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Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Peter King
    Pages 1-28 Open Access
  3. Peter King
    Pages 183-203 Open Access
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 205-212

About this book

Introduction

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

This book analyses the different types of post-execution punishments and other aggravated execution practices, the reasons why they were advocated, and the decision, enshrined in the Murder Act of 1752, to make two post-execution punishments, dissection and gibbeting, an integral part of sentences for murder. It traces the origins of the Act, and then explores the ways in which Act was actually put into practice. After identifying the dominance of penal dissection throughout the period, it looks at the abandonment of burning at the stake in the 1790s, the rapid decline of hanging in chains just after 1800, and the final abandonment of both dissection and gibbeting in 1832 and 1834. It concludes that the Act, by creating differentiation in levels of penalty, played an important role within the broader capital punishment system well into the nineteenth century. While eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century historians have extensively studied the ‘Bloody Code’ and the resulting interactions around the ‘Hanging Tree’, they have largely ignored an important dimension of the capital punishment system – the courts extensive use of aggravated and post-execution punishments. With this book, Peter King aims to rectify this neglected historical phenomenon.

Keywords

Open Access history of crime medical humanities capital punishment criminal corpse

Authors and affiliations

  • Peter King
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeicesterLeicesterUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-51361-8
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • License CC BY
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Law and Criminology
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-51360-1
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-51361-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site