Stained Execution Vest of King Charles I Jan 30, 2020 22:48:14 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Jan 30, 2020 22:48:14 GMT -5
Stained Execution Vest of King Charles I
A stained vest, allegedly worn by King Charles I of England when he was beheaded in 1649, is set to go on display in London. The King’s execution is a key moment in British history. It was on Tuesday, January 30, 1649, when King Charles I was led from the Banqueting House to the scaffold, where the axeman awaited the famous “traitor.” Despite the bitter cold, a large crowd had assembled to watch the execution.
Royalists had been defeated by Parliament’s forces in a series of bloody civil wars that lasted from 1642 to 1651. In May 1646, after suffering a string of military defeats, the king had placed himself in the protection of the Scottish army, which handed him over to the Roundheads nine months later. Charles was tried for high treason on January 27, 1649, convicted and dispatched on the chopping block three days later.
According to the Museum of London, which will place the pale blue-green silk execution vest on display later this year, the garment has visible stains on the front. Forensic tests in the 1950s and 80s failed to prove conclusively the stains are blood, however, UV light indicates the discolorations are bodily fluids, which could be sweat, vomit or another substance.
“Following the monarch’s decapitation, his body was undressed and items of his clothing were distributed to people in attendance,” the Museum said in a statement. “When the vest was presented to the Museum of London (then the London Museum) for acquisition in 1925, it came attached with a note of authentication that stated the vest was worn by King Charles I on the day he was beheaded and it was given to the physician who attended him.”
Other artifacts of the execution include gloves (above), a handkerchief, a sash and fragments of a cloak, and these, too, will be displayed in the exhibition opening October 16, 2020.
“Being able to include this incredibly rare vest in a major exhibition is exciting as it is key in telling the story of one of the most infamous executions that occurred in the capital,” said Meriel Jeater, curator at the Museum. “The exhibition covers nearly 700 years, a time when public executions were more frequent in London than any other town, attracting huge crowds several times a year at locations across the capital. Public executions became embedded in the landscape and culture of London, influencing people’s everyday lives.”
Source: James Rogers, Fox News, January 30, 2020.