Nottingham Crime And Punishment Stories – Part 5

Nottingham Crime And Punishment Stories - Part 5

Here is part 5 of a series of blogs on punishment and crime stories related to Nottingham.

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Trial by fire: This involved walking across hot coals or holding a red hot piece of metal. After about three days the wounds would be examined by a priest who would decide whether the healing process had advanced sufficiently to show God had intervened favorably. If not, the suspect is found guilty.

Trial by water: It requires a suspect to remove a stone from the bottom of a cauldron of boiling water following which a priest would decide whether the injuries were consistent with guilt or innocence. Or secondly, the accused will be thrown into a river or pond bound hand and foot. If he floated he was innocent and if he sank he would drown. This type of trials ended in 1215.

James Wogden in 1752 for murdering Edward Whatman, near Ollerton. This was the first malefactor whose body was exposed for dissection.

Woolston Roberts and William Sandham in 1753 for maiming a recruit in Nottingham, by cutting off his little finger were sentenced to be hanged.

William Pycroft, in 1732 lived in Nottingham, and for some years gained subsistence by fraud and imposture. He pretended to tell fortunes by the occult science of astrology, and was a coiner of base money. For this offence he was executed at Gallows-hill. Pycroft was the last prisoner to walk up a ladder to be “turned off”.

Samual Ward, in 1759 for feloniously entering the premises of Mr. Liptrot, tallow chandler, Byard-lane. He was executed by hanging.

Thomas Granger of Plymouth, a boy of seventeen or so was indicted for buggery with a mare, a cow, two goats, five sheep, two calves and a turkey. Granger was hanged; the animals for their part in the affair were executed and cast into a great and large pit that was dug for the purpose.


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