Another cruel and unusual punishment (Charles Wriothesley, 1553)

August 21st – On this day in 1553, Charles Wriothesley wrote in his Chronicle:

“John Daye, parson of St Alborow within Bishopsgate, was set on the pillory in Cheape, and had one of his ears nailed, for seditious words speaking of the Queen’s Highness.  And also a surgeon by Paul’s was likewise set on the pillory with him, and had one of his ears nailed also for seditious words speaking of the preacher at the sermon at Paul’s Cross on Sunday the 13 of August.  And when they had stood on the pillory 3 houres the nails were pulled out with a pair of pincers … ”.

Re-enactment of ear-nailing in colonial America

Re-enactment of ear-nailing in colonial America

As noted in the previous “Whipped at a cartes arse” posting, Wriothesley, who lived from 1508-1562, was a herald at the College of Arms in the City of London as well as a chronicler.  He is buried not in the church of St Giles-without-Cripplegate, alongside  other members of the Wriothesley family, but in St Sepulchre-without-Newgate.

One thought on “Another cruel and unusual punishment (Charles Wriothesley, 1553)

  1. rafterd1972

    Almost impossible to imagine the pain. The pillory must have been bad enough, but I had never heard of the ear nailing. Interesting post.

    Reply

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