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[Fwd: more questions]

(oops, I forgot to post this to the list yesterday as well as to the
original person asking the questions!)

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Janine H Sutter wrote:
> Poster: Janine H Sutter <jsutter@scotland.ces.state.nc.us>
> Here are some other questions I have if anyone has answers :)
> 1)  Other than stocks, pillories,  hangings and decapitation, what other
> tortures were publically used
> during the reign of Henry VII through Eliz I?

For one, there was a metal head wrap, with either a bell attached to the
front, and sometimes a metal tongue depressor-like thing to go in the
mouth, that was used to publically humiliate 'scolds'.

And don't forget, hangings in really serious cases actually included the
full "hang, drawn, and quarter' routine.  Hanging rarely was a quick
process (you slowly choked to death, unless your friends/relatives were
allowed to pull on your legs & kill you quicker), so you could be cut
down, revived, had your entrails pulled out (sometimes disembowling
involved the person actually having to walk around a pole and thus pull
their own entrails out!) and genitals--if any--cut off, then your legs,
arms and finally head whacked off.

Limb removal, such as having a hand cut off, would be done in public.

Also, public whippings as punishment--in Norwich in 1528, for example,
the women convicted of participating in a grain riot were stripped to
the waist and 'whipped around the market square'.

Also, prisoners were sometimes left exposed to the elements to die
slowly.  And after the Pilgrimage of Grace the bodies of rebels were
hung up in cages to rot away & serve as a warning to other.
> 2)  How were women of all class levels treated during this period?  Virtual
> slaves, decoration or as an intellegent human?
It is impossible to generalize, beyond saying that their legal and
social positions were *different* from modern western women.  Most women
did not have legal standing as 'adults' (they were covered by their
husbands or fathers), except for widows, and in London the femme soles. 
Actually, come to think of it, a number of unmarried women had plenty of
legal pull, even if their legal guardians were supposed to be a parent
or brother.  Most women were not literate, but some were & well
respected for it.  
> 3)  How many gaurds do you SUPPOSE a prisoner in the Tower of London would have
> assigned to them if they were allowed to roam about?  Or, would they have been
> given no gaurds and been trusted to stay within the Tower?
I can't think of any prisoners who were just allowed to 'roam around' in
the Tower.  Elizabeth, for example, was allowed to exersize outside in a
very narrow walk-way, but it wasn't like she could just decide 'hey, I'm
sick of the Bell Tower, I think I'll go hang out at the White Tower
right now."  Remember that the Tower is not a single building, it is a
fortress, it was garrisoned, and escape very difficult (although it did
sometimes happen.  There were always guards at the Tower (still are,

A very good source to read on all this is TREASON IN TUDOR ENGLAND  (I
think the author is R. Bellamy?).  

Kathryn Rous
(gentrywoman, Norwich, 1531)

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