The Discovery and Opening of the Coffin of King Charles I, 1813

“Meditations Amongst the Tombs” 1813 – A satirical cartoon by Cruickshank showing George, the Prince Regent, examining the body of Henry VIII, while the Physician Henry Halford cuts off his beard. At rear the body of Charles I raises up his decapitated head as a warning to George. A sinister figure, accompanied by the devil, whispers in George’s ear about the prospect of losing his own head. [Source : Pinterest]

At St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on the 1st April 1813, there occurred the opening of the coffin of King Charles I who had met his fate by execution in 1649. But why was this deemed necessary and what took place at the opening? And why was the vault re-opened yet again in 1888? Let us look at the facts.

A search had been made for the burial place by his son King Charles II, “Yet such had been the injury done to the Chapel, such were the mutilations it had undergone, during the period of the Usurpation [Cromwell’s rule], that no marks were left, by which the exact place of burial…

Source: The Discovery and Opening of the Coffin of King Charles I, 1813

2 thoughts on “The Discovery and Opening of the Coffin of King Charles I, 1813

  1. I suspect that these coffin openings were inspired more by gruesome curiosity, than the need for identification. At least being cremated ensures that nobody bothers to mess around with your remains centuries later.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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