The  Book  of  Guy Fawkes  Day

And Its   Bonfire Night

Volume I

The Grand Blast

Conrad Bladey, Hutman Productions

ISBN: 978-0-9854486-1-5

457 Pages

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-An important contribution to theory of Celebration.
-The most complete collection of primary documents relating to the Great Deliverance from the Gunpowder Plot of 1605  and its initial celebration.
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ISBN: 978-0-9854486-1-5  457 Pages

-An important contribution to theory of Celebration.
-The most complete collection of primary documents relating to the Great Deliverance from the Gunpowder Plot of 1605  and its initial celebration.

From the Book


One clear, crisp Fifth of November in London, an American of thirteen years of age looked out on what seemed to be another ordinary day, if one can have ordinary days in the City of London.  I  had not been prepared for what was to unfold as darkness approached.  Suddenly on either side of our house, bonfires the size of the houses themselves were lit.  Then the skies were lit up by rockets and the silence was broken by hundreds of explosions taking place all around us. My first reaction was to take  cover because as far as I was concerned the big war had started.  It did not occur to me that the fireworks did not represent a war, but rather the thanksgiving for our continued deliverance from the threats which confront us daily.  The next year I had my own fireworks and my lifetime fascination with the holiday known as Guy Fawkes Day and its Bonfire Night had begun.

Later as a student at Durham University in the 1970s I attended my first bonfire, cooked roasted potatoes in the coals, ate my first Yorkshire parkin watching the crackling fire surrounded by clouds of sparks. I felt linked to that night in 1605 when Providence looked down with the eye of God and saved a country and preserved the evolutionary path which has produced our culture, institutions and way of life. 

              Decades later I find myself living in a society which has seen unparalleled progress in science and technology. Miracles of medicine and technology happen daily.  Our understanding of the universe has grown significantly.  One thing however  has not been accomplished.  We still do not know how, without human intervention and often despite it, we continue to be delivered, somehow, from the dangers that seem to appear daily.  We still stand like the people of the 17th century in the presence of the awesome mystery of Providence.  This is why the study of the human relationship to this mystery  is so important. 

Calendar customs are much more than artifacts designed for amusement and entertainment.  They have been used for centuries to give form to  abstract mystery and to create a dialog with it. They help us to do what we can to cross over and connect with the mystery, to understand it as best we can, and to do our best to  relate to it in the most positive way. This work is here so we can make progress on this old frontier with our everpresent neighbor the watchful eye of God.

What can you do to more fully develop the treasure that is the celebration of Guy Fawkes Day and its Bonfire Night?


This work examines and describes a complex calendar custom that has taken place each year, celebrated all over the world for over four hundred  years. The celebrations are cultural and individual reactions to the perceptions of mysteries and wonders in the environment.  My purpose is to document the annual re-appearance of this celebration.  It is only after the customs have been documented that we can begin to understand the complex prcesses and relationships involved in the construction of artifacts of disclosure of mysteries and wonders from artifacts of celebration, and their  maintenance through the manipulation of principles, processes, relationships and variables.  When we understand how calendar customs work we can begin to optimize their ability to function to improve the human condition and strengthen our political, social and cultural institutions.

A powerful network of artifacts of all kinds emanated from the national horror of the intended treason known as the Gunpowder Plot. Following the horror came the wonder of the mysterious great deliverance.  The network of artifacts sharing constituent parts took root in society, extending outward,  serving potentially as many interpretations, meanings and functions as there could be participants or ideas. The network began with a traditional cultural response to the horror and deliverance- bonfires and bells. Then it was given energy by government mandates and religious liturgy. Yet throughout, the most important motivating force was the horror and awe felt by the people in general. This motivated them to, despite their local and regional cultures, unite to “Remember and Remember.” The roots of the network extended to all levels of society and permeated all aspects of culture both in the United Kingdom and worldwide. Music and chant are but one dimension of that extensive network. The collection of artifacts presented here is just a start.

The celebration continues in a world in which the danger of terrorism looms large. I hope you will find some of these artifacts of assistance for your own expressions and celebrations. Don’t stop there. Compose some of your own.

This work is designed to gather together artifacts created from those of the Gunpowder plot. It brings them from many obscure and hard to access places. This makes of many, one; E pluribus unum so to speak.

It is the first step toward meaningful analysis and explanation. I hope it facilitates future work.

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Table of Contents

Forward. 3

Contents. 5

Preface. 11

Purpose. 13

Theoretical    Orientation. 14

Defining- What do I Mean?. 15

The Folkloric"Big Bang"---- A Dream of Processes at the Beginning of Time and the Activist Approach to Folklore. 18

The Birth of Relationship and Process. 20

Management and Preservation. 20

Bonfire as Complex Disclosing Artifact of Celebraton. 21

Is it "Pagan"or "Origins Unknown"?. 22

The Impending End of Bonfire Forces the Beginning of Study. 23

The Mission. 24

Dreams An  adventure in abstraction and a Warning! 25

The Cultural Vision. Disclsosing the "Invisible Entities: "The Mystery of Providence and the Wonder of Seasonal Transition. 26

The Vision of the Celebration Marching Through Time. 27

The Vision of Dynamic Artifacts. 28

Celebration as Pinball 29

Applying Theory to Celebration. 31

Nationalism - What Was this England. 37

The Great Chain of Being. 37

The Chain is Challenged. 40

Via Media. 41

Stories Vs. Explanation. 42

Background  Arguments. 44

The Book of Esther. Bible, King James Version. 45

The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving- Sacrifice Defined in the Old Testament…... 53

God Looking Down and Laughing- Inspiration for Iconography and Verse  54

Psalm 37. 55

Regnans  In  Excelsis,  Pope Saint Pius V, April 27, 1570. 56

Papal Bull 56

The tradition of tolerance toward English Catholics under Elizabeth was destroyed by the forceful pursuit of the Counter Reformation by Pope Pius V. 58

A Treatise of Equivocation, Henry Garnet, c. 1595. 59

Comes  James: James IV of Scotland   Crowned  King of England. 65

The Shepheards Spring Song, in gratulation of the royall, happy, and flourishing Entrance, to the Majestie of England, by the most potent and prudent Souveragne, James king of  England, France and Ireland, Henry Chettle,. 1603. 65

Accession Speech to Parliament, James I, March 19, 1603. 68

Simaancas, Archivo General, Secciόn de Estado 840/126, Guy Fawkes, 1603  70

Measure for Measure, Act 2 Scene 2 Shakespeare, 1604. 74

Treaty of London, James I, 1604. 76

Instructions from the Nuncio at Brussels to Dr. William Giffordi Dean of Lisle, Octavius, Bishop of Trica, August 1,  1603. 79

To Henry Garnet, Claudio Aquaviva, the General of the Jesuits, June 25, 1605. 81

Henry Garnet to  Claudio Aquaviva, Henry Garnet, July 24, 1605. 82

To Claudio Aquaviva, Henry Garnet  ,July 24. 1605. 82

Letter from Henry Garnet to Robert Persons. October 4, 1605. 84

The Explosion. 85

The Mounteagle Letter 88

House of Commons, Journal, Vol. 27, fol. 4, Parliament, November 5, 1605  94

Warrants By the King, King James I, 1605. 95

By the King, King James I, 1605. 96

Descriptions of Robert Winter and Stephen Littleton by Robert Baker, 1605  97

By the King, King James I, 1605. 97

Diary,  Sir Roger Wilbraham, The 5 of Nov. 1605. 98

To Sir Thomas Edwards, Ambassador at Brussells,  Sir Edward Hoby, Gentleman of the Bedchamber, 1605. 99

Letter, John Chamberlain, November 5, 1605. 99

The King’s Speech. 101

The King’s Book, James I, 1605. 111

Account,  Robert Cecil, Lord Salisbury, 1605, (Ed.: Philip Sidney,1905. 227

An Answere To Certaine Scandalous Papers, Scattered abroad under colour Of a Catholicke Admonition. Qui facit vivere, docet orare , Robert Cecil, 1606. 233

The  Weekely Newes Numb.9, Jeffrey Chorlton ,Munday 31 January 1606  245

The Araignement and Execution of the late Traytors, with a relation of the other traytors, which were executed at Worcester, the 27 of January last past. Jeffrey Chorlton, 1606  249

Account of the Miracle of Garnet's Straw, Trial of the Conspirators, 1606. 256

Investegations noted in the Calendar of State Papers Domestic: James I, Parliament,  1603-1610. 262

Constructing Celebration. 319

Psalm 66. 319

From the Story of King Asa of Judah. 320

Psalm 33. 320

Proverbs 33. 320

Psalm 94. 320

Proverbs 15. 321

Frontispeece “Discovered”  from Novembris Monstrum, A.B.C.D.E., 1641  322

Paradise Lost, John Milton, 1667. 323

Video Rideo- I See and Laugh to Scorn. 323

Psalm 37. 325

“The Double Deliverance of England from the Spanish armada and Gunpowder Plot,”Samuel Ward, 1621. 328

Volpone; Or, The  Foxe. Ben Jonson January 1606- February 1607. 329

Making the Commemoration Official 332

Gunpowder Plot- A learned and religious Speech. - 332

Noah’s Thanksgiving. 333

Robert Bowyer,”Book I, Stanford MS,” 1606-1607. 333

Here begins the Official Annual Commemoration of the Great Deliverance. 335

Thanksgiving Act, James I, 1605. 336

The Sermon Preached at Paules Crosse, the tenth day of November, Being the next Sunday after the Discoverie of this late Horrible Treason, William Barlow(e), November 10, 1605. 339

William Barlow.. 354

Some thoughts about this sermon. 355

A Sermon Preached Before The Kings Maiestie At Whitehall On the Fifth of November Lancelot Andrewes, November 5, 1606. 356

Lancelot Andrewes. 371

Some Thoughts About this Sermon And Lancelot Andrewes’ other Gunpowder Treason Sermons. 372

Sermons by Lancelot Andrewes on the Gunpowder Treason: Excerpts Prescribing Means and Nature of  Celebration and Thanksgiving. 374

William Leigh Preaches. 400

Introductory Riddle from :THE DOUBLE PP.,Thomas Dekker, 1605. 401

O Lord How Joyful is the King –For the Fifth of November, Thomas Weelkes, c.1605  402

Gun-Powder Plot: Or, A Brief Account of that bloudy and subtle design laid against the King, his Lords and Commons in Parliament, and of a Happy Deliverance by Divine Power, 1605. 403

A Forme of True Repentance, fit for Traytors to Sing and use now, and at all times while life is in them: made in part by one of Babingtons Conspiracy. And may be sung to the tune of the 25. Psal. John Rhodes, minister of Enborne: From A Briefe Summe, 1606  405

A Real Blast 408

Comes William.. 411

Proclimation Two Additional Prayers to be Added to the Fifth of November Litany, William and Mary, October 30, 1689. 413

Protestant Day,1885, Douglas B. W. Sladen, 1885. 415

The Evolution of the Celebration. 417

Conclusion. 418

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November 418

Apendix I Cast of Characters. 420

The Plotters. 420

Robert Catesby: 420

The Popes and Priests. 428

Priests. 428

Citizen. 431

Popes. 431

The Government Officials. 433

Charles I. 435

. 435

Elizabeth of Bohemia. 435

Thomas James Knyvet, 1st Baron Knyvet (or Knevytt, Knyvett, Knevett, Knevitt),  1558 – 27 July 1622. 438

Sir William Wade (or Waad, or Wadd), 1546 – 21 October 1623. 439

Apendix II Chronology of The Gunpowder Plot 440

Appendix III , Places Relating to the Rebellion in the Midlands. 445

Apendix IV Architecture. 447

Apendix V, Two important accounts from outside of the Political Establishment 450

Apendix VI, Early Analytical Sources. 450

Apendix VII Guy Fawkes did not say: “A dangerous disease requires a desperate remedy.”  450

Appendix VIII Harrison Ainsworth’s Confusing Psudo History. 451

Appendix VIV The Official End of Celebration. 452

Appendix X Discovery of the Plot results in Oath of Allegience. 453

The Gunpowder Prepares the Colonists at Jamestown 1607. 453

Appendix XI The Celebration of the Deliverance in the American Colonies  454

Fifth of November Roystering in Plymouth 1624. 454

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