Our last trip to the Fremantle Prison
To be hung or flogged in the most humane way possible. Before entering the area where the souls who have not long on this earth, their time has run out either by their own doing or someone else’s.
We came across the flogging post and learnt the intricacies of this device.
|Not very Impressive is it|
Firstly as you were sentenced to a number of lashings, usually between 50 to 100 and also usually to what today we would consider a crime not worthy of punishment (stealing a loaf of bread). The idea is that your back was cut open near on or to the bone. This punishment was observed by:
- Two guards
- A doctor
- The warden
- The chap with the whip
If the doctor stopped proceedings because the prisoner had either fainted or was unable to continue, the prisoner was laid on the ground and lashings of salt was rubbed into the wound from here they were taken back to the cell to recover.
Once recovered, the flogging continued as the punishment had to be completed regardless.
This is where the saying ‘Rub Salt into the wound’ comes from.
Now back we go to the cells and spot the two cells either side on the end of the lower block, these cells were reserved for those who were to be hung. On one side is where you were placed a day or two before your hanging, you were weighed and measured in preparation for the noose to be constructed just so (ensuring a quick end). It’s pretty technical really, as the noose has to knot just so that it snaps your neck in the right place when they release the floor beneath you so you are hung from standing upright ensuring you have a swift ending.
|You had a stool and a bucket|
You couldn’t say that they didn’t think this through very well could you.
I did ask if the one responsible for swinging the lever across to open the floor beneath the prisoner had any counselling after ending someone’s life, and that was a no. The hangmen usually come over form the Eastern States (Australia) a few days before the hanging, their identity was kept secret.
Probably just as much for their sanity as it is for yours I have no doubt.
After you had your time on one side of the cellblock you were placed in the cell on the opposite side, (these two cells were reserved for this purpose and no other identified by the wooden door) where you had an audience with the priest and a last meal, I think of your choosing and a swig of whiskey.
Time has arrived for the last minute preparations, a covered black hood is placed over the souls head, and the hood has a flap that is opened long enough for them to leave the building enabling them to see so they don’t fall over. The journey from the cell to the docks is a 25 to 35 seconds walk. The hands are also bound. Once they are outside of the building the flap is closed and they see nothing, though they are able to hear.
Once inside the chamber they are placed standing on the square slat of timber that will give way beneath them, a guard on duty on all four corners of the chamber, a chair at the ready in one corner in case they faint, as if they do they are set upon the chair, placed back on the square, see no getting out of it.
The dude who does the job ensures the prisoner is standing straight, guards ready to jostle him or her into place, and then an almighty clang as the lever is pushed to one side. The sound echoes throughout the darkened room the floor opens beneath and the prisoner mercifully is dead.
|A sneaky look into the grounds below where the prisoner
Onto something a bit more pleasant
Some news of what’s occurring here in Rae’s Pleasantville?
Have already failed with how I was to post photos
onwards and upwards though x
There will be some changes happening with my blog as I am converting to WordPress and am having a bit of a name change, don’t know how it’s going to work yet, wish me luck.