1740: Not William Duell

3 comments November 24th, 2007 Headsman

On this date in 1740, five criminals were hanged at Tyburn.

Sixteen-year-old William Duell was among them. He was hanged — but he did not die. As recounted in The Newgate Calendar:

WILLIAM DUELL was convicted of occasioning the death of Sarah Griffin, at Acton, by robbing and ill-treating her. Having suffered, 24th of November, 1740, at Tyburn, with Thomas Clock, William Meers, Margery Stanton and Eleanor Munoman (who had been convicted of several burglaries and felonies), his body was brought to Surgeons’ Hall to be anatomised; but after it was stripped and laid on the board, and one of the servants was washing it, in order to be cut, he perceived life in him, and found his breath to come quicker and quicker, on which a surgeon took some ounces of blood from him; in two hours he was able to sit up in his chair, and in the evening was again committed to Newgate, and his sentence, which might be again inflicted, was changed to transportation.

Failed hangings were not unheard-of at this time … and if transportation was no mean sentence, the young criminal must have reflected that matters certainly could have gone much worse for him.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 18th Century,Capital Punishment,Children,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Executions Survived,Hanged,Lucky to be Alive,Murder,Not Executed,Pardons and Clemencies,Public Executions,Rape,Theft,Tyburn

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