Friday, November 05, 2010

Guy Fawkes, Treason and Rome

Before the meaning and significance of Guy Fawkes Night are lost forever in the forgetfulness of time – subsumed to the inexorable progression of Hallowe’en; fused irrevocably with Diwali and other festivals of lights with altogether foreign affirmations and commemorations – it is worth reflecting on the value of the remembrance.

Gratitude to God for deliverance is no longer part of the national psyche: there has been no full-frontal invasion attempt by a foreign power for 70 years, and so our security and liberty are taken for granted by generations who have never experienced the threat of oppression.

The exercise of democracy has become a quaint tradition which many are content to see compromised and diminished, and in which millions no longer bother to participate at all.

The Protestants of the 16th and 17th centuries knew what it was to contend for liberty from the oppression of Rome: and so they also knew how to celebrate and commemorate that deliverance with the sort of flame by God's grace in England which they trusted might never be put out.

Guy Fawkes’ gunpowder plot failed in its objective to assassinate the Protestant King James, blow Parliament to kingdom come and restore the old religion. And that failure meant the preservation of our monarchy, of liberty and of our independence from foreign princes and potentates.

And the King and Parliament decreed that henceforth the 5th November would be remembered throughout history with fireworks, bonfires and feasts of celebration; with gratitude to God, an abundance of joy and thanksgiving, patriotic revelry and not a little drunkenness.

And here we are, four centuries later, with a Monarch who has been rendered a citizen of a foreign power and subjected to foreign courts; a Parliament which has surrendered its sovereignty and abdicated the Royal Prerogative such that it cannot even assert the primacy of its own statutes; and a Church which has forgotten what it is to be Protestant in a relativist sea of ecumenicity.

We were not bombed into submission: no bullets were fired, no hostages taken, no ransom exacted.

Our Parliament has freely conspired and our Monarch has given wilful assent to the present occupation of this Kingdom by a foreign imperium which is antithetical to our traditions, ignorant of our liberties and dismissive of our democracy.

What Guy Fawkes failed to achieve for the Pope of Rome with gunpowder, our Parliament surrendered to the Treaty of Rome with their own votes.

The Monarchy which Guy Fawkes sought to overthrow has willingly prostrated and assented to its own abdication.

The Union Flag is but a meaningless rag beneath the Corona Stellarum Duodecim of the European Union.

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is subject to the rulings of the Supremest Court in Strasbourg.

Some might call all this 'Treason'.

If it be ‘an eternal truth’ that ‘what a sovereign parliament can do, a sovereign parliament can also undo’, then we look to our deliverer.

In the meantime, in commemoration of the miraculous deliverance of 1605, here are the verses of the celebratory pamphlet featured above:

True Protestants I pray you do draw near
Unto this ditty lend attentive ear,
The lines are new although the subject's old
Likewise it is as true as e'er was told.

When James the First in England reigned King,
Under his Royal gracious Princely wing
Religion flourish'd both in court and town
Which wretched Romans strove to trample down.

To their old plotting trade they straight did go,
To prove this Kingdom's final overthrow
A plot contriv'd by Catholics alone
The like before or since was never known.

Rome's Council did together often meet
For to contrive which way they might complete
This bloody treason which they took in hand
Against the King, and Heads of all the land.

At length these wretched Romans all agreed
Which way to make the King and Nation bleed
By powder, all agreed with joint consent.
To blow up both the King and Parliament.

For to keep secret this, their villany
By solemn oaths they one another tie
Nay farther, being void of grace and shame,
Each took the Sacrament upon the same.

Their Treason wrapp'd in this black mantle, then,
Secure and safe from all the eyes of men,
They did not fear/ but by one fatal blow,
To prove the Church and Kingdom's overthrow.

Catesby with all the other Roman crew,
This powder plot did eagerly pursue
Yet after all their mighty cost and care
Their own seat soon was taken in the snare.

Under the House of the great Parliament,
This Romish Den, and Devils by consent,
The Hellish powder plot they formed there,
In hopes to send all flying in the air.

barrels of powder privately convey'd,
billets and bars of iron too, were laid.
to tear up all before them as they flew,
a black invention by this dismal crew.

and with the fatal blow all must have flown,
the gracious king upon his royal throne,
His Gracious Queen likewise their Princely heir
All must have died and perish'd that was there.

The House of Noble Lords of high degree,
By this unheard of bloody tragedy,
Their limbs in sunder, straight would have been tore
And fill'd the air with noble bloody gore.

The worthy learned Judges grave and sagey
The Commons too, all must have felt Rome's rage,
Had not the Lord of Love crept in between
Oh! what a dismal slaughter there had been.

The King, the Queen and Barons of the land.
The Judges, Gentry did together stand,
On ruin's brink, while Rome the blow would give,
They'd but the burning of a match to live.

But that great God that sits in Heaven high.
He did behold their bloody treachery,
He made their own handwriting soon betray
The work which they had plotted many a day.

The Lord in Mercy did his Wisdom send,
Unto the King, his people to defend,
Which did reveal the hidden powder plot,
A gracious mercy, ne'er to be forgot

And brought Rome's faction unto punishment,
Which did the powder treason first invent,
And all that ever plots, I hope God will,
That the true Christian church may flourish still.


Blogger Gnostic said...

We've spent 405 years celebrating a dismal failure.

Only in Britain...

5 November 2010 at 10:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Protestants of the 16th and 17th centuries knew what it was to contend for liberty from the oppression of Rome

But not to mention the oppression from the CoE towards 'witches' Jews, non-conformists and dissenters - Let he who is without sin etc etc yada yada.

First establish yourselves as victims; blur around the edges; have yourselves a nice little 'Holy War'and carry out your actions in the name of the great sky fairy of your choice. Sounds a bit all too familiar with today's situation - no wonder the Christians won't call the toss over Islam.

'Politics and Religion'= UGH!

5 November 2010 at 11:49  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 November 2010 at 12:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, to have David Davis as PM, now that would be a government I'd support! He did come across very well last night on question time and reminded me why he should have been leader from the beginning instead of David Cameron!

5 November 2010 at 12:13  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

An inspiring post, Your Grace. In years to come, Bonfire Night will surely celebrate the defeat of the European Union as well as the defeat of popery. The triumph of democracy and freedom combined with the triumph of Protestantism and freedom.

5 November 2010 at 12:15  
Blogger Manfarang said...

It was all a big hoax.
The King just wanted to get rid of some catholics.
Would it be possible to move a lot barrels of gunpowder into Parliament unseen?

5 November 2010 at 12:31  
Anonymous Bleeding Heart Liberal said...

Muslims are constantly telling us how offensive they find kuffar festivals such as Christmas, Halloween etc, so could perhaps November 5th be used as a foundation for intefaith dialogue? Surely an attempt to blow up a major building and cause mass carnage is something that those of the Islamic faith can positively relate to?

5 November 2010 at 12:51  
Anonymous Elliot Kane said...

"Some might call all this 'Treason'."

Indeed we do, Your Grace. Indeed we do.

5 November 2010 at 12:52  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

Corona Stellarum Duodecim is a quotation from The Book of the Apocalypse: ‘a crown of twelve stars’.

The crown of twelve stars appear on the EU's flag.

In The Book of the Apocalypse 12:1 it says: ‘And there appeared a great wonder in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

Could it be that in the last days the Church of Rome combines with the EU? Is it true that prior to the second vote in Ireland on the Lisbon Treaty that the EU gave Catholic priests suit cases full of cash to persuade their flocks to vote ‘the right way’?

5 November 2010 at 12:54  
Anonymous Indigo said...

@Bleeding Heart Liberal 5 November 2010 12:51, Muslims are constantly telling us how offensive they find kuffar festivals such as Christmas, Halloween etc

Can't let that go, sorry, completely untrue. Shame on you for promulgating this myth. You mean, right-on politically-correct local authorities invented this "offence" out of thin air in order to justify substituting Winterval or some such cr*p for Christmas.

If anything, Muslims just think - quietly - that we Christians are wimps to let local authorities do this. And we are.

5 November 2010 at 13:16  
Blogger Caedmon's Cat said...

@ D. Singh

Sir - that isn't my interpretation of the 12 stars on the woman's crown; since the Apocalypse is full of pictorial and numerical symbolism, it would be more consistent with the remainder of the book to identify the number 12 with the redeemed of God, e.g. the 12 sons of Jacob, the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 apostles. I have no doubt that the book touches on geopolitical issues - but not in this case.

5 November 2010 at 13:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Singh, the book of Revelation is not a prediction of the future, for God's sake, you credulous nitwit.

5 November 2010 at 13:35  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Caedmon’s Cat

I agree with you. The twelve stars are indeed suggestive, though.

For according to official sources, the twelve stars represent completion or fullness, the circle suggests unity.

Exactly twelve stars are in fact widely used to surround the head of Roman Catholic statues of the Virgin. The fact that the stars are yellow (the colour adopted by the Vatican) is also suggestive. And the fact that the flag was accepted by the ideological founders of the EU on 8 December 1955 (the Roman Catholic Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin) is even more suggestive. The devout Roman Catholic designer of the flag, the octogenarian Arsène Heitz, does not deny any of this.

5 November 2010 at 13:45  
Blogger Caedmon's Cat said...

@ Anonymous 13:35

You are partially correct in your assertion; the Apocalypse covers the entire history of redemption - past, present and future. It is the capstone to the entire biblical revelation, so its scope is enormous.

I'm very disappointed in your discourteous epithet, however.. I can't imagine that Archbishop Cranmer approves, either.

5 November 2010 at 13:52  
Blogger Caedmon's Cat said...

@ Mr Singh

Thanks for your response. I've no doubt that RC theology underlies the EU and identifies the woman in St John's vision as either the church (which, of course will be theirs, since they accept no other as valid) - or the Virgin Mary. It's reasonable to imagine that the symbolism of the EU flag will therefore reflect this.
I'm of the conviction - rightly or wrongly - that she is a type of the church (i.e. spiritual Israel). The child she bears is also a symbolic picture of Christ.

5 November 2010 at 14:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>"I'm very disappointed in your discourteous epithet, however.. I can't imagine that Archbishop Cranmer approves, either."

I apologise to all three of you, then. I'm in a bad mood because I'm in danger of losing my job, and everything else, because of the "cuts" that people who post here so applaud.

5 November 2010 at 14:42  
Blogger Caedmon's Cat said...

@ Anonymous 14:42

Very sorry to hear that. Been there, done it, got the T shirt. 'Put your trust in the Lord and keep your powder dry.' (Oliver Cromwell) - in other words trust and do all you can. You can do no more - your trust will be vindicated. Romans 8:28

5 November 2010 at 15:57  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Messrs Anonymous, Singh and Caedmon (please pass this on to your cat, sir):

It is perfectly correct to observe that the book of Revelation (the Apocalypse is indeed not a prediction of the future. As has been observed previously in comments on Cranny's blog, the book was explicitly, in its own terms and by its own statements, given to bring comfort to those at the time who were enduring terrible persecution. It is pretty difficult, even for the most ingenious, to see how detailed predictions about the EU's insignia would have brought any sort of consolation to Nero's victims.

I don't think we should call Mr Singh a credulous nitwit on that account, though.

Credulity has nothing to do with it.

As for the assertion that 'the Apocalypse covers the entire history of redemption - past, present and future', I'm sure it has implications for the entire sweep of history, but our feline correspondent is right to see the symbolism of the number twelve as rooted in the tribes of Israel, as was the number of apostles chosen by Jesus.

There is no doubt that Revelation's numbers are very important to its proper understanding. The basic number of the book is seven. Seven is one combination of three and four (their sum). Twelve is another combination of three and four (their product). Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.

And I am very sorry to hear of impending unemployment. That is no joke. Nobody should take any pleasure in the genuine misery which will be the fall-out of necessary economies in public spending. Let us hope, sir, that you get another job soon.

5 November 2010 at 15:58  
Anonymous Rodney Atkinson said...

And we have a Monarch who welcomes to the UK a Pope who said the Church of which she is the Head "is not really a Church at all"!!! And then she WALKS BEHIND the white robed imperialist as his minnions continue to insult her country.

Some call it treason? I did, with the late Norris McWhirter in the Treason Charges of 1993. Interested parties should get hold of our book Treason at Maastricht which details with the charges and how they were handled.

Rodney Atkinson

5 November 2010 at 16:05  
Anonymous Oswin said...

It IS treason, but it will be reversed. Never lose heart, Britain WILL prevail. Keep up the good fight!

5 November 2010 at 17:05  
Blogger Span Ows said...

What Oswin said!

P.S. Your Grace, I have linked to your post but I have written about a much more important religious occurence in England on this very 1688.

5 November 2010 at 17:40  
Anonymous Petronius said...

An interesting and informative blogpost, Your Grace. It is good* to be reminded of the origins of this night, and of the political/religious context in which it happened.

(* I might add: it is good for me to dwell upon such points, but alas, it is no comfort at all to my canine companion, who must endure the fear and stress of this incessant torrent of bangs and flashes. 20 years ago it would not have been such a hideous night for your average dog, but these days the purpose of fireworks seems to be to recreate the audio of the Battle of Britain).

5 November 2010 at 21:16  
Anonymous Petronius said...

Forgive me if I add another comment, Your Grace:

(actually, this was foremost in my mind when I first commented, but instead I chose to waffle on about my dog! Apologies.)

There is a certain insinuation contained in the 4th verse of the poem/hymn, and also perhaps in YG's words "What Guy Fawkes failed to achieve for the Pope of Rome", which makes it sound as if Fawkes, in committing his act of terrorism, was acting under explicit orders from the Vatican, or at the very least, with their implicit consent/approval. Was this actually the case? (I would ask any educated commenter to enlighten me on that point, as I admit I simply don't know).

My point being, if the Vatican was complicit with Fawkes in his repulsive plot, then what a disgrace, and what a monstrous thing for my Church (for I am RC) to be involved in. I offer no excuse at all.
But, if, however, Mr Fawkes acted alone (or at least, without the involvement, knowledge or approval of the Vatican), then it is no more fair for history to record it as a "Catholic plot" than it is to call Gerry Adams MP a "Catholic freedom fighter". Mr Adams identifies himself as RC, but to my mind and to the great majority of present day Catholics, he is a terrorist with much innocent blood on his hands, and I feel greatly vexed and wronged when he, or his "army" is identified with my church. Therefore, in the same way, I feel Guy Fawkes ought not to be culturally identified as such, by the history books. "Catholic" he may well have been (as is Mr Adams), but by seeking (or succeeding) in acts of terrorism, neither of themn should be held up as good examples of "Catholicism" or of Christianity.

5 November 2010 at 21:50  
Anonymous Stefan said...

No Popery!

5 November 2010 at 22:01  
Anonymous ronggordon said...

"Guy Fawkes’ gunpowder plot failed in its objective to assassinate the Protestant King James, blow Parliament to kingdom come and restore the old religion. And that failure meant the preservation of our monarchy, of liberty and of our independence from foreign princes and potentates"
Liking the bit about foreign princes and potentates. Discovery of the plot kept a Scots king on the English throne. Later on in that century a Dutch prince was placed on the English throne after some constitutional jiggery pokery - all to ensure freedom from foreign princes and potentates no doubt.

6 November 2010 at 06:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen ronggordon. But perhaps it's best to call directly what it was in 1688 to avoid confusion. It was treason. The British Parliament betrayed its sovereign King by inviting in a usurper.
But, perhaps a nation that follows a false religion ought to hail a false monarch.

7 November 2010 at 21:20  
Blogger naturgesetz said...

@ Stefan — Don't you mean "No potpourri"? Surely you must.

10 November 2010 at 03:29  

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