London had many places of execution: Tyburn, of course, but also Smithfield, Wapping, Kennington, Tower Hill and Charing Cross among others. All of these venues allowed the public to participate - whether in approval or opposition - and, in the opinion of the authorities, provided deterrence at a time when even trivial offences carried the death penalty. Author Robert Bard surveys the capital's places of execution and seeks to explain the prevailing appetite of the authorities and the public for such punishment and such grisly spectacle.
Robert Bard is an author and historian, a former pilot for Jersey European Airways, and a long time keen yachtsman who has had a continuous contact with Alderney, Guernsey and Jersey for over thirty-five years. He has written several books for Amberley Publishing, including Elstree & Borehamwood Through Time and Tyburn, the Story of London's Gallows. He lives in Elstree.