Nursery Rhymes

Branding and Burning Tortures

Middle Ages - Lords and Ladies

Branding and Burning Tortures
The Medieval period of the Middle Ages was violent, and blood thirsty. In these barbarous times the cruel and pitiless torturers were induced to inflict the horrors of tortures, including the Branding and Burning Tortures of prisoners using fire and hot irons. Torture methods, devices and instruments were used to inflict the deliberate, systematic, cruel and wanton infliction of physical and mental suffering.

There were no laws or rules to protect the treatment of prisoners who faced torture, such as the Branding and Burning Tortures by fire and hot irons.

Crimes which warranted the use of Branding and Burning Tortures & Punishments
Different types of torture and punishments were used depending on the victim's crime and social status. There were also different punishments and tortures used according to the customs of each country. The punishment was adopted in the Dark and Middle Ages by the Anglo-Saxons. In 1547 the Statute of Vagabonds ruled that vagabonds, gipsies and brawlers were ordered to be branded, the first two with a large V on the breast. the last with F for fighter (brawler). Slaves too who ran away were branded with S on cheek or forehead. This law was repealed in 1636.

Method of inflicting the Branding and Burning Tortures
There were various methods and devices used to torture or punishing a victim using branding or burning techniques. The red-hot brazier, which was passed backwards and forwards before the eyes of the culprit, until they were destroyed by the scorching heat. Red hot pokers were applied to various parts of the body.  Various marks branded on to the flesh using red hot branding irons. A branding-iron had a long bolt with a wooden handle at one end and a brand with a letter at the other. Two iron loops were used for firmly securing the hands during the excruciating process.

Middle Ages Torture
Middle Ages Index

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