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07 July 2008 @ 08:38 pm
a question about hanging  
I forgot I had this question the last time I saw this episode of Bones: a silken hanging rope from England comes up in the episode, and Hodgins comments that back in the day (the year 1650 comes up, but I can't remember whether the rope is from that period, or if it came up for some other reason), nobles would often choose to be hanged with a silk rope rather than a hempen one. Aside from my amusement at the use of the word "hempen," which isn't used nearly enough for my liking, I thought nobles during the period were executed by axe, not by hanging? Hence Anne Boleyn and the French swordsman?

So: is this a mistake in the episode? Or did procedures change, and if so, when? (And did they change in favor of hanging for everyone, rather than in favor of the blade?)
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Neaneadods on July 8th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC)
No, it's true. There was a shift, somewhere around the time they decided beheading was cruel and unusual. Can't cite the year, though.
tempestsarekind: history boys oxfordtempestsarekind on July 8th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I know there must have been a shift at some point, but 1650 seemed early to me... although maybe it was a Civil War thing.
La Reine Noire: Crystal Balllareinenoire on July 8th, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC)
I don't know for certain, but there definitely was a shift away from beheading and I'm sure it was sometime after Charles I lost his head and may have had something to do with Cromwell and his crowd.
tempestsarekind: princess elizabethtempestsarekind on July 8th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
Ah yes. After I posted, I wondered if perhaps it had anything to do with the Civil War (as I just said above, so now I'm just repeating myself). Thanks!