“Hanged, drawn and quartered” (Samuel Pepys, 1660)

The Lost City of London

October 13th –  On this day in 1660, Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary:

“[I]n the morning … I went out to Charing Cross, to see … Major-general Harrison hanged, drawn and quartered; which was done there, he looking as cheerful as any man could do in that condition.  He was presently cut down, and his head and heart shown to the people, at which there was great shouts of joy.   … Thus it was my chance to see the … first blood shed in revenge for the blood of the King [Charles I] at Charing Cross”.

HarrisonThomas Harrison was one of a number of the signatories to the death warrant of Charles I at the end of the Civil War in 1649 to be hunted down and executed by Charles II after the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 (see Don Jordan and Michael Walsh’s “The King’s…

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4 thoughts on ““Hanged, drawn and quartered” (Samuel Pepys, 1660)

    • Indeed so. Mind you, people still like this sort of thing as entertainment or we wouldn’t gawp over plane crashes etc. I’ve never forgotten how disgusted I was with reaction the Staines air crash. They interrupted Richard Harris on the box, singing Camelot and not being able to reach the high notes, to give us the news and then the reports came through of those who’d gone there to gawp and pick up ‘souvenirs’. I remember it particularly well as we were living near at the time. I’ve got deja vu – think I’ve mentioned this before. Probably on a post about the French Revolution!

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