William Wallace - Infamous Trial - EXECUTION

Immediately after the "trial," Wallace was taken to the place of execution. Today that place is known as Smithfield, in London.

He was stripped naked, bound and dragged face down four miles, under the tails of two horses. As he was led to the scaffold, William asked for his psalter to be held open where he could see it.

To ensure Wallace felt the most extreme effects of the sentence, officials made sure William hanged but did not die.  While he was still alive, his genitals were cut off with a dull blade. His intestines were cut out and burned in his presence. Only after he had endured torture, beyond human comprehension, was he beheaded.

After he died, his body was quartered. The body parts were sent to Newcastle, Stirling, Berwick and Perth, as specified in the sentence.

Stirling received one of his arms. Legend has it that once the flesh deteriorated, monks at Cambuskenneth Abbey buried Williams's arm somewhere on the Abbey's grounds.

As one last stroke of Wallace defiance, monks repotedly buried the arm so it was outstretched toward Abbey Craig, the scene of William's great victory against the English at Stirling Bridge.

The sentence imposed on William Wallace was brutal. But it wasn't until 1870 that England abolished the practice of dragging a condemned criminal to the place of execution, behind a horse, and then beheading and quartering him after death-by-hanging.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jul 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Jul 03, 2015

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"EXECUTION" AwesomeStories.com. Jul 01, 2002. Feb 24, 2020.
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