Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/34

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14
THE ELIZABETHAN PEOPLE

this is evidence of very brutal torment; but it must be remembered that this punishment was inflicted for treason, and for the very reason that it was repugnant to the national spirit. There were, however, other cruel punishments. If the man was guilty of murder, his right hand was cut off near where the murder was committed, after which he was dragged to the place of execution where he was allowed to hang quietly till he was dead. The common punishment for many petty violations of law was hanging. Below is a partial list of crimes so punished.

Escape from prison—hunting by night with painted faces and visors—embezzling of goods over and above forty shillings—carrying of horses and mares into Scotland—conjuring—witchcraft—digging up of crosses (i.e. stones that marked the boundary of real estate)—departure of a soldier from the field—mutilation of coins—articles taken from dead men by their servants—stealing of cattle—letting out of ponds—housebreaking—picking pockets—counterfeiting coins, etc., etc.

Pirates, and those who had committed robbery aboard ship at sea, were hanged by the water's edge at low tide and left there till three tides had washed over them. The site of Hermitage dock east of the Tower of London, was, in all probability, the place where pirates were frequently so