Sea of Thieves

The Gibbet or “cages” in riddles

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Via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibbeting <–(for those people that didn't notice last time I posted the link)

https://i.redd.it/os31b8eeiq811.jpg

A gibbet is any instrument of public execution (including guillotine, executioner's block, impalement stake, hanging gallows, or related scaffold)), but gibbeting refers to the use of a gallows-type structure from which the dead or dying bodies of criminals were hung 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.<1> The term gibbet may also be used to refer to the practice of placing a criminal on display within a gibbet.<2> This practice is also called "hanging in chains".

Gibbeting was a common law punishment, which a judge could impose in addition to execution. This practice was regularised in England by the Murder Act 1751, which empowered judges to impose this for murder. It was most often used for traitors, murderers, highwaymen, pirates, and sheep stealers and was intended to discourage others from committing similar offences. The structures were therefore often placed next to public highways (frequently at crossroads) and waterways.

Exhibiting a body could backfire against a monarch, especially if the monarch was unpopular. The rebels Henry of Montfort and Henry of Wylynton, enemies of Edward II, were drawn and hanged before being exhibited on a gibbet near Bristol. However, the people made relics of these bloody and mutilated remains out of respect and later used the relics in violent protest. Miracles were even reported at the spot where the bodies were hanging.<4>

Although the intention was deterrence, the public response was complex. Samuel Pepys expressed disgust at the practice. There was Christian objection that prosecution of criminals should end with their death. The sight and smell of decaying corpses was offensive and regarded as "pestilential", so it was seen as a threat to public health.

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Pirates were sometimes executed by hanging on a gibbet erected close to the low-water mark by the sea or a tidal section of a river. Their bodies would be left dangling until they had been submerged by the tide three times. In London, Execution Dock is located on the north bank of the River Thames in Wapping; after tidal immersion, particularly notorious criminals' bodies could be hung in cages a little farther downstream at either Cuckold's Point or Blackwall Point, as a warning to other waterborne criminals of the possible consequences of their actions (such a fate befell Captain William Kidd in May 1701). There were objections that these displays offended foreign visitors and did not uphold the reputation of the law, though the scenes even became gruesome tourist attractions.<5>

Variants

In some cases, the bodies would be left until their clothes rotted or even until the bodies were almost completely decomposed, after which the bones would be scattered.

In cases of drawing and quartering, the body of the criminal was cut into four or five portions, with the several parts often gibbeted in different places.

So that the public display might be prolonged, bodies were sometimes coated in tar or bound in chains. Sometimes, body-shaped iron cages were used to contain the decomposing corpses. For example, in March 1743 in the town of Rye, East Sussex, Allen Grebell was murdered by John Breads. Breads was imprisoned in the Ypres Tower and then hanged, after which his body was left to rot for more than 20 years in an iron cage on Gibbet Marsh. The cage and Breads' skull are still kept in the town hall.<6>

Another example of the cage variation is the gibbet iron, on display at the Atwater Kent Museum in Philadelphia, U.S. The cage, created in 1781, was intended to be used to display the body of convicted pirate Thomas Wilkinson, so that sailors on passing ships might be warned of the consequences of piracy. Because Wilkinson's planned execution never took place, the gibbet was never used.<7>

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An example of an iron cage used to string up bodies on a gibbet can still be seen in the Westgate Museum at Winchester.<8>


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