The fifth of November -
Gunpowder, treason and plot!
The infamous Gunpowder Plot from 1605 is commemorated annually in the UK with Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night, with effigies of hate figures (most usually contemporary politicians or celebrities) burned on bonfires, whilst fireworks illuminate the skies.
Fawkes and his co-conspirators were English Catholics who were seeking to assassinate the ruling (Protestant) monarch, King James I, along with a proportion of what they considered to be many of the corrupt lords who ran the government of the day. Barrels of gunpowder were cached in the cellars under the House of Lords in London, and Fawkes was discovered red-handed, preparing to ignite them.
Britain was only recently being ruled by a 'united' monarch, with the political union which saw the creation of the United Kingdom not coming until over a hundred years later, in 1707. James I may have been the first king James of England, but in fact he was also James VI of Scotland, born to Mary, Queen of Scots, and ascended to the joint throne of England and Scotland following the death of Queen Elizabeth I, to whom James was second cousin.
But what role does Edinburgh play in all of this history? In fact, Edinburgh is where it all began - to be more precise, in Edinburgh Castle, where James was born, on the 19th June 1566.
Edinburgh Expert is run by Gareth Davies, an adopted native of Edinburgh with 18 years of experience living and working in the city.