I was fortunate to have a sneak preview of our new exhibition Taking Liberties on the 900-year struggle for Britain’s freedoms and rights.
I’m not really much of a history buff but was stunned by the sight of the original Death warrant of King Charles the First from 1649, kindly loaned by the UK Parliamentary Archives. I had assumed that documents of this age and significance had long since been lost or destroyed. As you can see from the larger image, it is actually in pretty good condition with the seals and signatures of the 59 individuals clearly visible.
Less visually impressive but with a more powerful human connection is the purse belonging to Emily Wilson, who made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of women’s suffrage in the UK. However, the fact that the purse contained a return rail ticket, and also a ticket to a Suffragette dance later that day, suggests that suicide was not her intention.