Saturday 30 May 2020

The Heraldry of the Gunpowder Plotters - now on You tube

I have now added my talk on the Heraldry of the Gunpowder Plotters to You Tube.

In this talk, we explore the heraldry, or coats of arms, used by the Gunpowder Plotters and link that heraldry to their lives and their part in the Plot. We explore their lives, their motives and their deaths. It is quite possible that my generation could be one of the last to have had the experience, as a child, of stuffing some old clothes with rags, adding a head and some old boots and placing this scarecrow like creature, in a wheelbarrow borrowed from a father’s shed so that we could go forth onto the streets and pester any adult we should encounter with the cry “Penny for the Guy”. The purpose of this good-natured harassment was to allow us to purchase the very necessary fireworks with which, no doubt, we became even greater little pests. I really can’t recall when my interest in the Gunpowder Plotters transferred itself from the simple act of celebrating an annual event in ignorance of its real origins, where we simply built a bonfire, burned a Guy and set off fireworks in order to brighten the darkening days of winter, to a desire to learn more but I have a feeling that it was linked to my father, in the mid to late 1960s, successfully persuading my mother that the purchase of a brand new complete set of the several volumes of The Encyclopaedia Britannica would be a good investment in the future education of their children. I was fascinated when they arrived; it was the nearest we got to being able to simply Google the answer we required. In the intervening years I have, on and off, revisited the topic of the Plotters and my un-attributable scribbled noted are plentiful. This talk is a result of both my fascination with the Plot and my addiction for heraldry; the narrative is taken not only from my un-attributable notes, possibly taken from the Britannica, but accounts more recent cross checked against other sources. I give grateful thanks and acknowledgement to The Gun Powder Plot Society, Father John Gerard’s contemporary narrative on The Conditions of Catholics under James I, and Various library MSS & Government Archives. In a presentation such as this it would be impossible to credit every source of information individually, as would be done with footnotes in a book. If I have inadvertently plagiarised one or more of these sources, or inadvertently not credited a particular source at all, I sincerely apologise and beg forgiveness.

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