Oliver Cromwell’s Head
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’.
His head was:
- displayed for money
- held in the Oxford museum
that also housed his death mask
- held in the private collection
of a Kentish family until 1990
- 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.