Oliver Cromwell was England’s military and political leader during the 17th century. He played a crucial role in the country’s transition from a monarchy to a republic and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1653 until his death in 1658.
After his death, Cromwell’s body was exhumed from Westminster Abbey and put on public display before being hanged at Tyburn in London, a traditional site for executions. This was done as a form of post-mortem punishment, as Cromwell’s opponents felt that he had been a tyrant during his time in power. The ritual execution, which took place on January 30, 1661, was designed to symbolically undo the actions of Cromwell and his supporters and reaffirm the monarchy. Cromwell’s head was then displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall for more than 20 years.