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, including the rack.
The Law, Crime,
Torture and Punishment - Women Stretched on the Rack
There were no laws or rules
to protect the treatment of prisoners
who faced torture or punishment, such as the women who were 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 Women Stretched on the Rack.
Women Stretched on
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. Women
stretched on the rack were tied across a board by her 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, however, limbs would
eventually be dislocated and
prolonged use of the torture from the rack would end with limbs being completely torn from their sockets inducing
the most excruciating pain.
Information about being Women Stretched on the Rack - Anne Askew
In England torture by Stretching and Dislocation using a machine called
the Rack was practised. A famous victim of the rack was Anne Askew who
was one of the women stretched on the Rack due to her religious beliefs.
Anne Askew ((1521 - 1546) was an English writer and Protestant who was
persecuted as a heretic. Anne Askew distributed books about the
Protestant faith which had been banned by the authorities. Anne Askew
was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London. It was believed that
Katherine Parr, the sixth wife of King Henry VIII, was a heretic who
shared the Protestant views of Anne Askew. Torture was ordered as a way
to obtain names of other heretics and to get Anne Askew to implicate the
Queen. Sir William Kingston was the Constable of the Tower of London. He
was a man hardened by the sights he had witnessed in the Tower but even
he refused to see women stretched on the rack. Thomas Wriothesley
and Richard Rich took over the role of chief torturers and Anne Askew
had to face the ordeal of the rack again. Anne Askew refused to
implicate anyone else and was sentence to death by being
Burned at the Stake.
Brave Anne Askew was carried to execution in a chair because she could
not walk after her torture of being stretched on the rack. A chair was
tied to the stake and she was burnt alive at the tender age of just 25
years old. Anne Askwe will always be remembered as one of the women
stretched on the rack.