The confession of Richard Brandon


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.]
1649, London
Book / Illustration / Image
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Public Domain
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British Library

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