Execution Dock was a scaffold in London on the River Thames for hanging pirates, smugglers, and mutineers underneath sentence of dying by the Admiralty courts for crimes dedicated at sea.
The precise location of Execution Dock is speculated, with urged contenders being the Warf constructing, the Captain Kidd pub, the City of Ramsgate pub, and the Prospect of Whitby pub – the place a reproduction gallows has since been erected on the Thames shore.
These sentenced by the British Admiralty had been held within the Marshalsea, a infamous jail in Southwark which might later be used as a debtors jail (being the scene of Charles Dickens’s Little Dorrit). Prisoners had been paraded in a cart from the Marshalsea by the Admiralty Marshal (or certainly one of his deputies) to London Bridge, previous the Tower of London, and in direction of Execution Dock.
In 1796, the Gentleman’s Journal reported: ““They had been turned off a few quarter earlier than twelve within the midst of an immense crowd of spectators. On the best way to the place of execution, they had been preceded by the Marshall of the Admiralty in his carriage, the Deputy Marshall, bearing the silver oar, and the 2 Metropolis Marshals on horseback, Sheriff’s officers, and so on.”
Crowds of spectators gathered alongside the shores of the river or rented boats anchored within the Thames to witness the general public hangings, often carried out by hangmen employed at Tyburn or Newgate Jail.
For these condemned for piracy, hanging was achieved with a shortened rope, that means that the drop from the scaffold was inadequate to interrupt the prisoner’s neck, inflicting a sluggish dying by strangulation. This grew to become generally known as the Marshal’s dance, because the limbs would typically be seen to “dance” from sluggish asphyxiation.
As soon as lifeless, the physique was left till not less than three tides had washed over their heads, earlier than then being eliminated and positioned in a cage alongside the Thames estuary as a warning for felony actions at sea.
Essentially the most notorious pirate to obtain this destiny at Execution Dock was Captain William Kidd, or just Captain Kidd in 1701. Captain Child was a privateer initially commissioned to guard English pursuits in North America and the West Indies, however later convicted for piracy for capturing the Quedagh Service provider and crimes dedicated by him and his crew towards captees.
The final folks sentenced to hold at Execution Dock was with the sentencing of George Davis and William Watts in 1830 for piracy. Each males had been concerned within the Cyprus mutiny, an incident when inmates captured the Cyprus, a brig ship anchored in Recherche Bay off the British penal settlement of Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania, Australia).
Header Picture Credit score – Public Area