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By Geoffrey Abbott
The enterprise of demise could be heavily absurd, and not anything illustrates this higher than those ugly precise stories. This gory compendium information the frankly ridiculous ways that a couple of ill-fated unfortunates met (or didn't meet) their maker by the hands of sadly inept executioners. With black and white illustrations, this publication brings jointly a mix of bungled executions, unusual final requests and vintage one-liners from medieval occasions to the current day.
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Additional resources for Amazing True Stories of Execution Blunders
This departure from tradition caused the authorities some problems, one being where Mr Fowler, the Gentleman Gaoler of the Tower, would travel, for his role was to escort the prisoner at all times. His Lordship solved the dilemma by inviting the officer to accompany him in the coach, not realising that the Gaoler would be carrying the cumbersome Ceremonial Axe, the traditional symbol by which the sentence of the court would be indicated to the crowds waiting outside the Hall; if borne with the edge pointing towards the prisoner, he had been found guilty, and rare it was that it was held facing in the opposite direction.
Again he struck, this time with more success, though in order to sever the head completely, he had perforce to cut through a little gristle with his knife. The contemporary account continued, ‘The executioner then lifted up the head to the view of all the assembly and bade ‘God save the Queen’ [Queen Elizabeth, of course]. Then, her dressing of lawn [the Corpus Christi cloth] falling off, her head appeared as grey as one of three-score-andten years old, cropped very short, her face in an instant being so much altered from the form she had when she was alive, as few could remember her from her face.
Indd 36 12/04/2006 14:48:24 PART ONE: METHODS OF TORTURE AND EXECUTION It is traditionally believed that James Douglas, Earl of Morton, Regent of Scotland, while returning home following a visit to the English court, passed through Halifax, Yorkshire, and in doing so saw the Halifax Gibbet, a guillotine-type machine, although it predated the French device by many decades. Whether an execution was actually taking place at the time is not known, but suffice it to say that so impressed was the Earl that on arriving in Edinburgh he ordered a similar machine to be constructed.
Amazing True Stories of Execution Blunders by Geoffrey Abbott