Nursery Rhymes

Execution by Hanging

Middle Ages - Lords and Ladies

Execution by Hanging
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 and executions including Hanging. Tortures were sometimes followed by execution including being hung. Torture and execution 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 executions such as being executed by Hanging.

Method of inflicting death by Hanging
Different types of execution were used depending on the victim's crime and social status. There were also different tortures and execution methods used according to the customs of each country. The most common form of execution in the Middle Ages was execution by Hanging was practised and described as follows:

In every town, and almost in every village, there was a permanent gibbet, which, owing to the custom of leaving the bodies to hang till they crumbled into dust, was very rarely without having some corpses or skeletons attached to it. According to prescribed rule, the gallows were placed in an important part in the political as well as the criminal history of that city.
The criminal condemned to be hanged was generally taken to the place of execution sitting or standing in a wagon, with his back to the horses. When the criminal arrived at the place of execution the noose was placed around his neck from which he was suspended and thereby strangled to death.

When the words "shall be hung until death doth ensue" are to be found in a sentence, it must not be supposed that they were used merely as a form, for in certain cases the judge ordered that the sentence should be only carried out as far as would prove to the culprit the awful sensation of hanging. In such cases, the victim was simply suspended by ropes passing under the arm-pits, a kind of exhibition which was not free from danger when it was too prolonged, for the weight of the body so tightened the rope round the chest that the circulation might be stopped. Many culprits, after hanging thus an hour, when brought down, were dead, or only survived this painful process a short time.

Middle Ages Torture
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