Category Archives: Crime and Punishment

“There’s the biter bit” (Charles Wriothesley, 1538)

Bartholomew Fair fan (1721)Bartholomew Fair fan (1721)

Charles Wriothesley wrote in his “Chronicle of England during the Reigns of the Tudors …”  that on this day in 1538:

 “At Clerkenwell, where the wrestling is kept, after the wrestling was done, there was hanged … the hangman of London [Cratwell] … for robbinge a booth in Bartlemewe fayre, which said hangman had done execution in London since the Holy Maid of Kent [*] was hanged, and was a conninge butcher in quartering of men”.

[*] The “Holy Maid of Kent”, incidentally, was Elizabeth Barton, who was executed in 1534.