Category: JJ

Military Mishaps

Major-General Sir William Erskine was born in 1748, becoming 2nd Baronet on the death of his father, Lieutenant-General Sir William Erskine, in 1795. He twice represented Fife in Parliament, in 1796 and then from 1802-1805. Erskine was appointed one of the senior commanders in the Peninsular War, despite having twice been detained in an insane […]

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Bite-Size – A timeline of capital punishment in Britain

1671 – The Coventry Act. Lying in wait with the intention of disfiguring someone’s nose became a capital offence1699 – The Shoplifting Act. Theft of goods worth more than five shillings from a shop became a capital offence. James Appleton was hanged in 1722 for the theft of three wigs, and Benjamin Beckonfield was hanged […]

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When Executions Go Wrong

John Bibby was sentenced to death in 1814 for the crime of sheep stealing. On the day of execution, he ran up to the scaffold with cries of “I am the Duke of Wellington!” and, when the trapdoor opened he reportedly bounced upward shouting “What did I tell you?” until, following a struggle, he was […]

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