25 July 1826 – Kondraty Fyodorovich Ryleyev

Kondraty Ryleyev

Kondraty Ryleyev

Russian Kondraty Fyodorovich Ryleyev’s words were to be the death of him quite literally.

Having cheated death the first time round on 24 July 1826, Ryleyev dissed the Russians’ ineptitude so disparagingly that he squandered his ‘get out of jail free card’ by securing a second chance to swing.

Given enough rope…

Normally if an execution failed, the Russians would issue a pardon – after all to escape the grim reaper’s clutches is a fairly impressive feat and pretty miraculous. But in Ryleyev’s case the rope used to string him up had broken prompting the revolutionary poet to scoff, ‘You see, in Russia they don’t know how to do anything, not even to make rope.’

He’d forged a living out of making his controversial opinions heard. Indeed, the 31ish-year-old had been one of the leaders of the Decembrists, which was why Ryleyev was facing a death penalty in the first place. The Decembrists had tried to prevent Nicholas I controversially taking over the throne.

Glimmer of freedom

It was the Tsar’s job now to sign the release form, but when he heard Ryleyev’s scornful words, he thought forget it, and decided against a reprieve.

Ryleyev, complete with his motor mouth copped a second shot at being strung up the very next day. And this time the rope was made of sterner stuff…

Also on this day

25 July 1928 – Albert Absalom
25 July 1894 – Lewis Holder

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