What Did Londoners Chant At A Hanging

The Great Train Robbery (1978)

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  • Race has a significant role in determining stats, with specialization playing a minor role as well. The base class is completely unimportant
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  • The only one that is worthwhile is the Shaman’s Prayer Mastery. At least some of the following classes can help out at level 1: Pugilists, Fencers, Masurao, Dragoons, Warlocks, Rovers, and Botanists. Neromancers, Shamans, and other like individuals In the early stages of the game, harbingers are exceedingly point-hungry, making them difficult to deploy successfully. You should be repeating Union Skills whenever they appear to be beneficial
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Britain’s last executions: hanging of two jobless criminals a ‘low key’ affair

There was minimal fanfare when they were carried to their deaths at the gallows. There was no public outcry, and no headlines, to suggest that the deaths of Gwynne Evans and Peter Allen would be regarded as anything other than routine. It took only a few of paragraphs in the national press to report on the murders of the two convicted killers, who were hung in different jails at 8 a.m. on August 13, 1964, with little fanfare. Evans and Allen, two criminals who bludgeoned a man to death in order to steal £10, are now regarded as a noteworthy chapter in the annals of abolitionist history, exactly 50 years after their heinous crime.

Evans, 24 years old, and Allen, 21 years old, were unfortunate in their timing.

  1. At the time of their convictions, the 1957 Homicide Act had already abolished the compulsory death sentence for all murders, with the exception of homicides committed in the course of a robbery.
  2. The two had meant to rob the bachelor, but they ended up killing him instead.
  3. West’s semi-naked body was discovered in a pool of blood later that night.
  4. On July 21, their appeals against their death sentences were refused, despite the fact that they were convicted in June.
  5. Allen was hanged at Walton Correctional Facility by Robert “Jock” Stewart.
  6. And, as the interview was coming to a close, he threw himself at the table.” He shattered the glass and injured his thumb in the process.
  7. “He described it as a routine execution, similar to the hundreds of others he had carried out in the past.
  8. ” At the time, it didn’t receive a lot of attention.

“When we look back on 50 years, I think what we would hope people would take away from it is, first and foremost, a sense of pride in the fact that the United Kingdom is and has been an abolitionist country for such a long time,” said Audrey Gaughran, director of global issues at Amnesty International.

Those advocating for the return of the death penalty frequently regarded it as “a fast fix, particularly during election seasons,” rather than as a means of addressing public attitudes of crime.

It was one of the lessons she took away from the experience that convictions aren’t guaranteed to be safe. When the death penalty was abolished in the United Kingdom, “the question of the irreversibility of the death sentence” was one of the most persuasive reasons against it.

London’s gruesome execution dock where witches and highwaymen were hanged

A little amount of fuss was made when they were taken to the executioner’s block. Nothing in the way of a public outcry or news headlines suggested that the deaths of Gwynne Evans and Peter Allen would be regarded as anything more than routine. It took only a few words in the national press to report on the murders of the two convicted killers, who were hung with minimal fanfare at different jails at 8 a.m. on August 13, 1964. Evans and Allen, two criminals who bludgeoned a man to death in order to steal £10, are now regarded as a noteworthy chapter in the annals of abolitionist history, exactly 50 years after their heinous crimes.

  1. Evans, 24 years old, and Allen, 21 years old, were unfortunate in their choice of day and location.
  2. As of the time of their convictions, the 1957 Homicide Act had already abolished the compulsory death sentence for all murders, with the exception of homicides committed in the course of a robbery.
  3. Allen’s wife and two children accompanied the two jobless Preston men when they stole a car and drove to the house of John “Jack” West, a 53-year-old laundry van driver who was known to Evans, on the 7th of April, 1964.
  4. In the village of Seaton, a neighbor was roused by a strange noise and witnessed the automobile driving away down the street.
  5. The arrest and charging of both individuals took place within 48 hours, thanks in large part to Evans’s decision to leave his raincoat at the scene, which provided a significant advantage to authorities.
  6. Execution was scheduled for the 13th of August this year.
  7. and threw himself at the table as the interview was coming to an end.” He shattered his thumb when he busted the window glass.
  8. “He claimed that it was a routine execution, similar to the hundreds of others he had carried out in his previous roles.
  9. ” Initially, there was little coverage of it.

The head of global issues at Amnesty International, Audrey Gaughran, stated, “When we look back on 50 years, I think what we would hope people would take away from it is, first and foremost, a sense of pride that the UK is and has been an abolitionist country for such a long period.” According to her, the number of executions has been steadily decreasing on a global scale.

According to her, “one of the things we’ve learned is that convictions are not always secure.” As a result, when the death penalty was abolished in the United Kingdom, “the irreversibility of the death sentence” became one of the most prominent arguments against it.

The famous hangings

In 1196, William Fitz Osbern was executed at Tyburn for the first time in recorded history. He had been a key figure in a poor people’s uprising in London, which he had led. Eventually, he was brought to Tyburn, where he was “first pulled apart by horses, and then hung alongside nine of his collaborators who refused to abandon him.” Typically, the punishment consisted of being hauled behind a team of horses, with ropes linked to your limbs being dragged behind them until your bones burst out of their sockets.

Finally, you’d be quartered – literally split in half with a cross so that your innards would fall out – to finish the process.

Highwaymen

Highwaymen – criminals who rose to fame as a result of their detainment of motorists on London’s highways – were extremely popular among the city’s residents. After becoming something of a celebrity after his arrest and trial, Claude Duval was hanged in April 1669 before a sea of sobbing and waving ladies. He would pull up beside ladies in carriages, strike up a conversation with them, and then steal them of their valuable jewelry. Many of them appear to have fallen prey to his seduction. Immediately after robbing her husband of £100, he is said to have demanded a dance from one of the victims.

  • He was apprehended and imprisoned, but he was able to elude arrest and imprisonment on several occasions, earning him the affection of the people of London.
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Catholics and Protestants alike hanged

Highwaymen – outlaws who rose to fame as a result of their detainment of motorists on London’s highways – were particularly beloved by the city’s inhabitants. After becoming somewhat of a celebrity after his arrest and trial, Claude Duval was hanged in April 1669, surrounded by sobbing and wailng ladies. In his automobile, he would pull over and talk to the women in their carriages before taking their valuable jewelry. They all appear to have fallen victim to his seductive ways. He was rumored to have asked a dance from one lady soon after robbing her husband of £100, according to legend.

  • Despite the fact that he had been kidnapped and imprisoned several times, he had managed to elude capture and became well-known across London.
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Witches

Highwaymen – criminals who rose to fame as a result of their detainment of motorists on London’s roadways – were particularly beloved by the city’s residents. Because of his notoriety, when highway thief Claude Duval was killed in April 1669, he was surrounded by crying, wail-filled ladies. He would pull up behind ladies in their carriages, strike up a conversation with them, and then steal them of their valuable jewelry. Many of them appear to have succumbed to his seduction. Immediately after robbing her husband of £100, he is said to have asked a dance from a young girl.

  • He was apprehended and imprisoned, but he was able to escape on several occasions, earning him the affection of the people of London.
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Already dead.

Sometimes offenders were already dead when they were hanged just for the sake of vengeance. Upon his restoration to the throne, King Charles II ordered Oliver Cromwell’s execution in order to exact revenge on Cromwell for his role in the execution of his father, King Charles I. You might be able to provide some fascinating facts on Tyburn or other places of historical significance in London. Please contact Martin Elvery at [email protected]

Crowds at Public Executions Depended on Attacting Attention

Out of sheer malice, certain offenders have been hanged even when they were already dead. As a way of retaliating against Oliver Cromwell for his role in the execution of his father, King Charles II did this to him once he was restored to the throne as King. Is there something you can share with us about Tyburn or other historic sites in London that we should know? Please contact Martin Elvery at [email protected] for further information.

The ‘Hanged, Drawn and Quartered’ Execution Was Even Worse than You Think

Consider the following scenario: you are the monarch of England in the 13th century. If you can hold your grasp on the throne, you will enjoy ultimate power and authority, but there are a variety of conspiring pretenders and rebellious radicals who are determined to depose you and put you to death before you can enjoy it again. So, what can you do to frighten them away from your home? You are not permitted to send out a slew of threatening Tweets (heck, the printing press is still a few centuries away).

History has it that medieval rulers came up with the gruesome execution procedure known as hanging, drawing and quartering as a result of this brainstorming session.

Scottish rebel William Wallace was executed in 1305 (after being suspected of being a traitor to King Edward I), and in the film, we show him being disemboweled — his abdomen being sliced open and his intestines being pulled out — while he is still alive.

In this very public and grisly display of absolute power, hundreds of Englishmen convicted of high treason were sentenced to death from the 13th century until the nineteenth century, including rebels like Wallace, political terrorists like Guy Fawkes, and Catholic martyrs who refused to acknowledge the authority of the Church of England.

Drawing First, Then Hanging and Quartering

Consider the following scenario: you are the monarch of England in the thirteenth century. If you can hold your grasp on the throne, you will enjoy ultimate power and authority, but there are a variety of conspiring pretenders and rebellious radicals who are determined to depose you and put you to death before you can enjoy it fully. The question now is, what can you do to frighten them away. No, you are not allowed to tweet a slew of ominous Tweets (heck, the printing press is still a few centuries away).

History has it that medieval rulers came up with the gruesome death procedure known as hanging, drawing and quartering as a result of this discussion.

Scottish rebel William Wallace was executed in 1305 (after being suspected of being a traitor to King Edward I), and in the film, we watch him being disemboweled — his belly being sliced open and his intestines being pulled out — while he is still conscious.

This very public and grisly display of absolute power was used to sentence hundreds of Englishmen to death for high treason from the 13th century to the 19th century, including rebels like William Wallace, political terrorists like Guy Fawkes, and Catholic martyrs who refused to recognize the authority of King Henry VIII’s Church of England.

Hanged Until ‘Mostly Dead,’ Then Comes the Really Bad Part

Fans of “The Princess Bride” know that there is a significant difference between being “completely dead” and being “mostly dead,” and medieval executioners were well aware of this distinction. Having been carried to Tyburn, the condemned man was hanged from a rope (either from a gallows or just from a steep ladder), but he was not lowered the required distance for his neck to be snapped. A few harrowing minutes of near-asphyxiation later, the guy was cut down while still largely conscious and conscious.

Because what happened after that was complete and utter lunacy.

Following that, his abdomen was sliced open from the crotch to the sternum, and his intestines were taken out via the opening.

Quartering as a Publicity Stunt

It was customary in England to chop off the condemned man’s head and then “quarter” his remaining corpse by slicing it into four pieces as the final stage in the hanging, drawing, and quartering process. According to vivid medieval artwork, this essentially included chopping the legs and limbs off the body. According to Clark, the severed limbs were parboiled in a mixture of spices intended to keep the meat as fresh as possible for as long as feasible. The reason for this is that the murdered man’s body parts would be taken on a type of “publicity tour” in order to inform the public about what happens to those who defy the authority of the monarch.

In the absence of a media or newspaper, the quartering may disperse body parts to nearby communities as a warning, according to the historian.

Spikes were driven through the heads of renowned traitors like as Wallace and Guy Fawkes, and the heads were put on London Bridge and the Tower of London.

Clark claims that this was never done in England, but there is evidence to suggest that the French did, at the very least as a kind of torture.

As reported by the New York Times, he was “ripped to bits by four horses” in addition to being scolded with hot pincers and molten lead.

A Contemporary Account of a 1782 Execution

It was customary in England to chop off the condemned man’s head and then “quarter” his remaining corpse by slicing it into four pieces as the final stage in the hanging, drawing, and quartering procedure. The legs and limbs were reportedly hacked off in the process, according to violent medieval depictions. It was parboiled in a spice mixture, according to Clark, to preserve the meat for as long as possible after the limbs were amputated. The reason for this is that the murdered man’s body parts would be taken on a “publicity tour” of sorts in order to inform the public about what happens to those who oppose the authority of the monarchy.

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That the skull had been amputated was the most ominous indication of all.

In the case of the practice of quartering a victim’s body, in which four horses are tied together and spurred to flee in four separate directions, what do you think of this practice?

François Ravaillac, the murderer of King Henry IV of France, was publicly tortured in order to uncover the identities of his collaborators in the assassination.

Why The Ugly Practice Ended

Over time, according to Clark, “the most grisly portions of the penalty were deleted,” as was the case with the executions of the five men convicted in the Cato Street Conspiracy in 1820, for example. Despite the fact that the prisoners were sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered in the customary horrific form, the sheriff of London did not want a protracted procession to clog up traffic, so the executioners developed a more efficient method of choreographing the deaths, according to Clark.

Then they were lowered one by one into coffins that had been placed conveniently on the gallows.

The severed head was raised to the audience with the proclamation, “This is the head of a traitor,” in this more “civilized” form of the execution, but the remainder of the corpse was left unharmed in this iteration.

According to Clark, “gentrification had already taken place in locations like Tyburn and Newgate at the time, and they didn’t want that type of thing to happen in their neighborhood.” These types of heinous penalties were no longer something people wanted to see, according to a source.

Hanging, drawing and quartering were officially abolished from English law in 1870 as part of the Forfeiture Act of 1870, which was signed into law by King Edward VII.

Display Song

According to Clark, “the most brutal components of the penalty were deleted over time,” as was the case with the executions of the five men convicted in the Cato Street Conspiracy in 1820. However, even though the men were sentenced to be hung, drawn, and quartered in the traditional manner, the sheriff of London did not want to clog up the streets of London with a lengthy procession, so the executioners devised a more efficient method of choreographing the executions, according to Clark A total of 30 minutes was spent hanging the five to verify that they were absolutely dead.

Each coffin had a raised block at the top from which a professional surgeon or butcher removed the heads of the men who were buried in it.

There were simply fewer acts of resistance by the mid-19th century, according to Clark, and Victorian-era Londoners began to take a “not in my backyard” attitude against public executions as a result of this shift in attitude.

When the Forfeiture Act of 1870 went into effect, the sentences of hanging, drawing, and quartering were legally abolished from English law.

Tower Green & Scaffold site

Over time, according to Clark, “the most grisly portions of the penalty were deleted,” as was the case with the executions of the five men convicted in the Cato Street Conspiracyin 1820. Despite the fact that the prisoners were sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered in the typical horrific form, the sheriff of London did not want a protracted procession to clog up traffic, so the executioners developed a more efficient means of choreographing the deaths, according to Clark. The five were hanged for 30 minutes to verify that they were absolutely dead before being taken away.

Each coffin had a raised block at the top from which the heads of the men were removed by a qualified surgeon or butcher.

According to Clark, by the mid-19th century, there just weren’t as many acts of resistance, and Victorian-era Londoners began to take a “not in my garden” attitude against public executions.

As part of the Forfeiture Act of 1870, the penalty of hanging, drawing, and quartering was officially abolished from English law in 1870.

The beheaded queens

Three previous queens of England were among those killed on or near Tower Green, and they were the most well-known of those executed. Those queens included two who were brides of King Henry VIII. Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, was in her early 30s at the time, while Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife, was just out of her twenties. Both were suspected of adultery, although it is possible that neither was guilty. Lady Jane Grey, who aged 16 at the time of her death, was the third queen to die in the Tower.

Expert and blundering executions

On or near Tower Green were three former queens of England, who were among those killed there or nearby who were most widely known. Those queens included two who were the brides of Henry VIII. Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife, was barely out of her twenties when she married Anne Boleyn, his second wife, who was in her early thirties. Both women were accused of adultery, although it’s possible that neither was guilty of the charge. Lady Jane Grey, a 16-year-old girl, was the third queen to die in the Tower of London.

The execution site memorial

Three previous queens of England were among those who were killed on or near Tower Green, and their names are well remembered. Two of the queens were Henry VIII’s wives. Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, was in her early 30s at the time, while Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife, was just out of her twenties. Both women were accused of adultery, although it is possible that none was guilty. Lady Jane Grey, who died at the age of sixteen, was the third queen to die in the Tower. She was only on the throne for nine days, and she was used as a pawn in a failed military coup organized by her father-in-law, the Duke of Northumberland, against her will.

The Weird Story of “The Man They Couldn’t Hang”

In 1884, John ‘Babbacombe’ Lee was found guilty of murder and condemned to death by hanging after being found guilty. Then things started to become odd. Pearson Photograph courtesy of Scott Foresman/Wikimedia Commons The death penalty is no longer used in the majority of Western countries, including the United Kingdom. Executions, on the other hand, were rather prevalent during the nineteenth century. Obviously, the vast majority of individuals did not survive. And, unlike John ‘Babbacombe’ Lee, they didn’t make it through three attempts at escaping.

In spite of the fact that circumstantial evidence—including an inexplicable gash on his arm—was sufficient to secure his conviction, he maintained his innocence from the time he was charged.

This is a strange narrative, and it’s difficult to know how much of it to believe or how much of it to dismiss.

However, according to legend, Lee was sentenced to death by hanging at Exeter Prison, and despite the fact that the executioner tested the workings of the trap door below the scaffold, through which he was supposed to drop, they attempted to hang him three times, each time failing because the trap became stuck.

According to Sir William Harcourt, the British Home Secretary who remitted Lee’s sentence to life imprisonment, “It would shock the sensibilities of everyone if a man had to suffer the pains of approaching death again.” Although it is possible, it is unlikely that this will occur in the United States today, where the death penalty is still in effect in certain states.

  • Following his release from prison in 1907, a number of legends have emerged regarding where he went and what he did.
  • Over the years, the uniqueness of his story—he was the only man known to have survived three hanging attempts, apart from Australia’s Joseph Samuels—has undoubtedly grabbed the interest of the general public.
  • Lee was discovered near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to two Lee fans in 2009.
  • Records show that they were committed to a workhouse—Lee may or may not have been a murderer, but it does not appear that he was a particularly compassionate father to his first family.
  • But you have to wonder what it must have been like to be Lee after he survived the hangings, serving his sentence in a jail that he characterized as “going from one tomb to another,” according to Crowley, and then trying to establish a life for himself after that experience.

Twitter rallies around NHS after London protester ranted about ‘hanging doctors and nurses’

After being convicted of murder and condemned to death by hanging in 1884, John ‘Babbacombe’ Lee was executed. Everything went a little haywire after that. Pearson Wikimedia Commons image courtesy of Scott Foreman The death sentence is no longer used in most Western countries, including England. Executions, on the other hand, were rather prevalent in the nineteenth century. It’s apparent that the vast majority of individuals perished. Then then, unlike John ‘Babbacombe’ Lee, they didn’t even make it through the first two attempts.

  1. In spite of the fact that circumstantial evidence (including an inexplicable gash on his arm) was sufficient to secure his conviction, he maintained his innocence from the time he was charged.
  2. This is a strange narrative, and it’s difficult to know how much of it to believe or how much of it to disregard.
  3. Although Lee was condemned to death in Exeter Prison, the tale goes that despite the executioner’s attempts to test the operation of a trap door beneath the scaffold, through which he was scheduled to fall, they attempted to hang him three times and each time the trap jammed.
  4. It would be “shocking” to the sensibilities of anybody if a man were forced to endure the agony of impending death again, in the words of British Home Secretary Sir William Harcourt, who reduced Lee’s sentence to life imprisonment.
  5. Lee’s near-death experience, however, was merely the beginning of his 22-year prison sentence in England.
  6. His whereabouts are a matter of debate; some believe he emigrated abroad, while others believe he relocated to London and made it through the Blitz.
  7. The burial of Robert E.
  8. Following his release from jail in Britain in 1945, according to that study, he established a second family in America after abandoning both his wife and two kids in Britain.
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It didn’t matter what happened to Lee after his execution because, according to Michael Crowley, in the introduction to a book about the case, the many members of the public who came to interpret Lee’s avoidance of death as a divine sign that he was the man who authorities shouldn’t mess with were convinced that he was the man they shouldn’t mess with.

One has to wonder what it must have been like for Lee after he escaped the hangings, serving time in a jail that he characterized as “going from one tomb to another,” according to Crowley, and then trying to establish a life for himself. Videos that should be watched

A deadly obsession in Victorian London

During the summer of 1840, one particularly gruesome case dominated the press coverage in London. On the morning of May 6, Lord William Russell was discovered killed in his bed at his prestigious Mayfair house, his neck having been slit in his sleep, according to the police. Russell’s 23-year-old Swiss valet, François Courvoisier, a young man of previously impeccable repute, was quickly the target of suspicion. Courvoisier fiercely denied any wrongdoing and maintained his innocence. The three-day trial took a dramatic turn on the second day when a new witness, a Madame Piolaine, came forward with crucial new evidence: a parcel Courvoisier had put with her, containing silverware taken from Lord Russell’s home and deposited with her by Courvoisier himself.

Around 40,000 people gathered out to see his execution two weeks later, on July 6.

It appears to have captured the popular imagination, offering all the thrills of a Newgate novel brought to horrifying life: a murdered aristocrat, a guilty foreigner, a trial full of twists and turns, and an eventual confession that seemed straight out of a stage melodrama, with its story of petty theft and trivial resentment escalating, at horrifying speed, to cold-blooded murder.

The case raised the question of whether slaves revolting against their employers and killing them in their sleep was a foreshadowing of revolutionary violence.

Anyone may be in danger if this seemingly respectable young valet, with his years of service in aristocratic families and flawless credentials, harbored deadly intentions for his master.

According to the dark lyrics of one ballad, “blood for blood” will be demanded.

A disgusted response

Not everyone would have agreed with this statement. Richard Monckton Milnes, a radical young MP who had already voted against the death penalty in parliament, was one of the spectators who did not share that opinion. On the surface, it appears that Milnes’s position on the Courvoisier case is clear. Even his old friend William Makepeace Thackeray accompanied him to the hanging, and his dissatisfied response to the spectacle, ‘On Going to See A Man Hanged,’ has become famous as a compelling argument against the death sentence.

  • Milnes had created an album to memorialize Courvoisier’s trial and death, which was found among a treasure trove of other precious artifacts.
  • The collection spans the spectrum from the ethically sincere to the morbidly enthralled, providing a glimpse into ideas on crime and punishment in the mid-Victorian era that are every bit as complicated as those we hold now.
  • Calcraft was a controversial figure throughout his long career, which included carrying out the last public hangings in England.
  • In the photograph from the album (shown opposite), he presents a comforting image, with his dignified attitude, thick beard, and respectable clothing of morning coat, waistcoat, and watch-chain.
  • The next item in the book is even more gruesome: a lock of Courvoisier’s hair that has been kept behind netting (shown below).

Their selection in this album should be seen either as sarcastic, or as an indication of an unseen obsession with the business of public execution and its huge appeal as a spectator sport.

Mad or wicked?

Obviously, not everyone was on the same page as you. Richard Monckton Milnes, a radical young MP who had previously voted against the death sentence in the previous parliament, was one of the spectators who did not share that view. On the surface, it appears that Milnes’s position on the Courvoisier case would be simple. After all, he was escorted to the execution by his old friend William Makepeace Thackeray, whose horrified response to the scene, ‘On Going to See a Man Hanged,’ has become legendary for presenting a forceful argument against the death sentence in the United Kingdom.

  1. An album that Milnes had created to memorialize Courvoisier’s trial and death was among the valuables found in the treasure trove.
  2. The collection spans the spectrum from the ethically sincere to the morbidly enthralled, providing a glimpse into ideas on crime and punishment in the mid-Victorian era that are every bit as complicated as our own.
  3. The executioner William Calcraft was a controversial figure throughout his long career, which saw him carry out the last public hangings in the United Kingdom.
  4. There is nothing to imply this in the shot from the album (seen opposite), in which he strikes a comforting attitude, has a full beard, and is dressed in a decent ensemble of morning coat, waistcoat, and watch-chain.
  5. As a staunch opponent of capital punishment, we should anticipate Milnes being appalled by memorial objects that elevated both the hangman and the killer to the status of public figures.

Too hideous to contemplate

‘Going to See a Man Hanged’, a Fraser’s Magazine article by Thackeray, is the penultimate item in Milnes’s album, and it is this piece that Milnes has annotated to identify himself as the mystery MP, the “Mr X—,” who recommended the excursion to Thackeray. The placement of Thackeray’s article in the center of the page may indicate that Milnes believes this is the final word on the subject – or it may reflect Milnes’s pride in having inspired a friend from his student days, who would go on to become one of the most celebrated novelists of the period, to write an article advocating his own position on the death penalty.

The stark depiction of the empty gallows – which Thackeray characterizes as “a kind of stupid electric shock” – stands in stark contrast to the grisly drawings of the broadsides, in which the gallows is invariably shown with a body hanging from its chains.

The pages of vibrant depiction of the throng, their chattering and good-humoured shoving, their drunken misbehavior and clucking displeasure, make clear what has been implicit in everything we have seen and read so far: that public hanging is a type of mass entertainment for the general public.

After taking a break from writing, Thackeray returns with a fresh sense of urgency in order to portray a “sickening, horrible, evil scene.” The actual moment of execution is not featured in the film.

Using a cruel irony, Thackeray informs the reader that “for the last 14 days, such a salutary imprint of the butchery has been upon me, I have kept the man’s face constantly before my eyes…

Upon closer examination, the album is revealed to be a painfully successful piece of propaganda, portraying public execution as a disgusting spectacle that captures the attention of, and corrupts, those who watch it, even the album’s author, who is a staunch opponent of capital punishment.

Before we reject this album as a quaintly Victorian artifact, it’s worth considering the state of crime reporting today, and the excuses that the media uses to keep releasing increasingly more gruesome details of criminal cases to the public.

Clare Walker Gore is a junior research fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, and a member of the Royal Society.

During the 2015–16 academic year, she was named a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker. According to the author, this essay initially appeared in the August 2017 issue of BBC History Magazine.

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