November 5. -London Gazette no. 1249, 5-8 November 1677.
1677- Effigies of the pope were burned at the Monument to the Great Fire.
November 1680- Exclusion bill sets 5 November as a deadline. (A bill to exclude the Duke of York (James II) from succession)

Celebrations c.1670-80
Due to the Popish Plots of 1678 and the political acts of 1679 celebrations became much more elaborate.
Live tableaux were popular and the extravaganzas of Elizabethan and Jacobean times as well as ancient midsummer devil processions were mirrored. Celebrations involved partizan rather than corporate sponsorship. Programs were issued. Organizations such as the Whigs and the Green Ribbon Club and groups such as the apprentices seem to have taken possession of the holiday from the state and church. Perhaps this had something to do with the concentration of omens of plot along with threats of another swing of the pendulum from restoration to a catholic king (James II ) or to a Protestant King (William II) . Perhaps the mood of the streets was to celebrate the end of all of the religious devils which had brought disruption to life rather than just the papal one although it is the pope and the papal devils which get attention in the celebrations themselves.
November 1678- Program :London, “The manner of the Burning of the Pope in Effigies in London On the 5th of November, 1678. With the manner of carrying him through several Streets, in progression to Temple-Bar, where at length he was decently burned.An addition to this work was: “A particular of several Bloody Massacres done bhy the Papists upon the bodies of English, Irish and French Protestants.”-(London 1678)

Sir Edmund Godfrey Murdered and remembered 1678
left his house on October 12, 1678, and was found murdered at the foot of Primrose Hill on October 17. Whodunit? Jesuits, Whigs--no one really knows. But it was treated by the Whigs as a murder by the Catholics preceding a general massacre of all Protestants. Miles Prance was a silversmith who had done some work for the Queen and was accused in the summer of 1679 of having been present at Somerset House when Godfrey was murdered. Under pressure he made a full confession and in turn accused three servants of the murder. They were executed in February 1679.
The Earl of Shaftesbury used the murder of Godfrey to great advantage in 1679 after his procession on November 5th for Guy Fawkes gunpowder plot procession. His procession of November 17th was designed to celebrate the anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth. "First appeared a bellman with a slow and solemn pace, exclaiming at intervals in a sepulchral tone, `Remember Godfrey!' next came a representation of the body of the murdered magistrate borne by one habited like a Jesuit; then followed nuns, monks, priests, Catholic bishops in copes and mitres, Protestant bishops in lawn sleeves, six cardinals with their red hats, and last of all, the Pope, in a litter, attended by `Arch-Chancellor, the Devil.' The procession having marched through the city at night amidst the glare of several thousand flambeaux, the whole population turning out to witness it, and to call down vengeance on the heads of those who paid homage to the SCARLET LADY, halted at Temple Bar, when, at a concerted signal, the Pope and his attendants were precipitated into the flames with a shout..." (Campbell, Lives of the Lord Chancellors, Vol. IV, p. 159)

Celebrations were extended from November 5 to November 17 “Queen Elizabeth’s Day” which generally saw the burning of effigies of the pope and devils.- (David Cressy.,Bonfires and Bells.”National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England.,University of California Press, Berkeley,1989.Chapter 11)
Oliver Heywood notes: “spectacles,shows, bonfires, squibs in London and other places that are very expensive and not very useful; that papists deride and serious Protestants lament, especially at what sin is thre committed; it bodes no good, as appears by what precceded the French massacre.”-Turner (ed.) Oliver Heywood., vol 218
The route of the processions: “assembling at Moorgate or Whitechapel Bar in the east, pausing at points of political or religious sensitivity, and usually ending at Temple Bar on the western edge of the city where the headquarters of the Green Ribbon Club, the Whig organization and the oversized statue of Queen Elizabeth were found.
1681- Procession ends in a great bonfire-Smithfield site of the Marian Martyrs’ fires.( -David Cressy.,Bonfires and Bells.”National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England.,University of California Press, Berkeley,1989.p.181.)
1679- A newswriter- “great preparations are made for the extraordinary observation of the 5th of November, in which the papists will no doubt see much of the temper of England”-Library of Congress, “London Newsletter Collection”, nos 858-9.
“young people paraded diabolic and papal effigies, and called at the houses of eminent persons demanding money. The exchange of coins linked the crowd with the elite, and turned selected merchants and gentlemen into informal sponsors of the processions. Unwilling contributors were booed, and the windows of spected papists wre broken. Travel was unsafe for Catholics and people associated with them. Fights broke out between Protestant apprentices and their antagonists” -(David Cressy.,Bonfires and Bells.”National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England.,University of California Press, Berkeley,1989. P.181.)
A newswriter: “Sir William Waller burnt in the Palace Yard the popish books, etc. Taken by him, and several of the pope’s effigies were burnt about the city with great approbation of the people”
“The activities began at three in the morning with the ringing of church bells. Drums, squibs, gunshots and shouts built up the excitement for the evening procession. The parade began with the fall of twilight and lasted until eight or nine at night. Crowds lined the streets, and refreshments flowed freely. In adition to mocking effigies of the Pope and his minions there were floats representing Protestant heros and popish villains. Current and historical references were intertwined...”-( -David Cressy.,Bonfires and Bells.”National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England.,University of California Press, Berkeley,1989. P.181-2)
Toriess faught Whigs with rival effigy burning and parades.
Nov. 5 1681 “the scholars in Westminster school instead of a pope burnt the effigy of Jack Presbyter in Dean’s Yard. He had in his right hand a seditious pamphlet called vox patrie, in his left hand a scroll of parchment on which was written the Solemn League and Covenant; on his clock was fixed another pamphlet on which was fixed an ignoramus.”-Library of Congress. “London Newsletter Collection” vol 7, f. 264.

Frustrated by the unraveling of the Popish Plot the absence of a sitting parliament and the failure of the exclusion campaign took the wind from the sails of the Whigs. Whig patronage left the processions by 1682. Formal parades ended but bonfires continued. Violence intensified.( -David Cressy.,Bonfires and Bells.”National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England.,University of California Press, Berkeley,1989. Chapter 11)
November 1682- “multitudes of the mobile...behaved themselves very insolently...Captain Bloomer, coming through Newgate Street, was barbarously pulled out of his coach, and knocked down several times by the rabble”
Signs such as The Pope’s Head, Cardinal’s Hat and His Royal Highness’ head were attacked.- -David Cressy.,Bonfires and Bells.”National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England.,University of California Press, Berkeley,1989. p.182)
“Sunday night last being the 5th (of November) all true and loyal Protestants in London to express their horrid dislike of the Gunpowder Treason, put on bonfires to the great dislike of the papists here; who thinking to have their bridle always cast on their necks promised to put out several fires, but were hindered as much as possible by the owners. This working much upon the young men apprentices of the place, they gathered together in a body; a nd after having soundly beat off these persons that were putting out the fires, obliging them to run to their several holes with beaten bones, they proceeded to go through the streets calling, no York! A Monmouth, a Monmouth...By ten o’clock they were increased to a numerous multitude, where marching through the streets they broke down several windows of those they knew to be popish and popishly affected, and those they got into their hands they most soundly beat off. They pulled down a great part of Nathaniel Thampson’s house, and did not leave one whole window in Sir John Moore’s. From there they marched to Holborn in search of Roger L’Estrange; but not finding him they brought forth chairs stools, beds etc. Of which they made a great bonfire , and calling for drink drunk rounds of the destruction of Towser (the devil-dog) and the pope., etc...At every bonfire they drank round the king and Duke of Monmouth’s good helath, the people most willingly giving them drink.”-Library of Congress. “London Newsletter Collection”. Vol. 9 Loose folio.
This demonstration was met by the Trained bands and an order to fire on the crowd which was no obeyed. The soldiers did run through the crowd with drawn swords but were resisted by the crowd which occupied the Exchange.”levying war against the king” was seen as a serious issue. The government felt that it had a mandate to restrict future festivities.-Library of Congress. London Newsletter Collection.” Vol. 8, f. 257; nos. 1298, 1299.
1683- Proclamation outlaws bonfires,squibs and crackers.(-David Cressy.,Bonfires and Bells.”National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England.,University of California Press, Berkeley,1989. Chapter 11)
1684- a quiet observance. The King was: “well pleased with the greater care he (the Lord Mayor) took in keeping the fifth of November free from all manner of disorders, and desired him nad the aldermen to keep those days of jubilee with the same care and they should want no assistance from the court” -Library of Congress. “London Newsletter Collection.” Nos. 1459, 1612, 1614. Corporation of London Record Office., PD 10/86.88.

1685- Accession of an openly Catholic King: James II. The government tried to end festivities. Official sermons were non confrontational but local preaching was more conservative and traditional (-David Cressy.,Bonfires and Bells.”National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England.,University of California Press, Berkeley,1989. Chapter 12)

1685- John Evelyn “went to St. Martins in the morning, where Dr. Birch preached very boldly against the papists, from John 16:2 In the same afternoon I heard Dr. Tillotson in Lincoln’s Inn Chapel, on the same text but more cautiously”-Dobson., ed. “Diiary of John Evelyn., vol 3, pp 191,212)
Disturbances continued in the city. “The Lord Mayor forbid bonfires, fireworks etc., but the boys lighted up a vast number of candles on cross heads and some were carried about tstreets on cross sticks” The King did not approve and told the officials: “to take more care for the future and to find out the promoters of such disorders.” This was followed by more official prohibitions.-Libraryu of Congress, “London Newsletter Collections”, nos. 1730,1733; Corporation of London Record Office. REP.93 f.2.

St. Andrew by the Wardrobe continued bonfires for royal occasions but did not hold them for the 5th of November tll 1689.-( -David Cressy.,Bonfires and Bells.”National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England.,University of California Press, Berkeley,1989.p.186)

November 1688- The 5th is celebrated by bells and prayers while a nother deliverance occured in the form of the arrival of William of Orange at Torbay on November 5.
1689- A new form of service for 5 November is thankful that: “the snares of death that were laid for us” had been discovered and that King William had come: “safely into his kingdom, to preserver us from the late attempts of our enemies to bereave us of our religion and laws.” Bonfires and bells followed official services.-”A form of prayuer with thanksgiving....fifth day of November (London 1690)

1700's - Exeter-kicking of tar barrels,raucous parades,effigies of priests, friars, nuns pope in a wire cage 7 fet high, discordant music played by a band,gates,fences and plantation timber stolen in Middleton. (Hutton 398)

1751- Gentleman's Magazine, complaint against throwing fireworks into crows and window breaking and fence burning by masked revellers (Hutton 398)

1766- fire started by squib throwing Kettering,Northamptonshire. (Hutton 398)


1785- Major Riot in Lewes, East Sussex, Pope burning ever since exclusion Crisis.

1788- riot in Southampton, mayor tries to ban bonfires.


1790s - The Times calls for action against "greasy rogues", "blackguards", "idle fellows"

upper class patrons withdraw support due to violence (Hutton 399)


BAMFORD, Samuel     Early Days    London   1849
 Middleton, Lancashire (now Greater Manchester) 1790s.

The next holiday was on the Fifth of November, the anniversary of the
discovery of the Gunpowder Plot. Most people ceased from working in the
afternoon, and children went from house to house begging coal to make a
bon-fire, a distich of the following words being their form of application.
   The Fifth o' November, I'd hayo remember
   A stick an' a stake, for King George sake;
   Pray, dame, gimmi a cob-coal,
   To make a leet i' Lunnon cellar hole
In addition to these contributions, gates and fences suffered, and whatever
timber was obtainable from the woods and plantations, was considered fair
game "for King George's sake." At night the country would be lighted up by
bon-fires - or as pronounced in Lancashire, "bun-foyers;" tharcake and toffy
were distributed to the younger members of families, whilst the elder
clubbed their pence and at night had "a joynin'" in some convenient
dwelling. The lord of the manor made the young men a present of a good
two-horse load of coal, with which a huge fire was lighted on The Bank, near
the church, and kept burning all night and most of the day following. The
young fellows also joined at ale from the public-house, and with drinking,
singing and exploding of fire-arms, they amused themselves pretty well,
especially if the weather was favourable.


1815-30- Bonfire societies start in Sussex, Surry Devon.

1820- Crowd throws stones and fireworks at house of unpopular employor in Luton, Bedfordshire.

1822- Duke of Manchesteer targeted at Kimbolton Castle Huntingdonshire. (due to his anti poaching drive)

1831-Effigies of bishops who were against Great Reform Bill.

1833- Police Spy paraded in Bethnal Green and burned.

1830s- crowds and fires removed from London (Hutton p.400) (1827 at Lymington, Hampshire, Basingstoke,Hampshire 1830, Dorchester 1880's, Chepstow tar barrel rollers end 1892,Bridport,Lyme Regis, Dorset ends 1909. Witham, 1890,Chelmsford,1888, Lewes temp end 1841, surry ends at Godalming, Chertsey, Farnham, Croydon 1880, Guilford 1865))

1850s- bonfire societies start in Essex (such societies made up of artizans and labourers)

1858- Earl of Stanhope moves that queen be ordered to remove the statute accomplished in March 1859. celebrations become local.


1870s - Tame parade club celebration Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

Tuesday November 6, 1888
Sussex Daily News

"Guy Fawkes  Day Celebrations": "Annual Carnival at Lewes".
"Whatever else the Lewes Bonfire Boys may have done or left undone last night they at any rate succeeded to admiration, in keeping each other very wide awake indeed.  The celebration of Guy Fawkes day was certainly a great success.  It may be that last year- the never to be forgotten 5th falling on a Saturday- there were rather more people in the streets than late last night.  But it is certain that not more Bonfire Boys (and Girls) took part in the processions and displays that go to make up the great annual Saturmalia which its upholders appear to be as determined as ever to maintain as  an important "institution" unequaleled in the three kingdoms.  There was of course a fearful row right up to midnight in  the streets of the historic county town and also of course there was the blaze of many lights amid dense clouds of smoke in the principal throughfares.  With midnight came peace  but from dusk up to the close the streets may be said to be in  a state of decided animation.  A stranger to the town, not knowing the ways of Lewes Bonfire Boys, might have got the impression on passing up Station street that some quite appalling conflagration was raging in the ancient borough set in the Southdowns.  On almost every side red lights flashed in the darkness and it seemeduntil one got in the High street, as thought the County Hall were on fire.  This was the mighty fire that was kept blazing all night and the Assize courts got nothing worse than a good smoking.  There were other signs which might have led a stranger to believe that the town was under siege ; or that its inhabitants were expecting to be flooded out or bombarded in their hoomes- for every window had been barricaded and their gratings and doorways stuffed up with wet straw.  They seem to like this sort of thing in Lewes and think nothing at all of it now they have got used to it.  At many of the higher windows one could discern the faces of dwellers illuminated by blazing heaps of barrels being dragged along the street by a crowd of grotesquely-attired and yelling anti-Guy Fawkesites. One noticed that the "Boys" --some of the most enthusiastic of whom have ot been boys these dozens of years or more--behaved with commendable courtesy to the women who had ventured out on this wildly hilarious night nad there seems to be only  one incident of a masqueerader disgracing himself by bawling an improper song; but in regard to the setting-off of squibs, rousers, crackers, catherine wheels and rockets (from which the black darkness over head was never free) everybody seemed to think themselves chartered libertines.  Some of these rousers were really too strong; one or two of the boys had a not very laudable trick of throwing them over the heads of the crowd in such a way as to make some face the first point of contact.  It takes a person with a pretty stout nervous system to appreciate a Lewes Fifth November rouser when that fizzing roaring monster gets at close quarters.  It is more interesting to hear it burst on the rooftops or even under someone else's greatcoat.  As for those terrible tar barrels! - that night they simply meant ssphyxiation unless you could dodge the horrid masses of smoke and flame which they emitted.  These burning tar barrels had been especially in evidence during the passing of the processions.  Thre had been several brilliant affairs previously but this closing masque completely eclipsed its forerunners.  It was an amalgamation of all the other processions; and the best it was called : "The Town Grand Procession." It was grand enough. It ought to have started from the Pelham Arms at half-past nine but started on St. Annes Hill at ten minutes to ten. But the Lewes Bonfire Boys are not particular to half-an-hour when they have made up their minds to astonish both the natives and the strangers within their gates."
  1880s- Foreign enemies included as effigies: Russian Tsar, Nana Sahib of India...issues in local politics, individuals who had offended the community.

1880s- Parades take on, more peaceful, organized less chaotic."firework display,costumed guys, town band music paid for by MPs.general revival of celebration in this more acceptable form.

1890s- Children practice Guy Fawkes rituals with local home fires. this extends to 20th century. They replace traditional Halloween bonfires in Central Wales and the North. (Hutton p. 404)


1930s- Mischief picks up in S.E. Wiltshire. Cambridge, Botley near Southampton...


20th century- Missrule night becomes Nov. 4. only. "Mischief Night" popular in industrial towns by 1950s.

1908- Firework company Paine sold 500 tons of fireworks a year.

1909- The times notes growing popularity of back yard fireworks.

1920's- Penny for the Guy noted for firework purchases...

1950's- Noted that children do not know the history of Guy

1970- National Firework Code enacted to reduce average rate of 1,400 accidents a year.

Central community festivals once again popular.

Flame Explore Our Pages Flame
Home  New Story  Terrorism  Celebrations  Change 
Clothes  Food  Language  Music  Map  Motoring
Destruction  Writings  Reviews  Center Bibliography  Feedback 

Copyright © 2000 Center For Fawkesian Pursuits