Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hanged, drawn and quartered...

Yes, it did happen here. And I spent the morning writing a bit about the Bloody Assizes in Ancaster, Ontario, in 1814 when eight "traitors" -- actually mostly gripers and some criminals, and one actual spy -- were hanged in an execution that was so badly botched that one of the spectators was killed by a falling beam. The convicts were then disemboweled, their bodies were chopped into quarters and their heads were cut off and stuck on stakes.
It's part of a chapter I'm doing in Kill the Messengers on commemoration of the War of 1812 as "Canada's War of Independence."
While I knew the medieval sentence was passed in Canada in colonial times -- the last that I know of was in 1838, and commuted -- I didn't know it had actually been performed.

I suspect there are no plans to commemorate the Bloody Assizes of Ancaster in any forthcoming Heritage Minutes.

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