Bonfire Night, a Tale of Tresham

Discover history and heritage this Bonfire Night. Northamptonshire‘s most traditional celebration takes place on 3rd November 2018.

Rushton Hall stands out amongst all other Northamptonshire hotels thanks to its historical heritage and traditions that date back several centuries. Living at Rushton Hall since the 1400s, the Tresham family has seen many important moments in history while living in the beautiful grounds of the hotel.

Son of Sir Thomas Tresham, reactionary Francis Tresham had a tumultuous life leading on to multiple rebellions and arrests. Discover how Francis Tresham got involved in the 1605 Gunpowder plot and what the traditions of Guy Fawkes night are today.

The Gunpowder Plot

Francis Tresham’s cousin Robert Catesby is known to be the investigator of the famous gunpowder plot. Catesby and a group of individuals including Guy Fawkes planned the assassination of King James on the 5th November 1605, after having stored gunpowder in one of the Parliament’s vaults that was rented by one of the plotters. Thought to have been motivated by religious divergences between Catholics and Protestants, the plot was delayed several times for various reasons and quickly ran out of funds.

Recruited by the group a year later partly for his financial wealth, Francis Tresham was accused of jeopardizing the plot when an anonymous letter was sent to his brother in law, advising him to avoid attending the opening of the Parliament.

This letter brought concerns about the security of the venue, which was thoroughly searched. The gunpowder was found, allowing the plot to fail and Guy Fawkes, who was in charge of lighting the explosives, was discovered and arrested. He soon became “Britain’s most famous terrorist”.

The Traditions

The Guy Fawkes tradition started a year after the gunpowder plot failed as a way to commemorate the survival of King James. Every year, large effigies nicknamed “Guys” representing Guy Fawkes are placed on top of bonfires and burnt. In the lead up to this event, children will collect ‘a penny for the guy’ in public, asking passersby to give them money in return for seeing their attempts at creating the figure from discarded items of clothing. In most places, fireworks are also let off for many hours making for a spectacular sight (and one that is meant to evoke what could have been if the plot had not been foiled.)

There are several versions of the popular 17th Century nursery rhyme that accompanies these traditions. Most start with: “Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, Gunpowder treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.”

Bonfire Night 2018 at Rushton Hall

We organise a yearly Bonfire Night occasion at Rushton Hall when crowds gather for a delicious meal and fireworks. This year, we will be hosting a Gala Dinner in our stunning Orangery.  This is truly one of the most memorable nights on our calendar and is especially important given our history with the Tresham family. To avoid disappointment, we strongly urge you to book your place sooner rather than later!

Our venue has seen many of Francis Tresham’s family members over the centuries. Thanks to its rich history, Rushton Hall is the perfect destination in Northamptonshire to celebrate Guy Fawkes night. See our Bonfire Night offer for room rates and prices. 

Looking forward to celebrating Bonfire Night? Northamptonshire is the ultimate destination thanks to our unique link to the plot. Call us on 0207 730 6466 for more information.