Nursery Rhymes

Stretched on the Rack

Medieval life and Times

Torture and Punishment - Stretched on the Rack
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 Stretched on the Rack, 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 - Stretched on the Rack
There were no laws or rules to protect the treatment of prisoners who faced torture or punishment, such as the Stretched on the Rack. 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 Stretched on the Rack.

Facts and Information about being Stretched on the Rack
In England torture by Stretching and Dislocation using a machine called the Rack was practised. Various methods of inflicting intense pain by stretching dated back to the Greeks. A particular type of rack was called The Duke of Exeter's daughter. This was a torture rack used in the Tower of London which was said to have been introduced by John Holland, the 2nd Duke of Exeter and the constable of the Tower in 1447. Famous victims who were stretched on the rack in England included Guy Fawkes, William Carter, Thomas Kyd and William Wallace (Braveheart). Another famous victim of the rack was Anne Askew who was one of the women stretched on the rack due to her religious beliefs.

Stretched on the Rack Description - Method, Instrument or Device
The rack was a machine based on a rectangular wooden frame. The wooden frame had a roller at each end. The victim's feet were manacled to one roller, and the wrists were manacled to the other. A handle and ratchet were attached to the top roller and were turned very gradually stepwise to increase the tension on the chains. The victim was tied across a board by his ankles and wrists. The rollers at either end of the board were turned, pulling the body in opposite directions. The victims body was initially stretched on the rack. However, limbs would be dislocated and prolonged use would end with limbs being completely torn from their sockets inducing the most excruciating pain.

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Medieval Torture and Punishment

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