Thursday, February 09, 2006

Capital Punishment U.K.

Capital Punishment U.K. This site has a variety of articles dealing with the death penalty in the United Kingdom. This includes a list of 19th and 20th Century executions in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and the Channel Islands. Additional topics includes women executed, methods of execution, and the history of prisons where executions happened.

This is a content rich site full of interesting facts. For example, I learned from the York Castle Prisons about a hangman who came to work drunk. The article noted,

As a convicted felon Curry remained a prisoner himself until 1814. He found his job stressful and took to drinking a lot of gin to steel himself for the task. On April 14, 1821 he was called upon to perform two executions. First he hanged highwayman Michael Shaw at York Castle and then had to walk across town to execute William Brown for burglary at the City Gaol. He was somewhat drunk by the time he got there and while waiting on the platform for the prisoner to appear, he began shaking the noose at spectators, calling out to them: "Some of you come up and I'll try it!" When Brown appeared, Curry had to be assisted by a warder and one of the sheriff's officers. "The executioner, in a bungling manner and with great difficulty (being in a state of intoxication), placed the cap over the culprit's face and attempted several times to place the rope round his neck, but was unable." "He missed the unfortunate man's head with the noose every time that he tried. The cap was each time removed from the malefactor's face, who stared wildly around upon the spectators" the Times newspaper reported on April 24th.

The site also has information on executions worldwide. The Executions Worldwide page today had updates through January 2006 and listed executions from the USA, Iran, China, Congo, Yemen, and Bangladesh.

Obviously, those interested in UK history or capital punishment will find this site noteworthy. Although the topic is a bit morbid, I think other history buffs will find this site worth perusing as well.

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