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By Geoffrey Abbott, G. (Geoffrey) Abbott, Jeremy Beadle

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That done, the Protestant Dean of Peterborough stood in front of her and pressed his administrations, but she rejected them. But the Dean began to pray aloud, whereat she took her beads and a crucifix and said divers Latin prayers. ’ Then, with her two women helping her up, began to disrobe her of her apparel. indd 51 12/04/2006 14:48:31 AMAZING TRUE STORIES OF EXECUTION BLUNDERS being stripped of all her apparel saving her petticoat and kirtle, her two women beholding her made great lamentation and, crying and crossing themselves, prayed in Latin.

Only when she had given her word that they would not do so, was she allowed to choose three or four attendants to accompany her. A contemporary historian described what happened next. ‘After this, escorted by the lords, knights, and gentlemen, the Sheriff leading, she passed into the great hall and stepped up on to the scaffold, this being two feet high and twelve feet broad, with rails about, hanged and covered with black. She sat down on a low stool and, being thus seated, the warrant for her execution was read out.

Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment he must have applied one iron upside down, and so had to burn it in again but at least was compassionate enough to ask the attendant surgeon to relieve the agony by applying a plaster. That having been done, Brandon continued to carry out the rest of the court’s sentence by cutting off the residue of Prynne’s ear; such a tricky bit of surgery that in so doing, he sliced off some of Prynne’s cheek as well. ’ The deputy, entering into the spirit of it, said that he couldn’t alter the cart’s route, but if they were stopped by the innkeeper, he, the deputy, would certainly go bail for Thomas.

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