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British King Charles I Beheaded – 1649

British King Charles I Beheaded – 1649

The executioner allegedly cut off the king’s head with only one stroke, which was considered a professional and merciful execution (in contrast to the messy ones which require many ax blows).

British king Charles I from the Stuart dynasty was executed on this day in 1649. The execution took place during the English Civil War, as many as 140 years before the French Revolution and the execution of King Louis XVI on the guillotine.

Today we know the exact location of King Charles I’s execution. Namely, it was a site erected near the Palace of Whitehall, only a couple of hundred meters north of where the Big Ben and Houses of Parliament stand today. The executioner allegedly cut off the king’s head with only one stroke, which was considered a professional and merciful execution (in contrast to the messy ones which require many ax blows). The executioner’s identity remains unknown because he was masked for his own protection. Still, he was likely experienced since he performed his job so efficiently. Apparently some of the people present soaked pieces of cloth into the blood which flowed from the king’s body after his head was cut off.

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