Executioner

hangmanheadsmancommon hangmanpublic hangmanbeulcarnifexcommon executionerexecutioner costumehangmenHangmen and Headsmen
An executioner, also known as a public executioner, is a person who officially inflicts capital punishment ordered by the state or other legal authority, which was known in feudal terminology as high justice.wikipedia
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Decapitation

beheadeddecapitatedbeheading
Common terms for executioners derived from forms of capital punishment—though they often also performed other physical punishments—include hangman (hanging) and headsman (beheading).
An executioner who carries out executions by beheading is sometimes called a headsman.

Hanging

hangedhangdeath by hanging
Common terms for executioners derived from forms of capital punishment—though they often also performed other physical punishments—include hangman (hanging) and headsman (beheading).
Records of the names of British hangmen begin with Thomas de Warblynton in the 1360s; complete records extend from the 16th century to the last hangmen, Robert Leslie Stewart and Harry Allen, who conducted the last British executions in 1964.

List of executioners

executionersMonsieur de ParisBritish executioners
In Western Europe and its colonies, executioners were often shunned by their neighbours, with their work as knackers also disreputable.
This is a list of people who have acted as official executioners.

Knacker

knackeredknacker's yardknacker's yards
In medieval Europe, to the end of the early modern period, executioners were often knackers, since pay from the rare executions was not enough to live off.
Since the Middle Ages, the age-old occupation of "knacker man" was frequently considered a disreputable occupation, and subsidiary to their occupation were often also commissioned by the courts as public executioners.

Marcel Chevalier

Executions in France (using the guillotine since the French Revolution) persisted until 1977, and the French Republic had an official executioner; the last one, Marcel Chevalier, served until the formal abolition of capital punishment in 1981. The latter's members included Louis Deibler, his son Anatole, Anatole's nephew Jules-Henri Desfourneaux, his other nephew André Obrecht, and André's nephew Marcel Chevalier.
Marcel Chevalier (28 February 1921 in Montrouge, Hauts-de-Seine – 8 October 2008 in Vendôme) worked as the last chief executioner (Monsieur de Paris) in France.

Charles-Henri Sanson

Charles Henri SansonCharles SansonSanson family
The profession of executioner sometimes ran through a family, especially in France, where the Sanson family provided six executioners between 1688 and 1847 and the Deibler dynasty provided five between 1879 and its 1981 abolition.
Charles-Henri Sanson, full title Chevalier Charles-Henri Sanson de Longval (15 February 1739 – 4 July 1806), was the royal executioner of France during the reign of King Louis XVI, and High Executioner of the First French Republic.

Albert Pierrepoint

AlbertAlbert PierrepontPierrepoint
In Britain, the most notable dynasty was the Pierrepoints, who provided three executioners between 1902 and 1956 – Henry, his brother Thomas, and Henry's son Albert. Unlike in France and many other European countries, far from being shunned, British executioners such as William Marwood, James Berry, Albert Pierrepoint, and Harry Allen were widely known and respected by the public.
Albert Pierrepoint (30 March 1905 – 10 July 1992) was an English hangman who executed between 435 and 600 people in a 25-year career that ended in 1956.

William Marwood

Unlike in France and many other European countries, far from being shunned, British executioners such as William Marwood, James Berry, Albert Pierrepoint, and Harry Allen were widely known and respected by the public.
William Marwood (1818 – 4 September 1883) was a hangman for the British government.

Harry Allen (executioner)

Harry AllenHenry Bernard Allenthe other
Unlike in France and many other European countries, far from being shunned, British executioners such as William Marwood, James Berry, Albert Pierrepoint, and Harry Allen were widely known and respected by the public.
Harry Bernard Allen (5 November 1911 – 14 August 1992) was one of Britain's last official executioners, officiating between 1941 and 1964.

James Berry (executioner)

James Berry
Unlike in France and many other European countries, far from being shunned, British executioners such as William Marwood, James Berry, Albert Pierrepoint, and Harry Allen were widely known and respected by the public.
James Berry (8 February 1852 – 21 October 1913) was an English executioner from 1884 until 1891.

André Obrecht

The latter's members included Louis Deibler, his son Anatole, Anatole's nephew Jules-Henri Desfourneaux, his other nephew André Obrecht, and André's nephew Marcel Chevalier.
André Obrecht (9 August 1899 in Paris – 30 July 1985 in Nice ) was the official executioner of France from 1951 until 1976.

Pierrepoint (film)

PierrepointPierrepoint: The Last HangmanThe Last Hangman
Pierrepoint is a 2005 British film directed by Adrian Shergold about the life of British executioner Albert Pierrepoint.

Scharfrichter

headsman
The term Scharfrichter (German for executioner, literally: "sharp judge") refers specifically to a tradition of executioners in the German states.

Breaking wheel

broken on the wheelbreaking on the wheelCatherine wheel
To this end, the executioner dropped the execution wheel on the shinbones of the convicted person and then worked his way up to the arms.

Capital punishment

death penaltyexecutionexecuted
An executioner, also known as a public executioner, is a person who officially inflicts capital punishment ordered by the state or other legal authority, which was known in feudal terminology as high justice.

State (polity)

statestatesthe state
An executioner, also known as a public executioner, is a person who officially inflicts capital punishment ordered by the state or other legal authority, which was known in feudal terminology as high justice.

Law

legallawslegal theory
An executioner, also known as a public executioner, is a person who officially inflicts capital punishment ordered by the state or other legal authority, which was known in feudal terminology as high justice.

Feudalism

feudalfeudal systemfeudal lord
An executioner, also known as a public executioner, is a person who officially inflicts capital punishment ordered by the state or other legal authority, which was known in feudal terminology as high justice.

High, middle and low justice

low courtlow justicehigh justice
An executioner, also known as a public executioner, is a person who officially inflicts capital punishment ordered by the state or other legal authority, which was known in feudal terminology as high justice.

Execution warrant

death warrantdeath warrantsblack warrant
The executioner was usually presented with a warrant authorizing or ordering him to execute the sentence.

Murder

first-degree murderfirst degree murdersecond-degree murder
The warrant protects the executioner from the charge of murder.

Stereotype

stereotypesstereotypicalstereotyping
A common stereotype of an executioner is a hooded medieval or absolutist executioner.

Hood (headgear)

hoodhoodshooded
A common stereotype of an executioner is a hooded medieval or absolutist executioner.

Hilary Mantel

Dame Hilary MantelHilary Mantel’sHilary Mary Mantel
As Hilary Mantel noted in her 2018 Reith Lectures, "Why would an executioner wear a mask? Everybody knew who he was".

Reith Lectures

Reith LectureReith LecturerBBC Reith lecture
As Hilary Mantel noted in her 2018 Reith Lectures, "Why would an executioner wear a mask? Everybody knew who he was".