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Vest worn by King Charles I at execution to go on display at museum

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a man wearing a suit and tie© Provided by The Independent

A vest worn by King Charles I on the day of his execution more than 370 years ago is set to go on public display at the Museum of London.

On 30 January 1649, the monarch was beheaded in front of a crowd of onlookers outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall, London.

The king wore a pale blue, silk vest for his beheading, which is due to be displayed later this year as part of an exhibition called “Executions”.

Following King Charles I’s execution, which was ordered after he was found guilty of treason, the items of clothing he was wearing were given out to the crowds.

Meriel Jeater, curator at the Museum of London, said it is “exciting” to be able to feature “this incredibly rare vest” in the exhibition, which will explore executions that took place in London from 1196 to 1868.

A pair of gloves made of kid leather, fitted with deep gauntlet cuffs of pink silk, trimmed with gold and silver lace and embroidery said to have been worn by Charles I at his execution (Museum of London/PA Wire)© Provided by The Independent
A pair of gloves made of kid leather, fitted with deep gauntlet cuffs of pink silk, trimmed with gold and silver lace and embroidery said to have been worn by Charles I at his execution (Museum of London/PA Wire)

“It is key in telling the story of one of the most infamous executions that occurred in the capital,” Jeater said.

“The exhibition covers nearly 700 years, a time when public executions were more frequent in London than in any other town, attracting huge crowds several times a year at locations across the capital.”

When the Museum of London received the vest in 1925, it came with a note validating its authenticity as the garment worn by the monarch for his execution.

The vest is made from knitted, high-quality silk, and features stains on the front that the museum says could be bodily fluids.

Four fragments of a cloak, said to have been worn by Charles I at his execution (Museum of London/PA Wire)© Provided by The Independent
Four fragments of a cloak, said to have been worn by Charles I at his execution (Museum of London/PA Wire)

The vest is not the only item of clothing worn by King Charles I for his beheading that is to go on display at the Museum of London.

Other items of the king also featured in the exhibition include a pair of gloves, fragments from a cloak, a sash and a handkerchief.

The exhibition is due to open in October, with tickets going on sale on the Museum of London website from Saturday 1 February.

Earlier this month, it was reported that several items from the wardrobe of Queen Victoria were going to be auctioned, having been safeguarded in a wardrobe for a century.

Following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, royal photographer Alexander Lamont Henderson were given several of her sartorial possessions, including a pair of bloomers, a bodice, a skirt and a pair of leather boots.

Having been passed down through generations, the photographer’s great-great grandson decided to sell the collection, which was predicted to be sold for more than £15,000.

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