Methods of Torture in the 17th century

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Henri De Ceredigion
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Methods of Torture in the 17th century

Postby Henri De Ceredigion » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:14 pm

or "What can happen when you are listed as a history expert online!"

This is a question I got this afternoon from a person calling himself "MusketeerFan" on AllExperts.com

Hi, I'm a fan of the Musketeer stories and have decided to write my own story where Porthos gets tortured. Was the rack still in operation in the 17th century and if not, what other method of torture was there in the early to mid 1600's that required the victim to be restrained?


To which my immediate response was: "I think someone's been watching too many sword and sandal movies!" but I said that I didn't know but would ask a group of people who might know more than me.



Grendel2
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Re: Methods of Torture in the 17th century

Postby Grendel2 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:25 pm

Torture has always been considered illegal under English Common Law (and was explicitly outlawed by the Glorious Revolution), that is not to say it wasn't used, just its use wasn't common and was only used under special circumstances. A notably exchange of letters between Edward II and the Pope occurred during the Templar Heresy where Edward refused top allow the torture of templars held by the clergy in England because it violated common law despite the Pope's protests. Torture's use usually needed a Privy Council order or a royal warrant, the issue of these orders was most common during the Tudor and Stuart reigns and a total 101 of these orders were issued the last of these in 1640.



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Henri De Ceredigion
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Re: Methods of Torture in the 17th century

Postby Henri De Ceredigion » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:54 am

Thank you very much indeed, so those scenes in Carry on Henry when a person was placed on the rack then inside an iron maiden during King Henry's reign would not have happened?



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Re: Methods of Torture in the 17th century

Postby Merlon. » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:27 pm

The only accurate point about Carry on Henry would be that the king was called Henry VIII.
The original question was a proposed novel involving the torture of Porthos. The French legal system is completely different from the English legal system, so I doubt anyone here would be qualified to comment.



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Re: Methods of Torture in the 17th century

Postby John Waller » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:08 pm

Bagpipes were around.


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Re: Methods of Torture in the 17th century

Postby Grendel2 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:18 am

Merlon. wrote:The original question was a proposed novel involving the torture of Porthos. The French legal system is completely different from the English legal system, so I doubt anyone here would be qualified to comment.


Torture was quite legal in Louis XIV's France as with most of Europe. English Common Law allowed circumstantial evidence to be used, therefore there was no need for a confession, Roman Law didn't so confessions had to be obtained.



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Re: Methods of Torture in the 17th century

Postby Henri De Ceredigion » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:43 pm

Grendel2 wrote:
Merlon. wrote:The original question was a proposed novel involving the torture of Porthos. The French legal system is completely different from the English legal system, so I doubt anyone here would be qualified to comment.


Torture was quite legal in Louis XIV's France as with most of Europe. English Common Law allowed circumstantial evidence to be used, therefore there was no need for a confession, Roman Law didn't so confessions had to be obtained.


Thanks for that, I have copied that to the question page (and acknowledged you as the person who answered)



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Re: Methods of Torture in the 17th century

Postby Strafford » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:25 pm

Archbishop Laud presided over the 'Star Chamber' which is rather fortuitous because David Soul played a part in the Film ' Star Chamber' and in the film 'Salem Witch Trials'. However, he wasn't really there and Laud was. Laud was a petulant little git who tried to make the Church emulate the Catholic Church. He even tried to impose the Church of England Order of Worship on the Scots which just led to the Bishop's War and thence to the English Civil War. Torture was an everyday part of the Star Chamber.
On his arrival the the Star Chamber, John Lilburn (later Lt Colonel) was given a blank piece of paper to sign. This was so that whatever was extracted from him could be written above his signature. He refused to sign on account that there were neither Magistrate nor Notary present.
Messrs Prynne and Bastwick were flogged through the streets at the horses' tail, sat in the stocks and their ears cut off later, Prynne had SL branded on his forehead as Seditious Libel.
If someone refused to plead, as did Charles I, they were placed under boards and heavy weights added until they either pled, or ded. I would also call that torture. It's where the expression 'Miserable Pleader' comes from



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Re: Methods of Torture in the 17th century

Postby cal » Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:15 am

I did not know England was so relatively civilised even going back that far. You know LivingHistory is still relevant even today.


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Strafford
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Re: Methods of Torture in the 17th century

Postby Strafford » Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:44 pm

Many called it the 'War without enemies'. Cromwell told his men, on the eve of the invasion that the Scots were 'Our brethren who had been misled'. He also warned them, as he had in Ireland that to take anything from or do harm to any person not in arms would result in summary justice.
This often resulted in hanging but other punishment could be to 'ride the cannon (strapped to a cannon which was then fired) or to march twenty paces.
That was to be hanged and the normal reflex was that legs should 'march' twenty times and the prisoner cut down.

There are letters from opposing soldiers to one another mentioning the love and friendship that they had shared and no matter what happened in the Battle tomorrow, the love and regard would not change.

Cromwell sent a letter to a friend who had a daughter in a (closet) Roman Catholic girl's school, warning him that the school was to be attacked. This was prior to the New Modelling of the army, so there were no particular rules on soldier's behaviour.

It was a 'civil' war because Cromwell and Ireton tried honestly to bring Charles to a firm agreement, but Charles was the 'Arthur Daley of kings. He'd buy a dodgy car with a bent checque!

After beating the King at Naseby there were a series of meetings called 'The Putney Debates'. Soldiers elected by the ranks, Officers, Politicians all trying to determine what kind of country they wanted to live in. Cromwell has always been accused of Machiavellian cunning but the Putney Debates show Henry ireton as the political thinker and Cromwell as the Country Squire who was damn good with Cavalry and really just wanted a return to order with no illegal taxes (see ship money) Freedom of conscience in religion and Property remaining in the hands of the owners which really Peed off the Levellers. He also believed in the arch of state thich consisted of The Commons, the Lords and the King placed on top. Without one or the other, the structure would fall. Cromwell disappointed the Levellers, the Republicans, The Presbyterians and the Judges. Levellers because he knew it couldn't work and that the redistribution of wealth was always at the cost of someone who owned money and property. The Republicans because they wanted to dismantle the Arch of State and make the Commons the sole rulers of Britain in both Politics and Justice. They also wanted to give themselves the power to stay in place and new member would be selected by them. Sir Edward Hyde, said that if Cromwell hadn't driven those people out of Parliament, it would have taken ten times the blood to remove them than it had to remove the King. The Presbyterians were disappointed because they wanted to emulate the Taliban like clerics who had ruled Scotland so cruelly after the Covenant. They turned it from a wonderful thing to a (as Cromwell described it) A pact with the Devil and hell.
The Judiciary were unhappy because Cromwell came up with novel ideas like judges being paid a set wage and not able to set 'charges' at will. He wanted to clear the Debtors Prisons of people who could prove that they were unable to pay debts. The cost of living in a Debtors Prison often ran far above the value of the debt. Cromwell also disliked the fact that in the Court of Chancery (Chancers!) there were cases which had been dragging on for over thirty year. Other cases ran up costs that exceeded the original claim.

There is a book, and it is available by a man by the name of 'Innerwick' the book is called 'The Interregnum'. In order to re-enact the Civil war, it may be useful to re-live the arguments and the enlightenment of that foundling Parliament.

Best reads are.... C.V.Wedgewood...'Strafford'. Viscount John Morley for an unbiased biography on Oliver Cromwell. Thomas Carlile.... Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell (4 volumes but I dip into them as much as I do Terry Pratchett books). John Buchan did an Oliver Cromwell and a 'Montrose'. The Cromwell book isn't all that good, but the 'Montrose' is excellent.




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