Remember, Remember (I’m A Bit Late)

I am several days late with this one. Last Saturday, I went to Battersea Park in South London for the fireworks – and truly spectacular they were too. They all started with a saxophonist suspended from a crane and fireworks going off on the cables that came down from the crane to the floor. The whole 5th of November thing got me thinking about Guy Fawkes and The Gunpowder Plot and I realised that I knew very little about it. I was fascinated to know that it can be traced back to Elizabeth I’s persecution of English catholics. The BBC has an interesting summary of the event which has a description of the 1605/6 punishment for high treason:

… the Attorney General lay principal responsibility on the Jesuits, before describing the traditional punishment for traitors: hanging, drawing and quartering. They would be hanged until half-dead, upon which their genitals would be cut off and burned in front of them. Still alive, their bowels and heart would be removed. Finally they would be decapitated and dismembered; their body parts would be publicly displayed, eaten by the birds as they decomposed [BBC History]

Lovely, huh?

On this day…