Nursery Rhymes

Death by Hanging

Medieval life and Times

Torture and Punishment - Death by Hanging
During the Medieval times inflicting pain and torture was an accepted form of punishment or interrogation. The cruel and pitiless torturers were induced to inflict the horrors of torture or punishment, including the Death by Hanging, on the pitiful prisoners. Different types of torture or methods of punishment were inflicted, depending on the crime and the social status of the victim, using various methods and various types of devices or instruments.

The Law, Crime, Torture and Punishment - Death by Hanging
There were no laws or rules to protect the treatment of prisoners who faced torture or punishment, such as the Death by Hanging. No matter what the type of torture or punishment was used it was seen as a totally legitimate means for justice to extract confessions, obtain the names of accomplices, obtain testimonies or confessions or to impose a penalty, sanctioned by law for a wrong committed.The following description provides facts and information about the Death by Hanging.

Facts and Information about the Death by Hanging - The Gibbet
The most common form of execution in Medieval Times was Execution by Hanging which 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 Death by Hanging Description
The following description of an execution in Medieval Times describes Death by Hanging:

"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."

* The term "On the Wagon" is taken from the journey to the gallows.

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