Oliver Cromwell’s Head


After Restoration

Charles II dug up Cromwell’s body

from the Resting Place of Kings

in Westminster Abbey.

Cromwell was charged,




hung, drawn and quartered,

although he was long dead

of ‘natural causes’.


Alternative facts:

His head was:

  1. displayed for money

in London


  1. held in the Oxford museum

that also housed his death mask


  1. held in the private collection

of a Kentish family until 1990


  1. displayed on a spike for 25/nearly 100 years

at the front of Westminster Hall

(Where Charles I was tried)

until it (the head) blew off in a storm

and was purloined by a guard

who only revealed his souveniring on his death bed



His head was reburied at his former Cambridge university

in a grave unmarked

lest ‘ghoulish souvenir-hunters’

dig him up again.