Tourist Sights Portrait of the Duke of Monmouth in England

About the unique tourist sight the Portrait of the Duke of Monmouth in London, England, description, history and location of the site.




Sight: Portrait of the Duke of Monmouth.

James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, was the illegitimate son of King Charles II of England. His mother was Lucy Walter. After his father died, the Duke of Monmouth gathered together an army and made a try for the throne. When his forces were defeated by the soldiers of King James II, the duke was captured and ordered executed. In London, on July 15, 1685, the Duke of Monmouth was beheaded. It took five chops of the ax to sever his head from his body. As the head and body were about to be buried, someone realized that no portrait had ever been painted of the duke. Although he had been a rebel, he had also been a royal personage, and it was believed that a portrait must be made. Quickly, his head and body were sewn together. The corpse was dressed in princely attire. And thus the Duke of Monmouth sat for his official portrait.

Location: This painting, with its little-known gruesome history, hangs placidly today in the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square.

Seeing It: Weekdays 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Saturday 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M., Sundays 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.

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