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In it was enacted that those convicted of petty theft or larceny, who were entitled to benefit of clergy, should be "burnt in the most visible part of the left cheek, nearest the nose. James Nayler, a Quaker who in the year was accused of claiming to be the Messiah, convicted of blasphemy in a highly publicised trial before the Second Protectorate Parliament and had his tongue bored through and his forehead branded B for 'blasphemer'. In the 16th century, German Anabaptists were branded with a cross on their foreheads for refusing to recant their faith and join the Roman Catholic Church.

In the North-American Puritan settlements of the 17th century, men and women sentenced for having committed acts of adultery were branded with an "A" letter on their chest men or bosom women.

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Canon law sanctioned the punishment, and in France, in royal times, various offences carried the additional infamy of being branded with a fleur de lys. In Germany however, branding was illegal. In the Lancaster criminal court a branding iron is still preserved in the dock. It is a long bolt with a wooden handle at one end and an M malefactor at the other; close by are two iron loops for firmly securing the hands during the operation.

The brander would, after examination, turn to the judge and exclaim"A fair mark, milord. In the 18th century, cold branding or branding with cold irons became the mode of inflicting the punishment on prisoners of higher rank. Found guilty of manslaughter he was burnt in the hand, if that could be called burning which was done with a cold iron" Markham's Ancient Punishments of Northants, Such cases led to branding becoming obsolete, and it was abolished in except in the case of deserters from the army, which were marked with the letter D, not with hot irons but by tattooing with ink or gunpowder.

Branks were used to punish nagging, slander, cursing, witchcraft and criticism of Christianity. A scold's bridle, sometimes called a "branks", was a punishment device usually for for women, also used as a 'mild' form of torture. It was an iron muzzle or cage for the head with an iron curb-plate projecting into the mouth and pressing down on top of the tongue. The 'curb-plate' was often studded with spikes so that if the tongue remained lying calmly in place, it inflicted a minimum of pain. The branks was used as a formal legal punishment, first recorded in Scotland in Branks were also used in England, where it may not have been formally legalised as a punishment.

Kirk-sessions and barony courts in Scotland inflicted it upon transgressors or women that were considered to be 'naggers' or 'common scold'. Branking was a punishment for"'gossips", "shrews" or "scolds" women of the lower classes whose speech was "riotous" or "troublesome" and women accused of witchcraft by preventing them from speaking. It was also used as corporal punishment for other offences, notably on female workhouse inmates. The women were placed in a public place for additional humiliation and were sometimes beaten.

Once the branks was placed on the 'gossip's' head, they would be led through town to show that they had been doing something wrong or scolding too often. This would also humiliate them into 'repenting' their 'riotous' actions. She was sentenced to the brankit and set on the cross for one hour. In Walton on Thames, in England, a scold's bridle is displayed in the vestry of the church. It is dated , with the inscription "Chester presents Walton with a bridle, To curb women's tongues that talk too idle. Variants might be shaped like an animal's head, for example a cow for a lazy-bones, a donkey for a fool, a hare for an eavesdropper or a pig for a glutton.

Perillos proposed his idea of a painful means of execution to Phalaris, the tyrant of Akraga. Phalaris liked the idea of the Brazen Bull, and had one made made. Once finished, Phalaris ordered it to be tested on Perillos himself. The Bull was made wholly of brass. It was hollow and furnished with a door in the side.

When a victim was placed inside the brazen bull, he or she was roasted to death by a fire lit underneath it. A system of tubes made the victim's screams sound like an infuriated bull, and also made the bull's muzzle snort smoke. In the Middle Ages burning was used both as a form of torture and as a capital punishment. As a form of torture the victims feet could be held to a fire, or trapped into metal boots that were heated up, or they could be strapped into an iron chair with a fire lit underneath, or red hot irons could be applied. Metal torture instruments were often heated - pincers, pliers and so on.

Burning or molten liquids could also by used, the victims being forced to dip limbs in them or even having them poured down their throats. According to the Talmud, the "burning" mentioned in the Bible was done by melting lead and pouring it down the convicted person's throat, causing immediate death. The particular form of execution by burning in which the condemned is bound to a large stake is more commonly called burning at the stake. As a form of capital punishment, burning has a long history for crimes such as treason heresy, blasphemy and witchcraft being regarded by the Christian Churches as treason against God.

Sodomy was also punished by burning alive, again because it was seen as a crime against God. Adopting an old Roman practice, the Christian Church adopted burning as a favoured form of capital punishment. Under the Byzantine Empire, burning was introduced as a punishment for Zoroastrians because of the erroneous belief that they worshiped fire. The Christian Emperor Justinian r.

In , the Roman Catholic Synod of Verona confirmed this form of punishment, legislating that burning was to be the official punishment for heresy, as Church policy was against the spilling of blood. It was also widely believed that the condemned would have no body to be resurrected in the afterlife. This decree was reaffirmed by the Fourth Council of the Lateran in , the Synod of Toulouse in , and numerous spiritual leaders up to the nineteenth century. Civil authorities burnt persons judged to be heretics under the medieval Inquisition, Burning was also used by Protestants during the witch-hunts of Europe.

Among the best-known individuals to be executed by burning were Jacques de Molay , Jan Hus , St. If the fire was large for instance, when a large number of prisoners were executed at the same time , death often came from smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide poisoning before flames actually caused harm to the body. If the fire was small, however, the convict would burn for some time until death from heatstroke, shock, loss of blood or the thermal decomposition of vital body parts.

Several records report that victims took over 2 hours to die. In many burnings a rope was attached to the convict's neck passing through a ring on the stake and they were simultaneously strangled and burnt. When this method of execution was applied with skill, the condemned's body would burn progressively in sequence: calves, thighs and hands, torso and forearms, breasts, upper chest, face before death intervened. When the Catholic Inquisitions burned people they generally ensured a good distance between the flames and the victim, so that he or she was actually roasted to death rather than burned to death.

In later years in England some burnings only took place after the convict had already hanged for half an hour. In many areas in England condemned woman men were hanged, drawn, and quartered was seated astride a small seat called the saddle which was fixed half way up a permanently positioned iron stake. A similar "seat" resembling a peg can be seen between the legs of the male victims in the painting of St Dominic presiding over an Auto-da-fe, shown on the right. In Britain the stake was about 4 metres high and had chains hanging from it to hold the condemned woman still during her punishment.

Having been taken to the place of execution in a cart with her hands firmly tied in front of her she was lifted over the executioner's shoulder and carried up a ladder against the stake to be sat astride the saddle. The chains were then fastened and sometimes she was painted with pitch which was supposed to help the fire to burn her quicker. Edward Wightman, a Baptist from Burton on Trent, was the last person to be burnt at the stake for heresy in England in the market square of Lichfield, Staffordshire on 11 April Jacques de Molay and another Templar sentenced to the stake in , from the Chronicle of France or of St Denis fourteenth century.

The cat o' nine tails, commonly shortened to the cat, is a type of multi-tailed whipping device that originated as an implement for severe physical punishment, notably in the Royal Navy and Army of the United Kingdom, and also as a judicial punishment in Britain and some other countries. It traditionally has nine thongs as a result of the manner in which rope is plaited. Thinner rope is made from three strands of yarn plaited together, and thicker rope from three strands of thinner rope plaited together.

To make a cat o' nine tails, a rope is unravelled into three small ropes, each of which is unravelled again. There are many variants of the chair, though they all have spikes covering the back, arm-rests, seat, leg-rests, and foot-rests. The number of spikes ranges from to 1, The victim's wrists were tied to the chair or bars pushed the arms against arm-rests for the spikes to penetrate the flesh even further. In some versions of iron chair, there were holes under the chair's bottom where the torturer placed red hot coal to cause severe burns.

In other versions weights would be placed on the victim's thighs or feet. In some there were spikes on the head rest. It was a common practice to extract a confession by forcing one victim to watch another being tortured with this instrument. No spikes penetrated a vital organ and wounds were closed by the spikes themselves, this delayed blood loss and ensured a lingering death. Simply restricting movement is a form of torture - the more restrictive the constraint, the more severe the torture.

As with the pillory or the stocks, victim cannot turn to look in certain directions, they cannot open or close windows, They cannot make themselves comfortable by moving or dressing or undressing, or scratching an itch, or moving inside or outside. They cannot make adjustments for heat or cold, or light or dark. They cannot visit a lavatory.

History of England - Documentary

They cannot defend themselves against physical or sexual abuse. They cannot shoo away insects or rats. They cannot eat or drink easily, and in some cases cannot eat or drink at all - leading to death within days. In prisons run by Churches, the victims were generally restricted to a diet of stale bread and foul water - in line with a biblical text - and so were effectively condemned to death, since even a diet of good bread and water will sustain human life for only around three months.

See also Coffin Torture. A chastity belt is a locking item of clothing historically designed for women, to prevent sexual intercourse. Their purpose was to ensure chastity, in order to protect women from rape or to dissuade women and their potential sexual partners from sexual temptation; to this extent. According to modern myths, the chastity belt was used as an anti-temptation device during the Crusades. When a knight left for the Holy Lands on the Crusades, his Lady would wear a chastity belt to preserve her faithfulness to him. There is no credible evidence that chastity belts existed before the 15th century, more than a century after the last Crusade, and their main period of use falls within the Renaissance rather than the Middle Ages.

Research into the history of the chastity belt suggests that they were not used rarely before the 16th century. Renaissance chastity belts were said to have had padded linings to prevent large areas of metal from coming into direct prolonged contact with the skin , and these had to be changed fairly frequently, so that such belts were not practical for uninterrupted long-term wear. It is debatable whether chastity belts should be counted as torture devices, though continuous long-term wear could certainly have caused genitourinary infection, abrasive wounds, sepsis and eventual death.

Female chastity belt. The business end of a chastity belt on display in the Doge's palace, Venice. Here the victim was placed in a cage just big enough to accommodate the body, but not large enough to allow movement. It could also be used as a method of execution, the live victim left to starve, or die of thirst, or exposure - generally being hoisted high up to prevent help or rescue.

See also Gibbeting and Iron Maiden. Devices existed for crushing many parts of the body, but the most common screw equipment, vices, for crushing limbs. Sometimes the crushing was achieved by hammering wedges into constrained spaces where the limbs were confined - see Boot. Tools resembling nut crackers could also inflict significant pain when applied to various parts of the body. Denailing-the forcible extraction of the fingernails or toenails, or both, was a favourite method of medieval torture, the quicks under the nails being particularly sensitive..

In its simplest form, the torture is conducted by constraining the prisoner on a tabletop and using a metal forceps or pliers often heated red-hot to grasp each nail in turn and tear it from the finger or toe. A crueller variant used in medieval Spain introduced a sharp wedge of wood or metal between the flesh and each nail. The wedge was slowly hammered ever further under the nail until it was torn free. Medieval German witch-hunters conducted this torture with rough wooden skewers dipped in boiling sulphur.

A number of skewers were slowly driven into the flesh under the prisoner's toenails. Alternately, the skewer could be dipped in boiling oil, which served a dual purpose of burning the incredibly sensitive flesh and lubricating the skewer so that the torturer could more easily explore the surface area beneath the nail. When enough skewers had been driven home to pry each nail loose from its bed, the nail was torn out at the root with a pair of pliers. Although poorly documented, it is clear that some torturers were familiar with a range of drugs that could elicit confessions even when physical torture failed.

Medieval monasteries were expert in all kinds of herb, including toxins and hallucinogens. The following is from H. Sidky's Witchcraft, Lycanthropy, Drugs and Disease pp. Drugs administered by torturers and exorcists to produce desired states of mind among their victims and patients, respectively, may prove to be more significant than any opiate of narcotic used by alleged witches. In his Cautio Criminalis , Spee wrote that torture technicians who were unable to extract a confession from their victims forced them to drink a potion which produced disorders of the brain, thus leading to bizarre confessions.

Similarly, Weyer, in his treatise De Lamiis , pointed out that confessions to impossible crimes were "elicited by administering potions causing drunkenness or mental disturbance. A similar concoction was employed for the same purpose in the German town of Esslingen in Likewise, an accused werewolf from Westphalia, who resisted twenty applications of torture, finally confessed after being forced to imbibe an intoxicating draught.

A comparable incident occurred in Denham, England , when an intoxicating potion was used to exorcists to induce their patient into believing that she really was possessed. European torture technicians, we have already seen, had a wide assortment of tools and techniques at their disposal for extracting confessions, ranging from mechanical devices designed to inflict gross tissue damage, to psychological and physiological techniques, such as solitary confinement and sleep deprivation.

Hallucinogenic or psychotomimetic drugs appear to have been part of this arsenal of weapons at the disposal of the interrogators. Although drugs have not proven to be effective tools for "brainwashing," i. Atropine and scopolamine, for instance, often produce frightening and disagreeable symptoms, and subjects who have experienced such effects rarely use these drugs a second time. This may explain why the witches' ointments were applied topically: inunction introducing a drug into the body through the skin is often used when it is necessary to maintain low levels of a drug in the blood stream.

A person under the influence of Atropine, according to Schenk, "may easily be subordinated to another's will, for he is completely open to influence and will do whatever he is told. If he has swallowed a great deal of the poison, this state of confusion and sensory derangement leads to a temporary, but acute, mental disorder exactly resembling a symptomatic psychosis. Sudden outbursts of delirium and increasingly intense periods of mania create a terrifying and uncanny clinical picture, which finally ends in convulsions similar to those of epilepsy.

Mixtures containing both these drugs, as well as those containing extracts of mandrake and datura, which would have had similar effects, were administered to suspected witches prior to torture. Such drugs, used to induce debility, would, by disrupting the perceptual and conceptual processes, confuse and weaken the victim. The result of such psychochemical torture would be a mixture of fantasy, delusional and hallucinatory memories, interspersed with random real ones, precisely the kinds of confession magistrates and torture technicians sought and obtained.

Again, according to Lewin: "We find these plants [the Solanaceae species discussed] associated with incomprehensible acts on the part of fanatics, raging with the flames of frenzy and fury and persecuting not only witches and sorcerers but also mankind as a whole. Garbed in the cowl, the judge's robe, and the physician's gown, superstitious folly instituted diabolical proceedings in a trial of the devil and hurled its victims into the flames or drowned them in blood. Ducking was a form of punishment that was mainly reserved for supposed witches. The victim was tied to a chair and elevated by ropes above a pond or river.

She was lowered into the water until completely submerged. The chair could be raised if the victim was about to pass out, or to give the victim a chance to confess. If the victim confessed they would be executed. This method was widely used during the Spanish Inquisition and in England and France. It was also used at the Salem Witch Trials in New England, where victims were subjected to varying lengths of time and levels of submersion.

The victim was intermittently submerged for hours until he or she confessed, revealed information or drowned. While supposed witches were commonly tortured using this method, thieves and murderers could be subjected to it in order to extract a confession. This was more common when other more sophisticated torture devices were not available. Victims could be exposed to the elements by restraining them. In winter exposure could cause death, even for example in the stocks or pillory, or tied to a whipping post.

In winter a torturer could poured water over a victim's head which eventually became frozen causing the victim to die slowly and painfully. Sometimes the body was left for the winter to dissuade any further crimes.

Torture and Execution Devices

Alternatively, The victim could be buried up to his neck letting any animals, insects or other people kill him slowly. In addition to regular restraint, the gibbet, a large basket made of iron or other metal, with holes large enough for arms and legs, but not for an entire body to fit through, would be hung from a pole with a person inside it. During hot days, the metal would heat, causing pain. During cold days and nights, the chill, as well as lack of protection from the wind, could easily sap a victim's body heat.

Holes in the grating were also big enough to allow carrion birds to enter and pluck at a victim's skin and eyes. Due to its cost efficiency and cruelty, the exposure torture was very widespread in medieval Europe. The victim's remains often served as a warning to the population. In many cases, the victim was sentenced to a short period of exposure, depending on the crime. However, death was frequent since they were completely defenceless. See also Gibbeting and Coffin Torture. Flaying alive, ie removing the skin, has been widely but infrequently employed in Christendom.

Although the king forgave him before he died, Basile was flayed subsequently alive after the King's death, by order of the mercenary leader Mercadier. It is thought that he was flayed, as the Pyx chapel door has been found to have fragments of human skin attached to it as have the three doors to the revestry. According to well documented ancient traditions, a number of churches in Essex, once had human skins nailed to the Church door as a warning to pagan Danes.

Searing or cutting the flesh from the body was sometimes used as part of the public execution of traitors in medieval Europe.


A similar mode of execution was used as late as the early 18th century in France; one such episode is recounted in the opening chapter of Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish Flagellation or flogging is the act of methodically beating or whipping the human body. The word comes from the Latin flagellum, "whip". Specialised implements for flogging include whips, rods, switches, the cat o' nine tails. Typically, flogging is imposed on an unwilling subject as a punishment; but was also undergone voluntarily by religious and sadomasochistic individuals.

As in many forms of torture practised within Christendom, flogging provided a pretext to expose women's naked or semi naked bodies. Inquisitors and witch finders were renowned for finding reasons for exposing female bodies. In some circumstances the word "flogging" is used to include any sort of corporal punishment, including birching and caning. However, in British legal terminology, a distinction was drawn and still is, in some ex-colonial territories between "flogging" with a cat-o'-nine-tails and "whipping" formerly with a whip, but since the early 19th century with a birch.

In Britain these were both abolished in A common form of punishment was to be flogged at a whipping post and then taken to the pillory. This might account for the expression "from pillar to post". The post was a whipping post and the pillar was the pillory. The original version of our idiom, which first appeared around , was the other way around: from post to pillar. For a flogging, the offender's upper half was bared and he or she was suspended by the wrists from a post or beneath a tripod of wooden beams known as 'the triangle'.

The offender's feet normally did not touch or barely touched the ground. This helped to stretch the skin on the back taut and centred the offender's weight in the shoulders, which served to increase the pain of the whipping. With the prisoner stripped and bound, either one or two floggers administered the prescribed number of strokes, or "lashes," to the victim's back. If the offender had fainted from blood loss or suffered extreme skin and flesh loss from the back, the punishment was usually suspended until the offender had been restored to consciousness i.

Once the prisoner was conscious, the remainder of the required lashes were administered. Punishment was usually limited to 20, 50 or lashes at one flogging, though records exist of prisoners in the nineteenth century receiving more than 3, lashes over a number of months or years. Following the whipping, the prisoner's lacerated back was normally rinsed with brine. While this caused additional pain, the brine was intended to serve as an antiseptic. A garrote or garrotte is a handheld weapon, most often referring to a ligature of chain, rope, scarf, wire or fishing line used to strangle someone.

The term especially refers to an execution device but is sometimes used in assassination. A garrote can be made out of many different materials, including ropes, tie wraps, fishing lines, nylon, and even guitar strings, telephone cord and piano wire. Sometimes a stick used to tighten the garrote like a tourniquet. The Spanish name refers to such a rod. In Spanish. In fact the word garrote is used variously to denote the rod, the ligature, or a device used to constrain the victim and mechanise the garrotting process. One of the first depictions of a garrote occurs in Pedro Berruguete's painting of, Saint Dominic presiding over an Auto-da-fe, reproduced elsewhere on this page see Burning.

At one point execution victims were killed by beating with a club while constrained. Garrotting equipment was later refined to consist of a seat to restrain the condemned person, while the executioner tightened a metal band around his or her neck with a crank or a wheel until suffocation of the victim was accomplished. Garrotes were used in the Middle Ages in Spain and Portugal, and employed during the conquista of Latin America, as attested by the execution of the Inca emperor Atahualpa. In the s, the earliest known metallic versions of garrotes appeared and started to be used in Spain.

On 28 April , the garrotte was declared the sole civilian execution method in Spain. Some versions of this device incorporated a fixed metal blade or spike directed at the spinal cord to hasten the breaking of the neck. The spiked version, called the Catalan garrote, was used until American authorities kept the garrote as a form of execution in the Philippines after that Spanish colony was captured in In May , the last public garrotting was carried out in Spain, in Barcelona. After that, all executions would be held in private inside prisons even if the press took photos of some of them.

These were to be the last state-sanctioned garrotings in the world. In Spain,garrotting was abolished, along with the death penalty, in Click here for a form of Medieval Guillotine called the Halifax Gibbet. A human shaped cage was known as a gibbet. It could be used as a form of torture, exposing victims to the elements, animals, and hunger and thirst. It could also be used as a method of close confinement and public humiliation. Finally it could be used as a post mortem punishment, supplementary to execution, generally as a deterrent to others.

In England gibbeting was common law punishment, which a judge could impose in addition to execution. Exhibiting a body in a gibbet could 'backfire' against a monarch, especially if he was unpopular and the victim popular. People made relics of these bloody and mutilated remains and surrounded them with respect in violent protest. Bogus miracles were organised at the spot where the bodies were hanging. In cases of hanging, drawing and quartering, the body of the criminal was cut into four or five portions, with each gibbeted in a different place.

In some cases, the bodies would be left until their clothes rotted or even until the bodies were almost completely decomposed, after which the bones would be scattered. Oliver Cromwell was gibbeted after his death when monarchists disinterred his body during the restoration of the monarchy. Pirates were sometimes executed by hanging on a gibbet erected close to the low-water mark by the sea or a tidal section of a river.

Their bodies would be left dangling until they had been submerged by the tide three times. In London, 'Execution Dock' is located on the north bank of the River Thames in Wapping; after tidal immersion, particularly notorious criminals' bodies could be hung in cages a little further downstream at either Cuckold's Point or Blackwall Point, as a warning to other waterborne criminals of the possible consequences of their actions. There was objection that these displays offended foreign visitors and did not uphold the reputation of the law, though the scenes even became gruesome tourist attractions.

So that the public display might be prolonged, bodies were sometimes coated in tar or bound in chains. Sometimes, body-shaped iron cages were used to contain the decomposing corpses. Breads was imprisoned in the Ypres Tower and then hanged, after which his body was left to rot for more than 20 years in an iron cage on Gibbet Marsh.

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The cage and Breads' skull are still kept in the Town Hall. The Common Law on Gibbeting was supplemented in England by the Murder Act , which explicitly empowered judges to impose gibbeting for murder. It was most often used for traitors, murderers, highwaymen, pirates, and sheep-stealers, and was intended to discourage others from committing similar offences.

The structures were therefore often placed next to public highways often at crossroads and waterways. There are many places named Gibbet Hill in England. The Murder Act stipulated that "in no case whatsoever shall the body of any murderer be suffered to be buried". The cadaver was either to be publicly dissected or left "hanging in chains" ie a gibbet. Since early times Christians had been keen not to allow their enemies bodies to be buried as this was popularly thought to be necessary for resurrection this was also why heretics were burned and their ashes scattered, and why amputees were buried with their severed limbs wherever possible.

Samuel Pepys expressed disgust at the practice. The sight and smell of decaying corpses were offensive, and regarded as "pestilential", so a threat to public health. Their cases are good examples of the different attitudes to the practice. William Jobling was a miner hanged and gibbeted for the murder of Nicholas Fairles, a colliery owner and local magistrate, near Jarrow, Durham. After being hanged the body was taken off the rope, and loaded into a cart and taken on a tour of the area before arriving at Jarrow Slake where the crime had been committed.

Here the body was placed into an iron gibbet cage. The cage and the scene were described thus:. The gibbet was a foot in diameter with strong bars of iron up each side. The post was fixed into a one-and-a-half ton stone base, sunk into the Slake. The body was soon removed by fellow miners and given a decent burial. James Cook was a bookbinder convicted of the murder of his creditor Paas, a manufacturer of brass instruments, in Leicester.

He was executed on Friday 10 August in front of Leicester prison. On Saturday afternoon his body, attired as at the time of his execution, having been firmly fixed in the irons necessary to keep the limbs together, was carried to the place of its intended suspension.

His body was to be displayed on a purpose-built gallows 33ft high in Saffron Lane near the Aylestone Tollgate. According to The Newgate Calendar:. Representations were in consequence made to the authorities, and on the following Tuesday morning instructions were received from the Home Office directing the removal of the gibbet. In gibbeting was abolished in England, but In the body of John McKay was gibbeted on a tree near the spot where he murdered Joseph Wilson near Perth, Tasmania.

An example of an iron cage used to string up bodies on a gibbet can still be seen in the Westgate Museum at Winchester. Modern hanging cage at the main gate to Corciano, Province of Perugia, Italy. Long before the French Revolutionaries adopted the execution device known as a Guillotine, a similar device was in use in Halifax in Yorkshire.

Halifax had held the right to execute criminals since Although there is early reference to a gibbet, including a report that the first person to be beheaded by it was John of Dalton in , formal records of victims did not begin until , when the town acquired a fixed machine which used a heavy, axe-shaped iron blade dropping from a height of several feet to cut off the head of the condemned criminal.

Between and , official records show that 53 men and women were executed by the Halifax Gibbet. The Gibbet was taken down in after the execution of Anthony Mitchell and John Wilkinson, but a replica was erected in on the original site at Gibbet Street. The Gibbet could be operated by either cutting the rope holding up the blade or by pulling out a pin which prevented it falling. If the offender was to be executed for stealing an animal, the end of a rope was fastened to the pin holding the blade in place and tied to the animal, which was then driven off, causing the pin to pull out and the blade to drop.

Otherwise, the bailiff of the Lord of the Manor or his servant cut the rope. There is and has been of ancient time a law, or rather a custom, at Halifax, that whosoever does commit any felony, and is taken with the same, or confess the fact upon examination, if it be valued by four constables to amount to the sum of thirteen-pence-halfpenny, he is forthwith beheaded upon one of the next market days which fall upon the Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays , or else upon the same day that he is convicted, if market be then holden. The engine wherewith the execution is done is a square block of wood of the length of four feet and a half, which does ride up and down in a slot, rabbet or regall, between two pieces of timber, that are framed and set upright, of five yards in height.

In the nether end of the sliding block is an axe, keyed or fastened with an iron into the wood, which being drawn up to the top of the frame is there fastened by a wooden pin with a notch made into the same, after the manner of a Samson's post , unto the midst of which pin also there is a long rope fastened that cometh down among the people, so that, when the offender hath made his confession and hath laid his neck over the nethermost block, every man there present doth either take hold of the rope or putteth his arm so near to the same as he can get, in token that he is willing to see true justice executed , and, pulling out the pin in this manner, the head-block wherein the axe is fastened doth fall down with such a violence that, if the neck of the transgressor were as big as that of a bull, it should cut in sunder at a stroke and roll from the body by a huge distance.

If it be so that the offender be apprehended for an ox, oxen, sheep, kine, horse or any such cattle, the self beast or other of the same kind shall have the end of the rope tied somewhere unto them, so that they, being driven, do draw out the pin, whereby the offender is executed. Louis XVI banned the use of the breaking wheel In The National Assembly researched a new method to be used on all condemned people regardless of class. Their concerns contributed to the secular humanist idea that capital punishment's purpose was the ending of life instead of the infliction of pain.

Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, a professor of anatomy at the faculty of medicine in Paris, was also on the committee. Laquiante, an officer of the Strasbourg criminal court, made a design for a beheading machine and employed Tobias Schmidt, a German engineer and harpsichord maker, to construct a prototype. Antoine Louis is also credited with the design of the prototype. Schmidt suggested placing the blade at an oblique degree angle and changing it from the curved blade. The first execution by guillotine was performed on highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier on April 25, In France, before the guillotine, members of the nobility were beheaded with a sword or axe which typically took at least two blows before killing the condemned , while commoners were usually hanged, a form of death that could take minutes or longer.

Other more gruesome methods of executions were also used, such as the wheel, burning at the stake, etc. In the case of decapitation, it also sometimes took repeated blows to sever the head completely. The guillotine was perceived to deliver an immediate death without risk of suffocation. Furthermore, having only one method of execution was seen as an expression of equality among citizens. The guillotine was then the only legal execution method in France until the abolition of the death penalty in , apart from certain crimes against the security of the state, which entailed execution by firing squad.

Most of the democratic reforms of the revolution were suspended and large-scale executions by guillotine began. The first political prisoner to be executed was Collenot d'Angremont of the National Guard, followed soon after by the King's trusted collaborator in his ill-fated attempt to moderate the Revolution, Arnaud de Laporte, both in Maximilien Robespierre became one of the most powerful men in the government, and the figure most associated with the Terror. Estimates of the death toll range between 16, and 40, For a time, executions by guillotine were a popular entertainment that attracted great crowds of spectators.

Vendors would sell programs listing the names of those scheduled to die. Many people would come day after day and vie for the best seats; knitting female citizens tricoteuses formed a cadre of hardcore regulars, inciting the crowd. Parents would bring their children. By the end of the Terror the crowds had thinned drastically. Excessive repetition had staled even this most grisly of entertainments, and audiences grew bored.

Eventually, the National Convention had enough of the Terror, partially fearing for their own lives, and turned against Maximilien Robespierre. In July he was arrested and executed in the same fashion as those whom he had condemned. This arguably ended the Terror, as the French expressed their discontent with Robespierre's policy by guillotining him. The last public guillotining was of Eugen Weidmann, who was convicted of six murders.

The allegedly scandalous behaviour of some of the onlookers on this occasion, and an incorrect assembly of the apparatus, as well as the fact it was secretly filmed, caused the authorities to decide that executions in the future were to take place in the prison courtyard. The guillotine remained the official method of execution in France until France abolished the death penalty in The last guillotining in France was that of torture-murderer Hamida Djandoubi on September 10, In Germany, where the guillotine is known in German as Fallbeil "falling axe" , it was used in various German states from the 17th century onwards, becoming the usual method of execution in Napoleonic times in many parts of Germany.

The original German guillotines resembled the French Berger model but eventually evolved into more specialised machines largely built of metal with a much heavier blade enabling shorter uprights to be used. Accompanied by a more efficient blade recovery system and the eventual removal of the tilting board or bascule this allowed a quicker turn-around time between executions, the victim being decapitated either face up or down depending on how the executioner predicted they would react to the sight of the machine. Those deemed likely to struggle were backed up from behind a curtain to shield their view of the device.

In Adolf Hitler had a guillotine constructed and tested. He was impressed enough to order 20 more constructed and pressed into immediate service. When West Germany was formed in , its constitution prohibited the death penalty; East Germany abolished it in , and Austria in It continued in use until The scaffold itself is now housed in the National Museum of Scotland.

The flat blade of the Halifax Gibbet, like a single ghastly upper tooth. The Halifax Gibbet, with a horse operating the release mechanism. Hanging can be divided into two types: suspension by the limbs as a form of torture, and hanging by the neck as a form of capital punishment.

For hanging as capital punishment see Hanging, Drawing and Quartering. On 24 November , Hugh Despenser the Younger was judged a traitor and a thief, and sentenced to public execution by hanging, as a thief, and drawing and quartering, as a traitor. Additionally, he was sentenced to be disembowelled for having procured discord between the King and Queen, and to be beheaded, for returning to England after having been banished.

Immediately after the trial, Hugh was dragged behind four horses to his place of execution, where a great fire was lit. He was stripped naked, and Biblical verses denouncing arrogance and evil were written on his skin. He was then hanged from a gallows 50 ft 15 m high, but cut down before he could choke to death. Hugh was then tied to a ladder, and in full view of the crowd had his genitals sliced off and burned in his still-conscious sight then his entrails slowly pulled out, and, finally, his heart cut out and thrown into the fire.

Just before he died, it is recorded that he let out a "ghastly inhuman howl," much to the delight and merriment of the spectators. Finally, his corpse was beheaded, his body cut into four pieces, and his head was mounted on the gates of London. This execution seems to have provided a template for legislation for later punishments for Treason in England. To be hanged, drawn and quartered was from the penalty in England for men guilty of high treason, although its use is first recorded during the reign of King Henry III. Those convicted of treason were drawn by horse on a wooden hurdle to the place of execution.

Once there, they were ritually hanged almost to the point of death, emasculated, disembowelled, beheaded and quartered chopped into four pieces. As a warning against further dissent, their remains were often displayed at prominent places, such as London Bridge. For reasons of public decency, women convicted of high treason were instead burnt at the stake. Many notable figures were subjected to the punishment, including over treasonable priests executed at Tyburn.

Catholic plotters engaged in treasonable conspiracies like the Gunpowder Plot were hanged, drawn and quartered, as were some of those involved in sentencing Charles I to death. During the Bloody Assizes hundreds of rebels were dispatched in less than a month. The Treason Act of , passed in the 25th year of Edward III's reign and still in force today was enacted at a time in English history when a monarch's right to rule was indisputable, and was therefore written principally to protect the throne and sovereign.

The Act split the old feudal offence of treason into two classes. Petty treason referred to the killing of a master or lord by his servant, a husband by his wife, or a prelate by his clergyman. Men guilty of petty treason were drawn and hanged, while women were burnt. High treason was the most egregious offence an individual could commit, and was seen as a direct threat to the king's right to govern. Attempts to undermine his authority were viewed with as much seriousness as if the accused had made a direct assault on his body, which itself would be an attack on his status as sovereign.

As such an attack could potentially undermine the state, retribution was considered an absolute necessity, for which the ultimate punishment was required. The practical difference between the two offences therefore was in the consequence of being convicted; rather than being drawn and hanged, men were to be hanged, drawn and quartered, while for reasons of public decency women were instead drawn and burnt. The act declared that a person was committing high treason if engaged in one of the following seven offences:. After being sentenced, malefactors were generally held in prison for a few days before being drawn by horse to the place of execution, usually on a hurdle, their hands tied.

Once stripped of their clothing, they were taken to the scaffold and hanged for a short period, but only to cause strangulation and near-death. They were then disembowelled, and normally emasculated. Those still conscious at this point would have seen their entrails burnt, before their heart was removed. The body was then decapitated, signalling an unquestionable death, and quartered. Each dismembered piece of the body was later displayed publicly, as a warning to others. The heads of the executed were often displayed on London Bridge, for centuries the route by which many travellers from the south entered the city.

On occasion accompanied by the parboiled quarters, such gruesome trophies served as a more permanent reminder of the penalty for treason. Before they were hanged, prisoners normally gave a public speech, expressing their remorse and asking for forgiveness. John Ballard a preest, and first persuader of Babington to these odious treasons, was laid aloue vpon an hurdell, and six others two and two in like sort, all drawne from Tower hill through the citie of London, untu a field at the vpper end of Holborne, hard by the high waie side to saint Giles in the field, where was erected a scaffold for their execution, and a paire of gallows of extraordinarie hight On the first daie the traitors were placed vpon the scaffold, that the one might behold the reward of his fellowes treason.

Ballard the preest, who was the first brocher of this treason, was the first that was hanged, who being cut downe according to judgement was dismembred, his bellie ript up, his bowels and traitorous heart taken out and throwne into the fire, his head also seuered from his shoulders was set on a short stake vpon the top of the gallows, and the trunke of his bodie quartered and imbrued in his owne bloud, wherewith the executioners hands were bathed, and some of the standers by but to their great loathing, as not able for their liues to auoid it, such was the throng besprinkled.

His sentence, passed at the Old Bailey, was pronounced:. That you be led to the place from whence you came, and from thence be drawn upon a hurdle to the place of execution, and then you shall be hanged by the neck and, being alive, shall be cut down, and your privy members to be cut off, and your entrails be taken out of your body and, you living, the same to be burnt before your eyes, and your head to be cut off, your body to be divided into four quarters, and head and quarters to be disposed of at the pleasure of the King's majesty.

And the Lord have mercy on your soul. Harrison was executed two days later, at Charing Cross. After being hanged for several minutes, half-choking, he was cut open. Watched by a large crowd of spectators, including the new king, Harrison reportedly leaned across and hit the executioner-resulting in the swift removal of his own head. His entrails were thrown onto a nearby fire. Three days later his head adorned the sled which drew fellow regicide John Cooke to his execution, before later being displayed in Westminster Hall; his quarters were fastened to the city gates.

In all, 13 men were hanged, drawn and quartered for their involvement in Charles's execution. Petty treason was abolished in Hanging, drawing and quartering was finally rendered obsolete in England by the Forfeiture Act of , which limited the death penalty for treason to hanging alone; although the Act allowed for the monarch to substitute beheading for hanging.

The heretic's fork was a torture device, consisting of a length of metal with two opposed bi-pronged "forks" as well as an attached belt or strap. The device was placed between the breast bone and throat just under the chin and secured with a leather strap around the neck, while the victim was hung from the ceiling or otherwise suspended in a way so that they could not lie down. A person wearing it couldn't fall asleep. The moment their head dropped with fatigue, the prongs pierced their throat or chest, causing great pain.

This very simple instrument created long periods of sleep deprivation. People were awake for days, which made confessions more likely. Traditionally, the fork was engraved with the Latin word abiuro meaning "I recant" , and was used by the various Inquisitions. Impalement was a method of torture and execution in which a person is pierced with a long stake. This method would lead to slow, painful, death. Often, the victim was hoisted into the air after partial impalement.

Gravity and the victim's own struggles would cause him to slide down the pole. Death could take many days. Impalement was practised in Europe throughout the Middle Ages. Vlad III Dracula, who learned the method of killing by impalement while staying in Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, as a prisoner, and Ivan the Terrible have passed into legend as major users of the method. Impalement was Vlad's preferred method of torture and execution. His method of torture was a horse attached to each of the victim's legs as a sharpened stake was gradually forced into the body.

Death by impalement was slow and agonising. Victims sometimes endured for hours or even days. Vlad often had the stakes arranged in various geometric patterns. The most common pattern was a ring of concentric circles in the outskirts of a city that constituted his target. The height of the spear indicated the rank of the victim.

The corpses were often left decaying for months. One of the most famous woodcuts of the period shows Vlad feasting in a forest of stakes and their grisly burdens outside Bra? This place was famously known as the Forest of the Impaled. This method of torture - or rather capital punishment - involved making an incision in the abdominal area, separating the duodenum from the pylorus, and attaching of the upper part of the intestine to a crank. The crank would then be rotated to extract the intestines from the gastrointestinal cavity of the still conscious person.

The outcome was always death, but not immediately. We have no images of real intesinal cranks, but martyrdom stories sometimes feature intestinal cranks, and the images illustrating these imaginary events are presumably as reliable as contemporary illustrations of tortures inflicted by not on Christians. An iron maiden German: Eiserne Jungfrau is a torture device, consisting of an iron cabinet, with a hinged front, sufficiently tall to enclose a human being.

It usually has a small closable opening so that the torturer can interrogate the victim and torture or kill a person by piercing the body with sharp objects such as knives, spikes or nails , while he or she is forced to remain standing.

Reward Yourself

The iron maiden is often associated with the Middle Ages, but there is no wholly unambiguous account of the iron maiden earlier than , Some Iron madens have earlier dates carved on them - but this is not a reliable way to date them, as dates can be added at any time. Geoffrey Abbot attributes to a French officer the following account of discoi vering such a device in the dungeons beneath the headquarters of the Inquisition:. In a recess in the subterranean vault, next to the private hall where the interrogations were conducted, stood a wooden figure, carved by the monks, and representing the Virgin Mary.

A gilded halo encompassed her head, and in her right hand she held a banner extolling the glory of her Faith. It appeared to us at first sight that, despite the silken robe adorning her, she wore some kind of breastplate which, on closer examination, was seen to be stuck full of extremely sharp, narrow knife-blades, the points being directed towards the spectator.

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The arms and hands were jointed, controlled by machinery concealed behind a curtain. One of the Inquisition staff was commanded to set it in motion, and when the figure extended its arms, as though to press someone most lovingly to its heart, a Polish grenadier was ordered to substitute his well-filled knapsack for an imaginary victim. The effigy hugged it closer and closer, and when finally it was made to unclasp its arms, the knapsack had been perforated to a depth of two or three inches, and remained hanging on the points of the projecting daggers.

Persons accused of heresy, or of blaspheming God or the Saints, and obstinately refusing to confess their guilt, were conducted into this cellar, at the furthest end of which, numerous lamps placed around a recess, threw a variegated illumination of the gilded halo, and on the figure with a banner in her right hand.

At a little altar standing opposite to her, and hung with black, the prisoner received the sacrament, and two ecclesiastics earnestly besought him, in the presence of the Mother of God, to make a confession. On her bosom thy hardened heart will be melted; there thou wilt confess. All at once the figure began to extend its arms; the prisoner was led to her embrace; she drew him nearer and nearer, pressed him almost imperceptibly closer and closer, until the spikes and knives just pierced his chest. Abbot, Geoffrey April New York: St. Martin's Press. The iron maiden of Nuremberg was anthropomorphic.

It was probably styled after primitive "Gothic" representations Mary, the mother of Jesus, with a cast likeness of her on the face. The "maiden" was about 7 feet 2. Inside the tomb-sized container, the iron maiden was fitted with dozens of sharp spikes. Several nineteenth century iron maidens are on display in museums around the world.

It is possible that some Iron Maidens were originally designed as a kind of coffin torture with the spikes added later. The first reference to an execution with the Maiden that has yet come to light stems from August 14, , although the instrument had been in use for several decades by then. The Judas cradle was a tall stool shaped device with a metal or wooden pyramid on top.

Morcar made his way to the Isle of Ely, where he took service with his followers, and with other noble Englishmen, under the brave Hereward, glad to find one spot on which a man of true English blood could still set foot in freedom. His adhesion brought ruin instead of strength to Hereward. If William could afford to neglect a band of outlaws in the fens, he could not rest with these two great earls in arms against him.

There were forces in the north to attend to Edwin; Mortar and Hereward must be looked after. Gathering an army, William marched to the fen country and prepared to attack the last of the English in their almost inaccessible Camp of Refuge. He had already built himself a castle at Cambridge, and here he dwelt while directing his attack against the outlaws of the fens. The task before him was not a light one, in the face of an opponent so skilful and vigilant as Hereward the Wake.

The Normans of that region had found him so ubiquitous and so constantly victorious that they ascribed his success to enchantment; and even William, who was not free from the superstitions of his day, seemed to imagine that he had an enchanter for a foe. Enchanter or not, however, he must be dealt with as a soldier, and there was but one way in which he could be reached.

The heavily armed Norman soldiers could not cross the marsh. From one side the Isle of Ely could be approached by vessels, but it was here so strongly defended that the king's ships failed to make progress against Hereward's works. Finding his attack by water a failure, William began the building of a causeway, two miles long, across the morasses from the dry land to the island.

This was no trifling labor. There was a considerable depth of mud and water to fill, and stones and trunks of trees were brought for the purpose from all the surrounding country, the trees being covered with hides as a protection against fire. The work did not proceed in peace. Hereward and his men contested its progress at every point, attacked the workmen with darts and arrows from the light boats in which they navigated the waters of the fens, and, despite the hides, succeeded in setting fire to the woodwork of the causeway.

More than once it had to be rebuilt; more than once it broke down under the weight of the Norman knights and men-at-arms, who crowded upon it in their efforts to reach the island, and many of these eager warriors, weighed down by the burden of their armor, met a dismal death in the mud and water of the marshes. Hereward fought with his accustomed courage, warlike skill, and incessant vigilance, and gave King William no easy task, despite the strength of his army and the abundance of his resources.

But such a contest, against so skilled an enemy as William the Conqueror, and with such disparity of numbers, could have but one termination. Hereward struck so valiant a last blow for England that he won the admiration of his great opponent; but William was not the man to rest content with aught short of victory, and every successful act of defence on the part of the English was met by a new movement of assault. Despite all Hereward's efforts, the causeway slowly but surely moved forward across the fens. But Hereward's chief danger lay behind rather than before; in the island rather than on the main land.

His accessions of nobles and commons had placed a strong body of men under his command, with whom he might have been able to meet William's approaches by ship and causeway, had not treason laid intrenched in the island itself. With war in his front and treachery in his rear the gallant Wake had a double danger to contend with. This brings us to a picturesque scene, deftly painted by the old chroniclers. Ely had its abbey; a counterpart of that of Peterborough. Thurston, the abbot, was English-born, as were the monks under his pastoral charge; and long the cowled inmates of the abbey and the armed patriots of the Camp of Refuge dwelt in sweet accord.

In the refectory of the abbey monks and warriors sat side by side at table, their converse at meals being doubt less divided between affairs spiritual and affairs temporal, while from walls and roof hung the arms of the warriors, harmoniously mingled with the emblems of the church.

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It was a picture of the marriage of church and state well-worthy of reproduction on canvas. Yet King William knew how to deal with Abbot Thurston. Lands belonging to the monastery lay beyond the fens, and on these the king laid the rough hand of royal right, as an earnest of what would happen when the monastery itself should fall into his hands. A flutter of terror shook the hearts of the abbot and his family of monks. To them it seemed that the skies were about to fall, and that they would be wise to stand from under.

While the monks of Ely were revolving this threat of disaster in their souls, the tide of assault and defence rolled on. William's causeway pushed its slow length forward through the fens. Hereward assailed it with fire and sword, and harried the king's lands outside by sudden raids. It is said that, like King Alfred before him, he more than once visited the camp of the Normans in disguise, and spied out their ways and means of warfare.

There is a story connected with this warlike enterprise so significant of the times that it must be told. Whether or not William believed Hereward to be an enchanter, he took steps to defeat enchantment, if any existed. An old woman, who had the reputation of being a sorceress, was brought to the royal camp, and her services engaged in the king's cause. A wooden tower was built, and pushed along the causeway in front of the troops, the old woman within it actively dispensing her incantations and calling down the powers of witchcraft upon Hereward's head.

Unfortunately for her, Hereward tried against her sorcery of the broomstick the enchantment of the brand, setting fire to the tower and burning it and the sorceress within it. We could scarcely go back to a later date than the eleventh-century to find such an absurdity as this possible, but in those days of superstition even such a man as William the Conqueror was capable of it. How the contest would have ended had treason been absent it is not easy to say.

As it was, Abbot Thurston and his monks brought the siege to a sudden and disastrous end. They showed the king a secret way of approach to the island, and William's warriors took the camp of Hereward by surprise. What followed scarcely needs the telling. A fierce and sharp struggle, men falling and dying in scores, William's heavy-armed warriors pressing heavily upon the ranks of the more lightly clad Englishmen, and final defeat and surrender, complete the story of the assault upon Ely.

William had won, but Hereward still defied him. Striking his last blow in defence, the gallant leader, with a small band of chosen followers, cut a lane of blood through the Norman ranks and made his way to a small fleet of ships which he had kept armed and guarded for such an emergency. Sail was set, and down the stream they sped to the open sea, still setting at defiance the power of Norman William. We have two further lines of story to follow, one of history, the other of romance; one that of the reward of the monks for their treachery, the other that of the later story of Hereward the Wake.

Abbot Thurston hastened to make his submission to the king. He and the inmates of the monastery sought the court, then at Warwick, and humbly begged the royal favor and protection. The story goes that William repaid their visit by a journey to Ely, where he entered the minster while the monks, all unconscious of the royal visit, were at their meal in the refectory. The king stood humbly at a distance from the shrine, as not worthy to approach it, but sent a mark of gold to be offered as his tribute upon the altar.

Meanwhile, one Gilbert of Clare entered the refectory, and asked the feasting monks whether they should not dine at some other time, and if it were not wise to repress their hunger while King William was in the church. Like a flock of startled pigeons the monks rose, their appetites quite gone, and flocked tumultuously towards the church. They were too late. William was gone. But in his short visit he had left them a most unwelcome legacy by marking out the site of a castle within the precincts of the monastery, and giving orders for its immediate building by forced labor.

Abbot Thurston finally purchased peace from the king at a high rate, paying him three hundred marks of silver for his one mark of gold. Nor was this the end. The silver marks proved to be light in weight. To appease the king's anger at this, another three hundred silver marks were offered, and King William graciously suffered them to say their prayers thenceforward in peace.

Their treachery to Hereward had not proved profitable to the traitors. If now we return to the story of Hereward the Wake, we must once more leave the realm of history for that of legend, for what further is told of him, though doubtless based on fact, is strictly legendary in structure. Landing on the coast of Lincolnshire, the fugitives abandoned their light ships for the wide-spreading forests of that region, and long lived the life of outlaws in the dense woodland adjoining Hereward's ancestral home of Bourne. Like an earlier Robin Hood, the valiant Wake made the greenwood his home and the Normans his prey, covering nine shires in his bold excursions, which extended as far as the distant town of Warwick.

The Abbey of Peterborough, with its Norman abbot, was an object of his special detestation, and more than once Turold and his monks were put to flight, while the abbey yielded up a share of its treasures to the bold assailants. How long Hereward and his men dwelt in the greenwood we are not able to say. They defied there the utmost efforts of their foes, and King William, whose admiration for his defiant enemy had not decreased, despairing of reducing him by force, made him overtures of peace.

Hereward was ready for them. He saw clearly by this time that the Norman yoke was fastened too firmly on England's neck to be thrown off. He had fought as long as fighting was of use. Surrender only remained. A day came at length in which he rode from the forest with forty stout warriors at his back, made his way to the royal seat of Winchester, and Docked at the city gates, bidding the guards to carry the news to the conqueror that Hereward the Wake had come. William gladly received him. He knew the value of a valiant soul, and was thereafter a warm friend of Hereward, who, on his part, remained as loyal and true to the king as he had been strong and earnest against him.

And so years passed on, Hereward in favor at court, and he and Torfrida, his Flemish wife, living happily in the castle which William's bounty had provided them. There is more than one story of Hereward's final fate. One account says that he ended his days in peace. The story goes that he kept close watch and ward in his house against his many enemies.

But on one occasion his chaplain, Ethelward, then on lookout duty, fell asleep on his post. A band of Normans was approaching, who broke into the house without warning being given, and attacked Hereward alone in his hall.