Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder season
Should ever be forgot
Wikipedia's other page on this topic for those who prefer a more sober assessment of events.
1066 and All That's content truly is an acquired taste. To the uninitiated, unused to this type of humour, it'd sound just silly. You really had to be there (in England over many years of a certain era) to really "get it". Anyway, I decided to re-read what the authors had to say about events of 5 November 1605:
My thanks to THIS website for saving me the effort of copy typing.
James I: A Tidy King
JAMES I slobbered at the mouth and had favourites; he was thus a Bad King. He had, however, a very logical and tidy mind, and one of the first things he did was to have Sir Walter Raleigh executed for being left over from the previous reign. He also tried to straighten out the memorable confusion about the Picts, who, as will be remembered, were originally Irish living in Scotland, and the Scots, originally Picts living in Ireland. James tried to make things tidier by putting the Scots in Ulsters and planting them in Ireland, but the plan failed because the Picts had been lost sight of during the Dark Ages and were now nowhere to be found.
There were a great many plots and Parliaments in James I's reign, and one of the Parliaments was called the Addled Parliament because the plots hatched in it were all such rotten ones. One plot, however, was by far the best plot in History, and the day and month of it (though not, of course, the year) are well known to be utterly and even maddeningly MEMORABLE.
Click for bigger version, see below for wording.
The Gunpowder Plot arose in the following way: the King had recently invented a new table called Avoirduroi, which said:
1 New Presbyter = 1 old priest.
0 Bishop = 0 King.
James was always repeating, `No Bishop, No King', to himself, and one day a certain loyal citizen called Sir Guyfawkes, a very active and conscientious man, overheard him, and thought it was the slogan of James's new policy. So he decided to carry it out at once and made a very loyal plan to blow up the King and the bishops and everybody else in Parliament assembled, with gunpowder.(*) Although the plan failed, attempts are made every year on St Guyfawkes' Day to remind the Parliament that it would have been a Good Thing.
[Words in the illustration, which is included in the book and seems to be of around 17th century origin: top left- November 5 Old Stile. Top right in the shaft of light (Oh look a real Yod!) - Digitus Dei est hic = The finger of God is here. In box above roof - I suspect it says Opus tenebrarum = Deed of darkness. On the roof: Black Deeds. On the figure's cape it looks like AVX why (but isn't clear enough). Under the illustration: ...Thus sayth the Lord behold ... will rays evil against Thee out of Thine owne house. Signature and/or date (?) SAMV]
It was at this time that some very pious Englishmen, known as the Early Fathers, who were being persecuted for not learning Avoirduroi, sailed away to America in a ship called the Mayfly; this is generally referred to as the Pilgrims' Progress and was one of the chief causes of America.
I decided against any astrological 5 November ventures due to the Old Style/New Style brain fogging effect, both in relation to the event and Guy Fawkes' birth date (assumed to be April 13, 1570 Julian calendar) in York, England. If the 5 November date for The Gunpowder Plot was truly "Old Stile" as the illustration declares, then by our calendar it would be 15 November. England didn't move to New Style dating until much later, mid-1700s though, but Roman Catholicism had been using it since late 1500s, and these events were Catholic-related. Date-wise it's a muddle I prefer to leave alone.