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Teyborne, so called of bornes and springs, and tying men up there.—Minsheu's Dictionary, fol. 1617.
Tieburne, some will have it so called from Tie and Burne, because the poor Lollards for whom this instrument (of cruelty to them, though of justice to male. factors) was first set up, had their necks tied to the beame, and their lower parts burnt in the fire. Others will have it called from Twa and Burne, that is two rivulets, which it seems meet near to the place.-Fuller's Worthies (Middlesex).
The first year of his (Henry IV.'s reign (1399-1400) Sir Barnardo Brokkas was beheaded at London in Cheppesyde, and Sir Thomas Shellé, Knight, Mandlyne and Ferlyby, clarkes, were hangyd at Tyborne.—Grayfriars Chronicle, p. 9.
1403-1404.-The prior of Lanndes, Sir Robert Claryndon, Knight, and eight freer minores were hongyd at Tyborne. . . . And William Serle that was cheffe yomane with King Richard was drawne and hongyd at Tyborne, and the quarters salted.-Ibid., p. 10.
Tyburn Gallows was a triangle in plan, having three legs to stand on, and appears to have been a permanent erection.
Biron. Thou mak'st the triumviry, the corner cap of society,
Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost. There's one with a lame wit, which will not wear a four-corner'd cap. Then let him put on Tyburn, that hath but three corners.— Pappe with a Hatchet, 4to, 1589.
It was made like the shape of Tiborne, three square.—Tarlton's Jests, 4to, 1611.
Rawbone. I do imagine myself apprehended already : now the constable is carrying me to Newgate—now, now, I'm at the Sessions House, in the dock :—now I'm called—“Not guilty, my Lord.” The jury has found the indictment, billa vera. Now, now, comes my sentence. Now I'm in the cart riding up Holborn in a twowheeled chariot, with a guard of halberdiers. " There goes a proper fellow," says one ; “Good people, pray for me :” 'now I'm at the three wooden stilts [Tyburn). Hey ! now I feel my toes hang i' the cart; now 'tis drawn away; now, now, now ! -I am gone.-Shirley, The Wedding, 4to, 1629, Act iv. Sc. 3.
Others take a more crooked path yet, the King's highway, where at length their vizzard is plucked off, and they strike fair for Tyburne. Bishop Earle's Microcosmographie, 1628.
Bishop Latimer preaching before Edward VI., April 5, 1576, concerning corrupt judges, said, “ There lacks a fourth thing to make up the mess, which so God help me if I were judge, should be hangum tuum a Tyburne Typpet to take with him ; an it were the judge of the King's Bench, My Lord Chief Justice of England, yea an it were my Lord Chancellor himself, to Tyburne with him.”
Gascoigne, in his Steel Glas (1576), has another euphemism for hanging
That souldiours starve or prech at Tyborne Crosse. Celebrated Persons executed at Tyburn.-In 1499 Perkin Warbeck, that "little cockatrice of a king," as Bacon calls him. Elizabeth Barton, the Holy Maid of Kent, and five others, were beheaded for high treason, April 21, 1534. The Nun's head was fixed on London Bridge. May 4, 1535, Haughton, the last prior of the Charterhouse, with others of his brethren, was executed for high treason. This was “the first time in English history that ecclesiastics were brought out to suffer in their habits, without undergoing the previous ceremony of degradation.”1 In 1536 the Fitzgeralds, for their share in the Irish insurrection. In 1541, the youthful Thomas Fienes, ninth Lord Dacre,
1 Froude, vol. ii. p. 359.
uld berisit, and impion her
for killing a man in a brawl. In 1581, the Jesuits Campion and Harte; fragments of their habits, and drops of blood spilt in the quartering, were eagerly collected and carried away as relics. Campion had a friend in the Harrow Road whom he used to visit, and in passing the Tyburn gallows a presentiment of what would be his fate led him always to raise his hat. In 1587 Doctor Lopes for compassing the death of the Queen (Elizabeth) by poison; and in 1589 one Squire for a like crime. February 21, 1595, Robert Southwell the poet and Jesuit. November 14, 1615, Mrs. Turner, implicated in the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury; she was the inventress of yellow starch, and was executed in a cobweb lawn ruff of that colour.
The hangman had his bands and cuffs of yellow, which made many after that day, of either sex, to forbear the use of that coloured starch, till it at last grew generally to be detested and disused. --Autobiography of Sir S. D’Ewes, vol. i. p. 69. Weston, Overbury's keeper. John Felton, the assassin of Villiers, Duke of Buckingham (1628); his body was afterwards hanged in chains at Portsmouth. Hacker and Axtell (October 19, 1660) and Okey, Barkstead and Corbet (April 19, 1662), five of fifty-nine who signed the death warrant of Charles I. Thomas Sadler (1677), for stealing the mace and purse of the Lord Chancellor. [See Lincoln's Inn Fields.] Oliver Plunket, Archbishop of Armagh (1681), for an assumed design of bringing a French army over to Ireland to murder all the Protestants in that kingdom. Sir Thomas Armstrong (June 20, 1684), who was concerned in the Rye House Plot, and his head was set on Temple Bar. Sir William Parkyns and Sir John Freind (1686), for conspiring to assassinate William III. ; Jeremy Collier and two other nonjuring clergymen were with them in the cart under the gallows, and
produced a greater sensation than the execution itself” by laying hands on them and pronouncing a form of absolution just before the hangman did his office.2 Robert Young (1700), the deviser of the Association Plot (" the flower-pot contrivance ") against Bishop Sprat, Marlborough and others; he was hanged for coining. John Smith :
On the 12th of Deck 1705, one John Smith, being condemned for felony, and burglary, being conveyed to Tyburn; after he hanged aboute a quarter of an hour, a reprieve coming, he was cut down, and being cut down came to himself, to the great admiration of the spectators, the executioner having pulled him by the legs, and used other means to put a speedy period to his life. --Hatton, 1708. Ferdinando, Marquis Paleotti (1718), for the murder of his servant. Jack Sheppard, in the presence of 200,000 persons (November 16, 1724). Jonathan Wild (May 24, 1725); Fielding's “Jonathan Wild the Great " picked the parson's pocket of his corkscrew, at his execution, which he carried out of the world in his hand. Defoe says there was a greater concourse of spectators at his execution than on any previous occasion. “ Jack Sheppard had a tolerable number to attend his exit; but no more to be compared to the present than a regiment to an army." 3 Lord Ferrers, for the murder of his land-steward (May 5, 1 Howell's Letters, ed. 1705, P. 3. ? Macaulay, chap. xxi. 3 Applebee's Journal, May 29, 1725. 1760); he wore his wedding clothes to Tyburn; as good an occasion, he observed, for putting them on as that for which they were first made.?
The earl had behaved in so brutal a manner to his wife that they had been separated by Act of Parliament, and the estate placed in the hands of trustees, who had appointed Johnson the land-steward, to receive the rents. On the day of the murder the earl sent for Johnson (who was an old man) to his room, turned the key in the door, ordered him to kneel down, and shot him through the body with a pistol. He then lifted him into a chair and sent for a surgeon. Johnson survived nine hours and told the story. Dr. Cameron, July 1753. John Wesket (January 9, 1795), for robbing the house of his master, the Earl of Harrington.
Harrington's porter was condemned yesterday. Cadogan and I have already bespoke places at the Brazier's. I presume we shall have your honour's company, if your stomach is not too squeamish for a single swing.–Gilly Williams to George Selwyn (Selwyn's Correspondence, vol. i. p. 323).
Harrington's man was hanged last Wednesday. The dog died game-went in the cart in a blue and gold frock, and, as the emblem of innocence, had a white cockade in his hat. He ate several oranges on his passage, inquired if his hearse was ready, and then, as old Rowe used to say, was launched into eternity. ---Gilly Williams to George Selwyn (Selwyn's Correspondence, vol. i. p. 355). Mrs. Brownrigg (September 14, 1767), for whipping two of her female apprentices to death. [See Flower de Luce Court.] John Rann, alias “Sixteen Stringed Jack," a noted highwayman (November 30, 1774), for robbing the Rev. Dr. Bell, the Princess Amelia's chaplain, in Gunnersbury Lane, near Brentford; he was remarkable for foppery in his dress, and particularly for wearing a bunch of sixteen strings at the knees of his breeches.
The malefactor's coat was a bright pea-green ; he had an immense nosegay, which he had received from the hand of one of the frail sisterhood, whose practice it was in those days to present flowers to their favourites from the steps of St. Sepulchre's church.—Smith's Book for a Rainy Day, p. 29. Daniel and Robert Perreau (January 17, 1776), for forgery. Daniel lived with the notorious Mrs. Rudd, who was said to have incited him to the crime and then betrayed him. Boswell described her as "a lady universally celebrated for extraordinary address and insinuation.” 2 Dr. Dodd (June 27, 1777), for forging a bond in the name of the Earl of Chesterfield for £4200. He came in a coach, and a very heavy shower of rain fell just upon his entering the cart, and another just at his putting on his nightcap. During the shower an umbrella was held over his head, which Gilly Williams, who was present, observed was quite unnecessary, as the doctor was going to a place where he might be dried.
He was a considerable time in praying, which some people standing about seemed rather tired with ; they rather wished for a more interesting part of the tragedy. ... There were two clergymen attending on him, one of whom seemed very much affected
1 Walpole's Letters, vol. iv. p. 50. His wife was burned to death in 1807.
2 Croker's Boswell, p. 544.
The other I suppose was the ordinary of Newgate, as he was perfectly indifferent and unfeeling in everything he said and did. The executioner took both the hat and wig off at the same time. Why he put on his wig again I do not know, but he did ; and the doctor took off his wig a second time, and then tied on a nightcap which did not fit him ; but whether he stretched that or took another, I could not perceive. He then put on his nightcap himself, and upon his taking it he certainly had a smile on his countenance, and very soon afterwards there was an end of all his hopes and fears on this side the grave. He never moved from the place he first took in the cart; seemed absorbed in despair and utterly dejected ; without any other signs of animation but in praying. I stayed till he was cut down and put into the hearse.-A. Storer to George Selwyn (Selwyn's Correspondence, vol. iii. p. 197).
Very different is the account given by the excellent John Wesley:
After some time spent in prayer, he pulled his cap over his eyes, and falling down seemed to die in a moment. I make no doubt but at that moment the angels were ready to carry him into Abraham's bosom. The Rev. James Hackman (April 19, 1779), for the murder of Miss Reay, in the Piazza of Covent Garden; he was taken to Tyburn in a mourning-coach, containing, besides the prisoner, the ordinary of Newgate, a sheriff's officer, and James Boswell, the biographer of Johnson : Boswell, like Selwyn, was fond of seeing executions. [See Tavistock Row.] William Wynne Ryland, the line engraver (August 29, 1783), for a forgery on the East India Company.
The last woman who suffered death in England for a political offence was Elizabeth Gaunt, an ancient matron of the Anabaptist persuasion, burned to death at Tyburn for harbouring a person concerned in the Rye House Plot. The last person executed at Tyburn was John Austin, on November 7, 1783. The first execution before Newgate was on December 9 following.
The earliest hangman whose name is known was called Derrick. He lived in the reign of James I., and is mentioned by Dekker in his Gull's Hornbook, and by Middleton in his Black Book. He was succeeded by Gregory Brandon, who, as has been said," had arms confirmed to him by the College of Heralds, and became an esquire by virtue of his office." This otherwise incredible legend is explained in the following extract from one of Lord Carew's "overland letters” to Sir Thomas Roe, when on his embassy to the Great Mogul.
December 1616.-York Herald played a trick on Garter King-at-Arms by sending him a coat of arms drawn up for Gregory Brandon, said to be a merchant of London and well descended, which Garter subscribed, and then found that Brandon was the hangman : Garter and York are both suspended, one for foolery, the other for knavery.--Cal. State Pap., 1611-1618, p. 428.
Chamberlain adds a little detail :
January 4, 1616.-I had almost forgotten that the two principal heralds, Garter and York, are both in the Marshalsea, for a trick of fooling and knavery, in giving one Gregory Brandon, the hangman of London, a fair coat of arms. The one is for plotting such a device; the other for being so grossly overtaken.- John Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Carleton.
Brandon was succeeded by Dun, “Esquire Dun," as he is called ; VOL. III
and Dun, in 1684, by John Ketch, commemorated by Dryden,' and whose name is now synonymous with hangman.
The hangman's rope was commonly called “a riding knot an inch below the ear," or, "a Tyburn tippet,” as we have seen it was termed by Latimer, or “an anodyne necklace"; and the sum of 131d. is still distinguished as “hangman's wages.”
A Tyborne checke
Shall breke his necke.—Skelton, vol. i. p. 255. Trials, condemnations, confessions, and last dying speeches were first printed in 1624 ; and “ Tyburn's elegiac lines” have found an enduring celebrity in The Dunciad.
With my estate, I'll tell you how it stands,
[Shaftesbury), (State Poems, 8vo, 1703, p. 119). In the early part of the last century the hangman did his office in a very perfunctory manner.
The hangman does not give himself the trouble to put them out of their pain ; but some of their friends or relatives do it for them. They pull the dying person by the legs and beat his breast to despatch him as soon as possible.--Misson's Memoirs, 1719, p. 123.
Here was one Peter Lambert, a swaggering companion, hanged the week before Easter, for killing one Hamden, a Low Country Lieutenant, and dyed forsooth a Roman Catholick. His friends carryed him in a coach from the gallows, and would have buryed him the next day in Christ's Church, but were forbidden by the Bishop. Now upon a rumour that he was seen in France, the King suspected that there might be cunning, and cautelous dealing in his execution, and would not be satisfied till the Sheriffs of London, in the presence of much people, took him up where he was buryed ; and upon view found he was sufficiently hanged.-Mr. Chamberlain to Sir Ralph Winwood, May 2, 1610.
Dryden's Miscellaneous Poems, ed. 1727, vol. v. p. 126.
Dryden, Epilogue to the Loyal Brother, 1682.
1 Epilogue to the Duke of Guise; and Essay on Satire.