Saturday, 30 January 2016

On This Day In History - 30 January

On This Day, the 30th of January 1606, Sir Everard Digby had an unfortunate encounter with an executioner. He was Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered.
Sir Everard Digby, as well as having an awesome name, is most known for being one of the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot -- the failed attempt on the 5th of November 1605 to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
Digby, along with his co-conspirators, were captured soon after their failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament after a brief attempt at fleeing. These guys weren't good at anything, were they?
In the early hours of the morning on the 30th of January, Sir Everard Digby and four of his fellow conspirators (Robert Wintour, John Grant, and Thomas Bates) were taken from their cells in the Tower of London (except Thomas Bates, he had been imprisoned in the Gatehouse Prison) and dragged behind a horse through the streets of London to the Old St Paul's Cathedral churchyard.
Digby was first up.
In a situation like this, not sure if it's good to go first or last. Although, considering what is about to happen to him, I'd say first is better.
Everard Digby had his clothes removed, although he was allowed to keep his shirt. Then, with a prod from behind, he was made to climb a ladder onto the scaffold. A rope was hooked about his neck, and he was hanged.
Not for long, though.
After a very short time, the rope was cut and he fell to the ground. Still alive.
Yay, he is saved.
Nope. Things are about to get worse. A lot worse.
Digby was then taken to the block and de-gentlemen'd. Holy cripes. OUCH! Yes, he was castrated. Then, disembowelled. All whilst fully conscious. After a few moments to allow Digby to observe his innards slipping out of his belly, and his fun stick trying to crawl across the ground to his wife, who was watching in horror, Digby was finally quartered.
Seriously. That must have hurt.
Digby's friends, Wintour, Grant, and Bates, who were now looking quite pale, underwent the same treatment as Digby. There was, apparently, more than a bit of screaming during the procedures.
The other four conspirators, who were still locked up in the Tower of London, would meet their fate the following day.
On This Day, the 30th of January 1649, King Charles-The-First-King-Of-England-To-Be-Tried-And-Executed, had his head separated from his shoulders by way of a really sharp axe.
After losing the English Civil war, King Charles-Not-A-Spaniel was imprisoned and tried for treason, and kicking a sick puppy that one time when he was a kid. But, little did the King know, that his days were numbered.
In fact, the king always believed he would be found innocent of all crimes, including puppy-kicking. He couldn't imagine, along with most of the country, that Parliament would not only find him guilty, but they'd also give him the death sentence.
The sentencing was driven by Oliver Cromwell, who hated the king and the monarchy. And puppies. He kicked more than a few in his time. But he had to be seen as a man of the people. So he switched to kicking kittens instead.
Most people break down before they are executed. They cry, they scream, they beg for their life.
Not the Charles-Needed-A-Different-Lawyer. The King asked to wear two shirts. The weather was biting cold, and he didn't want it to cause him to shiver. If the crowds observed him shivering, they might mistake it for fear.
An eyewitness to the execution was interviewed for the BBC News channel afterwards. "We all gasped, we did. They keel'd te king. T'was terrible. An awful thing. But fun."
The eyewitness continued: "They showed his head. Lifted it right up, they did. Dripped blood all over. So we dipped our handkerchiefs in it."
The spectators wanted a souvenir of the day. And those who were close enough dipped their handkerchiefs into the pools of blood dripping on the floor as the King's head was raised and shown to the crowds.
The eyewitness concluded: "That Oliver Cromwell, the one who beat the king, and killed him proper, he did. He watched and smiled. Real pleased with himself, he was. Right proud to kill a king. Watta-git."
The actual head of Oliver Cromwell.
On This Day, the 30th of January 1661, Oliver-What-A-Git-Cromwell, the former Lord Protector of England, and all round git, was executed on the 12th anniversary of the execution of his nemesis King Charles-The-First.
Should probably point out, that at the time of Oliver Cromwell's execution he was dead. And not from the execution. Cromwell had been dead for over two years.
When the monarchy was restored in England in 1660, Charles-Part-Two decided it would be a great idea to dig up Cromwell's corpse and publicly execute him. There were obviously some unresolved anger issues going on.
After Cromwell's all ready dead and rotting corpse was hanged in chains at Tyburn, he was thrown in a pit. Not before his head was also chopped off and put on display on a pole in Westminster. It remained there until 1685 until a heavy storm blew it off.
On This Day, the 30th of January 1835, Andrew Jackson became the receiver of the first attempted Presidential assignation.
It wasn't a grassy knoll, but it had it's moments. On January 30th 1835, Jackson was leaving the US Capitol in Washington when Richard Lawrence, a deranged painter, which is actually pretty standard for painters, shot at him with a pistol from a few feet away.
The gun misfired. Not perturbed, Lawrence drew a another pistol he had hidden down his butt-crack for emergencies. Come on, deranged painter, that's where they hide them. Must have been the humidity, but the second butt-pistol also misfired.
Now, Jackson, as you'd expect, was miffed. He charged at Lawrence like an angry bull doped up on Old Hickory. He took the would-be assassin down with his cane. He whipped him silly.
An investigation afterwards concluded you don't mess with the Andy Jack. And that both pistols were actually in perfect working order. The chances of both guns misfiring were found to be 125,000-1.
Don't forget to check out these posts:
On This Day in 1965, Sir Winston Churchill's funeral took place. Millions of mourners lined the streets of London for the State Funeral. It was, at the time, the biggest funeral in Britain's history.
Celebrity Birthdays
On This Day in 1951, roughly nine months after his parents spent a night having a Groovy Kind of Love, which ended up being Another Day in Paradise, and having his father beg his mother for One More Night, and his mother telling his father, You Can't Hurry Love, the genius of Genesis that is Phil Collins was born.
On This Day in 1974, Christian Bale was born. And do you know why? Because I'm Batman.

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