Bonfire Night is one custom that has featured consistently over the centuries since the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. On occasion a focus for religious tension, and waxing and waning in visibility and importance across the nation, nonetheless in the present day organised festivities are commonplace.
Warwickshire holds a special significance for the Gunpowder plot, with sites such as Dunchurch, Coombe Abbey and Coughton Court becoming wrapped up in the conspiracy. More on these sites’ links to the plot and the characters involved would undoubtedly be welcomed, should anybody wish to submit an article!
Polesworth in 1749 saw a commemoration of the day. A copy of a programme for the event on 6th November is held at the Warwickshire County Record Office (reference Z 530(sm) ) and lists for part of the display 18 honorary rockets, five illuminated marons (maroons) and 24 rockets in one flight. We are then treated to a description of how the display will look, among which we hear of “the pyramids formed by Fountains of brilliant Fire, with a brilliant Star of five points.”
How do our firework displays of today compare? Let us know!