Cromwell’s Corpse Executed


History on 30th January

First Newsnight

First Lifeboat launched

Cromwell’s Corpse Executed

Marble Arch, London The 30th of January 1661 AD

The image we have of Charles II tends to be rather benign, focussing on his enjoyment of a good time (and very many women). But the Restoration saw some bloody revenge including the trial and execution of 10 of the surviving regicides, four of them hanged drawn and quartered at Charing Cross on October 17 1660. Others were hunted down and murdered in exile. And on January 30 1661, the anniversary of the beheading of Charles I, the bodies of Oliver Cromwell, his son-in-law Henry Ireton, and John Bradshaw, President of the court which tried Charles I, suffered a disgusting mock execution at Tyburn.
Cromwell’s remains were removed with some difficulty from their resting place in Westminster Abbey, and on January 28 transported to an inn in Holburn along with Ireton’s, soon joined by Bradshaw’s. Coffins containing the corpses wrapped in shrouds were dragged on hurdles around London’s streets on the morning of January 30, then at Tyburn they were removed, hanged in chains, drawn and quartered, and at four in the afternoon beheaded. Even in death Cromwell was more resilient than his royal enemy: it took eight blows to sever the Lord Protector’s skull; Charles’ only one.
The three severed heads were then put on tall spikes outside Westminster Abbey, remaining there until 1685. The subsequent history of Cromwell’s skull is complicated – bought and sold several times, and once exhibited in Bond Street – but what is strongly believed to have been such was buried at Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, his alma mater, on March 25 1960.

More famous dates here

7134 views since 6th January 2011

Brit Quote:
Britain is the grit in the European oyster - John Major
More Quotes

On this day:
Irish Catholic Uprising - 1641, Battle of Trafalgar - 1805, First Women Peers Enter Lords - 1958, 1st British Nuclear Powered Sub launched - 1960, The Aberfan Disaster - 1966
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages