Monday, August 01, 2011


Yesterday we enjoyed a really nice walk along the river to the Queen's Sconce (fort). If you click on the image twice you might be able to glean some details.

Then a walk to the castle to take a photo to show where King John died (poisoned). He died at midnight in the room behind that narrow arched door to the left on the first floor with the four narrow slotted windows (click image for magnification).

Now, for clarification on the hanging demonstrations that I mentioned in my last post...

The hangman was in period dress (1351) standing next to the gallows and he was explaining the process of being hanged, drawn and quartered and demonstrated how each tool was used in the quartering process that lay on the table before him.

William Wallace was believed to be the first to be found guilty of of High Treason and, as such, the recipient of this barbaric torture.

The victims (males only...females were burned at the stake) were first dragged behind a horse to the gallows. He was then hung but cut down before he died in order for him to witness having his intestines and stomach drawn from him. I should have taken a photo of the tool used for this process...pretty gruesome. It was a three-pronged fork on a two foot shaft.

There is some confusion about if the 'drawn' refers to being dragged by the horse to the place of execution or the removal of intestines. Anyway, the next process was to hitch a horse to each limb and send them on their way. To ease their burden...the horses burden, someone was given a cleaver to make the first cut at the base of the limbs. The head was then hacked off. The various parts were displayed in different locations as a deterrent to others.

The practice was abolished in 1870.

After the demonstration I enjoyed a hearty lunch consisting of chicken...quartered.

Incidentally, the most common profession of those who have been hanged in England is butchers. Who'd have thought that?

Now, whoever said the English were cultured?

On a brighter note (s'cuse the pun), I learned that musicians were paid more than archers during times of battle... lute players, no doubt :)


  1. Oh that's awful! Why are people so mean to each other? I'm glad you waited until Monday. :)

  2. Hi Randi
    I think there is something to be said about living in 2011 :)

  3. The inventiveness of people in finding ways to hurt each other is gobsmacking, even in the 21st century.
    There are so many twisted minds about - cruelty to others, and animals, is still prevalant in large areas of our planet.
    Thankfully we are fairly safe in this part of the world but it's so sad that we seem unable to curb cruelty, neglect and torture elsewhere. It even happens here every so often, thinking of poor Jamie Bulger, and the dog they practised on first.

    I don't know what the answer is but I prefer not to think about it too much.

  4. I was aware of the hanged, drawn and quartered sentence having studied history, and I found it revolting even as a young girl. It's horrifying to know that humans are worse than animals. Wild animals are savage in that they attack and injure either to protect themselves or then for food. Many people enjoy hurting and causing pain.

    My tummy's doing somersaults..

  5. Hi Jean
    I think you have the best solution in trying not to think about it too often, because we'd be all the more frustrated knowing that we can do very little about it.

    Hi Khushi
    I wonder what it is that turns a cute little kid into a savage?

  6. The barbarism capable by mankind sends shivers through me as I read your description. But I did chuckle right away when you described your lunch.

    Interesting about the butchers being the most hanged.