1644: Mary Latham and James Britton, adulterous lovers 1931: Bhagat Singh

1686: A man and a woman broken on the wheel in Hamburg

March 22nd, 2012 Headsman

The New York Times of Dec. 30, 1900 provides this date’s entry, featuring the unusual scene of a woman being broken on the wheel.


In the diary of that remarkable man, Gen. Patrick Gordon, who left Scotland in 1651 a poor, unfriended wanderer, and, when he died, in 1699, had his eyes closed by the affectionate hands of his sorrowing master, the Czar Peter the Great, the following entry is to be found, under date Hamburg, March 22, 1686:

This day, a man and a woman, a burgher of the towne being the womans master, for murthering, were carted from the prisone to the house where the murder was committed; and there before this house, with hotte pinsers, the flesh was torren out of their armes, and from thence were carted to the place of justice without the towne, and there broken and layed on wheeles.


Executions by breaking wheel: early 18th century engraving. (Source: Wikipedia).

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 17th Century,Broken on the Wheel,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,Execution,Germany,Gruesome Methods,History,Known But To God,Murder,Public Executions,Women

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One thought on “1686: A man and a woman broken on the wheel in Hamburg”

  1. JCF says:

    One wonders what prompted the NYT in 1900 to publish this. Perhaps a certain “Look at us Moderns entering a new century: see how we’ve progressed!” [Thence cometh the 20th century’s horrors…]

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