King Edward II
10 of 26 portraits of King Edward II
King Edward II
after Unknown artist
line engraving, 1649?
4 7/8 in. x 3 1/8 in. (125 mm x 80 mm) paper size
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
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Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1649back to top
Current affairsCharged with subverting the nation's laws and liberties and cruelly making war against Parliament and the English people, Charles I is found guilty by a court of 159 commissioners, and beheaded outside the Banqueting House, Whitehall. England is declared a commonwealth and power is entrusted to a Council of State.
Art and scienceEikon Basilike, a self-exonerating account of Charles I's rule, is published days after his death. Allegedly written by the king himself, John Gauden, Bishop of Worcester, claimed authorship after the Restoration. Other tributes followed the king's death giving rise to a royalist cult of Charles the Martyr.
InternationalOliver Cromwell, as lord lieutenant of Ireland, begins his brutal campaign in Ireland to subdue royalist support, and leads English Parliamentarian forces against the Royalist-Confederate coalition. The campaign's bloody massacres, in particular, the Siege of Drogheda and Wexford where Cromwell's troops slaughtered soldiers and civilians alike, became notorious.
Exhibitions and displays
- The Tudors Reimagined: George Perfect Harding
Until 14 February
- Portrait of the Day: King Richard III
28 February, 12:30