Monday, November 05, 2007

Remember, Remember

It's odd - most people I've spoken to about this didn't seem to know how the rhyme about remembering today ended. Here it is. Can't say I completely agree with the sentiment, but it's interesting history.

On the subject of Christians being nasty to each other, a couple of random facts from today:

  • The last person in England to be judicially burnt for heresy died in 1612.
  • During the English Reformation, only two monarch didn't burn any (Roman) Catholics for heresy. They were Edward VI and Lady Jane Grey. Admittedly, LJG wasn't on the throne for terribly long, but it's interesting that it was the two most Reformed monarchs.

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, ’twas his intent
To blow up the King and Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below,
Poor old England to overthrow;
By God’s providence he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, make the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
Hip hip hoorah!

A penny loaf to feed the Pope.
A farthing o’ cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down.
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar.
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head.
Then we’ll say ol’ Pope is dead.
Hip hip hoorah!
Hip hip hoorah hoorah!


Anonymous said...

I didn't actually know that the rhyme extended beyond "ever be forgot". Then again, the rest isn't exactly PC so it's unsurprising that people don't really want to reel off the rest of it to their children.

As for the English monarchs point, I don't think you can count LJG at all - 9 days really isn't long enough to kill too many people! So that just leaves us with Edward, and one boy monarch not killing anyone for heresy during a fairly short reign probably tells us more about his advisers than the king himself.

John said...

On LJG - quite, though the "nine days" is actually a very popular misconception put about by people who wanted to reduce her status further. She actually lasted 14 days, which is a 50% improvement.

What is striking is the contrast between Edward (1548-1553) and Mary (1553-1558) in terms of execution count for similar length reigns. Though yes, Edward was very heavily steered by advisers, tutors, etc. Mary's tried persuading her not to kill so many people, and failed.