Well now we’ve got that nonsensical American Hallowe’en rubbish out of the way, where children, normally supervised by apparent adults, think it’s perfectly acceptable behaviour to go knocking on random strangers’ doors begging when we teach them not to approach strangers the rest of the time, it’s that time of the year for a proper English tradition where we celebrate the hanging of Catholics!
Ok that’s not actually what it’s all about. Most of us know the history behind the Gunpowder Plot but here’s a synopsis:
Robert Catesby, an Oxford educated catholic organises a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in a bid to kill King James I who particularly disliked catholics. The plot was hatched at the ‘Old Red Lion Inn’ in Dunchurch, Warwickshire, which is now a private residence, strangely enough called ‘Guy Fawkes House’. The idea was to kill the king, ride up the road to Coombe Abbey just outside Coventry, snatch the Princess Elizabeth and organise her marriage to a suitable catholic, thus achieving a new catholic monarchy.
- Guy Fawkes is sent undercover as a parliamentary caretaker under the alias ‘John Johnson’ and smuggles enough gunpowder into the Houses of Parliament to blow up the surrounding area. Fawkes had previously fought as a mercenary for the Spanish against the Dutch which is where he learned his pyrotechnics and got the other name he was known by, ‘Guido’.
- The 5th of November plot is foiled and the conspirators are tortured horrifically into confessions. They are then subsequently to be hung and ‘drawn’ i.e. slit open so their innards spill out, whilst having their testicles cut off, then cut into quarters and not burned as we sometimes think.
Guy Fawkes, clearly having had enough of this sort of pain for one lifetime, having been tortured mercilessly for days, manages to throw himself off the gallows before this could happen, breaking his own neck. Phew!
- For 250 years afterwards, after an Act of Parliament, it was compulsory to remember 5th November as a day of thanksgiving for the ‘joyful deliverance of James I’.
I have no evidence whatsoever that the Houses of Parliament had any insurance in place at all back in 1605. However, these conspirators were in fact terrorists and I am pretty certain that these days there will be some form of terrorism insurance in place.
Terrorism is defined in the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993 as “…acts of persons acting on behalf of, or in connection with, any organisation which carries out activities directed towards the overthrowing or influencing, by force or violence, of Her Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom or any other government de jure or de facto”.
Terrorism cover can be available on any commercial property insurance policy at a premium, and we have a panel of brokers here at CompareCrazy who can offer terrorism insurance cover at a competitive price.