Archive for Regicide

Execution of the Day – 2009 (part 21)

Posted in Burned at the stake, Death penalty, Drawn and quartered, Guillotine, Hanged, Lethal injection with tags , , , , on May 21 by Last Writes

Everyone loves a bit of infamy and this week we’ve got it in spades.

From mass murderers to serial killers, and regicidal to suicidal maniacs, it’s all happening.

In fact it’s so good, we’ve had to ditch fiesty, old Margaret Pole in our weekly round-up. She was axed thanks to a dodgy indictment of treason against her cousin Henry VIII, while our chosen Frenchman went quite a few steps further and assassinated the king of France.

So without further preamble, we’ll let you get on with it.

Emile Henry 21 May 1894 – Emile Henry
A Frenchman lost his head in pursuit of pure anarchy today in 1894.

Emile Henry went to guillotine after he bombed a station, killing one person and injuring 20 more.

22 May 1538 – John Forrest
A friar fried today in 1538 for daring to denounce moves to make the king head of the Church.

And that king was none other than Henry VIII…

William Kidd 23 May 1701 – William Kidd
Not just a cool pub in the heartland of the East End, William ‘Captain’ Kidd was alleged to have been a pirate.

He was hanged for his misdemeanours just minutes from where the drinking house in his honour is now situated.

Jonathan Wild 24 May 1725 – Jonathan Wild
Our next offender was the muse for many a playwright and author after he pillaged his way through the first part of the 18th century.

For Jonathan Wild led a double life, respectable lawman as well as the first known organised criminal in Britain.

Marcel Petiot 25 May 1946 – Marcel Petiot
You’d think there was enough bloodshed rife in Nazi-infested France during World War II.

Obviously not for Marcel André Henri Félix Petiot, who decided Paris was in dire need of a spot of serial killing.

John Richard Blackwelder 26 May 2004 – John Richard Blackwelder
Imagine you’ve got your heart set on the death penalty, but you’re stuck with parole-less life instead. How are you meant to go all the way? You kill a fellow convict, of course – at least that was Florida prisoner John Richard Blackwelder’s not-so bright idea.

Francois Ravaillac27 May 1610 – François Ravaillac
May’s obviously a popular month to bump off world leaders.

And hanging was considered way too quick for today’s candidate – a regicide no less.

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12 November 1660 – Thomas Harrison

Posted in Death penalty, Hanged, drawn & quartered with tags , , , , on November 12 by Old Sparky

Thomas Harrison

Thomas Harrison

General Thomas Harrison lost his life and a lot more for being a staunch roundhead, during the 17th century Civil War. It was his duties of taking the deposed King Charles I to trial and incriminatingly signing his death warrant that led to Harrison’s execution.

When King Charles’s son Charles II was then put on the throne in 1660, it was on the understanding that all who’d been involved in deposing his father would be exonerated. Well…almost all.

The Declaration of Breda set out the ground rules for Charles II restoration to the throne on the proviso that all would be pardoned ‘ excepting only such persons as shall hereafter be excepted by Parliament…’

Of course Harrison was one such exception, because he was branded a ‘Regicide’ – a member of the group who’d actively killed King Charles I.

For that he was hauled across London from Newgate to Charing Cross where he was to die an agonisingly slow and painful death.

He was strung up by his neck then cut down before he had time to lose consciousness. Still conscious, the lower half of his body was then spliced open and his internal organs out and thrown onto a fire, before they cut off his head and quartered him. His bits were displayed around London.

Apparently he was conscious and aware right up until his head was detached. Samuel Pepys said of the event in his diary: ‘he looking as cheerful as any man could do in that condition. He was presently cut down, and his head and heart shown to the people, at which there was great shouts of joy… Thus it was my chance to see the King beheaded at White Hall, and to see the first blood shed in revenge for the blood of the King at Charing Cross.’

Also on this day

12 November 1914 – Arnold Warren

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22 September 1704 – Tom Sharp

Posted in Death penalty, Hanged, drawn & quartered with tags , , , , , on September 22 by Last Writes

Today, we head to Covent Garden – the venue of a hanging in 1704. One Tom Sharp got it in the neck for a variety of robberies ranging from being a con-merchant to a murderer.
Volume II of the ‘Newgate Calendar’ revels in details of his unsavoury exploits, which started off mildly enough.

Sharp suiter

One such time, he dressed up as a clergyman and headed off to a City tavern, which was the known haunt of some ministers. He conned them into thinking he was parson and they fed him and furnished him with around £5.

But his pièce de résistance had to be when he targeted a pub landlord. Knowing full well the publican stashed his cash somewhere about the building, he started a fire, which drew the man to safeguard his money. Sharp kept an eye out for the landlord and clocked where he headed and hence to where he kept the money.

A grand’s day out

Meanwhile the small fire was put out and peace was restored. Tom then returned with two mates and three bits of fluff in tow. One by one, the couples proceeded to the place where the publican kept his money and they helped themselves to it – £500 or thereabouts a piece.

Of course, these are all hangable offences but the serious crime took place later – he was found guilty of murdering a security guard while trying to do over a shoe shop in Holborn, literally just up the road from where he was eventually hanged.

The sentence was death and the 29-year-old was apparently full of bravado right up until the noose was put about his neck. Then he changed his tune and started begging for his life. But it was too little, too late and Sharp fell flat on this day at the turn of the 18th century.

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31 August 1593 – Pierre Barrière

Posted in Breaking wheel, Death penalty, Dismemberment with tags , , , on August 31 by Last Writes

Pierre Barrière failed in his attempt to kill King Henry IV of France, but he lost his life nevertheless.

Despite having the love and respect of his people for his humour and kindness as well as his work towards a religiously tolerant society, Henry was subject to a few assassination attempts.

According to Eric Nelson in the ‘Jesuits and the Monarchy’, E Pasquier – a writer of the day reckoned that the Jesuit preachers were instrumental in provoking such assassination attempts. After all, it was a Jesuit who was to stitch our man up.

Peter out

Barrière was one such opportunist and he tried to kill the king on 27 August 1593, yet failed. A former solider from the Orleanais, he would have walked away had he not gone to confession.

The unsuspecting Barrière revealed all to a Dominican priest – Father Varade – in a bid to get absolution.

According to E Pasquier in the snappily entitled book ‘Bref discours du process criminal fait à Pierre Barrière, dit la Barre, natif d’Orléans’ Varade encouraged him to confess. So he ‘revealed his bad will and intention, which the Jesuit praised, telling him that it was a good thing, among other similar things, and exhorting him to be courageous, to be steadfast, and to confess, go to Easter mass and take communion’.

Broken down

Yeah right… Barrière never made it as far as Easter 1594. Instead he was promptly shopped for his indiscretion and arrested on 27 August 1593. It took just four days to convict and execute the would-be assassin.

As a so-called regicide, Barrière’s death was painstakingly slow and torturous. First he was slung on the breaking wheel where his limbs were pulverised, then his broken body was cut down and he was dismembered.

And if you were wondering what happened to Henry IV, well, eventually an assassin plotted to kill him and was successful. His name was Francois Ravaillac – see what torturous fate befell him…

Also on this day

31 August 1995 – Barry Lee Fairchild

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