On this day in 1662, Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary:
“[A]bout eleven o’clock, … we all went out to the Tower-hill; and there, over against the scaffold, made on purpose this day, saw Sir Harry Vane brought. A very great press of people. He made a long speech, many times interrupted by the Sheriff and others there; and they would have taken the paper out of his hand, but he would not let it go. … [So] trumpets were brought that he might not be heard. Then he prayed, and so fitted himself, and received the blow … ”.
Vane had been a leading Parliamentarian during the Civil War, and had been deemed to be “too dangerous to let live” after the Restoration of the Monarchy.