Thomas Harrison was asked for forgiveness by his executioner

Thomas Harrison was asked for forgiveness by his executioner

Just before Thomas Harrison was hanged and disemboweled he was asked for forgiveness by his executioner. He is quoted as saying “”I do forgive thee with all my heart. The Lord grant that this sin may be not laid to thy charge.” He then gave all of the money he had to his executioner

Major-General Harrison was the first of the Regicides to be executed by being hanged, drawn and quartered on 13 October 1660. Harrison, after being hanged for several minutes and then cut open, was reported to have leaned across and hit his executioner—resulting in the swift removal of his head. His entrails were thrown onto a nearby fire. Samuel Pepys wrote an eyewitness account of the execution at Charing Cross, in which Major General Harrison was dryly reported to be “looking as cheerful as any man could do in that condition”. This account is also quoted on a plaque on the wall of the Hung, Drawn and Quartered public house near Pepys Street, where the diarist lived and worked in the Navy Office. In his final moments, as he was being led up the scaffold, the hangman asked for his forgiveness. Upon hearing his request Thomas Harrison replied, “I do forgive thee with all my heart… Alas poor man, thou doith it ignorantly, the Lord grant that this sin may be not laid to thy charge.” Thomas Harrison then gave all of the money that remained in his pockets to his executioner and was thereafter executed.Edmond Ludlow also provided an account of the execution at Charing Cross, “the sentence which had been pronounced in consequence of the verdict was executed upon Major-General Harrison at the place where Charing Cross formerly stood, that the King might have the pleasure of the spectacle, and inure himself to blood. According to Edmund Ludlow, “On the fifteenth (October 15, 1660), Mr. John Carew suffered there also, even their enemies confessing that more steadiness of mind, more contempt of death, and more magnanimity could not be expressed. To all who were present with them either in prison or at the place where the sentence was executed, they owned that having engaged in the cause of God and their country, they were not at all ashamed to suffer in the manner their enemies thought fit, openly avowing the inward satisfaction of their minds when they reflected upon the actions for which they had been condemned, not doubting the revival of the same cause; and that a time should come when men would have better thoughts of their persons and proceedings.”

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