Charles I

Charles I

Charles I execution

Charles I rules from 1625 to 1649. Early on in his reign Banqueting House was the stage for elaborate plays celebrating his Kingship... but by 1649 England was in the midst of civil war. On 30 January 1649 he was executed outside the Banqueting House.

Banquets and masques

Charles I's marriage to a French pricess, Henrietta Maria, was ratified at the Banqueting House in 1625. He returned to it from 1631 to watch Masques, performances designed to show his divine right to rule. And in 1636 Charles installed Rubens's new paintings in the ceiling and the Masques came to an end.

On 10 January 1642 Charles I left the Palace of Whitehall for York and he wouldn't return for 7 years. When he eventually did, it was to walk across the hall, and out onto scaffold to be executed.

The last performance

By 1649 Charles has been arrested for treason and setenced to death. On Tuesday 30 January 1649, Charles left Banqueting House. He stepped out of a window onto scaffold erected outside.

The executioner severed Charles's head with one blow and there was a loud groan from the audience. He was buried on the 6 February.

You may also be interested in...