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 one of the so-called “regicides” who had signed Charles I’s death-warrant during the Civil War. Most of the surviving regicides were rounded up and executed by Charles’s son, Charles II, after he was restored to the throne in 1660.