This shows the approximate site of the execution scaffold at the Tower of London. Only royalty and special favourites were executed here, in comparative privacy. Everyone else was taken outside the Tower and executed in public on Tower Hill.
On 12 February 1554, a tiny 16-year-old lost her head here, as an eyewitness recorded:
‘Then she stode up and gave her maiden mistris Tilney her gloves and handkercher, and her book to maister Bruges, the lyvetenantes brother; forthwith she untied her gown. The hangman went to her to help her of therewith; then she desired him to let her alone, turning towards her two gentlewomen, who helped her off therwith… giving to her a fayre handkercher to knytte about her eyes.
‘Then the hangman kneeled downe, and asked her forgevenesse, whome she forgave most willingly. Then he willed her to stand upon the strawe: which doing, she sawe the block. Then she sayd, “I pray you dispatch me quickly.” Then she kneeled down, saying, “Wil you take it of me before I lay me downe?” and the hangman answered her, “No, madame.”
‘She tyed the kercher about her eys: then feeling for the blocke, saide, “What shall I do? Where is it?” One of the standers-by guyding her thereunto, she layde her heade down upon the block, and stretched forth her body and said: “Lorde, into thy hands I commende my spirite!” And so she ended.’
HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 8. Who was this poor child beheaded on Tower Green?
‘Riveting’ – Daily Mail
‘Fascinating’ – The Times
‘Outstanding’ – Midwest Book Review
‘Utterly absorbing’ – Macleans