The Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon is commemorating the 370th anniversary of the trial and execution of Charles I with a new exhibit and special event.
The museum’s new display, called Cruel Necessity? – The Trial and Execution of Charles I looks at the trial and execution of the king in January 1649, including the chance to see rarely displayed items from the museum’s collections and a newly acquired portrait of Charles which is now being shown for the first time. The display will examine the reasons for the trial and Cromwell’s involvement in it.
Tickets are selling out quickly for this unusual event to be staged by the Cromwell Museum. On February 8/9, the museum will be staging dramatised performances recreating the tumultuous events of the trial of King Charles I in January 1649, to be held in the atmospheric surroundings of one of the historic courtrooms at Huntingdon Town Hall.
Working with members of the Sealed Knot historical re-enactment society, and using original trial records from the Parliamentary Archives, the museum has produced an edited and dramatised version of the trial, which will be recreated with all the key figures including King Charles I and Oliver Cromwell being played by amateur actors.
Performances will be staged during the daytime on February 8 for schools who are studying the period, then on Friday evening and during the day on Saturday there are ticketed shows for the general public. Demand has been such that an additional performance has been added – a matinee for the general public on February 8 at 12.30pm
Stuart Orme, curator of the Cromwell Museum said: “The trial of Charles I is one of the most dramatic events in our history, when a monarch was put on trial by his Parliament. It raises questions about the nature of justice, freedom and democracy that we are still wrestling with today, and we hope that our new display and this very special event will bring these to life for people.”
Public performances of the trial are being held at 12.30pm and 7pm (SOLD OUT) on Friday and at 10.30am, midday, 2pm (SOLD OUT) and 3.30pm (SOLD OUT) on Saturday. Performances will last about 70 minutes. Tickets for these performances are £7 per person, and can be booked via the Cromwell Museum or online via the Museum’s website or at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-trial-of-charles-i-tickets-53859491188. For more details, visit the Museum’s website at www.cromwellmuseum.org or call (01480) 708008.
The Cromwell Museum holds the best collection of objects relating to the life and times of Oliver Cromwell on public display in the world. The collection comprises nearly 700 items, including portraits, clothing, miniatures, arms and armour, historical documents written by or about Cromwell, and one of his death masks. The Museum is located in the former Huntingdon Grammar School building, which was where Oliver Cromwell went to school.
The museum is operated by an independent charity, the Cromwell Museum Trust, which receives no state or government funding towards its running costs.