Burned at the Stake
interesting information about Medieval Torture and Punishment, specifically
being Burned at the Stake,
during the era
Punishment - Burned at the Stake
During the Medieval times inflicting pain and torture was an accepted form of
punishment or interrogation. The cruel and pitiless torturers were induced to inflict the horrors
of torture or punishment, including being burned at the Stake, on the pitiful prisoners.
Different types of torture or methods of punishment were inflicted, depending on the
crime and the social status of the victim,
using various methods and various types of devices
The Law, Crime,
Torture and Punishment - Burned at the Stake
There were no laws or rules
to protect the treatment of prisoners
who faced torture or punishment, such as being Burned at the Stake.
No matter what the type of torture or punishment
was used it was seen as a totally legitimate means for
justice to extract confessions, obtain the names of accomplices, obtain
testimonies or confessions or to
impose a penalty, sanctioned by law for a wrong committed.
The following description provides facts and information about the death
sentence of being Burned at the Stake.
History Facts and
Information about being Burned at the Stake
The punishment by fire, or being burned at the stake, was always
inflicted in cases of heresy, or blasphemy. In France, in the beginning
of the 14th century, fifty-nine
Knights Templar were burned at the same
time for the crimes of heresy and witchcraft. And three years later, on
the 18th March, 1314, Jacques Molay, and a few other dignitaries of the
Order of the Templars, also perished by being burned at the stakes at the
the island of Notre Dame in Paris.
Burned at the Stake -
Many executions were public. In France it was the custom for the
condemned to take part in a Death procession. The victim in his shirt,
barefooted, the rope round his neck, followed by the executioner, and
holding in his hand a wax taper, with a weight, which was definitely
specified in the sentence which had been passed upon him, but which was
generally of two or four pounds, prostrated himself at the door of a
church, where in a loud voice he had to confess his sin, and to beg the
pardon of God and man.
Method of Execution
When a victim had been condemned to be burned at the stake, a long pole
called a stake was erected on the
spot specially designed for the execution, and round it a pile was
prepared, composed of alternate layers of straw and wood, and rising to
about the height of a man. Care was taken to leave a free space round
the stake for the victim, and also a passage by which to lead him to it.
Having been stripped of his clothes, and dressed in a shirt smeared with
sulphur, he had to walk to the centre of the pile through a narrow
opening, and was then tightly bound to the stake with ropes and chains.
After this, faggots and straw were thrown into the empty space through
which he had passed to the stake, until he was entirely covered by them;
the pile was then fired on all sides at once.
Burned at the Stake -
At the mercy of the
Sometimes the executioner, in order to shorten the sufferings of the
condemned, whilst he prepared the pile, placed a large and pointed iron
bar amongst the faggots and opposite the stake breast high, so that,
directly the fire was lighted, the bar was quickly pushed against the
victim, giving a mortal blow to the unfortunate wretch, who would
otherwise have been slowly devoured by the flames. Other merciful method
designed to reduce the suffering was to place gunpowder in the wood to
ensure a quick death. If a condemned person was really fortunate he
would be strangled to death before being
chained to the stake.
Medieval Torture and Punishment - Burned at the Stake
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