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Oh ! Sir Harry Vane ! Sir Harry Vane !… the Lord deliver me from Sir Harry Vane !

June 14, 2015

Happy Harry Vane Day


harryvane     He annoyed Cromwell.  But Cromwell didn’t kill him. Today is the 353rd anniversary of the execution of Henry Vane – one of Britain’s most interesting republicans and an authentic political martyr. Vane hated all forms of religious as well as political tyranny, opposed any idea of a state church or religious discrimination. Though originally an ally of Cromwell, he opposed Cromwell’s personal rule – firmly believing in the supremacy of parliament.  He therefore stands as an idealist caught between Stuart and Cromwellian absolutism. Though he had played no part in the trial or execution of Charles I, the restored Stuart regime decided that he was far too charismatic and persuasive a republican to be allowed to live. He was given a show trial with no legal counsel or time to prepare his defense. It is said that moments before his death, drums started pounding away to prevent him…

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