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”.
Thomas 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 Revenge – Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History”).
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