January 30th – On this day in 1649, Charles I was executed for treason outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall. Philip Henry wrote of the event:
“At the later end of the year 1648 I had leave to goe to London to see my Father, & during my stay there at that time at Whitehal it was that I saw the Beheading of King Charles the first … . On the day of his execution, … I stood amongst the crowd in the street before Whitehal gate, where the scaffold was erected, and saw what was done, but was not so near as to hear any thing. The Blow I saw given, & can truly say with a sad heart; at the instant thereof, I remember well, there was such a Grone by the Thousands there present, as I never heard before & desire I may never hear again … ”.
Site of Charles I’s execution in Whitehall