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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: March ::
Re: Public Executions: Hang, Drawn, and Quartered
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0560  Thursday, 20 March 2003

From:           James Doyle <
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Date:           Thursday, 20 Mar 2003 12:19:43 -0000
Subject:        Re: Public Executions: Hang, Drawn, and Quartered

The pulling apart of a body by horses was not part of this process.
Here's the wording of sentencing to hanging, drawing and quartering,
from http://www.baronage.co.uk/bphtm-01/wallace3.html

"You are to be drawn on a hurdle to the place of execution, where you
are to be hanged, but not till you are dead; for while still living,
your body is to be taken down, your bowels torn out and burnt before
your face; your head is then cut off, and your body divided into four
quarters."

In earlier times the explicit words "your privy parts cut away and burnt
before your eyes" were spoken...

So, correctly speaking, drawing, hanging and quartering would be a
better name.  The drawing was to humiliate the victim.  The emasculation
and evisceration were symbolic parts of the punishment, and the
quartering was to allow the evidence to be used to advertise to other
potential traitors in multiple locations.

Regards,
james doyle

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