Sunday, 31 January 2016

On This Day In History - 31st January


On This Day, 30th January 1606, the infamous Guy Fawkes was executed for his part in the Gunpowder Plot.
During his torture, I mean interrogation, there's a difference apparently, Guy Fawkes was asked the question, "What are you doing in possession of so much gunpowder."
He was found in the tunnels beneath the Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels. Trying to explain your way out of that one and claim innocence would not be easy.
Guy Fawkes asked for the mildly hot poker to be removed from his bottom, a popular interrogation technique still used by the United States, and not torture, as there is a difference. He then said, "to blow you Scotch beggars back to your native mountains."
"To blow you Scotch beggars back to your native mountains."
- a popular English drinking game in the early 1600s.

King James, who would have been blown to teeny-tiny bits along with the Palace of Westminster, had Guy Fawkes been able to carry out his plan, had a mild admiration for Fawkes and his steadfastness, resolution, and ability to hold a poker face like no other before him.
The admiration didn't stop the King ordering Fawkes be tortured. I mean interrogated. Although he did indicate the torture, sheesh, interrogation, be light at first.
"Don't use the hedgehogs unless they are completely necessary,"
- the King was heard to say.

Guy Fawkes was tried and found guilty of high treason.
The Attorney General, Sir Edward Coke, took a sip of Pepsi and told the court the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot should be, "...put to death halfway between heaven and earth as unworthy of both."
And continued, "Their genitals would be cut off and burned before their eyes, and their bowels and hearts removed. After lunch, they would then be decapitated and their dismembered parts displayed so as to become 'prey for the fowls of the air'."
Yep. Sir Edward Coke was a pretty serious guy. Perhaps he should have switched to decaf.
On the 31st January 1606, Guy Fawkes and three of his fellow conspirators, Thomas Wintour, Ambrose Rookwood, and Robert Keyes, were dragged from the Tower of London by a horse to the Old Palace Yard in Westminster.
The other three had their punishments first. Guy Fawkes was to watch as they were hanged, some longer than others, but all were cut down before they died. Whilst conscious, they had their dangly bits sliced off, before they were disembowelled, and finally quartered.
Finally it was the turn of Guy Fawkes. But, it would seem, after being forced to watch the others go through a nasty ending, he didn't much like to suffer it himself.
As he climbed the ladder to the noose, he decided to jump and broke his neck. He was killed instantly. Some say he merely fell, but either way he avoided the eye-watering part of having is little Guy lopped off.
The rest of the procedure was still carried out. His body parts were then distributed to the four corners of the kingdom to be displayed as warning to any other that would consider traitorous thoughts.

Fun Fact:
The penis of Guy Fawkes found its way to the Scottish Highlands,
where it was impaled on a twig and set alight using gunpowder from one of the barrels
he had smuggled into the tunnels beneath the Houses of Parliament.

On This Day in 1649, the day after King Charles I of England was beheaded, his head was recovered and sewn back onto his body.
On This Day in 1945, Private Eddie Slovik of the United States Army, was executed for desertion. It was the first time any serving American soldier had been executed for desertion since the Civil War.

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