On This Day in Oil & Gas: January 31st - Death Of Guy Fawkes
January 31st, 1606, London, Kingdom of England - A frail man climbs the gallows in the Old Palace Yard at Westminster. Weakened by daily tortures, he is three inches taller than he was three months ago. He has just seen two of his colleagues hanged and quartered, their severed bodies dispatched to the four corners of the kingdom as a warning. As the noose is tightened, he summons the remainder of his ebbing strength to jump, avoiding the agony of the latter part of his execution by breaking his neck. The man was Guido Fawkes (Guy Fawkes), and amidst the baying crowd gathered in the shadow of the building he tried to destroy, the target of his failed assassination attempt, King James VI and I watches on, disguised in commoner’s garb.
So what if the Gunpowder Plot had been successful? It would have meant the (literal) decapitation of the English system of government, killing the king, his direct heir, the Privy Council, the Law Lords, and the Lords Spiritual, leaving a power vacuum at the heart of the Kingdom. But what does this mean for ye oile and gasse? Well, it is likely that the resulting internal strife would have put back or completely halted England’s colonisation of the New World, and Catholic elements in Scotland may well have taken the initiative to stave off the union with England some hundred years later. In a world where Guy Fawkes had been successful, we may be speaking about the Kingdom of Scotland’s North Sea oil reserves and French HPHT wells in the Golfe du Mexique. Interesting thought....
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