The Story of London's Gallows
- Robert Bard
15th December 2012
During its 600-year history 50,000 souls were executed on the gallows at Tyburn somewhere near where Oxford Street meets the Edgware Road. Many thousands of victims remain buried nearby in anonymous graves. Many of the condemned made their final journey from Newgate Prison, three miles distant. The condemned travelled in a cart seated on his or her coffin, stopping frequently for refreshments. Sometimes the condemned survived hanging. What was it like to be hanged? This book examines contemporary accounts.
Most of those executed at Tyburn were from London’s underclass. An exception was Earl Ferrers on 5 May 1760 who wore the same white suit with silver trimmings that he had worn at his wedding. He travelled from the Tower to Tyburn in his own carriage but the crowds were so thick that the journey took nearly three hours. In addition to Tyburn, this book identifies a number of London’s lesser-known places of execution such as Shepherd’s Bush Green, Cricklewood, Hampstead Heath, and the City of London.