Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Gibbet

The body was encased in flat bars of iron of two and a half inches in breadth, the feet were placed in stirrups, from which a bar of iron went up each side of the head, and ended in a ring by which he was suspended; a bar from the collar went down the breast, and another down the back, there were also bars in the inside of the legs which communicated with the above; and crossbars at the ankles, the knees, the thighs, the bowels the breast and the shoulders; the hands were hung by the side and covered with pitch, the face was pitched and covered with a piece of white cloth.


A gibbet is any instrument of public execution (including guillotine, executioner's block,impalement stake, hanging gallows, or related scaffold), but gibbeting refer to the use of a gallows-type structure from which the dead or dying bodies of executed criminals were hung on public display to deter other existing or potential criminals. In earlier times, up to the late 17th century, live gibbeting also took place, in which the condemned was placed alive in a metal cage and left to die of thirst. As well as referring to the gibbet as a device, the term gibbet may also be used to refer to the practice of placing a criminal on display within one. This practice is also called "hanging in chains".


Gibbeting was common law punishment, which a judge could impose in addition to execution. This practice was regularised in England by the Murder Act 1751, which empowered judges to impose this for murder. It was most often used for traitors, murders, highwaymen, pirates, and sheep stealers and was intended to discourage others from committing similar offences. The structures were therefore often placed next to public highways (frequently at crossroads) and waterways.


These over head power lines are situated at Four Lane Ends - a crossroads on the edge of town.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for retrieving your information straight from Wikipedia! Next time, just attach the url instead and do us all a favor so we won't have to read your childish plagiarism. Here it is, for conveniences. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibbeting