Tuesday, 5 November 2019

don’t you remember the fifth of november

Enshrined the following year as a commemoration of thanksgiving for the failure of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the House of Lords and reinstate a Catholic monarchy and exported to America as Election Day, the once rabidly puritanical celebration and partisan scapegoating (previously) has evolved into a festival recognising the role of the subversive underdog and donning the mask of Guy Fawkes, the chief co-conspirator has become a symbol of protest and rebellion for any number of causes.
The preamble for the parliamentary act set forth that “many malignant and devilish Papists, Jesuits and Seminary Priests, much envying and fear, conspired most horribly, when the King’s most excellent Majesty, the Queen, the Prince, and he Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, should have been assembled in the Upper House of Parliament upon the Fifth Day of November in the Year of our Lord One thousand six hundred and five, suddenly to have blown up the said whole House with Gunpowder: An Invention so inhuman, barbarous and cruel, as the like was never before heard of.” Though no penalties were prescribed or meted out for failure to participate, the associated legislation directs church ministers to hold a special service on this anniversary and read the text to the parishioners. This requirement was annulled with the repealing of the Act in 1859, a decade after the Universalis Ecclesiรฆ was issued by the Vatican, restoring episcopal hierarchy in the country and recognising the legitimacy of the royal family. Though like Guy Fawkes Day the parade and associated events (Operation Vendetta) has transcended its founders’ and organisers’ original mission: at first meant to protest the secrecy and censorship of the Church of Scientology, marchers now rally for social justice.