On this day in Tudor history, 11th April 1554, in the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I, Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger, son of poet and diplomat Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder, was beheaded on Tower Hill after being found guilty of high treason.
Wyatt had led a rebellion which sought to depose the queen and to replace her with her half-sister Elizabeth, but he refused to implicate Elizabeth in the plot. He went to his death asserting her innocence.
Find out more about what happened and hear his final speech in today's video.
Also on this day in history:
- 1492 – Birth of Marguerite de Navarre (also known as Marguerite of Angoulême and Marguerite de France), sister of Francis I of France, daughter of Louise of Savoy and Charles, Count of Angoulême, and author of "Miroir de l'âme pécheresse".
- 1533 – The Royal Council was ordered by Henry VIII to recognise Anne Boleyn as Queen.
- 1548 – Death of Sir John Welsbourne, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to Henry VIII and Justice of the Peace.
- 1609 – Death of John Lumley, 1st Baron Lumley, conspirator (Ridolfi Plot), patron and collector. His library was said to be one of the largest in England, and he collected manuscripts, books, paintings, sculptures, marble busts and furniture. Lumley was buried at night, probably so that he could be buried with a Catholic service, in the Lumley Chapel of St Dunstan's in Cheam.