The confession of Richard Brandon

Description

On 4 January 1649, the House of Commons passed an ordinance to try Charles I for high treason in the name of the people of England. Despite the House of Lords rejecting it, Charles was convicted with 59 Commissioners signing his death warrant.

Charles refused to answer the charges, arguing that he did not recognise the authority of the High Court, but he was found guilty and sentenced to death on 27 January 1649.

The King was beheaded on a scaffold outside the Banqueting House at Whitehall on 30 January. Whilst Richard Brandon was the Common Hangman of London in 1649, it is debateable as to whether he beheaded Charles I as his identity was concealed on the scaffold and his confession, shown here, was published posthumously.

Full title:
The Confession of Richard Brandon the Hangman-upon his Death bed-concerning his beheading his late Majesty Charles the first, etc. [Together with a letter, subscribed: Berwick, the 18 June 1649, reporting a naval victory of the Parliamentary party.]
Published:
1649, London
Format:
Book / Illustration / Image
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
E.561.(14.)

Full catalogue details

Related articles

‘Reason is but choosing’: freedom of thought and John Milton

Article by:
Roberta Klimt
Theme:
Politics and religion

From his politics and religious writings to Paradise Lost, Roberta Klimt traces how the life and work of John Milton was guided by the principle of freedom of thought and how in doing so he challenged fundamental aspects of 17th-century society.

The turbulent 17th century: Civil War, regicide, the Restoration and the Glorious Revolution

Article by:
Matthew White
Theme:
Politics and religion

The 17th century was a time of great political and social turmoil in England, marked by civil war and regicide. Matthew White introduces the key events of this period, from the coronation of Charles I to the Glorious Revolution more than 60 years later.

Related collection items