Hanged, drawn and quartered

related topics
{law, state, case}
{son, year, death}
{@card@, make, design}
{war, force, army}
{church, century, christian}
{god, call, give}
{black, white, people}
{disease, patient, cell}
{woman, child, man}
{land, century, early}
{food, make, wine}
{car, race, vehicle}
{town, population, incorporate}

To be hanged, drawn and quartered (sometimes rendered hung, drawn and quartered) was from 1351 the penalty in England for men guilty of high treason, although its use is first recorded during the reign of King Henry III and that of his successor, Edward I. The convicted were fastened to a wooden hurdle which was dragged by horse to the place of execution. Once there, they were ritually hanged (almost to the point of death), emasculated, disembowelled, beheaded and quartered (chopped into four pieces). As a warning against further dissent, these remains were often displayed at prominent places, such as London Bridge. For reasons of public decency, women convicted of high treason were burnt at the stake.

Although some convicts had their sentences commuted and suffered a less ignominious end, over a period of several hundred years many men found guilty of treason endured the full sanction of the law. Many notable figures were subjected to the punishment, including over 100 English Catholic priests executed at Tyburn. Plotters engaged in religious conspiracies like the Gunpowder Plot were killed this way, as were some of the regicides involved in sentencing Charles I to death. During the 1685 Bloody Assizes, several hundred rebels were dispatched by this method in less than a month.

Although the Act of Parliament that defined high treason remains on the United Kingdom's statute books, hanging, drawing and quartering was in 1814 downgraded to drawing, hanging until dead, and posthumous beheading and quartering. It was finally abolished in England in 1870.


Treason in England

The first recorded instance of a person being hanged, drawn and quartered in England is that of William Maurice, who in 1241, during Henry III's reign, was convicted of piracy.[1] However, the punishment is more frequently recorded during Edward I's reign.[2] Dafydd ap Gruffydd was the first nobleman in England to receive the sentence. He had previously fought alongside Edward, but in 1282 he turned against the king, and on the death of his brother proclaimed himself Prince of Wales and Lord of Snowdon. He was captured, tried and executed in 1283; his quarters were distributed across the country, while his head was placed atop the Tower of London.[3] The Scottish rebel leader William Wallace suffered a similar fate. Captured and tried in 1305, he was strapped to a hurdle and dragged by horse through the streets of London, to the scaffold at Smithfield. Along the way he was whipped and hit by the spectators, who also threw rotten food and waste at him. After being hanged, and while still alive, he was emasculated and eviscerated. He was then beheaded and quartered. His preserved head (dipped in pitch) was placed on a spike on London Bridge (the first to appear there), while his arms and legs were displayed at various towns across England and Scotland.[4]

Full article ▸

related documents
Roman censor
Roberto Calvi
Myra Hindley
Harold Shipman
Countess Elizabeth Báthory
L. Ron Hubbard
Babylonian law
Roger B. Taney
Gideon v. Wainwright
Crime against humanity
Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution
Good Samaritan law
Congressional power of enforcement
English law
Section Thirty-three of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Search warrant
Asylum and Immigration Tribunal
Laws of war
McCulloch v. Maryland
Arrest warrant
Scientology and the legal system
New York divorce law
Woodmont, Connecticut
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441
Supplemental Security Income