Guy Fawkes Lantern Returned to Parliament

The HLF has supported some of the largest and most amazing projects across the UK. Yet it is the smaller projects and items that can really make up the fabric of a country’s heritage. Last week, thanks to HLF lottery cash, Guy Fawkes Lantern (the one he held when caught) returned to Parliament. It is perhaps not one of the most important cherished icons from England’s or Britain’s history, but it does serve as an important reminder. When it returned to Westminster Palace (a building constructed after the Gunpowder Plot), it created an immense amount of interest.

Guy Fawkes Lantern Returns to Houses of Parliament

By Crispijn van de Passe the Elder – National Portrait Gallery: NPG 334a

All About Guy Fawkes Lantern

Whichever way history had gone, it was always going to become an icon. Yet it is such a simple item to look at, almost inconspicuous. Guy Fawkes lantern had been at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. However, as part of an official reception to mark the 500,000th National Lottery grant (including HLF and BLF) it moved to the Houses of Parliament and put on show. The reception featured a number of items including a Sex Pistols T-shirt and magazines from a London punk exhibition from the 1980s. None quite had the draw as this very special lantern.

The lamp is of a common design from the era even though the object itself now has a place in history. Guards found Fawkes beneath the building during a security check. Giving his name as John Johnson, he was searched. The guards found a number of items including kindling. Further examination found several barrels of gunpowder and a pile of wood that would be used to stoke the fire. Needless to say, Fawkes and his co-conspirators (including the ringleader Robert Catesby) were caught and the rest is history.

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