The Earl of Essex executed on this day

In my last lecture, I had led the class up to the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. I concluded as I always do, pointing out he continuities of Tudor policy and suggesting that after 118 years of Tudor rule, the parliamentary class had come to expect to be consulted about important matters of state.

When I opened today, I expected to preface my discussion of developments under the Stuarts by reflecting back on the uncertainty that attended the  impending death of the Virgin Queen. Then this came in over my morning Twitter feed:

I pulled up the link in History Today and we read through the brief account. This gave me an opportunity to describe execution at the block, setting the stage for the beheading* of Charles I in 1649. Call it a teaching moment, I guess.

* I nearly wrote “martyrdom” of Charles I, as my beloved James A. Vann always referred to it.


About George Vascik, Historian

A 1988 graduate of the University of Michigan, I have taught history at Miami University since 1992. I maintain blogs on teaching Western Civilization and on Great War. My research focuses on anti-Semitism and rural politics in northwest Germany. I am completing a monograph for Bloomsbury Press, Anti-Semitism and Rural Politics. You can follow my project at Along with Mark Sadler, I have published a book of primary documents on the Stab-in-the-Back Myth (Dolchstoßlegende). I also invite you to visit my profession web page at
This entry was posted in HST 122, Teaching, Tudor England and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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