Religion: Roundhead on the Pike

The head of England's great Puritan, open mouth still drawn down in disapproval of a godless generation, glowered for a new master last week. Dr. Horace Wilkinson of Kettering, Northamptonshire, wondered what to do with a family heirloom left by his late father, Canon Horace Wilkinson, the pike-impaled head of Oliver Cromwell.

The Lord Protector's well-embalmed head has not had a reposeful history. In 1660, two years after the 59-year-old Cromwell died in his bed (of a fever), the House of Commons, full of the heady days of the Restoration and Charles II, directed that his body be disinterred and hanged....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!