Explore the history of public execution in London at this landmark new exhibition – opening on 16 October 2020
Public executions were a major part of Londoners’ lives for centuries. More frequent in London than in any other town, these morbid spectacles attracted thousands of onlookers at locations across the capital.
From Smithfield to Southwark, from Banqueting House to Newgate Prison, executions became embedded in London’s landscape and people’s lives. Even today, hints of this uncomfortable past can still be seen across the city.
From October, the Museum of London is bringing the lives and legacies of those who died and those who witnessed executions first hand to a major new exhibition. Executions will use a range of fascinating objects, paintings and projections, including the vest said to have been worn by King Charles I when he was executed, to show how entwined this form of punishment is in the history of London. It will also reveal the rarely told human stories behind these events, looking at the role not just royalty but all Londoners played as both spectators and participants.
This is your chance to discover how over nearly 700 years, public executions came to shape the city we know today.