TIL that 3 years after his death in 1658, Oliver Cromwell’s enbalmed body was exhumed and executed. His head was mounted on a spike on Westminster Hall for 25 years until a storm blew it down. A guard found it and took it home. It was then in private possession until being secretly buried in 1960.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Cromwell%27s_head

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  1. >The circumstances in which Cromwell’s head came into private ownership are rumoured to be tied with a great storm towards the end of James II’s reign (1685–1689), which broke the pole bearing the head, throwing it to the ground. A sentinel guarding the Exchequer’s Office came across it, after which he hid it under his cloak and stored it, hidden, in the chimney of his house.

    What a coincidence, when I find a head in the street I do the exact same thing.

  2. Info that didn’t fit in the title:

    People who are known to have possessed it after the guard include various collectors of curiosities and one drunken failed actor, who believed himself to be a descendant of Cromwell and would show it off to friends. He was eventually conned out of it by a businessman who sold it for a profit. Years later, after being bought by a guy called Josiah Wilkinson in 1815, it remained in his family until one of his descendants contacted Cambridge to arrange the secret burial.

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