Thursday 9 June 2016

Royal Execution

            The things we find here at the Kings County Museum! Today’s post highlights an artifact that we happened across while working on our database - one that widened our eyes. We have in our possession a copy of the warrant issued to execute King Charles I.

‘Facsimile of Warrant to Execute King Charles I’. The warrant was published by Publishers, Publicity Service, Toronto. The document dated January 1648 has 58 signatures affixed to it with each commissioner’s individual seal. Charles I, King of England, was tried, convicted of High Treason and sentenced by the court to be beheaded.

            Charles I was born in 1600 to King James VI of Scotland. At the age of three he moved to England following his father’s inheritance of the throne of England. He was married to the fifteen-year-old Bourbon Princess of France, Henrietta Maria in 1625 (In case you missed it - while she was 15, Charles was 25!). In 1626 Charles’s coronation took place on the second of February. Over the years Charles was a part of many conflicts, while not necessarily making or keeping some friends along the way. He ran into issues with other countries and religions, to put it simply.  

Finally, in January of 1649 it all came to an end when he was convicted of treason against England. His trial began on January 20th at Westminster Hall and six days later he was condemned to death. 59 of the 68 commissioners present signed Charles’s death warrant. On the 29th his children were allowed to visit with him and say their final goodbyes. Then, on the afternoon of January 30th, the King was publicly executed.

Attached is a link to the United Kingdom Parliament page that goes into detail about this warrant and the proceedings that took place. Turns out that this warrant for Charles’s execution was later used to track down those who had signed it and prosecute the regicides for the same thing King Charles faced – treason. The commissioners who had signed the warrant and had passed away were dug up from the grave, and their bodies hung.

Not all of our artifacts have a sweet story from the good ole days to share – and this would be one! Even though it is a bit of a gory story, it is still an interesting piece of our collection. We hope we didn’t instill any awful images of beheadings or hangings in your mind!



  1. Super story and a history refresher!

  2. It's very interesting to know how it really was! It's a bad idea to sugar-coat or to adjust the events of history to suit us. It was what it was... and it was another world. Very interesting

  3. Very interesting.... after all, 'it is history'.

  4. Thanks for the comments everyone! We're glad people are visiting and enjoying our blog! :)

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