Saturday, 30 October 2010

Gunpowder Plot - Guy Fawkes Night - November 5th

I wasn't aware that Hackney was involved in such a plot i hear you say. Alas the borough was probably involved in all manner of deeds associated with non-conformists, anarchists and the like. Would you believe that it was only in the last twelve months that i researched the subject and found that one of my ancestors is on the main conspirator list of 13 names…He was hung, drawn and quartered alongside Fawkes and the gang... Francis Tresham was also named as being part of the plot and arrested in Hoxton, Hackney. He later died of so called natural causes while imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Guy Fawkes Day, Firework Night, Bonfire Night or whatever one wishes to call this annual blood festival involves children making their own version of Guy Fawkes. So you'd get some old clothes, fill them with old rags, newspapers or magazines, steal a hat, purchase a mask and then go out requesting money from strangers in the name of Guy Fawkes. I did it every year throughout my childhood, we would stand outside on the street unmonitored interacting with anyone passing with the words 'Penny for the Guy!' If you'd made an effort you might get yourself enough cash to purchase a box of bangers or something (boys went for bangers - nothing changed there then). On the actual day of celebration the entire country would embark on a 24 hour marathon of firework displays. The Guy we made was put on the very top of the bonfire and set a blaze...This ritual has been enacted for hundreds of years, what does it really mean? 

 History notes there were 13 (coincidence? not) main conspirators and many other accomplishes that were either lucky enough to escape execution or were so powerful that no-one could touch them anyway.

Guy Fawkes
Robert Catesby
John (Jack) Wright
Thomas Wintour
John Grant
Thomas Percy
Robert Keyes
Thomas Bates
Francis Tresham
Christopher (Kit) Wright
Robert Wintour
Ambrose Rookwood
Sir Everard Digby

Illustration Shows The Execution of Guy Fawkes and Twelve Conspirators (including my ancestor)

Here's an extract from the wiki page... See it in Full Here

The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in earlier centuries often called the Gunpowder Treason Plot, was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Sir Robert Catesby.

The plan was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament on 5 November 1605, the prelude to a popular revolt in the Midlands during which James's nine-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was to be installed as the Catholic head of state. Catesby may have embarked on the scheme after hopes of securing greater religious tolerance under King James had faded, leaving many English Catholics disappointed. His fellow plotters included Thomas Wintour, Robert Wintour, John Wright, Christopher Wright, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, John Grant, Sir Thomas Percy, Sir Ambrose Rookwood, Sir Everard Digby, Sir Francis Tresham and Thomas Bates. Fawkes, who had 10 years of military experience fighting in the Spanish Netherlands in suppression of the Dutch Revolt, was given charge of the explosives.

The plot was revealed to the authorities in an anonymous letter sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, on 26 October 1605. During a consequent search of the House of Lords, early in the morning of 5 November 1605, Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder – enough to reduce the House of Lords to rubble – and arrested. Most of the conspirators fled from London as they learned of the plot's discovery, trying to enlist support along the way. Several made a stand against the pursuing Sheriff of Worcester and his men at Holbeche House; in the ensuing battle Catesby was one of those shot and killed. At their trial on 27 January 1606, eight of the survivors, including Fawkes, were convicted and sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered.

Details of the assassination attempt were allegedly known by the principal Jesuit of England, Father Henry Garnet. Although Garnet was convicted and sentenced to death, doubt has since been cast on how much he really knew of the plot. As its existence was revealed to him through confession, Garnet was prevented from informing the authorities by the absolute confidentiality of the confessional. Although anti-Catholic legislation was introduced soon after the plot's discovery, many important and loyal Catholics retained high office during King James I's reign. The thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot was commemorated for many years afterwards by special sermons and other public events such as the ringing of church bells, which have evolved into the Bonfire Night of today.

How Were the Men Detected?

Saturday 26 October Monteagle received an anonymous letter while at his house in Hoxton. It contained the following message:     

"My Lord, out of the love I bear to some of your friends, I have a care of your preservation. Therefore I would advise you, as you tender your life, to devise some excuse to shift your attendance at this parliament; for God and man hath concurred to punish the wickedness of this time. And think not slightly of this advertisement, but retire yourself into your country where you may expect the event in safety. For though there be no appearance of any stir, yet I say they shall receive a terrible blow this Parliament; and yet they shall not see who hurts them. This counsel is not to be condemned because it may do you good and can do you no harm; for the danger is passed as soon as you have burnt the letter. And I hope God will give you the grace to make good use of it, to whose holy protection I commend you."

Friday, 29 October 2010

Secret Teachings of All Ages - Manly P Hall (Online Book)

Read the entire 884 page book here...

Secret Teachings of All Ages                                                           

Friday, 8 October 2010

Middle Temple - Knights Templar Origins

This great hall is normally kept private for members only but on Open House weekend...

Here's what Wiki says;

The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known as Middle Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to call their members to the English Bar as barristers; the others being the Inner Temple, Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn. It is located in the wider Temple area of London, near the Royal Courts of Justice, and within the City of London. 

In the 13th century, the Inns of Court originated as hostels and schools for student lawyers. The Middle Temple is the western part of "The Temple", the headquarters of the Knights Templar until they were dissolved in 1312; the awe-inspiring Temple Church still stands as a "peculiar" (extra-diocesan)  church of the Inner and Middle Temples. There has never been an "Outer Temple", apart from a Victorian-era office block of that name: an order of 1337 mentions the "lane through the middle of the Court of the Temple", used by chancery justices and clerks on their way to Westminster, which became known as Middle Temple Lane and probably gave its name to the Inn. The Inns stopped being responsible for legal education in 1852, although they continue to provide training in areas such as advocacy and ethics for students, pupil barristers and newly-qualified barristers. Most of the Inn is occupied by barristers' offices, known as "chambers". One of the Middle Temple's main functions now is to provide education and support for new members to the profession. This is done through advocacy training, the provision of scholarships (£1 million in 2005), subsidised accommodation both in the Temple and in Clapham, and by providing events where junior members may meet their more senior colleagues for help and advice. 

Middle Temple Hall is at the heart of the Inn, and the Inn's student barristers are required to attend a minimum of 12 qualifying sessions there. Qualifying sessions, formerly known as "dinners", combine collegiate and educational elements and will usually combine a dinner or reception with lectures, debates, mooting, or musical performances. Middle Temple Hall is also a popular venue for banqueting, weddings, receptions and parties. In recent years it has become a much-used film location - the cobbled streets, historic buildings and gas lighting give it a unique atmosphere. Shakespeare's Twelfth Night received its first recorded performance here, at the feast Candlemas in 1602.


Red Mushroom White Dots - Decorations?

Some friends bought their baby an item of clothing from a chain-store in Hackney we found interesting and thought it might make a good blog considering the implications of a Red Mushroom with White Dots. It should be noted that only one red mushroom with white dots actually exists. We spent the day trying to find similar mushrooms but google images didnt provide any. This toadstool has been in most of our lives since childhood but most wouldn't give it a thought until discovering Amanita Muscaria, a powerful hallucinogenic used by shamans for thousands of years. 


Here's what Wiki says;

Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric (pronounced /ˈæɡərɪk/) or fly Amanita (pronounced /ˌæməˈnaɪtə/), is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Native throughout the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Amanita muscaria has been unintentionally introduced to many countries in the Southern Hemisphere, generally as a symbiont with pine plantations, and is now a true cosmopolitan species. It associates with various deciduous and coniferous trees. The quintessential toadstool, it is a large white-gilled, white-spotted, usually deep red mushroom, one of the most recognizable and widely encountered in popular culture. Several subspecies, with differing cap colour have been recognised to date, including the brown regalis (considered a separate species), the yellow-orange flavivolata, guessowii, and formosa, and the pinkish persicina. Genetic studies published in 2006 and 2008 show several sharply delineated clades which may represent separate species.  Although generally considered poisonous, deaths are extremely rare, and it has been consumed as a food in parts of Europe, Asia, and North America after parboiling in water. Amanita muscaria is now primarily famed for its hallucinogenic properties, with its main psychoactive constituent being the compound muscimol. It was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the peoples of Siberia and has a religious significance in these cultures. There has been much speculation on traditional use of this mushroom as an intoxicant in places other than Siberia; however, such traditions are far less well-documented. The American banker and amateur ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson proposed the fly agaric was in fact the Soma talked about in the ancient Rig Veda texts of India; since its introduction in 1968, this theory has gained both followers and detractors in anthropological literature.


Thursday, 7 October 2010

Bank of England - Open House

Open House provides a wonderful opportunity to visit buildings in London otherwise closed off to the public. We stood for hours waiting to get into the bank before being told we couldn't take photos anywhere in the building. We wanted to actually leave right there and then but felt we may appear slightly suspicious considering we waited in the longest queue in the world for what seemed like a lifetime. We tried to take some general secrets shots mostly hoping to get symbols but almost got caught and decided it wasn't worth the risk of being taken away by City Police who are a law unto themselves. If you disagree then maybe you should study the statue of King William lll dressed like Caesar in the private quarters of the bank or even King Charles. Why is he dressed like an Italian we asked the guide? The Irish guide laughed and stated that everyone thought it made him look strong and courageous. We couldn't help but say that every image we've ever seen of a king looks courageous in traditional clad of Britain. This is England, no, but the City of London can only be described as Rome v2.0 but hey, don't assassinate the messengers...

King Charles

Here's the Wiki Information;

The Bank of England (formally the Governor and Company of the Bank of England) is (despite its name) the central bank of the whole of the United Kingdom and is the model on which most modern, large central banks have been based. It was established in 1694 to act as the English Government's banker, and to this day it still acts as the banker for HM Government. The Bank was privately owned and operated from its foundation in 1694 until it was nationalised in 1946. In 1997 it became an independent public organisation, wholly-owned by Government, with independence in setting monetary policy.

The Bank has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales, although not in Scotland or Northern Ireland. The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee has devolved responsibility for managing the monetary policy of the country. The Treasury has reserve powers to give orders to the committee "if they are required in the public interest and by extreme economic circumstances" but such orders must be endorsed by Parliament within 28 days. The Bank's headquarters has been located in London's main financial district, the City of London, on Threadneedle Street, since 1734. It is sometimes known by the metonym The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street or simply The Old Lady.