Charles I and the Civil Wars


7pm, Wednesday 16 November

Museum of London Docklands


Discover the events which led to civil war and political machinations in this special event at the Museum of London Docklands, with the English Civil War Society.

At 2pm, on Tuesday 30 January 1649, King Charles I stepped onto a wooden scaffold outside Whitehall’s Banqueting House, knelt in front of thousands of spectators and was publicly beheaded as a traitor. It was the brutal climax of years of bloody civil war, which had seen tens of thousands of people lose their lives and livelihoods as the kingdoms of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland were plunged into chaos.

In this fascinating collaboration with the Museum of London, bestselling authors Jessie Childs and Leanda de Lisle, and critically acclaimed playwright and history teacher Thabo Stuck explore the complex events that led to the fateful moment of Charles’s execution. From the sweeping history of the civil wars and the human stories of debates, battles and sieges to the mood within the royal court, the character of Charles I himself, the resilience of his wife Henrietta Maria, and the decade-long republican rule that followed.

Including music from Thabo Stuck’s critically acclaimed play, #50Days, a panel discussion and immersive re-enactment from the English Civil War Society, discover the realities of a world turned upside down. There will be an opportunity to purchase the authors’ books at the end of the talk.



About the speakers

Thabo Stuck is a history teacher from London and the creator and writer of #50Days#50Days, Thabo’s debut writing project, is a Grime Musical that tells the story of the period that leads up to the outbreak of the 17th Century British Civil Wars. Using Grime music, this show gives underrepresented Brits a voice in telling the story of one of the most integral, but often misunderstood narratives of our nation. Described by The Independent as ‘a hurtling exploration of politics and revolution’.

Jessie Childs is an award-winning author, historian and broadcaster. Her first book, Henry VIII’s Last Victim, won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography, and her second, God’s Traitors, won the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History. Her third book, The Siege of Loyalty House: A Civil War Story, was published in May and hailed by Simon Schama as ‘almost Tolstoyan in its emotional intelligence and literary power’. Jessie reviews for many papers, including the Sunday Times, Guardian and London Review of Books, and her TV contributions include the BAFTA-nominated Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents (BBC 2 & PBS) and two BBC series on Charles I

Leanda de Lisle is the author of bestselling Tudor and Stuart history praised for meticulous research as well as strong narratives. She has a Masters degree in history from Oxford University. TUDOR, her biography of the Tudor family 1437-1603, was a top ten Sunday Times best seller, BBC History book of the year, Daily Telegraph book of the year, and History Today book of the year. THE SISTERS WHO WOULD BE QUEEN; THE TRAGEDY OF MARY, KATHERINE AND LADY JANE GREY, was a New York Times best seller and is the inspiration for Phillippa Gregory’s 2017 novel THE LAST TUDOR as well as Elizabeth Fremantle’s Sisters of Treason. WHITE KING,, a biography of the doomed Charles I, was the winner of the 2018 Historical Writers Association non-fiction crown. Her latest, on Henrietta Maria, is a revisionist biography of a reviled queen and a Times and Sunday Times book of the year. 

Venue Address: Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London E14 4AL. For details on how to find the museum, please click HERE.