Tudor Punishments for Crimes

Punishments are nothing but a method wherein a person guilty of doing a wrongful act was made to pay for the same. It was believed that the hardship imposed on the person by the means of punishments would deter the person from taking such steps in the future.

In olden times like the Tudor period, the methods of imparting punishments were very brutal and harsh in comparison to the sort of punishments that are generally given today. Punishments were physical torture to the culprit. The concept of imprisoning the guilty for the crime had not evolved. The following are the types of punishments commonly given to the culprits

Tudor Punishments for Crimes

Tudor Punishment: Hanging

It was one of the most type punishment awarded to the person committing a crime. It was a method where a person was suspended by a rope around his neck. The pressure of the rope slowly suffocated the person and caused his death. Hanging was from gallows and the punishment was for committing offences like murder, riot, stealing, treason, etc.

Tudor Punishment: Burning

These types of punishments were meted out to women found guilty of committing crimes like treason. This usually took place by tying a person to a stake to prevent any attempt of escape.

Tudor Punishment: Beheading

Like the name suggests, in this type of punishment the head of the person was severed from his body. It was yet another brutal and harsh punishment given during those days. Nobles were normally beheaded than hanged for treason. Anne Boleyn was beheaded for treason. Normally beheading was done in full public view.

Tudor Punishments for Crimes

Tudor Punishment: Branding

Letters were burned onto the skin of the culprit using hot irons. The most common place to brand a person were hands, cheeks or arms. These letters represented the offence committed by the person. For example, letter ‘M’ was burned onto the skin to state that the person was guilty for committing murder.

Tudor Era Punishment: Whipping

This punishment was given in public. There was a special whipping post where the person was chained and whipped. This punishment was also known as flogging.

Tudor Era Punishment: Pillory

It was a punishment given in public view. In this method, the person would be tied to a T shaped block of wood. Insertions were made in the crossbar of T for the hands and head to be placed. A person punished in this fashion was often mocked by the public. Similar to this is a method where both the hands and feet were cuffed on the block of the wood. This method was known as the Stocks.

Tudor Punishments for Crimes

Hanging, Drowning and Quartering in Tudor Times

A person was first hanged until he was half dead. Then, their entrails were removed by cutting open their stomach. This was followed by beheading the person and later on cutting the body into quarters. Sometimes, the victim would be conscious when such brutality was executed.

Other punishments were- being crushed under a heavy object, burnt alive in boiling water, ducking stool, the brank, drunkard’s cloak, chopping of the limbs, etc. Fines were also imposed during the Tudor period.

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