Called also Guy Fawkes’ Day
• Who was Guy Fawkes?
• Did you know...?
Guy Fawkes was born
April 13, 1570 and played
a major part in the
Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
As a good English
Catholic he joined the
Spanish army in 1593
and fought in the
In 1604 he and some Catholic conspirators
made plans to overthrow the Protestant
monarchy in England. They planted
gunpowder barrels in a cellar under the
House of Lords scheming to explode them
on November 5, 1605, when the king
After Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, English Catholics who had
had a rough time under her reign had hoped that her successor,
James I, would be more tolerant of their religion. Alas, he was
not, and this angered a number of young men who decided that
violent action was the answer.
One young man in particular, Robert Catesby suggested to some
close friends that the thing to do was to blow up the Houses of
Parliament. In doing so, they would kill the King, maybe even the
Prince of Wales, and the Members of Parliament who were
making life difficult for the Catholics. Today these conspirators
would be known as extremists, or terrorists.
To carry out their plan, the conspirators got hold of 36 barrels of
gunpowder - and stored it in a cellar, just under the House of
But as the group worked on the plot, it became clear
that some innocent people would be hurt or killed in
the attack. Some of the plotters started having second
thoughts. One of the group members even sent an
anonymous letter warning his friend, Lord Monteagle,
to stay away from the Parliament on November 5th.
Was the letter real?
The warning letter reached the King, and the King's
forces made plans to stop the conspirators.
Guy Fawkes, who was in the cellar of the parliament
with the 36 barrels of gunpowder when the authorities
stormed it in the early hours of November 5th, was
caught, tortured and executed.
It's unclear if the conspirators would ever have been
able to pull off their plan to blow up the Parliament
even if they had not been betrayed - some people
think the gunpowder they were planning to use was so
old as to be useless. Since Guy Fawkes and his
colleagues got caught before trying to ignite the
powder, we'll never know for certain.
The tradition of lighting bonfires on November 5,
started the same year as the plot itself. People,
happy that the King had been saved, lit bonfires
in the streets. Over the years the celebrations
became more elaborate, and effigies of Guy
Fawkes and even the Pope were added to the
top of the fires. Fireworks came a little later. All
towns and villages used to have a fire, then the
tradition became for people to have private fires
and firework displays.
Children make their effigies (or dummies) and
parade them in the streets before bonfire night.
They ask for "a penny for the Guy" and use the
money collected to buy fireworks. Because of
increased safety regulations most towns and
villages have begun having public bonfires again.
These days private bonfires are few and there
are not many "Guys" on display in the streets.
Did you know...?
Until 1959, it was illegal not to celebrate
the date of Guy Fawkes arrest in
As late as 1998, the death penalty still
existed in peacetime for the crimes of
treason and piracy with violence in
England and Wales...
Guy Fawkes Casserole
Bonfire Potato Dogs
Spiced Guy Fawkes Night Punch
Guy Fawkes Casserole
A warming stew to fortify the family before going out to watch the
fireworks; great with a baked potato
one and a half pounds (675g) stewing beef
2 large carrots, sliced
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. chilli powder
half an ounce (13g) plain flour
half an ounce (13g) dripping
salt and pepper
half a pint (250ml) beef stock \
Dice the beef into 1 inch cubes
Melt the dripping in a saucepan and fry the onions
and carrots for about 5 minutes
Add the beef and brown it on all sides
Gradually stir in the flour then add the chilli, curry,
stock, salt and pepper
Bring to the boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer
gently for about 2 hours
Serve with a baked potato
Bonfire Potato Dogs
A tasty bonfire snack or supper that can be made in
minutes in the microwave
4 medium baking potatoes
six and a half ounce (180g) can of hot dog sausages
2 tsp. curry paste
4 oz. (125g) button mushrooms
1 oz. (25g) butter
Scrub the potatoes and pierce with a fork
Microwave on Full power for 18-20 minutes
Wrap potatoes in foil while making filling
Melt the butter in an oblong microwave bowl for about 30
seconds on Full power
Stir in the mushrooms, cover and cook on Full for 2 minutes
Stir in the curry paste and place the sausages into the mixture
Cook for 2 minutes on Full power
Cut open the baked potatoes and share the sausage and
mushroom mixture between them.
Gingerbread has always been popular in the north of
England. Children love these shapes.
Plain flour - 350g (12 oz)
Bicarbonate of soda - 1 tsp
Ground ginger - 2 tsp
Butter - 110g (4 oz), diced
Soft light brown sugar - 175g (6 oz)
Golden syrup - 4 tbsp
Egg - 1, beaten
Currants - to decorate
Pre-heat oven to 190 °C / 375 °F / Gas 5.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a mixing bowl.
Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs,
then stir in the sugar. Beat the syrup into the egg, then stir into
the flour mixture. Mix together to make a smooth dough.
Knead the dough until smooth, then divide in half. Roll out, half
at a time, on a floured surface until about 0.5 cm (1 inch) thick.
Using a gingerbread man cutter, cut out gingerbread men until
all the dough has been used up, re-rolling and cutting the
trimmings. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Place the
gingerbread men on greased baking sheets and decorate with
currants to represent eyes and buttons.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Leave on the baking
sheets to cool slightly, then transfer to wire racks to cool
completely. Store in an airtight container.
Spiced Guy Fawkes Night Punch
Makes approximately 18 glasses
2 bottles inexpensive red wine (approx. 1.2 ltrs / 2 pts)
1 bottle medium dry cider (approx. 20 fl oz / 1 pt)
1 - 1 carton unsweetened apple juice
2 - 3 spice bags for mulled wine
The juice and finely pared zest of 2 - 3 oranges
3 Cox’s Pippin apples, cored and sliced
3 bay leaves
280g / 10oz Whitworths golden granulated sugar, or
sweeten to taste
Add all the ingredients to a large pan and bring the
liquid to boiling point. Reduce to a gentle simmer
and leave for 20 minutes. Add fresh slices of apple
and orange. Serve hot.
Tip: Use decorative biscuit cutters to cut the orange
skin into stars and moons to float on top of the
You will need:
1 lb sugar,
1/3 pint water
1 1 ozs butter
2 level tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon vinegar
1. Put all the ingredients into a strong saucepan and stir over a
steady heat until the sugar has dissolved.
2. Bring to the boil and cook until the mixture reaches the
'hard crack' stage, 290 degrees F. To test for the hard crack
stage drop about half a teaspoon of the mixture into a cup of
cold water, if it is hard then it is done, if still soft and chewy
cook for a little longer and test again.
3. Pour into oiled or buttered tin and either allow to set as a
slab or mark in squared as toffee becomes partially set. Break
when completely set.
Variations 1 Use black treacle instead of golden syrup 2 Add
peanuts or chopped mixed nuts.
1 1/2 lb oatmeal
1 teaspoon ground ginger 8 oz brown sugar
8 oz butter 1 lb treacle
1 teaspoonful allspice
Mix the dry ingredients . Heat treacle and butter; add to
the dry mixture and leave to stand overnight. Place in a
well-greased shallow baking tin and bake in a moderate
oven for about 2 hours. It is done when the parkin
springs back when touched.
8 ozs self raising flour
4 oz butter 8 ozs oatmeal
1 teaspoonful ground ginger 8 oz treacle
2 teaspoonfuls bicarbonate of soda
4 oz sugar
1 gill milk Pinch of salt
Rub the butter into the sieved flour, then add the rest of the dry
ingredients, the treacle, milk and beaten egg. Mix well together. Put
the mixture in a prepared shallow tin and cook in a slow oven for
about 2 hours. When cool , cut into squares..