Tag Archives: Charles Wriothesley

Some of the many executions in Tudor and Stuart London

Site of Tyburn Tree.JPG

On this day in 1541, according to the account given by Charles Wriothesley in his “Chronicle of England during the Reigns of the Tudors …”:

The Executions of Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham

“Culpeper [Thomas Culpeper, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber] and Dereham [Francis Dereham, Secretary to Henry VIII’s fifth wife Catherine Howard] were drawn from the Tower of London to Tyburn, and there Culpeper, after an exhortation made to the people to pray for him, he standing on the ground by the gallows, kneeled down and had his head stricken off; and then Dereham was hanged, membered, bowelled, headed, and quartered [for high treason against the King’s majesty in misdemeanour with the Queen].  Culpeper’s body buried at St Pulchre’s church by Newgate, their heads set on London Bridge”.

Also on this day in 1541, according to Wriothesley:

“Rafe Egerton, … one of my Lord Chancellor’s servants, and … Thomas Herman, sometime servant with Fleetwood, one of my Lord Chancellor’s gentlemen, were drawn from the Tower … to Tyburn, and there hanged and quartered for counterfeiting the King’s Great Seal”.

The Execution of John Roberts

And on this day in 1610, the Roman Catholic Priest – and since 1970 Saint – John Roberts was taken to be hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn for contravening the “Act Forbidding Priests to Minister in England”.  In the event, the crowd, who revered him for the work he had done among them during an outbreak of  the plague in 1603, saw to it that he died by hanging and was spared  the suffering of drawing  and quartering.  What could be  salvaged of his body was taken to the Benedictine priory he had founded at Douai in northern France.  One of his finger bones is preserved as a holy relic in Tyburn Convent.

“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.

Another  cruel and unusual punishment (Charles Wriothesley, 1553)

Re-enactment of ear-nailing in colonial America

Charles Wriothesley wrote in his “Chronicle of England during the Reigns of the Tudors …”  that on this day in 1553:

“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 … ”.

The trial of Anne Askew (1546)

(c) National Trust, Tatton Park; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

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

“The eighteenth daie of June, 1546, were arraigned at the Guilde Hall, for heresee, Doctor Nicholas Shaxston, sometyme bishop of Salisburie; Nicholas White, of London, gentleman; Anne Kerne, alias Anne Askewe, gentlewoman, …  of Lyncolneshire; and John Hadlam, of Essex, taylor; and …   had judgment to be brent [burnt, at the stake]”.

Anne Askew’s sentence was carried out at West Smithfield on July 16th.

 

“Whipped at a cartes arse” (Charles Wriothesley, 1545)

titus-oates-being-whipt-from-algate-to-tyburn-in-1685-for-his-part-in-the-popish-plot

Charles Wriothesley (*) wrote in his “Chronicle of England during the Reigns of the Tudors …”  that on this day in 1545:

“Hugh Weaver, a fishmonger … , was whipped at a cartes arse about London, with a paper set on his head,  for misusing the mayor … and strykinge his officer … ; and allso had after that longe prisonment in the Counter for the same”.

(*) 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.