Guy Fawkes and his day.

Fawkes Day in  New York
A silver beaker showing images of the Devil, the Young Pretender and the Pope. ( source=Gilje,Paul, A. The Road To Mobocracy,University of North Carolina Press, 1987. 
Midi Music Thomas Campion, 1567-1620, "Suite in D-min: Tombeau," 9k 

From:The Road to Mobocracy, Paul A. Gilje, University of North Carolina Press, 1987 

Important Dates Mentioned: 

1737-"Gentlemen of his Majesty's Council, the Assembly and Corporation, and other principal Gentlemen and Merchants of this City waited upon" the lieutenant governor at Forth George, "where the Royal Healths were drank, as usual, under the Discharge of the Cannon and at Night the City was illuminated."- (Stokes, Iconography, IV, 554. 

1748- Until this time the holiday was celebrated as an official holiday. Then New Yorkers adopted the custom as practiced in Boston- "parading and then by burning effigies of the pope, the Pretender, and the devil" (Weekly Journal,  Nov. 7 1748, Gazette: Post-Boy, Nov. 7,1748.) 

1755-Pope Day effigies were carried around the city on a bier at night:"hideously formed, and as humorously contrived, the Devil standing close behind the Pope, seemingly paying his compliments to him, with a three pronged Pitchfork...on the Back....(was ) the young Pretender standing before the Pope waiting his commands."  "The procession stopped before the lodgings of the captured French general, Baron Dieskau, to reinforce the anti-Catholic message.  The baron knew how to defuse a potentially dangerous situation and paid homage to the celebr atns by sending down some silver.  The crowd recognized the traditional concession, returned the favor with three huzzahs, and then "march'd off to a proper Place," where they "set Fire to the Devil's Tail, burning the Three to Cinders." (no direct evidence exists for Pope Day processions for every year there are references to the dates - 1748,1755, 1757,1765, so that it is believed that processions were held each year from 1748-1764. Weekly Journal, Nov. 7, 1748, Gazette:Post-Boy, Nov.7,1748, Nov. 10, 1755, Nov.7,1757, Stokes, Iconography, IV, 673,675;Murcury, Nov.7, 1757; G.D. Scull, ed, The Montresor Journals (New  York Historical Society, Collections, XIV, (New York, 1881), 338-339.) 

(op.cit.:p. 22)

"During the Pope Day pagent, revelers carted effigies about town in the same manner as officials had criminals carted through the streets,   they enforced a general illumination by smashing unlit windows, and they collected money to support their efforts in a kind of unofficial tax."

Gilje interprets the significance of Pope's Day Celebrations as follows: 
(op.cit. pp.25-30) 
" The meaning of this ritual is complex: it expressed faith in the standing order and simultaneously questioned. it.  On the surface, Pope Day was a patriotic holiday, celebrating the Protestant succession.  All levels of society shared this patriotism, which was of particular importance to New York's disparate Protestants, who were united on y in their ardent anti Catholicism.  But there are deeper meanings behind the ritual--meanings that suggest that the Pope Day ceremony after 1748 also acted as an implicit challenge  to the social hierarchy.  In other words, patriotic ritual served as a screen to hide the more subtle shadows of social conflict." 
(here Gilje cites Max Gluckman and Victor Turner as informing his analysis) 
"The intricacies of the symbolic meaning of the Pope Day ritual are evident when we examine 
the New York crowd's selection of effigies.  Although the procession occurred on the anniversary of Guy Fawke's attempted misdeed, that Catholic fanatic held little significance for New Yorkers in the mid-eighteenth century.  The crowd, instead, chose its own anti-catholic symbols.  The patriotic message of all three effigies is clear.  The pope naturally represented the hated Romanism, and after the failed invasions of 1715 and 1745, the Pretender epitomized the popular fear  of the arbitrary and Catholic monarchy in the Stuart mold.  The devil, leading, whispering or hovering about the scene, was a common motif representing evil in eighteenth-century iconography." 
(here Gilje cites Shaw, American Patriots and U.S. Library of Congress, The American Revolution i n Drawings and prints...., David H. Crestwell comp.) 

"The submerged challenge to social authority is less evident.  The attack on popery may have represented, in the popular mind, a criticism of all church hierarchy.  More important is the central role of the Pretender's effigy.  It is granted, of course, that its desecration represented an explicit statement of loyalty to the current regime.  But there may have been other, even contradictory meanings to the effigy.  The Pretender despite all his faults, was also a member of the aristocracy.  Engraved silver beakers of the New York Pope Day effigies (see above) portray the Pretender as a Scottish lord.  With sword at his side, the effigy may have stood as a muted symbol of the aristocracy.  Under the guise of patriotism, the common folk could denigrate and humiliate this effigy, which represented an individual ordinarily untouchable.  Moreover, there is another possible meaning to the ritual which almost negates the loyalism of the holiday.  The prominence of the effigy of the Pretender-- who lost his claim to the throne because of the perfidy of James II--may have acted also as a reminder to the monarchy of what might become of the Hanoverian dynasty if it behaved to arbitrarily, if it got too close to the Catholics, or if it betrayed the people. 
The evidence that these effigies served as a type of challenge to authority is tenuous, but this interpretation becomes more  compelling when placed in the context of the commencement of the Pope Day parades.   The  political and economic conditions of the 1740s and 1750s certainly were conducive to a New York plebeian challenge to the standing order.  During these years a bitter factional rivalry divided the provincial elite who charged one another with failing to protect the welfare of all......Thus, as New York filled with men returning from war in 1748, the Pope Day effigy procession long practiced in Boston, offered itself as a means to express contrasting emotions---clearly hatred for French papists was dominant, but perhaps also this new ritual expressed dissatisfaction with the colonial leadership, the peace, and , subliminally , the king.  Class antagonism confused factional politics, the rise of a market economy , and conventional and official celebration to a special plebeian holiday from 1748 to at least 1765.....The Pope Day processions that began in 1748, the New Year's frolics practiced throughout the century, the less regular rowdyism accompanying official celebrations, and the sporadic rioting against impressment and over issues like the coinage controversy of 1754--all were plebeian activities.  Youths, seamen, mechanics, laborers, and black slaves were the main participants.  The patrician might stroll across the plebeian state and might even participate in the drama.  He too, after all, was a member of the community and shared to some degree, in the popular culture.  But if he did join in or lead the tumult, he was only temporarily entering a world in which he might exert some influence, but a world he could never completely control.His  presence did not alter the basic plebeian character of the rioting..." 
This Analysis is interesting however, it leaves me wondering- Why November? -What happened to traditional Guy Fawkes celebrations from the earliest times when the holiday must have been in the cultural bagage of more than a few, and what is the relationship of the celebration not only to the veterans returning from the war but to the countryfolk who  have by November 5just  freed themselves temporarly  from the land and the harvest? 

I find the  observation that  Guy  Fawkes  is not  mentioned  of interest. I would think that he always  represented  the  Devil as  in the phrase "devil in the vault."

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