Dancing the Jig: The Last Dance at Tyburn


Emma Rose Millar

tyburn

Hanging was the main method of judicial execution in England and the colonies during the eighteenth century and was a punishment handed down for crimes ranging from petty theft to murder. Performed in public, the gruesome display was meant to be a deterrent for all those who were tempted into a life of crime. However, for many, executions became a spectacle and created carnival-like excitement. Even the route from Newgate was lined with girls blowing kisses, crowds cheering or jeering and some throwing food or excrement.  Stall-holders sold refreshments and people hung out of their windows in order to get a look at the condemned men and women who were on their way to their deaths.

The village of Tyburn, just outside London probably remains the place best known for the implementation of the death penalty in England. However, there were actually only eight hanging days every year. The time…

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About emmarosemillar

Mum, chocolate maker, author of THE WOMEN FRIENDS: SELINA and the award-winning novel FIVE GUNS BLAZING.
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