Skip to main content
  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2018

Capital Punishment and the Criminal Corpse in Scotland, 1740–1834

Palgrave Macmillan
  • Provides the first extensive investigation of the use of capital punishment in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Scotland

  • Utilises Scottish court records and draws upon previously untapped resources related to crime and punishment in this period

  • Provides an innovative investigation of the post-mortem punishment of the criminal corpse

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 31.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 31.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xv
  2. Introduction

    • Rachel E. Bennett
    Pages 1-25Open Access
  3. The Implementation of the Death Sentence in Scotland

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 27-27
    2. Capital Punishment and the Scottish Criminal Justice System

      • Rachel E. Bennett
      Pages 29-57Open Access
    3. Contextualising the Punishment of Death

      • Rachel E. Bennett
      Pages 59-92Open Access
    4. Scottish Women and the Hangman’s Noose

      • Rachel E. Bennett
      Pages 93-119Open Access
  4. The Theatre of the Gallows in Scotland

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 121-121
    2. The Spectacle of the Scaffold

      • Rachel E. Bennett
      Pages 123-158Open Access
    3. A Fate Worse than Death? Dissection and the Criminal Corpse

      • Rachel E. Bennett
      Pages 159-185Open Access
    4. Hanging in Chains: The Criminal Corpse on Display

      • Rachel E. Bennett
      Pages 187-213Open Access
    5. Conclusion

      • Rachel E. Bennett
      Pages 215-232Open Access
  5. Back Matter

    Pages 233-237

About this book

This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license.

This book provides the most in-depth study of capital punishment in Scotland between the mid-eighteenth and early nineteenth century to date. Based upon an extensive gathering and analysis of previously untapped resources, it takes the reader on a journey from the courtrooms of Scotland to the theatre of the gallows. It introduces them to several of the malefactors who faced the hangman’s noose and explores the traditional hallmarks of the spectacle of the scaffold. It demonstrates that the period between 1740 and 1834 was one of discussion, debate and fundamental change in the use of the death sentence and how it was staged in practice. In addition, the study provides an innovative investigation of the post-mortem punishment of the criminal corpse. It offers the reader an insight into the scene at the foot of the gibbets from which criminal bodies were displayed, and around the dissection tables of Scotland’s main universities where criminal bodies were used as cadavers for anatomical demonstration. In doing so it reveals an intermediate stage in the long-term disappearance of public bodily punishment. 

Keywords

  • Open Access
  • medical humanities
  • history of crime
  • criminal corpse
  • Scottish history

Authors and Affiliations

  • University of Warwick, Warwick, United Kingdom

    Rachel E. Bennett

About the author

Rachel E. Bennett is Research Fellow at the University of Warwick, UK. Her research interests include various aspects of Britain’s criminal history including capital punishment and the post-mortem punishment of the criminal body, the intersections of medicine and the criminal justice system and medical care in women’s prisons.   

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 31.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 31.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)