Nursery Rhymes

Instruments of Torture

Medieval life and Times

Torture and Punishment - Instruments of Torture
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, using a huge variety of Instruments of Torture, 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 Instruments of Torture Description - Method, Instrument or Device
The instruments or devices used in Medieval torture included some of the following terrible tools or machines:

  • Boot or Spanish boot
  • Branding Irons
  • Judas Cradle
  • Strappado
  • Brodequin
  • Branding Irons
  • The Collar
  • The Rack
  • Thumbscrews
  • The Wheel

  • Foot press
  • Foot screw
  • Heretic's fork
  • Water Torture
  • Brank
  • The Collar
  • Drunkards Cloak
  • The Maiden
  • Pillory
  • The Scavenger's daughter
  • Scold's bridle
  • Stocks
  • Ducking stools

Methods of Medieval Torture and Punishment
The length of time a prisoner might be tortured varied form less than one hour up to six hours. Vinegar was commonly used to bring a victim round if he passed out during torture. There were many methods of torture using various instruments of torture which were practised during the Medieval times of the Middle Ages which included some of the following:

  • Ripping out teeth / nails
  • Beating
  • Blinding
  • Boiling
  • Flagellation, whipping and beating
  • Flaying
  • Roasting
  • Genital mutilation
  • Limb/finger removal
  • Starvation
  • Tongue removal

  • Bone breaking
  • Branding and Burning
  • Castration
  • Choking
  • Cutting
  • Disfigurement
  • Dislocation
  • Drowning

There was even a torture which used tickling as a method to inflict suffering. Other tortures included the compression of the limbs by special instruments, or by ropes, injection of water, vinegar, or oil, into the body of the accused, application of hot pitch, and starvation, were the processes used in tortures.

The Law, Crime, Torture and Punishment - Instruments of Torture
There were no laws or rules to protect the treatment of prisoners who faced torture and horrific instruments of torture were used in the name of justice and the law. 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.

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Medieval Torture and Punishment

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