For important state prisoners of noble birth, executions were carried out by beheading. This was considered the swiftest, least brutal method.
Following execution the severed head was sometimes held up by the executioner as he cried out ‘behold the head of a traitor!’. It was occasionally claimed that the victim’s lips were still moving.
(14 August 1473 – 28 May 1541)
PRISONER: November 1539 – 28 May 1541
The Countess of Salisbury was the last member of the royal house of Plantagenet. She was imprisoned for treason over her alleged involvement in a plot to overthrow King Henry VIII. She denied being a traitor.
According to some accounts, Lady Salisbury, who was 67 years old, frail and ill, was dragged to the block, but refused to lay her head on it, having to be forced down. As she struggled, she made it very difficult for the inexperienced executioner.
His first axe stroke made a gash in her shoulder rather than her neck and several more blows were required to complete the execution.
What do the Jennings rifle, the Winchester 73 rifle, the Maxim machine gun and the Luger pistol have in common? – they all use the same basic toggle mechanism to lock the breech and operate in the same way as a knee or elbow joint.