Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

16/1/2007

Capital punishment in the United Kingdom

Hanging by the neck as form of capital punishment was introduced to Great Britain by the Anglo-Saxon invaders of the fifth century. By the tenth century it had become a common method of execution. William the Conqueror decreed that hanging should only be used for conspirators or in times of war and ordered that criminals should instead be castrated and have their eyes put out.

William Rufus re-introduced hanging but only for those found guilty of poaching royal deer. Henry I brought hanging back as the main means of execution for many crimes. The first recorded execution at the notorious Tyburn hanging tree (near present-day Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park) was in 1196.

Under the reign of Henry VIII some 72,000 people are estimated to have been executed by various methods including boiling, burning at the stake, beheading and hanging with perhaps the added punishment of drawing and quartering. for more click here

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