The Tower of London
Fawkes spent his final days
It was William the Conqueror who started work on
tower in the late 11th century. Over its history it
has held numerous
celebrity prisoners such as Walter Ralegh, Thomas
More and the Kray
twins. One of the most notorious inmates was Guy
Fawkes who arrived
here shortly after he had been caught with the
barrels of gunpowder.
Initially Fawkes refused to betray his fellow
conspirators but after
a few days of continuous torture, he relented and
provided his interrogators with the
information they wanted.
James I had personally authorised the use of
“the gentler tortures” and an examination of
Fawkes’s signature on his
first and second confessions suggests he had been
badly shaken by the
experience. It seems he was lucky to have been
given the "Gentler Tortures," I doubt it. I hate to
think what the "Rougher Tortures" were like.
Other plotters who were subsequently rounded-up
themselves in the Tower. Here they languished
awaiting trial. Francis
Tresham, who some believe sent the Monteagle
letter, sickened and died
in December before he could take the stand. Eight
Fawkes, went on trial on 27 January 1606, charged
with high treason.
Held in Westminster Hall, the trial was a
sensational event for
which spectators had to pay good money to attend.
All of the defendants
except for Everard Digby pleaded innocent but there
was very little
chance any would be let off. Guilty verdicts were
announced for the
eight men and the executions were carried out on 30
and 31 January at
St Paul’s Churchyard and Old Palace Yard,
Westminster. As befitted
traitors, Fawkes and his colleagues were hung,
drawn and quartered.
Henry Garnett was captured too late for the main
trial. He was
nonetheless subjected to the same procedure and
received a similar fate
on 3 May 1606. The remains of plotters were
attached to spikes on
London Bridge as a stark warning to future
Amazing, would you like a wee peep at three of
these Machines of Torture, the three following
where provided by Henry III's, this Torture
Display, (Replica's, the real ones wore away!) and
the copies are still in one of the lower chambers
inside the Tower.
The Rack was
the the Tower of London's most infamous instrument
of torture. It was a large iron frame containing
three wooden rollers.
warder could operate it by turning the central
roller with a lever. Ropes ran to the other rollers
at the head and foot of the rack, making them turn
in opposite directions. The central roller also had
an iron ratchet and teeth, holding it in position
and keeping the victim stretched. This replica is
based on a diagram showing what remained of the
rack in the 18th century, when it was found in
storage. It has since been lost.
lies in the middle of the frame, and puts out his
hands to be tied to the upper roller; his feet are
likewise tied to the lower one... Then the device
pulls the hands and feet in opposite directions in
this way. By pulling hard on wooden levers, the
torturers can lift the wretched prisoner's body off
the ground using the ropes... and then pull apart
all the joints of the body..." - Matthias Tanner,
Jesuit Priest, 17th century
Scavenger's Daughter was an iron frame formed of a
base-plate and two semi-circular bows.
bows were fastened tightly across the prisoner's
back, holding him in a crouched position, with his
arm against his sides.
Torture by this
method was quicker than the others, usually lasting
The Scavenger's Daughter was
probably very rarely used and evidence for only six
cases can be found.
A historic instrument
operating on a similar principle still survives in
the Royal Armouries'
The manacles were iron rings, fastened
around the wrists, from which prisoners could be
left hanging above the ground. Weights were often
used in this torture. A weight was hung from the
manacled ankles as you can see in the artists
sketch from the Spanish
The rings were
fitted to an iron bar.
This method of
torture became very popular at the end of the 16th
century and was used in other prisons besides the
Tower of London.
Torture by the
manacles sometimes lasted 5 or 6 hours and could
leave the victim incapable of using his hands for
some time afterwards.
The lower chamber of the Wakefield
Tower contained a guard room where the soliders who
guarded the old Henry III Watergate were stationed.
This overlooked the river through a
series of arrow slits, until about 1820 when the
foreshore was built up to form the new Outer Ward.
Today, the lower chamber contains
replicas of three torture instruments, known to
have been used in the Tower of London in the
The Spanish Inquisition.
This is an artist's interpretation
of what one of the Torture Chambers were like,
I guess if you
want to read about real torture to the people, take
a quick look at the write up in Wikipedia.
Wow, this was a terrible time in
history for the Spanish, it is still unbelievable
how we, a supposedly civilized world did and still
do cause so much pain and hurt on their fellow men
and women, and lets not forget the children who
come off the worse at the hands of these civilized
The 2009 Remembrance Sunday is just
round the corner. Why don't all the leaders, in all
the countries of this beautiful world, get together
and realise that greed and war does not solve the
problems. I don't know what does, but I do know
that this World was here before people and we
should feed the world with nature and love, full
stomachs and passion.
Wake up and look around you,
for soon it will vanish before
your very eyes and
you will be left with the dead and dying and you
will be amongst them with nothing left for you to
THERE IS NOBODY LEFT