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Executioners and such (was: An historical question)

On Wed, 15 Feb 1995, Mike.Andrews wrote:

> Didn't Henry VIII make special arrangements for a French headsman
> to cross the Channel and use a sword, rather than an axe, to
> behead Ann Boleyn?

I haven't heard that, but it would show how much he loved her - I mean 
importing an executioner when any one of the locals would have done just 

On a semi serious note now, I had always heard the rumors of "Three chop 
Harry," who never managed to behead anyone with less than three strokes 
of the axe.  Amazingly enough, he was a real period person according to 
the yoemen at the Tower of London.