Nursery Rhymes

Women Stretched on the Rack

Medieval life and Times

Torture and Punishment - Women Stretched on the Rack
During the Medieval times inflicting pain and torture was an accepted form of punishment or interrogation for both men and women. The cruel and pitiless torturers were induced to inflict the horrors of torture or punishment including those who tortured the Women Stretched on the Rack in Medieval England and Europe.

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 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. 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.

Facts and 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.

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Medieval Torture and Punishment

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