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Executions: Charles I Vest mini documentary

In an extraordinary act by Parliament, Charles I was tried and convicted of ‘High Treason and other high Crymes’. He was beheaded on 30 January 1649 at Banqueting House in Whitehall, in front of an ‘abundance of Men and Women’.

In 1924, the museum acquired a mid-17th century knitted silk vest, alongside a note claiming it had been worn by Charles I at his execution and ‘from the Scaffold came into the Hands of Doctor Hobbs, his physician who attended him upon that Occasion’. The material and style indicate it is of the correct date and quality to have been owned by the king but we cannot be sure they were used on his final day, as there are conflicting accounts of what the King wore. The vest remained in the physician’s family until the late 19th century, when it was sold and re-sold.

Find out more in our mini documentary on Charles I's vest.