England · Executions · Famous Last Words · Political

FLW: traitor to the throne forgives his executioner

Famous Last Words
Major-General Thomas Harrison
October 13, 1660
London, England

“I do forgive thee with all my heart … Alas poor man, thou doith it ignorantly, the Lord grant that this sin may be laid to thy charge.” (Spoken to the executioner after he asked to be forgiven.)

Harrison had signed the death warrant of King Charles I in 1649 who was convicted of high treason when he refused to abolish the monarchy in favor of a constitutional monarchy. King Charles was executed by beheading and thus sealed the fate of Harrison as well.

Harrison, who had sided with Parliament during the English Civil War, was found guilty of regicide (the willful murder of royalty) during England’s Restoration period which restored the monarchs to power.

On October 13, 1660, Harrison became the first of 10 to be hanged, drawn, and quartered for regicide during the Restoration. His executioner asked for forgiveness which Harrison granted, then he gave the executioner the rest of the money he had in his pocket before meeting his end.

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