Historic methods of punishment

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Historic methods of punishment

Post by rockfreak » Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:55 pm

Can some historian put me right on this. Surely the offender was drawn through the streets on a pallet of some sort, then partly hanged until, while still just about alive, he was cut down and disembowelled and his entrails burnt before him. But he'd be dead long before this wouldn't he? Ooh! Hello entrails! How nice to see you! Nice weather for the time of year.

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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by J.R. » Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:17 am

You forgot the 'Quartered' bit Freaky. This was for treason , though I fail to see the relevance.
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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by michael scuffil » Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:43 pm

The 'quartered' bit was definitely posthumous: the body was quartered and the quarters stuck up in various public places.

I believe the genitalia were cut off first, before the disembowelling.

(Women, incidentally, were never hanged, drawn and quartered. Their modesty was respected.)

As for the last public execution in France (in 1939), it was filmed (illegally). The filming led to the abolition of public execution in France.
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Re: Roger Martin - trial

Post by J.R. » Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:28 pm

michael scuffil wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:43 pm
The 'quartered' bit was definitely posthumous: the body was quartered and the quarters stuck up in various public places.

I believe the genitalia were cut off first, before the disembowelling.

(Women, incidentally, were never hanged, drawn and quartered. Their modesty was respected.)

As for the last public execution in France (in 1939), it was filmed (illegally). The filming led to the abolition of public execution in France.
I have seen the clip a few years ago on a very late-night TV programme. Channel 4, I think.

It can probably be found on the web. Not particularly edifying though.
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Re: Historic methods of punishment

Post by sejintenej » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:16 pm

I am not sure hanging is all that good either. Apparently they got it wrong and one of Saddam's crowd was actually beheaded when thewy tried to hang him. When one realises that after beheading with the guilletine the brain functions for nearly 30 seconds I wonder about any other form except the current Chinese method.
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Re: Historic methods of punishment

Post by rockfreak » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:57 pm

If it's the same documentary (and I think it is), there was some interesting footage about the execution of German war criminals after the war. At the time, George Orwell wrote that he'd heard that the Americans were stringing up some of these captives by the old-fashioned strangulation method (which had long been outdated in the UK). He said that while he didn't much care about these people he felt that it reflected badly on the allies that we'd resorted to a 19th century method of execution.
Well this documentary confirmed Orwell's information. There was the footage of flat bed trucks being driven towards a line of gallows in a barracks square. A trussed-up German was surrounded by a detail of American troops in their distinctive coal scuttle helmets. When they arrived at the gallows the noose was fastened round the man's neck and he was pushed off the truck to swing in the wind. His knees came up into the foetal position and there he slowly strangled. How long? Fifteen minutes is it? Maybe less. The more senior Nazis were executed by the quick drop, Albert Pierrepoint I believe, seeing that it was done more efficiently. Although I believe that the Russians wanted to use the firing squad and their was some dispute between them and us about it. Maybe a historian can fill in the gaps while JR can speculate that he would like to have seen them all hanged drawn and quartered.
Last edited by rockfreak on Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Historic methods of punishment

Post by rockfreak » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:05 pm

I'm not sure why I started this thread. Was it in reaction to someone else's post?

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Re: Historic methods of punishment

Post by J.R. » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:30 pm

We are on one of my pet subjects.
The Americans have always used the rope, drop and strangulation method using the familiar knotted rope

Dring WW11, any American service men sentenced to death in UK were executed at Shepton Mallet prison but under the British method of a leather halter supervised by a British hangman, (usually Albert Pierrepoint) because Britain disliked the inhumane US method.

I could elaborate further on Pierrepoints personal views but you could just read his book.
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Re: Historic methods of punishment

Post by J.R. » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:30 pm

We are on one of my pet subjects.
The Americans have always used the rope, drop and strangulation method using the familiar knotted rope

Dring WW11, any American service men sentenced to death in UK were executed at Shepton Mallet prison but under the British method of a leather halter supervised by a British hangman, (usually Albert Pierrepoint) because Britain disliked the inhumane US method.

I could elaborate further on Pierrepoints personal views but you could just read his book.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Historic methods of punishment

Post by max_ratcliffe » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:46 pm

The main Nuremberg criminals (Frank, Keitel, Streicher, etc) were executed by an American - Woods, IIRC - and the story is that the executions were botched, with many of the hanged men dying from strangulation. There's also speculation out there (everything is true on the internet, obviously) that the trapdoors were too small with the result that the men hit the platform on the way down.

Pierrepoint executed many of the concentration camp commandants and guards, presumably using long drop, which was what he used for civilian UK executions.

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Re: Historic methods of punishment

Post by J.R. » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:02 pm

max_ratcliffe wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:46 pm
The main Nuremberg criminals (Frank, Keitel, Streicher, etc) were executed by an American - Woods, IIRC - and the story is that the executions were botched, with many of the hanged men dying from strangulation. There's also speculation out there (everything is true on the internet, obviously) that the trapdoors were too small with the result that the men hit the platform on the way down.

Pierrepoint executed many of the concentration camp commandants and guards, presumably using long drop, which was what he used for civilian UK executions.
Very true Max.
The photos of the condemned mens faces after execution at Nuremburg bear this out.
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Re: Historic methods of punishment

Post by LongGone » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:02 am

When I started reading this thread I was freaking out, as I assumed it was talking about the old days at CH.
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Re: Historic methods of punishment

Post by J.R. » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:10 am

Very good, Mike.
Even at my age, it wasn't quite as bad as that.
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Re: Historic methods of punishment

Post by rockfreak » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:26 pm

Sejintenej says that after guillotining the brain was still active for 30 seconds. Do you think that if Sejintenej had been up for the chop his head would still have been rolling around in the basket telling everyone that being slippered by Kit in the 1950s had been the making of him? Until he realised that the bit that had been slippered was no longer attached?

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Re: Historic methods of punishment

Post by sejintenej » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:57 pm

rockfreak wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:26 pm
Sejintenej says that after guillotining the brain was still active for 30 seconds. Do you think that if Sejintenej had been up for the chop his head would still have been rolling around in the basket telling everyone that being slippered by Kit in the 1950s had been the making of him? Until he realised that the bit that had been slippered was no longer attached?
Slight technical problem suggests a major glitch in your education. At least in my day CH was not up there with bilge so that might be your excuse for getting your facts as wrong as JeremyC. Talking requires the use of the lungs and vocal chords which, afterthe head is removed, are no longer available for the brain for use. The alledged evidence was at the death of a Frenchman who, after previous agreement, used blinking to convey his thought processes. A short 22 is more instantaneous, effective and leaves little mess.
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