The Story of the Half-Hung Maggie and Others
And although the execution by hanging was no longer applied in the United States by the end of the 19th century, the last time in the country (in particular, in the state of Delaware) was executed in this way in 1996. Throughout history, hanging has been the most common form of capital punishment in the world. And while countless convicts — both guilty and innocent — met their deaths at the end of the rope, the history knows several curious cases in which people managed to survive this barbaric execution.
One of the earliest reported cases occurred in Cambridgeshire (England) in 1264. Then a woman named Inetta de Balsham was sentenced to death for conspiracy with robbers. After she was hanged, her body remained on the gallows for three days. However, historical records indicate that Inetta de Balsham not only survived this test, but was pardoned by King Henry III.
Bad hangings seemed to be commonplace in England at the time. In 1313, Matthew Enderby was hanged.He was declared dead, but when the coffin with his body was lowered into the ground, he suddenly regained consciousness. A similar situation occurred in 1363, after Walter Winkeburn was hanged in Leicester. After Winkebourne's body was removed from the gallows, he was sent to the cemetery of the Holy Sepulcher in a cart. Along the way, Winkeburn came to his senses. Later, his resurrection was attributed to the fact that the cart was too thundering and swaying when it was driving along the cobblestones.
One particularly strange case occurred in the 17th century, when an unnamed Swiss criminal was sentenced to death at the request of Dr. Avdija Walker, Master of University College, Oxford. According to historical records, this criminal was hanged thirteen times before his life was completely interrupted. On examination of the body, it was discovered that some unknown disease caused his trachea to become hard as a stone.
When it comes to people who have survived the hanging, a well-known story immediately pops up about Ann Green, who was sentenced to death for child-murder. Her hanging was so significant that British legal and medical experts have referred to him for centuries.And although there was strong evidence in favor of Green's innocence, she was still hanged in Marston (Oxfordshire) on December 14, 1650. After the body was removed from the gallows, it was trampled down to make sure that life completely left him. Then he was placed in a coffin and sent to doctors for an autopsy. When the coffin was opened, Green, as it turned out, was breathing; a faint, raspy sound emanated from her crushed throat. The doctors decided to inflict severe blows on the chest in an attempt to bring her back to life. It worked; 14 hours later, Green was already conscious and could speak.
One of the doctors present noted that the hanging did not lead to any damage to the brain, so she quickly regained consciousness.
However, upon learning of this, the court ruled that Ann Green should again be hanged. Fortunately, the doctors, who revived the woman, stood up for her and were able to pardon the mayor. In the end, Green moved to Steeple Barton, where she married and died (natural death) in 1659.
Another curious story happened around the same time, and her hero was a robber named Gordon. Before he was hanged, he hired a surgeon to insert a small tube into the hole in the trachea. Unfortunately for the gangster, the cunning plan failed.According to some sources, Gordon was so heavy that his neck broke as soon as the noose tightened it. But Gorlon's ingenuity sparked a spark in the minds of other convicted criminals who tried to deceive the executioners and save their lives with the help of strange and cunning devices hidden under their clothes. Very few of their attempts have been successful.
In 1724, the hanging of Margaret Dickson from Edinburgh for killing a child aroused great interest throughout Europe. She was executed, removed from the gallows and laid in a coffin. As was the case with Walter Winckeburn, the paving stones helped her to recover when her body was carried in a cart to the cemetery of Musselburgh. Margaret let go. She started a large family and started selling salt in the streets of Edinburgh. For the ordeal, they called her "Half-hung Maggie." This nickname was engraved on her gravestone.
The Surgeons' Hall, the headquarters of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, is the eminent medical museum of Scotland. It was officially founded in 1699, but its roots can be traced back to 1505, when it was created as a surgical guild by King Jacob IV.The surgeon's hall saw people hanged several times returning to life on the opening table.
The killer William Duell was hanged in Acton in 1740. Twenty minutes later, he was transported to the surgery room for an autopsy. On the table, he began to moan. Surgeons did a blood transfusion, and in the evening he was able to move independently. However, as a result of hanging, he lost his memory. He was returned to prison, but since he did not remember anything about his former life and the crimes committed, the court refused to hang him again.
Ewan MacDonald was hanged for murder in 1752, and his body was taken to the Surgeons' Hall. The doctor left the room for a minute, and when he returned, he discovered that Maconald was sitting on the table. Considering it his duty to complete the task of the executioner, the surgeon took the hammer and hammered MacDonald on the head to death.