[Court of] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Oyer and Terminer.]385

[Court of] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Oyer and Terminer.]

ments to be inflicted upon any Person or Persons guilty of any of them, by the Laws of this Realm.



NOTWITHSTANDING that some High Treasons are much more odious and heinous than others; yet the Punishment (according to our Law) is the same for all sorts (Coining of Money excepted.) And that Law is,

That the Traitor is to be taken from the Prison, and laid upon a Sledge, or Hurdle, and drawn to the Gallows, or Place of Execution, and there hanged by the Neck until he be half dead, and then cut down; his Entrails to be cut out of his Body, and burnt by the Executioner; then his Head is to be cut off, his Body to be divided into Quarters; and afterwards his Head and Quarters are to be set up in some open Places directed; which usually are on the City Gates, on London Bridge, or upon Westminster Hall. And to render the Crime more terrible to the Spectators, the Hangman, when he takes out the Heart, shews it the People, and says, Here is the Heart of a Traitor.

The Death inflicted for High Treason.

Moreover, besides this Death, he doth forfeit all his Lands and Goods to the King, his Wife to lose her Dower, his Children their Inheritance, and all their Part or Pretences to his Estate; and if he be a Person of any Degree of Honour, his Children are deprived of the said Hereditary Honour. But Noblemen are nor so severely served, as to have their Quarters and Heads set up; but by the King's Grace they are generally Beheaded only. The like Favour is oft shewed to Gentry of Quality.

For Coining of Money, the Punishment anciently was, and still is, Drawing, Hanging, and for the most part Quartering.



PETTY TREASON is, when a Servant kills his Master of Mistress, a Wife her Husband, a Clergyman his Prelate to whom he oweth Obedience. The Punishment for this Crime is to be drawn on a Sledge, as before, to the Place of Execution, and there to be hanged by the Neck until dead. The Punishment for a Woman convicted either for High Treason or Petty Treason, is to be drawn to the Place of Execution, and there to be bound to a Stake, with Faggots and combustible Stuff set about her, and set on fire, and so burnt.

Death for Petty Treason.



FELONIES are of divers kinds: For any Offence that is a Degree next to Petty Treason, is accounted Felony; as Theft, Burglary, Sodomy, Rape, wilful Burning of Houses, &c. For which, until the Reign of King Henry I. there were several sorts of Punishments; but it was then ordained, that the Punishment for all Felonies should be Hanging by the Neck until dead, as at present.

Degrees of Felony.



THIS is a high Crime, but yet the Death is but Hanging, as aforesaid. But this Crime hath often too much Favour, by the frequent bringing in the Criminals guilty only of Manslaughter; as, that he killed the other in his own Defence, or upon a sudden Quarrel, and in Heat of Blood, without Malice prepense, or the like. And for this Crime of Manslaughter, Burning in the Hand is the Punishment. But Duelling, if proved a Duel, is Death; and yet by Intercession with the Prince, this Crime sometimes gets a Pardon: But if so, an Appeal may be brought, and the Criminal tried again, and then hanged. And this is sometimes done.


Note, That if a Peer of the Realm commit High Treason, Petty Treason, or Felony, altho' his Sentence for Death be the same with that of a common Person; yet the Prince doth usually extend his Favour to such so far, as to cause them to be beheaded with an Ax.

The Death for a Peer.

Note also, That if a Criminal indicted of Petty Treason or Felony, refuse to plead his Indictment, or to put himself upon a legal Trial; then for such a Refusal, he is ordered to be sent to undergo that painful Death called Paine forte & dure, which with us is called Pressing, which is thus executed: The Criminal is sent back to the Prison whence he came, and there laid in some low dark Room, upon the bare Ground on his Back, all naked, exept his Privy Parts, his Arms and Legs drawn with Cords fastened to the several Parts of the Room; and then there is laid on his Body, Iron, Stone, or Lead, so much as he can bear; the next Day he shall have three Morsels of Barley Bread, without Drink; and the third Day shall have to drink some of the Kennel Water with Bread. And this Method is in Strictness to be oberved until he is dead.

Pressing to Death for those that will not plead.

This grievous kind of Death, some stout and resolute Men have sometimes undergone, but rarely. And if in case the Criminal can undergo such a Death, then he saves his Estate for his Wife, Children, or Relations, nor is he attainted.

But if it be in case of High Treason, then his not pleading, signifieth nothing, and he forfeits Estate and Honour.

After Beheading or Hanging, the Criminal's Friends usually interr the dead Body decently and where they please: But if the Crime be very heinous, as for Robbing and Murthering, then by Order the Criminal is hanged in the Place near the Fact done; and afterwards his Body is hanged in Chains in some public Road, or near the Place where the Crime was committed, until it rot. And in some cases his Right Hand is first cut off, and then hanged. In all such Felonies where the Benefit of the Clergy is allowed (as it is in many) there the Criminal is to be marked with a hot Iron on the thick or brawny part of the inside of the Left Hand, with a T for Theft; and if for Manslaughter, with M. But wandring Rogues and Vagabonds are burned with an R. And of late Years the Parliament did make an Act for Shop-lifters, and notorious Persons, whose Crimes did not deserve Death, to be burnt in the Cheek near the Eye.

Burning in the Hand;

Or Cheek.



THIS is small Theft, and of Things of a low Value, not exceeding 12d. The Punishment was anciently sometimes the Loss of an Ear, sometimes by Cudgelling, or the like; but since Edward the Third, by Whipping; the Criminal being tied by the Hands to the Tail of a Cart, and stripped naked to the Waist, whether Man or Woman; so following the Cart by or near the Place where the Felony was committed, and is lashed with a Whip of four, five, or six Cords knitted, by one that follows the Cart for that purpose.

Whipping at the Cart's Tail.



THIS is bearing of false Witness upon Oath before a Court of Judicature, or before Magistrates impower'd to take an Oath; as Masters in Chancery, Justices of the Peace, and the like. The Punishment is the Pillory, with the Head put

Standing in the Pillory.