No announcement yet.

Hanged, drawn and quartered

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Hanged, drawn and quartered

    I would like to know exactly what this means. I have read about the English Convicting people for treason, and some were hanged, drawn and quartered while others were lucky enough to just get beheaded. I would like to know what were the determining factors for the punishment. Also how did the Scottish people carry out punishment during the middle ages, also. Thanks, Bob

  • #2
    Hanging, drawing and quartering involved hanging the victim by the neck, but not to the point of death. The victim was then laid on his back and his genitals were cut off. His abdomen was cut open and his internal organs and intestines were pulled (i.e. drawn) out of his body while he was still technically alive, and burned within his sight. Finally the victim was beheaded, and his body was cut into four pieces (or quarters) with a limb attached to each quarter. Usually the head and quarters would be put on public display in different places around the country.

    At the time when this punishment was in use, it was believed that a person could not enter Heaven unless his body was buried intact (or at least all in the same grave) so part of the punishment of burning the viscera and dispatching the quarters to be displayed in different locations was that the victim was denied a place in Heaven.


    • #3
      Thanks very much. You explained that very well. A possible relative of mine had a brother and her husband convicted of treason. The husband was hanged, drawn and quartered while the brother was just beheaded. Another possible relative was a lady, who was over 80 years old. She was convicted of treason and was sentenced to burn to death, for helping a fugitive who was on the run. She claimed she had no idea he was a fugitive. Someone helped her get the sentence changed to beheading, so apparently their was some a way to plead for an easier way of death. I am not sure if the plea was made to the court of to a high official of the government. Thanks again. You have been very helpful. Bob


      • #4
        There were a number of torture and execution methods in mediaeval Scotland, but most of these are common to the rest of Europe.

        Hanging was common... burning tended to be for religious offences, and there was also drowning (also took place during some of the witch trials, but it has to be admitted most of these took place in the 16/1700s, so it is arguable if they are mediaeval).

        Other methods included merely being left in a dungeon to rot and/or starve and also etc.

        Neil is obviously a better expert on this, although I don't know whether he has the personal experience or not.

        (Two can play at George Orwell quotes)
        "In this country I don’t think it is enough realized—I myself had no idea of it until a few years ago—that Scotland has a case against England."


        • #5
          Thanks for the information. This is all very interesting. I would like to thank Neil and all the moderators for their responses to my questions on all the forums. All the registered uses have given good responses to my questions, so I would like to thank them all as well.