Bloody London: A Shocking Guide to London's Gruesome Past by Declan McHugh

By Declan McHugh

London's strangest and scariest humans and locations are introduced vividly to existence during this stroll throughout the capital's darkish facet. that includes serial killers, psychopaths, gangsters, ghosts and martyrs, listed here are fifty actual tales from all corners of the town bound to relax your bones.

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Extra resources for Bloody London: A Shocking Guide to London's Gruesome Past and Present

Sample text

But individual burnings such as these were, if you’ll pardon the phrase, small fry compared to the human conflagrations that took place on an unimaginable scale during the Spanish Inquisition. This ‘hunting of the heretics’, persecution and suppression of those who rejected the Roman Catholic religion, was introduced in Spain in 1478, spreading rapidly through France and Italy, Portugal and The Netherlands. The power of the Inquisitors was absolute. Under the jurisdiction of a Dominican father, Thomas de Torquemada, who became the first Grand Inquisitor, more than 10,000 heretics were burned to death in the space of 17 years; in one year, over 2,000 victims were roasted alive in the Seville district, and in Spain itself no fewer than 32,382 persons were burned alive between the years 1481 and 1808.

The amount of voltage, too, was reassessed. As with hanging, where too short a rope brought pain and too long a rope spelled disaster, so with the electric chair: too little current caused agony, too much literally grilled the flesh and fried the brain.

During the reign of Charles II the law stipulated that they ‘were to be worried at the stake and then burnt’, a witch being thus dispatched at Dornoch as late as 1708. 0 Nor were councillors and sheriffs the only official witnesses to such an execution. ’ So the inhuman penalty, which started when St Alban died at the stake in ad 304, took its terrible toll, for while the last heretic was burned in Scotland in 1697, women guilty of petty or high treason continued to suffer in the flames for many more years.

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