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Old May 15th, 2011, 07:20 AM   #1

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Famous Executions


When Mary Queen of Scots was executed, the onlookers were horrified. On suspicion of being inebriated, the axemans blows were careless and the neck was missed more than once. During this farce, Mary is reported to have said something which was heard by the witnesses.
When the Headsman finally raised her severed head, which he was holding by the hair,the eyes were blinking and after a few seconds, the head dropped to the floor and bounced, leaving the executioner holding her wig.
This Botched execution would have been horrific to say the least. Mary's pet dog was still hiding within the folds of her dress, after the execution had been carried out.
Can anybody throw some light on this practice of raising the severed head to the people witnessing the execution? Why was it done?.

JC
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Old May 15th, 2011, 07:51 AM   #2

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The execution of Margaret Pole is reckoned to be one of the most gruesome beheadings on record.

Lady Margaret Pole Execution
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Old May 15th, 2011, 08:03 AM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPERRO View Post
Can anybody throw some light on this practice of raising the severed head to the people witnessing the execution? Why was it done?.

JC
Maybe it's a warning to the crowd, "BEHOLD THE HEAD OF THE TRAITOR"
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Old May 15th, 2011, 08:08 AM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toltec View Post
The execution of Margaret Pole is reckoned to be one of the most gruesome beheadings on record.

Lady Margaret Pole Execution
I take it that the Axe was reserved for the affluent or, if they could afford it, the sword?

JC
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Old May 15th, 2011, 08:26 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPERRO View Post
When Mary Queen of Scots was executed, the onlookers were horrified. On suspicion of being inebriated, the axemans blows were careless and the neck was missed more than once. During this farce, Mary is reported to have said something which was heard by the witnesses.
When the Headsman finally raised her severed head, which he was holding by the hair,the eyes were blinking and after a few seconds, the head dropped to the floor and bounced, leaving the executioner holding her wig.
This Botched execution would have been horrific to say the least. Mary's pet dog was still hiding within the folds of her dress, after the execution had been carried out.
Can anybody throw some light on this practice of raising the severed head to the people witnessing the execution? Why was it done?.

JC
Since I started this thread, I came across another snippet of information which may be true but can not be sustantiated. There is a theory that the executioner may have been deliberately plied with drink overnight, in order to hurt the victim more than necessary.

JC
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Old May 15th, 2011, 08:30 AM   #6

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Thomas Black Jack Ketchum, an infamous train robber and killer from from Texas, was caught and hanged in New Mexico in 1901. The inexperienced hangman wasn't sure about the length of rope, so testing was done with a 200 pound sandbag dropped through the trap door of the gallows. The next day as the gala event was underway and the bag was being placed over Ketchum's head, he said "Hurry up boys, let's get this over with, I'll be in hell before you start breakfast, let her rip".
Unfortunately the 7 foot drop was too long for the 190 pound man and his head popped off, blood spurting from the decapitated body.
The postcard sold after the execution:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 08:32 AM   #7

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Jack_Ketch Jack_Ketch

This guy seems to be the Elvis of incompetent executioners.!
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Old May 15th, 2011, 09:24 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclefred View Post
Thomas Black Jack Ketchum, an infamous train robber and killer from from Texas, was caught and hanged in New Mexico in 1901. The inexperienced hangman wasn't sure about the length of rope, so testing was done with a 200 pound sandbag dropped through the trap door of the gallows. The next day as the gala event was underway and the bag was being placed over Ketchum's head, he said "Hurry up boys, let's get this over with, I'll be in hell before you start breakfast, let her rip".
Unfortunately the 7 foot drop was too long for the 190 pound man and his head popped off, blood spurting from the decapitated body.
The postcard sold after the execution:
Click the image to open in full size.
The scientific approach to making a hanging execution as humane as possible, was developed during the era of British capital punishment, by the Pierrepoint family.
The person was weighed and measured, the results compared against a table of measurements and the rope adjusted accordingly.
The american noose was not used in the UK, since it was considered more to strangle the person than break the neck.
the British form of noose was a running ferrule which caused instantaneous death.

JC
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Old May 15th, 2011, 10:17 AM   #9

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What about William Wallace?
Hanged, drawn and quartered - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old May 15th, 2011, 11:26 AM   #10

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Guy Fawkes, He went through quiet a lot they put him on the rack to get his confession then sentence him to death by hang drawn and quartered but he managed to break his neck in his fall as he was hung
Guy_Fawkes Guy_Fawkes
so he was dead before they quartered him.
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