ON JANUARY 30, 1649, King Charles I was executed in front of the Banqueting House of the Palace of Whitehall in London.
1. Oliver Cromwell, who had overthrown Charles, was ritually executed on the 12th anniversary of Charles’s execution, even though he had been dead for two years.
2. Charles was born at Dunfermline Palace in 1600, the second son of James VI of Scotland.
3. He was a sickly child and remained in Scotland after his father became James I of England.
4. He was judged strong enough to go to England at the age of three and a half after walking the length of the great hall at Dunfermline unassisted.
5. He became heir to the throne when his brother Henry Frederick died aged 18.
6. He married French princess Henrietta Maria, aged 15 in 1625, first by proxy then in person.
7. In 1626, his wife, a Catholic, refused to attend his coronation, seeing it as a Protestant ceremony.
8. The name of his executioner, who severed the King’s head with one stroke, was never revealed.
9. The next day, the king’s head was sewn back onto his body, which was then put in a lead coffin.
10. From 1647, when his barber Uriah Babbington was dismissed by Parliament, Charles refused to be shaved.