If it Had Gone Boom

The idea of blowing up parliament is something that many people still think might be a good idea, but if you stop to think of what might have happened, it truly is horrific. This is from the book Gunpowder Plots, and this is a quote from James I’s Bishop of Chichester, George Carleton:

“Their hellish device was at one blow to root out religion, to destroy the state, the father of our country, the mother of our country, the olive branches the hopeful succession of our king, the reverend clergy, the honourable nobility, the faithful councillors, the grave judges, the greatest part of our knights and gentry, the choicest burgesses, the officers of the crown, council, signet, seals and other seats of judgement, the learned lawyers, with an infinite number of common people, the hall of justice, the houses of parliament, the church used for the coronation of our kings, the monuments of our former princes, all records of parliament, and of every particular man’s right, with great number of charters, and other things of this nature, all those things had the devil by his agents devised at one secret blow to destroy.”

The houses of parliament were not then the fine stone edifice we now see on the side of the Thames, but a mouldering mostly wooden rabbit warren, so we can add to the above the horror of a large fire being started, which, with no leaders to take charge of organising fire fighting, would have destroyed heaven knows how much of the capital, and many innocent people.

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