Tyburn was a manor (estate) in the county of Middlesex, one of two which were served by the parish of Marylebone.
The parish, probably therefore also the manor, was bounded by Roman roads to the west (modern Edgware Road) and south (modern Oxford Street), the junction of these was the site of the famous Tyburn Gallows (known colloquially as the "Tyburn Tree"), now occupied by Marble Arch. For this reason, for many centuries, the name Tyburn was synonymous with capital punishment, it having been the principal place for execution of London criminals and convicted traitors, including many religious martyrs. It was also known as 'God's Tribunal', in the 18th century.Tyburn took its name from the Tyburn Brook, a tributary of the River Westbourne. The name Tyburn, from Teo Bourne, means 'boundary stream', but Tyburn Brook should not be confused with the better known River Tyburn, which is the next tributary of the River Thames to the east of the Westbourne.
The manor of Tyburn, along with neighbouring Lisson was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, and were together served by the parish of Marylebone, itself named after the stream, the original name of the parish was simply Marybourne, the stream of St Mary; the French "le" appeared in the 17th century, under the influence of names like Mary-le-Bow.Domesday showed that the manor was held, both before and after the Norman Conquest, by the Barking Abbey nunnery. The Domesday survey records it as having eight households, suggesting a population of 40. In the 1230s and 1240s, the manor was held by Gilbert de Sandford, the son of John de Sandford, who had been the chamberlain to Eleanor of Aquitaine. In 1236, the city of London contracted with Sir Gilbert to draw water from Tyburn Springs, which he held, to serve as the source of the first piped water supply for the city. The water was supplied in lead pipes that ran from where Bond Street Station stands today, 800 m east of Hyde Park, down to the hamlet of Charing (Charing Cross), along Fleet Street and over the Fleet Bridge, climbing Ludgate Hill (by gravitational pressure) to a public conduit at Cheapside. Water was supplied free to all comers.
The junction of the two Roman Roads had significance from ancient times and was marked by a monument known as Oswulf's Stone, which gave its name to the Ossulstone Hundred of Middlesex. The stone was covered over in 1851 when Marble Arch was moved to the area, but it was shortly afterwards unearthed and propped up against the Arch. It has not been seen since 1869.[ why? ]
Although executions took place elsewhere (notably on Tower Hill, generally related to treason by gentlemen), the Roman road junction at Tyburn became associated with the place of criminal execution after most were moved here from Smithfield in the 1400s.Prisoners were taken in public procession from Newgate Prison in the City, via St Giles in the Fields and Oxford Street (then known as Tyburn Road). From the late 18th century, when public executions were no longer carried out at Tyburn, they occurred at Newgate Prison itself and at Horsemonger Lane Gaol in Southwark.
The first recorded execution took place at a site next to the stream in 1196. William Fitz Osbert, populist leader who played a major role in an 1196 popular revolt in London, was cornered in the church of St Mary-le-Bow. He was dragged naked behind a horse to Tyburn, where he was hanged.
In 1537, Henry VIII used Tyburn to execute the ringleaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace, including Sir Nicholas Tempest, one of the northern leaders of the Pilgrimage and the King's own Bowbearer of the Forest of Bowland.
In 1571, the Tyburn Tree was erected near the junction of today's Edgware Road, Bayswater Road and Oxford Street, 200 m west of Marble Arch. The "Tree" or "Triple Tree" was a form of gallows, consisting of a horizontal wooden triangle supported by three legs (an arrangement known as a "three-legged mare" or "three-legged stool"). Multiple criminals could be hanged at once, and so the gallows were used for mass executions, such as on 23/06/1649 when 24 prisoners (23 men and 1 woman) were hanged simultaneously, having been conveyed there in eight carts.
After executions, the bodies would be buried nearby or in later times removed for dissection by anatomists.The crowd would sometimes fight over a body with surgeons, for fear that dismemberment could prevent the resurrection of the body on Judgement Day (see Jack Sheppard, Dick Turpin or William Spiggot).
The first victim of the "Tyburn Tree" was John Story, a Roman Catholic who was convicted and tried for treason.A plaque to the Catholic martyrs executed at Tyburn in the period 1535–1681 is located at 8 Hyde Park Place, the site of Tyburn convent. Among the more notable individuals suspended from the "Tree" in the following centuries were John Bradshaw, Henry Ireton and Oliver Cromwell, who were already dead but were disinterred and hanged at Tyburn in January 1661 on the orders of the Cavalier Parliament in an act of posthumous revenge for their part in the beheading of King Charles I.
The gallows seem to have been replaced several times, probably because of wear, but in general, the entire structure stood all the time in Tyburn. After some acts of vandalism, in October 1759 it was decided to replace the permanent structure with new moving gallows until the last execution in Tyburn, probably carried out in November 1783.
The executions were public spectacles which attracted crowds of thousands. Spectator stands provided deluxe views for a fee. On one occasion, the stands collapsed, reportedly killing and injuring hundreds of people. This did not prove a deterrent, however, and the executions continued to be treated as public holidays, with London apprentices being given the day off for them.[ citation needed ] One such event was depicted by William Hogarth in his satirical print The Idle 'Prentice Executed at Tyburn (1747).
Tyburn was commonly invoked in euphemisms for capital punishment—for instance, to "take a ride to Tyburn" (or simply "go west") was to go to one's hanging, "Lord of the Manor of Tyburn" was the public hangman, "dancing the Tyburn jig" was the act of being hanged. [ citation needed ]Convicts would be transported to the site in an open ox-cart from Newgate Prison. They were expected to put on a good show, wearing their finest clothes and going to their deaths with insouciance. The crowd would cheer a "good dying", but would jeer any displays of weakness on the part of the condemned.
On 19 April 1779, clergyman James Hackman was hanged there following his 7 April murder of courtesan and socialite Martha Ray, the mistress of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. The Tyburn gallows were last used on 3 November 1783, when John Austin, a highwayman, was hanged;for the next eighty-five years hangings were staged outside Newgate prison. Then, in 1868, due to public disorder during these public executions, it was decided to execute the convicts inside the prison.
The site of the gallows is now marked by three young oak trees that were planted in 2014 on an island in the middle of Edgware Road at its junction with Bayswater Road. Between the trees is a roundel with the inscription "The site of Tyburn Tree".It is also commemorated by the Tyburn Convent, a Catholic convent dedicated to the memory of martyrs executed there and in other locations for the Catholic faith.
Although most historical records and modern science agree that the Tyburn gallows were situated where Oxford Street meets Edgware Road and Bayswater Road, in the January 1850 issue of Notes and Queries , the book collector and musicologist Edward Francis Rimbault published a list of faults he had found in Peter Cunningham's 1849 Handbook of London, in which he claimed that the correct site of the gallows is where 49 Connaught Square later was built, stating that "in the lease granted by the Bishop of London, this is particularly mentioned".
Tyburn was primarily known for its gallows, which functioned as the main execution site for London-area prisoners from the 16th through to the 18th centuries. For those people found guilty of capital crimes who could not get a pardon, which accounted for approximately 40%, a probable destiny was to be hanged at Tyburn. Other contemporary methods of punishment that may have been used as alternatives to Tyburn included execution, followed by being hung in chains, where the crime was committed; or burning at the stake; and being drawn and quartered, of which the latter two were common in cases of treason.
The last days of the condemned were marked by religious events. On the Sunday before every execution, a sermon was preached in Newgate's chapel, which those unaffiliated with the execution could pay to attend. Furthermore, the night before the execution, around midnight, the sexton of St Sepulchre's church, adjacent to Newgate, recited verses outside the wall of the condemned. The following morning, the convicts heard prayers and, those who wished to do so, received the sacrament.
On the day of execution, the condemned were transported to the Tyburn gallows from Newgate in a horse-drawn open cart. The distance between Newgate and Tyburn was approximately three miles (4.8 kilometres), but due to streets often being crowded with onlookers, the journey could last up to three hours. A usual stop of the cart was at the Bowl Inn in St Giles, where the condemned were allowed to drink strong liquors or wine.
Having arrived at Tyburn, the condemned found themselves in front of a crowded and noisy square; the wealthy paid to sit on the stands erected for the occasion, in order to have an unobstructed view. Before the execution, the condemned were allowed to say a few words—the authorities expected that most of the condemned, before their death, before commending their own souls to God, would admit their guilt. It is reported that the majority of the condemned did so. A noose was then placed around their neck and the cart pulled away, leaving them hanging. Death was not immediate; the fight against strangulation could last for three-quarters of an hour. [ citation needed ]
Instances of pickpocketing have been reported in the crowds of executions, a mockery of the deterrent effect of capital punishment, which at the time was considered proper punishment for theft.
Sites of public executions were significant gathering places and executions were public spectacles. Scholars have described the executions at Tyburn as "carnivalesque occasion[s] in which the normative message intended by the authorities is reappropriated and inverted by an irreverent crowd" that found them a source of "entertainment as well as conflict." This analysis is supported by the presence of shouting street traders and food vendors and the erection of seating for wealthier onlookers. [ when? ]Additionally, a popular belief held that the hand of an executed criminal could cure cancers, and it was not uncommon to see mothers brushing their child's cheek with the hand of the condemned. The gallows at Tyburn were sources of cadavers for surgeons and anatomists.
|William Fitz Osbert||1196||Citizen of London executed for his role in a popular uprising of the poor in the spring of 1196.|
| Roger Mortimer,|
1st Earl of March
|29 November 1330||Accused of assuming royal power; hanged without trial.|
|Sir Thomas Browne, MP, Sheriff of Kent||20 July 1460||Convicted of treason and immediately hanged. Had been knighted by Henry IV and served as Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1440 and 1450 and as Justice of the peace in Surrey from 1454 until his death.|
|Sir Humphrey Stafford of Grafton||8 July 1486||Accused of siding with Richard III; hanged without trial on orders of Henry VII.|
|Michael An Gof and Thomas Flamank||27 June 1497||Leaders of the 1st Cornish Rebellion of 1497.|
|Perkin Warbeck||23 November 1499||Treason; pretender to the throne of Henry VII of England by passing himself off as Richard IV, the younger of the two Princes in the Tower. Leader of the 2nd Cornish Rebellion of 1497.|
| Elizabeth Barton |
"The Holy Maid of Kent"
|20 April 1534||Treason; a nun who unwisely prophesied that King Henry VIII would die within six months if he married Anne Boleyn.|
|John Houghton||4 May 1535||Prior of the Charterhouse who refused to swear the oath condoning King Henry VIII's divorce of Catherine of Aragon.|
|Thomas FitzGerald, 10th Earl of Kildare||3 February 1537||Rebel who renounced his allegiance to Henry VIII. On 3 February 1537, the Earl, after being imprisoned for sixteen months, along with five of his uncles, were all executed as traitors at Tyburn, by being hanged, drawn and quartered. The Irish Government, not satisfied with the arrest of the Earl, had written to Cromwell and it was determined that the five uncles (James, Oliver, Richard, John and Walter) should be arrested also. |
The sole male representative to the Kildare Geraldines was then smuggled to safety by his tutor at the age of twelve. Gerald FitzGerald, 11th Earl of Kildare (1525–1585), also known as the "Wizard Earl".
|Sir Francis Bigod||2 June 1537||Leader of Bigod's Rebellion. Between June and August 1537, the rebellion's ringleaders and many participants were executed at Tyburn, Tower Hill and many other locations. They included Sir John Bigod, Sir Thomas Percy, Sir Henry Percy, Sir John Bulmer, Sir Stephan Hamilton, Sir Nicholas Tempast, Sir William Lumley, Sir Edward Neville, Sir Robert Constable, the abbots of Barlings, Sawley, Fountains and Jervaulx Abbeys, and the prior of Bridlington. In all, 216 were put to death in various places; lords and knights, half a dozen abbots, 38 monks, and 16 parish priests.|
|Thomas Fiennes, 9th Baron Dacre||29 June 1541||Lord Dacre was convicted of murder after being involved in the death of a gamekeeper whilst taking part in a poaching expedition on the lands of Sir Nicholas Pelham of Laughton.|
|Francis Dereham and Sir Thomas Culpeper||10 December 1541||Courtiers of King Henry VIII who were sexually involved with his fifth wife, Queen Catherine Howard. Culpeper and Dereham were both sentenced to be 'hanged, drawn and quartered' but Culpeper's sentence was commuted to beheading at Tyburn on account of his previously good relationship with Henry. (Beheading, reserved for nobility, was normally carried out at Tower Hill.) Dereham suffered the full sentence.|
|William Leech of Fulletby||8 May 1543||A ringleader of the rebellion called the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536, Leech escaped to Scotland. He murdered the Somerset Herald, Thomas Trahern, at Dunbar on 25 November 1542, causing an international incident, and was delivered for hanging in London.|
|Humphrey Arundell||27 January 1550||Leader of the Western Rebellion in 1549 – sometimes known as the Prayer Book Rebellion [ unreliable source ]|
|Saint Edmund Campion||1 December 1581||Roman Catholic priests.|
|John Adams||8 October 1586|
|Brian O'Rourke||3 November 1591||Irish lord, harboured and aided the escape of Spanish Armada shipwreck survivors in the winter of 1588. Following a short rebellion he fled to Scotland in 1591, but became the first man extradited within Britain on allegations of crimes committed in Ireland and was sentenced to death for treason.|
|Robert Southwell||21 February 1595||Roman Catholic priest.|
|John Felton||29 November 1628||Lieutenant in the English army who murdered George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, a courtier, statesman, and favorite of King James I.|
|Philip Powel||30 June 1646||Roman Catholic priests.|
|Peter Wright||19 May 1651|
|John Southworth||28 June 1654|
|Oliver Cromwell||30 January 1661||Posthumous execution following exhumation of his body from Westminster Abbey.|
|Robert Hubert||28 September 1666||Falsely confessed to starting the Great Fire of London.|
|Claude Duval||21 January 1670||Highwayman.|
|Saint Oliver Plunkett||1 July 1681||Lord Primate of All Ireland, Lord Archbishop of Armagh and martyr.|
|Jane Voss||19 December 1684||Robbing on the highway, high treason, murder, and felony.|
|William Chaloner||23 March 1699||Notorious coiner and counterfeiter, convicted of high treason partly on evidence gathered by Isaac Newton.|
|Jack Hall||1707||A chimney-sweep, hanged for committing a burglary. There is a folk-song about him, which bears his name (and another song with the variant name of Sam Hall).|
|Henry Oxburgh||14 May 1716||One of the Jacobite leaders of the 1715 Rebellion.|
| Jack Sheppard |
|16 November 1724||Notorious thief and multiple escapee.|
|Jonathan Wild||24 May 1725||Organized crime lord.|
|Arthur Gray||11 May 1748||One of the leaders of the notorious Hawkhurst Gang, a criminal organisation involved in smuggling throughout southeast England from 1735 until 1749.|
| James MacLaine |
"The Gentleman Highwayman"
|3 October 1750||Highwayman.|
|Laurence Shirley, 4th Earl Ferrers||1 May 1760||The last peer to be hanged for murder.|
|Elizabeth Brownrigg||13 September 1767||Murdered Mary Clifford, a domestic servant.|
| John Rann |
"Sixteen String Jack"
|30 November 1774||Highwayman.|
|Rev. James Hackman||19 April 1779||Hanged for the murder of Martha Ray, mistress of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.|
|John Austin||3 November 1783||A highwayman, the last person to be executed at Tyburn.|
And the Sonday after Bartelemew daye, was one Cratwell, hangman of London, and two persones more hanged at the wrestlying place on the backesyde of Clarkenwell besyde LondonHall. Hen. VIII an. 30, cited in A New Dictionary of the English Language, Charles Richardson (1836) William Pickering, London. Vol 1 p. 962, col 1
Newgate Prison was a prison at the corner of Newgate Street and Old Bailey Street just inside the City of London, England, originally at the site of Newgate, a gate in the Roman London Wall. Built in the 12th century and demolished in 1904, the prison was extended and rebuilt many times, and remained in use for over 700 years, from 1188 to 1902.
Hanging is the suspension of a person by a noose or ligature around the neck. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain "hanging". Hanging has been a common method of capital punishment since medieval times, and is the primary execution method in numerous countries and regions. The first known account of execution by hanging was in Homer's Odyssey. In this specialised meaning of the common word hang, the past and past participle is hanged instead of hung.
Capital punishment in the United Kingdom was used from ancient times until the second half of the 20th century. The last executions in the United Kingdom were by hanging, and took place in 1964; capital punishment for murder was suspended in 1965 and finally abolished in 1969. Although unused, the death penalty remained a legally defined punishment for certain offences such as treason until it was completely abolished in 1998; the last execution for treason took place in 1946. In 2004 the 13th Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights became binding on the United Kingdom; it prohibits the restoration of the death penalty as long as the UK is a party to the convention.
A gibbet is any instrument of public execution, but gibbeting refers to the use of a gallows-type structure from which the dead or dying bodies of criminals were hanged on public display to deter other existing or potential criminals. Occasionally, the gibbet was also used as a method of execution, with the criminal being left to die of exposure, thirst and/or starvation. The term gibbet may also be used to refer to the practice of placing a criminal on display within a gibbet. This practice is also called "hanging in chains".
A gallows is a frame or elevated beam, typically wooden, from which objects can be suspended or "weighed". Gallows were thus widely used to suspend public weighing scales for large and heavy objects such as sacks of grain or minerals, usually positioned in markets or toll gates. The term was also used for a projecting framework from which a ship's anchor might be raised so that it is no longer sitting on the bottom, i.e., "weighing [the] anchor,” while avoiding striking the ship’s hull.
Jack Sheppard, or "Honest Jack", was a notorious English thief and prison escapee of early 18th-century London.
Holy Sepulchre London, formerly and in some official uses Saint Sepulchre-without-Newgate, is the largest Anglican parish church in the City of London. It stands on the north side of Holborn Viaduct across a crossroads from the Old Bailey, and its parish takes in Smithfield Market. During medieval times, the site lay outside ("without") the city wall, west of the Newgate.
Connaught Square in London, England, was the first square of city houses to be built in Bayswater. It is named after a royal, the Earl of Connaught who was from 1805 until death in 1834 the second and last Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, and who maintained his fringe-of-London house and grounds on the land of this square and Gloucester Square. Its appearance is essentially the same as in the 1820s. Its south-east is 115 metres north of Hyde Park and the same west of Edgware Road. This point is 302 m (991 ft) WNW of Marble Arch, which sits on a very large green roundabout marking the western end of Oxford Street.
Execution Dock was a place in the River Thames near the shoreline at Wapping, London, that was used for more than 400 years to execute pirates, smugglers and mutineers who had been sentenced to death by Admiralty courts. The "dock" consisted of a scaffold for hanging. Its last executions were in 1830.
James Duckett was an English Catholic layman and martyr, executed at Tyburn for printing Catholic devotionals.
The Carthusian Martyrs of London were the monks of the London Charterhouse, the monastery of the Carthusian Order in central London, who were put to death by the English state in a period lasting from the 4 May 1535 until the 20 September 1537. The method of execution was hanging, disembowelling while still alive and then quartering. Others were imprisoned and left to starve to death. The group also includes two monks who were brought to that house from the Charterhouses of Beauvale and Axholme and similarly dealt with. The total was 18 men, all of whom have been formally recognized by the Catholic Church as martyrs.
William Calcraft was a 19th-century English hangman, one of the most prolific of British executioners. It is estimated in his 45-year career he carried out 450 executions. A cobbler by trade, Calcraft was initially recruited to flog juvenile offenders held in Newgate Prison. While selling meat pies on streets around the prison, Calcraft met the City of London's hangman, John Foxton.
To be hanged, drawn and quartered became a statutory penalty for men convicted of high treason in the Kingdom of England from 1352 under King Edward III (1327–1377), although similar rituals are recorded during the reign of King Henry III (1216–1272). The convicted traitor was fastened to a hurdle, or wooden panel, and drawn by horse to the place of execution, where he was then hanged, emasculated, disembowelled, beheaded, and quartered. His remains would then often be displayed in prominent places across the country, such as London Bridge, to serve as a warning of the fate of traitors. For reasons of public decency, women convicted of high treason were instead burned at the stake.
John Austin was an English footpad who became the last person to be hanged at the Tyburn gallows outside London. He was sentenced to death for the murder of a labourer called John Spicer from Kent. The Recorder of London, James Adair, described it as a "robbery with violence" that involved "cutting and wounding [...] in a cruel manner." This hanging would mark the end of Tyburn, a village then in the county of Middlesex, being a place of executions for almost 600 years.
John Smith, also known by the alias John Wilson, was a London housebreaker, most notable for his three evasions of execution. His first evasion earned him the nickname of Half-hanged Smith.
In England, burning was a legal punishment inflicted on women found guilty of high treason, petty treason, and heresy. Over a period of several centuries, female convicts were publicly burnt at the stake, sometimes alive, for a range of activities including coining and mariticide.
William Spiggot was a highwayman who was captured by Jonathan Wild's men in 1721. During his trial at the Old Bailey, he at first refused to plead and was therefore sentenced to be pressed until he pleaded. This was called Peine forte et dure. He was later executed, after a second trial when he pleaded not guilty, on 11 February 1721 at Tyburn, London.
The Ordinary of Newgate's Account was a sister publication of the Old Bailey's Proceedings, regularly published from 1676 to 1772 and containing biographies and last dying speeches of the prisoners executed at Tyburn during that period. The Accounts were written by the chaplain of Newgate Prison, recounting the statements made by the condemned during confession. Over 400 editions were published, containing biographies of some 2,500 executed criminals.
Hannah Dagoe was an Irish basket-woman, sentenced to death for burglary. On the day of her execution, 4 May 1763, in what The Newgate Calendar described as an "extraordinary and unprecedented scene" she struggled violently with the executioner, and with the noose about her neck, flung herself from the cart before the signal was given, dying instantly.
Thomas Cox, known as "The Handsome Highwayman", was an English highwayman, sentenced to death and hanged at Tyburn. He had a reputation for a spirited nature and it is reported that when asked if he wished to say a prayer before being hanged, he kicked the ordinary and the hangman out of the cart taking him there.