Put To Question: The Rack

Torture isn’t allowed under English law –

but some folk get stretched on The Rack:


The Rack

“We went to the torture room in a kind of procession, the attendants walking ahead with lighted candles.

The chamber was underground and dark, particularly near the entrance. It was a vast place and every device and instrument of human torture was there. They pointed out some of them to me and said I would try them all. Then he asked me again whether I would confess.

‘I cannot,’ I said.”

(Father John Gerard, 1597)

The Rack’s said to be the most painful torture of all!


Put To Question: Pressing

Torture isn’t allowed under English law –

but some folk still get pressed to death by the peine forte et dure!


“he will lie upon his back, with his head covered and his feet, and one arm will be drawn to one quarter of the house with a cord, and the other arm to another quarter, and in the same manner it will be done with his legs; and let there be laid upon his body iron and stone, as much as he can bear, or more …

(from the Curiosities of Cowel’s Interpreter)