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Tyburn was a
manor Manor may refer to: Land ownership *Manorialism Manorialism, also known as the manor system or manorial system, was the method of land ownership (or "Land tenure, tenure") in parts of Europe, notably England, during the Middle Ages. Its d ...
(estate) in the county of
Middlesex Middlesex (; abbreviation: Middx) is a Historic counties of England, historic county in South East England, southeast England. Its area is almost entirely within the wider urbanised area of London and mostly within the Ceremonial counties of En ...

Middlesex
, one of two which were served by the parish of
Marylebone Marylebone (usually , also , , , ) is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is th ...
. The parish, probably therefore also the manor, was bounded by Roman roads to the west (modern
Edgware Road Edgware Road is a major road in London, England. The route originated as part of Roman roads in Britain, Roman Watling Street and, unusually in London, it runs for 10 miles in an almost perfectly straight line. Forming part of the modern A5 road ...
) and south (modern
Oxford Street Oxford Street is a major road in the City of Westminster The City of Westminster is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, borough in Inner London which forms a core part of Central London. It is the site of the Un ...

Oxford Street
), the junction of these was the site of the famous Tyburn Gallows (known colloquially as the "Tyburn Tree"), now occupied by
Marble Arch Marble Arch is a 19th-century white marble Marble is a metamorphic rock , a type of metamorphic rock Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock (geology), rock to new types of rock, in a process called metamorp ...

Marble Arch
. For this reason, for many centuries, the name Tyburn was synonymous with
capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ' ...

capital punishment
, it having been the principal place for execution of London criminals and convicted
traitors Treason is the crime of attacking a Sovereign state, state authority to which one owes allegiance. This typically includes acts such as participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to Coup d'etat, overthrow its government, Es ...
, including many religious
martyr A martyr (, ''mártys'', "witness", or , ''marturia'', stem Stem or STEM may refer to: Biology * Plant stem, the aboveground structures that have vascular tissue and that support leaves and flowers ** Stipe (botany), a stalk that supports some ...

martyr
s. It was also known as 'God's Tribunal', in the 18th century. Tyburn took its name from the
Tyburn Brook Tyburn Brook was a small tributary A tributary, or affluent, is a stream A stream is a body of water (Lysefjord) in Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål ...
, a tributary of the
River Westbourne The Westbourne or Kilburn is a culverted small River Thames tributary in London, rising in Hampstead Hampstead () is an area in London, which lies northwest of Charing Cross, and extends from Watling Street, the A5 road (Roman Watling S ...
. The name Tyburn, from Teo Bourne, means 'boundary stream',Gover, J. E. B.,
Allen Mawer Sir Allen Mawer (8 May 1879 − 22 July 1942) was an English philologist. A notable researcher of Viking activity in the British Isles, Mawer is best known as the founder of the English Place-Name Society, and as Provost (education), Provost ...

Allen Mawer
and F. M. Stenton ''The Place-Names of Middlesex''. Nottingham: English Place-Name Society, The, 1942: 6.
but Tyburn Brook should not be confused with the better known
River Tyburn The River Tyburn was a stream (bourn Bourn is a small village and civil parishes in England, civil parish in South Cambridgeshire, South Cambridgeshire, England. Surrounding villages include Caxton, Cambridgeshire, Caxton, Eltisley and Cambo ...
, which is the next tributary of the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the The Isis, River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At , it is the longest river entirely in England and the Longest rivers of the United Kingdom, se ...
to the east of the Westbourne.


History

The manor of Tyburn, along with neighbouring Lisson was recorded in the
Domesday Book Domesday Book () – the Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. The English language underwent ...
of 1086, and were together served by the
parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ ( ...
of
Marylebone Marylebone (usually , also , , , ) is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is th ...
, itself named after the stream, the original name of the parish was simply Marybourne, the stream of St Mary; the French "le" appeared in the 17th century, under the influence of names like
Mary-le-Bow
Mary-le-Bow
. Domesday showed that the manor was held, both before and after the Norman Conquest, by the
Barking Abbey Barking Abbey is a former royal monastery located in Barking Barking may refer to: Places * Barking, London Barking is a district of East London and the administrative centre of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. The total populati ...

Barking Abbey
nunnery. The Domesday survey records it as having eight households, suggesting a population of around forty. In the 1230s and 1240s the manor was held by Gilbert de Sandford, the son of
John de SandfordJohn de Sandford (died 2 October 1294) was Archbishop of Dublin The Archbishop of Dublin is an Episcopal polity, archiepiscopal title which takes its name after Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. Since the Reformation in Ireland, Reformation, t ...
, who had been the
chamberlain Chamberlain may refer to: Profession *Chamberlain (office), the officer in charge of managing the household of a sovereign or other noble figure People *Chamberlain (surname) **Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855-1927), German-British philosopher ...
to
Eleanor of Aquitaine Eleanor of Aquitaine ( – 1 April 1204) (french: Aliénor d'Aquitaine, ) was Queen of France Queen may refer to: Monarchy * Queen regnant, a female monarch of a Kingdom ** List of queens regnant * Queen consort, the wife of a reigning king ...

Eleanor of Aquitaine
. In 1236 the city of London contracted with Sir Gilbert to draw water from Tyburn Springs, which he held, to serve as the source of the first piped water supply for the city. The water was supplied in lead pipes that ran from where
Bond Street Station Bond Street is a London Underground The London Underground (also known simply as the Underground, or by its nickname the Tube) is a rapid transit system serving Greater London and some parts of the adjacent ceremonial counties of England, ...

Bond Street Station
stands today, east of
Hyde Park Hyde Park may refer to: Places In England * Hyde Park, London, a Royal Park in Central London * Hyde Park, Leeds, an inner-city area of north-west Leeds * Hyde Park, Sheffield, district of Sheffield * Hyde Park, in Hyde, Greater Manchester * Hyde ...

Hyde Park
, down to the hamlet of Charing (Charing Cross), along
Fleet Street Fleet Street is a major street mostly in the City of London. It runs west to east from Temple Bar, London, Temple Bar at the boundary with the City of Westminster to Ludgate Circus at the site of the London Wall and the River Fleet from which ...

Fleet Street
and over the Fleet Bridge, climbing
Ludgate Hill Ludgate Hill is a hill in the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and the pr ...

Ludgate Hill
(by gravitational pressure) to a public conduit at
Cheapside Cheapside is a street in the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and the prima ...

Cheapside
. Water was supplied free to all comers. The junction of the two Roman Roads had significance from ancient times and was marked by a monument known as ''Oswulf's Stone'', which gave its name to the
Ossulstone Ossulstone is an obsolete subdivision (hundred 100 or one hundred (Roman numerals, Roman numeral: C) is the natural number following 99 (number), 99 and preceding 101 (number), 101. In medieval contexts, it may be described as the short hundre ...
Hundred 100 or one hundred (Roman numerals, Roman numeral: C) is the natural number following 99 (number), 99 and preceding 101 (number), 101. In medieval contexts, it may be described as the short hundred or five 20 (number), score in order to different ...
of
Middlesex Middlesex (; abbreviation: Middx) is a Historic counties of England, historic county in South East England, southeast England. Its area is almost entirely within the wider urbanised area of London and mostly within the Ceremonial counties of En ...

Middlesex
. The stone was covered over in 1851 when
Marble Arch Marble Arch is a 19th-century white marble Marble is a metamorphic rock , a type of metamorphic rock Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock (geology), rock to new types of rock, in a process called metamorp ...

Marble Arch
was moved to the area, but it was shortly afterwards unearthed and propped up against the Arch. It has not been seen since 1869.


Tyburn gallows

Although executions took place elsewhere (notably on
Tower Hill Tower Hill is infamous for the public execution of high status prisoners from the late 14th to the mid 18th century. The execution site on the higher ground north-west of the Tower of London moat is now occupied by Trinity Square Gardens. ...
, generally related to treason by gentlemen), the Roman road junction at Tyburn became associated with the place of criminal execution after most were moved here from
SmithfieldSmithfield may refer to: Places Australia *Smithfield, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney *Smithfield, Queensland, a northern suburb of Cairns *Smithfield, South Australia, a northern suburb of Adelaide **Smithfield railway station, Adelaide *El ...
in the 1400s. Prisoners were taken in public procession from
Newgate Prison Newgate Prison was a prison A prison, also known as a jail or gaol (dated, English language in England, standard English, Australian English, Australian, and Huron Historic Gaol, historically in Canada), penitentiary (American Engli ...
in
the City
the City
, via
St Giles in the Fields Saint Giles, St Giles-in-the-Fields, sometimes known as the Poets' Church, is in the West End of London, West End of London, close to St Giles Circus (which is named for the Church) and Tottenham Court Road tube station. St Giles-in-the-Fields ...
and
Oxford Street Oxford Street is a major road in the City of Westminster The City of Westminster is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, borough in Inner London which forms a core part of Central London. It is the site of the Un ...

Oxford Street
(then known as Tyburn Road). From the late 18th century, when public executions were no longer carried out at Tyburn, they occurred at
Newgate Prison Newgate Prison was a prison A prison, also known as a jail or gaol (dated, English language in England, standard English, Australian English, Australian, and Huron Historic Gaol, historically in Canada), penitentiary (American Engli ...
itself and at
Horsemonger Lane Gaol Horsemonger Lane Gaol (also known as the Surrey County Gaol or the New Gaol) was a prison close to present-day Newington Causeway __NOTOC__ Newington Causeway is a road in Southwark, London, between the Elephant and Castle and Borough High Stree ...
in
Southwark Southwark ( ) is a district of Central London situated on the south bank of the River Thames, forming the north-western part of the wider modern London Borough of Southwark. The district, which is the oldest part of South London, developed ...

Southwark
. The first recorded execution took place at a site next to the stream in 1196.
William Fitz Osbert William Fitz Osbert or William with the long beard (died 1196) was a citizen of London who took up the role of "the advocate of the poor" in a popular uprising in the spring of 1196. Popular revolt in late medieval Europe, Popular revolts by the ...
, populist leader who played a major role in an 1196 popular revolt in London, was cornered in the church of
St Mary-le-Bow St Mary-le-Bow () is a historic church rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666 by Sir Christopher Wren in the City of London on the main east–west thoroughfare, Cheapside. Bells The sound of the bells of St Mary's is prominent in the story of ...

St Mary-le-Bow
. He was dragged naked behind a horse to Tyburn, where he was
hanged Hanging is the suspension of a person by a noose A noose is a loop at the end of a rope A rope is a group of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, croc ...

hanged
. In 1537, Henry VIII used Tyburn to execute the ringleaders of the
Pilgrimage of Grace The Pilgrimage of Grace was a popular revolt beginning in Yorkshire Yorkshire (; abbreviated Yorks), formally known as the County of York, is a historic county of Northern England Northern England, also known as the North of England ...
, including Sir Nicholas Tempest, one of the northern leaders of the Pilgrimage and the King's own
Bowbearer In Old English law, a Bowbearer was an under-officer of the forest who looked after all manner of trespass on vert or venison, and who attached, or caused to be attached, the offenders, in the feudal Court of Attachment. The Bow (weapon), bow was a ...
of the
Forest of Bowland The Forest of Bowland, also known as the Bowland Fells, is an area of gritstone fells, deep valleys and peat moorland, mostly in north-east Lancashire, England, with a small part in North Yorkshire. (Before 1974, some of the area was in the Wes ...
. In 1571, the Tyburn Tree was erected near the junction of today's
Edgware Road Edgware Road is a major road in London, England. The route originated as part of Roman roads in Britain, Roman Watling Street and, unusually in London, it runs for 10 miles in an almost perfectly straight line. Forming part of the modern A5 road ...
,
Bayswater Road Bayswater Road is the main road running along the northern edge of Hyde Park Hyde Park may refer to: Places In England * Hyde Park, London, a Royal Park in Central London * Hyde Park, Leeds, an inner-city area of north-west Leeds * Hyde Pa ...

Bayswater Road
and
Oxford Street Oxford Street is a major road in the City of Westminster The City of Westminster is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, borough in Inner London which forms a core part of Central London. It is the site of the Un ...

Oxford Street
, west of
Marble Arch Marble Arch is a 19th-century white marble Marble is a metamorphic rock , a type of metamorphic rock Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock (geology), rock to new types of rock, in a process called metamorp ...

Marble Arch
. The "Tree" or "Triple Tree" was a form of
gallows A gallows (or scaffold) is a frame or elevated beam, typically wooden, from which objects can be suspended (i.e., hung) or "weighed". Gallows were thus widely used to suspend public weighing scales for large and heavy objects such as sacks of ...
, consisting of a horizontal wooden triangle supported by three legs (an arrangement known as a "three-legged mare" or "three-legged stool"). Several criminals could thus be hanged at once, and so the gallows were used for mass executions, such as on 23 June 1649 when 24 prisoners—23 men and one woman—were hanged simultaneously, having been conveyed there in eight carts. After executions, the bodies would be buried nearby or in later times removed for
dissection Dissection (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic ...

dissection
by
anatomists
anatomists
. The crowd would sometimes fight over a body with surgeons, for fear that dismemberment could prevent the resurrection of the body on Judgement Day (see
Jack Sheppard Jack Sheppard (4 March 1702 – 16 November 1724), or "Honest Jack", was a notorious English Theft, thief and prison escapee of early 18th-century London. Born into a poor family, he was apprenticed as a carpenter but took to theft and burglar ...

Jack Sheppard
,
Dick Turpin Richard Turpin (bapt. 21 September 1705 – 7 April 1739) was an English highwayman whose exploits were romanticised following his execution in York for horse theft. Turpin may have followed his father's trade as a butcher earl ...
or
William Spiggot William Spiggot (also spelled Spigget) was a highwayman who was captured by Jonathan Wild's men in 1721. During his trial at the Old Bailey, he at first refused to plead and was therefore sentenced to be pressed until he pleaded. This was called ...
). The first victim of the "Tyburn Tree" was John Story, a
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman Catholic
who was convicted and tried for treason. A plaque to the ''Catholic martyrs'' executed at Tyburn in the period 1535–1681 is located at 8 Hyde Park Place, the site of Tyburn convent. Among the more notable individuals suspended from the "Tree" in the following centuries were John Bradshaw,
Henry Ireton Henry Ireton ((baptised) 3 November 1611 – 26 November 1651) was an English general in the army during the , and the son-in-law of . He died of disease outside in November 1651. Personal details Ireton was the eldest son of a German Ireto ...

Henry Ireton
and
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English general and statesman who, first as a subordinate and later as Commander-in-Chief, led armies An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" e ...

Oliver Cromwell
, who were already dead but were disinterred and hanged at Tyburn in January 1661 on the orders of the
Cavalier Parliament The Cavalier Parliament of England lasted from 8 May 1661 until 24 January 1679. It was the longest Parliament of England, English Parliament, and longer than any Parliament of Great Britain, Great British or Parliament of the United Kingdom, U ...
in an act of posthumous revenge for their part in the beheading of King
Charles I Charles is a masculine given name predominantly found in English language, English and French language, French speaking countries. It is from the French form ''Charles'' of the Proto-Germanic, Proto-Germanic name ᚲᚨᚱᛁᛚᚨᛉ (in r ...

Charles I
. The gallows seem to have been replaced several times, probably because of
wear Wear is the damaging, gradual removal or deformation of material at solid surfaces. Causes of wear can be mechanical (e.g., erosion In earth science Earth science or geoscience includes all fields of natural science Natural science ...

wear
, but in general, the entire structure stood all the time in Tyburn. After some acts of
vandalism Vandalism is the action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property. The term includes property damage Property damage ( cf. criminal damage in England and Wales) is damage or destruction of real Real may r ...

vandalism
, in October 1759 it was decided to replace the permanent structure with new moving gallows until the last execution in Tyburn, probably carried out in November
1783 Events January–March * January 20 – At Versailles, Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain signs preliminary peace treaties with the Kingdom of France and the Kingdom of Spain. * January 23 – The Confederation Congress ...
. The executions were public spectacles which attracted crowds of thousands. Spectator stands provided deluxe views for a fee. On one occasion, the stands collapsed, reportedly killing and injuring hundreds of people. This did not prove a deterrent, however, and the executions continued to be treated as public holidays, with London apprentices being given the day off for them. One such event was depicted by
William Hogarth William Hogarth (; 10 November 1697 – 26 October 1764) was an English painter, printmaker 300px, Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching">Self-portrait.html" ;"title="Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait">Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching, c. ...
in his satirical print ''The Idle 'Prentice Executed at Tyburn'' (1747). Tyburn was commonly invoked in
euphemism A euphemism () is an innocuous word or expression used in place of one that is deemed Profanity, offensive or suggests something unpleasant. Some euphemisms are intended to amuse, while others use bland, inoffensive terms for concepts that the us ...
s for capital punishment—for instance, to "take a ride to Tyburn" (or simply "go west") was to go to one's hanging, "Lord of the Manor of Tyburn" was the public hangman, "dancing the Tyburn jig" was the act of being hanged. Convicts would be transported to the site in an open ox-cart from Newgate Prison. They were expected to put on a good show, wearing their finest clothes and going to their deaths with insouciance. The crowd would cheer a "good dying", but would jeer any displays of weakness on the part of the condemned. On 19 April 1779,
clergyman Clergy are formal leaders within established religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...
James Hackman James Hackman (baptized 13 December 1752, hanged 19 April 1779), briefly Rector (ecclesiastical), Rector of Wiveton in Norfolk, was the man who murdered Martha Ray, singer and mistress of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.Rawlings, Philip, ''Hack ...
was hanged there following his 7 April murder of
courtesan Courtesan, in modern usage, is a euphemism for a "kept" mistress (lover), mistress or prostitute, particularly one with wealthy, powerful, or influential clients. The term historically referred to a courtier, a person who attended the Royal cour ...

courtesan
and
socialite A socialite is a person, typically a woman from a wealthy and aristocratic Aristocracy ( grc-gre, ἀριστοκρατία , from 'excellent', and , 'rule') is a form of government that places strength in the hands of a small, privileged ...
Martha Ray Martha Ray (1746 – 7 April 1779) was a Kingdom of Great Britain, British singer of the Georgian era. Her father was a corsetmaker and her mother was a servant in a noble household. Good-looking, intelligent, and a talented singer, she came to ...
, the mistress of
John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, PC, FRS FRS may also refer to: Government and politics * Facility Registry System, a centrally managed Environmental Protection Agency database that identifies places of environmental interest in the Uni ...

John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich
. The Tyburn gallows were last used on 3 November 1783, when
John AustinJohn Austin may refer to: Military *John Austin (soldier) (1801–1833), active in early settlement of Mexican Texas *John Arnold Austin (1905–1941), warrant officer in the United States Navy *John Beech Austin (1917–2012), British aviator in ...
, a
highwayman A highwayman was a robber Robbery is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publish ...

highwayman
, was hanged; for the next eighty-five years hangings were staged outside
Newgate Newgate was one of the historic seven gates of the London Wall The London Wall was a defensive wall first built by the Ancient Rome, Romans around the strategically important port town of Londinium in AD 200. It has origins as an initial ...

Newgate
prison. Then, in 1868, due to public disorder during these public executions, it was decided to execute the convicts inside the prison. The site of the gallows is now marked by three young oak trees that were planted in 2014 on an island in the middle of Edgware Road at its junction with Bayswater Road. Between the trees is a roundel with the inscription "The site of Tyburn Tree". It is also commemorated by the Tyburn Convent,Tyburn Convent website
Retrieved 10/8/07
a Catholic convent dedicated to the memory of martyrs executed there and in other locations for the Catholic faith. Although most historical records and modern science agree that the Tyburn gallows were situated where Oxford Street meets Edgware Road and Bayswater Road, in the January 1850 issue of ''
Notes and Queries ''Notes and Queries'', also styled ''Notes & Queries'', is a long-running quarterly A magazine is a periodical literature, periodical publication which is printing, printed in Coated paper, gloss-coated and Paint sheen, matte paper. Magazines ...
'', the book collector and musicologist
Edward Francis Rimbault Edward Francis Rimbault (13 June 1816 – 26 September 1876) was an English organist, musicologist, book collector and author. Life Rimbault was born in Soho, London, to a family of French Huguenot extraction that had emigrated to England in 1685 ...
published a list of faults he had found in Peter Cunningham's 1849 ''Handbook of London'', in which he claimed that the correct site of the gallows is where 49
Connaught Square Connaught Square in London, England, was the first garden square, square of terraced house, city houses to be built in Bayswater. It is named after a royal, the Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, Earl of Connaught who w ...
later was built, stating that "in the lease granted by the Bishop of London, this is particularly mentioned".


Process of executions

Tyburn was primarily known for its gallows, which functioned as the main execution site for London-area prisoners from the 16th through to the 18th centuries. For those people found guilty of capital crimes who could not get a pardon, which accounted for approximately 40%, a probable destiny was to be hanged at Tyburn. Other contemporary methods of punishment that may have been used as alternatives to Tyburn included execution, followed by being hung in chains, where the crime was committed; or burning at the stake; and being
drawn and quartered To be hanged, drawn and quartered became a statutory penalty for men convicted of high treason in the Kingdom of England from 1352, although similar rituals are recorded during the reign of Henry III of England, King Henry III (1216–1272). T ...

drawn and quartered
, of which the latter two were common in cases of
treason Treason is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay: "Cr ...
. The last days of the condemned were marked by religious events. On the Sunday before every execution, a sermon was preached in
Newgate Newgate was one of the historic seven gates of the London Wall The London Wall was a defensive wall first built by the Ancient Rome, Romans around the strategically important port town of Londinium in AD 200. It has origins as an initial ...

Newgate
's chapel, which those unaffiliated with the execution could pay to attend. Furthermore, the night before the execution, around midnight, the sexton of St Sepulchre's church, adjacent to Newgate, recited verses outside the wall of the condemned. The following morning, the convicts heard prayers and, those who wished to do so, received the sacrament. On the day of execution, the condemned were transported to the Tyburn gallows from
Newgate Newgate was one of the historic seven gates of the London Wall The London Wall was a defensive wall first built by the Ancient Rome, Romans around the strategically important port town of Londinium in AD 200. It has origins as an initial ...

Newgate
in a horse-drawn open cart. The distance between Newgate and Tyburn was approximately , but due to streets often being crowded with onlookers, the journey could last up to three hours. A usual stop of the cart was at the Bowl Inn in
St Giles Saint Giles (, la, Aegidius, french: Gilles), also known as Giles the Hermit, was a hermit or monk active in the lower Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, Rodano ; frp, Rôno ; oc, Ròse ) is one of the major rivers ...

St Giles
, where the condemned were allowed to drink strong liquors or wine. Having arrived at Tyburn, the condemned found themselves in front of a crowded and noisy square; the wealthy paid to sit on the stands erected for the occasion, in order to have an unobstructed view. Before the execution, the condemned were allowed to say a few words—the authorities expected that most of the condemned, before their death, before commending their own souls to
God In monotheistic Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the ...

God
, would admit their guilt. It is reported that the majority of the condemned did so. A noose was then placed around their neck and the cart pulled away, leaving them hanging. Death was not immediate; the fight against strangulation could last for three-quarters of an hour. Instances of
pickpocketing Pickpocketing is a form of larceny Larceny is a crime involving the unlawful taking or theft Theft is the taking of another person's property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and al ...
have been reported in the crowds of executions, a mockery of the deterrent effect of
capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ' ...

capital punishment
, which at the time was considered proper punishment for theft.


Social aspects

Sites of public executions were significant gathering places and executions were public spectacles. Scholars have described the executions at Tyburn as "carnivalesque occasion in which the normative message intended by the authorities is reappropriated and inverted by an irreverent crowd" that found them a source of "entertainment as well as conflict." This analysis is supported by the presence of shouting street traders and food vendors and the erection of seating for wealthier onlookers. Additionally, a popular belief held that the hand of an executed criminal could cure cancers, and it was not uncommon to see mothers brushing their child's cheek with the hand of the condemned.Tales from the Hanging Court, Tim Hitchcock & Robert Shoemaker, Bloomsbury, pp. 309, 316; The gallows at Tyburn were sources of cadavers for surgeons and anatomists.


Executioners

* "The hangman of London " Cratwell – 1 September 1538 Hall. Hen. VIII an. 30, cited in ''A New Dictionary of the English Language'', Charles Richardson (1836) William Pickering, London. Vol 1 p. 962, col 1 *
Thomas Derrick Thomas Derrick was an English executioner ''c.'' 1608.A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, Francis Grose In English history, executioner was not a commonly chosen career path because of the risk of friends and families of the deceased kno ...
* Gregory Brandon 1625 (or earlier) – ?, after whom the phrase the "Gregorian tree" was coined.Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable *
Robert Brandon Robert Brandon (died 30 May 1591) was an English goldsmith and jeweller to Queen Elizabeth I of England.Masters, p. xxxii–xxxviii A prominent member of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, Goldsmiths' Company, Brandon was elected Chamberlain of ...
– 1649 "Young Gregory" alongside his father at least part of the period. * Edward Dun *
Jack Ketch John Ketch (died November 1686), generally known as Jack Ketch, was an infamous English executioner employed by King Charles II of England, Charles II. He became famous through the way he performed his duties during the tumults of the 1680s, wh ...
1663 – early 1686, reinstated briefly in late 1686 * Paskah Rose 1686 – 28 May 1686 * Richard Pearse (?) 1686–? * Unknown or unknowns * John Price 1714–16 * William Marvell 1716 – November 1717 * John Price 1717–18 * William Marvell (?) 1718 * Bailiff Banks ?–1719 * Richard Arnet 1719 – * John Hooper ? – March 1735 * John Thrift March 1735 – May 1752 * Thomas Turlis 1754–1771 * Edward Dennis 1771 – 21 November 1786


Notable executions


See also

*
Thomas Derrick Thomas Derrick was an English executioner ''c.'' 1608.A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, Francis Grose In English history, executioner was not a commonly chosen career path because of the risk of friends and families of the deceased kno ...
an executioner at Tyburn. *
Carthusian Martyrs of London The Carthusian Martyrs of London were the monks of the London Charterhouse, the monastery of the Carthusian Order in central London, who were put to death by the English state in a period lasting from the 4 May 1535 till the 20 September 1537. The ...
* Last dying speeches * Ordinary of Newgate's Account


Notes


References

*


External links


Connected Histories
* {{Coord, 51, 30, 48, N, 0, 9, 37, W, region:GB_type:city, display=title
Areas of London {{CatAutoTOC, numerals=no Geography of London Neighbourhoods in England, London City districts, London ...
Execution sites in England History of the City of Westminster London crime history