Since the Norman Conquest of 1066, the Tower of London has been a place of execution for high-profile prisoners.
Many famous people from English History have met their end at the hands of the executioner on Tower Green, inside the walls of this notorious fortress. Many were beheaded and rumours are that they still haunt the Tower.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these infamous executions…
The first of Henry VIII’s six wives to be executed, Anne Boleyn was beheaded on Tower Green in 1536. Her execution was a bloody and brutal affair, and her headless body was buried in an unmarked grave inside the Tower walls.
Like Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard met her end on Tower Green, after being convicted of adultery. She was beheaded in 1542, at the age of 18.
Lady Jane Grey was just 16 years old when she was executed on Tower Green in 1554, after nine days on the throne. She was convicted of treason for aligning herself with Protestant rebels.
One of the most famous victims of Henry VIII’s bloody reign, Thomas More was executed on Tower Hill in 1535. He was beheaded after refusing to accept Henry as Supreme Head of the Church of England.
Also executed on Tower Hill, Thomas Cromwell was Henry VIII’s chief minister until he fell out of favor and was beheaded in 1540.
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
Once a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I, Robert Devereux was executed on Tower Green in 1601, after leading a failed rebellion against her rule.
Cardinal John Fisher was executed on Tower Green in 1535, after refusing to recognize Henry VIII as the head of the church.
brother of Jane Seymour, the third wife of Henry VIII, Thomas Seymour was executed on Tower Green in 1549 after being convicted of treason.
The last person to be executed at the Tower of London, Josef Jakobs was shot by a firing squad on Tower Hill in 1941. He was a German spy who had been caught trying to infiltrate Britain’s wartime defenses.
As you can see, the Tower of London has been home to many famous executions over the years. These gruesome tales are sure to keep visitors coming back for more.
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Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "Famous People Executed at Tower of London" https://englishhistory.net/famous-people-executed-at-tower-of-london/, January 26, 2022