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King Charles I - the execution

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A description of the excecution of King Charles I outside the Banqueting House in London on 30th January 1649

The King is dead. I was on duty throughout the whole thing, from escort to crowd control. It took place in London on the thirtieth of January sixteen forty nine. It was a fiercely cold day and the river Thames was frozen solid. Rumour had it that the King wore two shirts that day so that he wouldn’t shiver and folk think he was afraid. He was escorted by soldiers of foot and some on horse. The procession was led by the solitary beat of a drum, it was very solemn. The crowd prayed out loud for the King and when we reached the Banqueting House, the he walked through a window onto the scaffold, which was draped in black cloth. I could see him from high on horseback as he spoke his words; he knelt and placed his head on the block, he stretched out his hands and the job was done. The King’s head was raised up for all to see and a kind of moan went up from the people gathered in the square as if to say, “What have we done”
Eras: 
17th Century
English Civil War
Topics: 
Civil War
Kings & Queens
Character: 
Parliamentarian soldier
Key words: 
Civil War, King Charles I, king, London, 30th January, 1649, procession, Banqueting House, scaffold, block, execution, beheaded, Death, 17th Century, KS3, Key Stage 3, Year 7, Year 8, Year 9