Guy Fawkes and a group of conspirators attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament on 5 November. Fortunately, what is later known as the Gunpowder Plot is foiled when a member of the group sends a warning letter to a friend working in Parliament.
In January, Parliament passes the Observance of 5th of November Act, calling for an annual thanksgiving to celebrate the conspirators’ defeat. In subsequent years, the anniversary is marked by parades, fireworks and bonfires.
The Observance of 5th of November Act is repealed by the Anniversary Days Observance Act, which abolishes laws relating to celebrations from 17th-century political history, including the Gunpowder Plot. However, the tradition of Bonfire Night continues.
Anti-hero Guy Fawkes is named as the 30th Greatest Briton in a BBC poll.
This year, revellers can watch displays of fireworks commemorating Bonfire Night all across London, including at Alexandra Palace and Wimbledon Park.
This article was originally published in the November 2019 issue of SiverKris magazine