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The Technology of the Gibbet

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journal contribution
posted on 2014-11-24, 16:30 authored by Sarah Tarlow
The practice of “hanging in chains” or gibbeting had been part of the punitive repertoire of the English and Welsh judicial system for centuries before the 1751–52 Murder Act specified it as one of two mandatory post-mortem punishments for murderers. The practice was not abolished until 1834. This article considers the technical and design features of the gibbet cage, through an exhaustive survey and catalogue of their surviving remains. It notes that, given the comparative rarity of hanging in chains, no chronological or regional traditions of design are evident in this kind of artifact, since blacksmiths were individually solving the problem of fulfilling the necessary functions of a gibbet cage without knowledge of previous examples and under great time pressure. The technology of the gibbet shows how state directives intersected with geographical discretion in the creation of idiosyncratic local solutions.

History

Citation

International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 2014, 18 (4), pp. 668-699

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF ARTS, HUMANITIES AND LAW/School of Archaeology and Ancient History

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

International Journal of Historical Archaeology

Publisher

Springer

issn

1092-7697

eissn

1573-7748

Copyright date

2014

Available date

2014-11-24

Publisher version

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10761-014-0275-0

Language

en

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