5 April 1531 – The boiling to death of Richard Roose, Bishop Fisher’s cook

The boiling scene from The Tudors series
The boiling scene from The Tudors series

On this day in history, in the reign of Henry VIII, Richard Roose was boiled to death at Smithfield. The former cook of John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, had been attainted of high treason by a new bill, the “Acte for Poysoning”.

You can find out more about what brought him to this awful end, and why King Henry VIII took a personal interest in this case, in today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, which you will find below.

If you prefer articles to videos, you can read my article 5 April 1531 – The Boiling of Richard Roose, Bishop John Fisher’s Cook.

Also on this day in history, 5th April 1533, Convocation gave its ruling on Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Click here to find out what they determined.

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31 thoughts on “5 April 1531 – The boiling to death of Richard Roose, Bishop Fisher’s cook”
  1. I believe Richard Roose was guilty, although he got the wrong people, because the Bishop was a member of the Government and the King’s Council and it would have been treason to kill a Government Minister anyway but this is something different. John Fisher defended Queen Katherine, who has now been exiled and Henry is now living with his lover, Anne Boleyn, his future wife and with this poisoning, the man who stood against Anne and her family appeared to have been targeted by them. The guests get ill and two servants given the food and die. Now it may have been accidental but the implications of what may appear as an assassination attempt against one of the King’s officials could not go unanswered. Henry had to act and he persuaded Parliament to make this new and brutal law and the suspect is doomed.

    Because Anne and the Boleyn family are obvious suspects in this poisoning or accident Henry is obliged by honour to act. The Boleyn’s obviously had nothing to do with it, or at least there is no evidence for their involvement, but people must have been mumbling that Anne was behind what happened to Bishop Fisher and Chapuys reported the rumours in this letter. Henry took the initiative and made poisoning a matter of treason and poor Richard Roose is terminated in the most horrific but in a warped way, appropriate manner. As King, though because of the nature of the crime, what at least looked like an attempt to kill a public figure and his guests, Henry couldn’t just ignore such a thing. What if there was a conspiracy to kill members of the Council or other royal officials? If this was in the King’s mind, then an example had to be made and the poor cook was sent to his terrible and public death.

    With hindsight, away from the incident we could say that perhaps it was an accident, that the cook didn’t wash his hands perhaps, but in an age when many mysterious deaths were explained by poison, especially if they died or became sick from food poisoning, the sudden illness of an enemy of Anne Boleyn and obstacle to the annulment and others at his table suddenly takes on a darker implications. Roose had worked for Bishop Fisher for a time according to Richard Hall and the gruel was not an unusual first course, but he lost his appetite so only ate a small amount. We know that he and his guests recovered but there appears to have been no motivation for this cook to suddenly turn on his master but it is possible someone paid him, just as it is possible that he had a personal reason we don’t know about. Alternatively, this may well have been an accident, but the political importance of Bishop Fisher and the events of 1531,_the beginning of the move towards the Supremacy and the banishment of the Queen later that Summer make it look as if someone wanted the Bishop out of the way. Henry had Roose condemned by Act of Attainder rather than a trial to ensure he was condemned and he confessed to his crimes, possibly under torture. Whatever the truth, motivation or not, accident or attempted murder, his death was brutal beyond imagination.

    An eye witness gives us a very detailed description of this horrible execution which I won’t treat you to, but he and later, Jane Dormer confirmed the reaction of those who witnessed it. Women fainted and especially pregnant women turned from the sight for fear it would harm their child, others screaming ran from the scene and men and women had nightmares, so terrifying was the sight of this poor man being lowered into a boiling pot. The Tudors showed the execution, boiling in a roasting cauldron in the Tower, with only a few witnesses but it took place at Smithfield in public. However, the horror was captured very well in the way they recreated the scene of Roose being lowered into the boiling water and his painful death was shown with brutal reality. The sentence was repealed under Edward vi. Even if he did poison or try to poison his master, surely this man didn’t deserve such a brutal and painful punishment! Surely the normal sentence for murder, hanging was punishment enough. And wasn’t it more likely this was an accident? We have no way to know of course, but his end was really well out of proportion, even as far as Tudor horror punishments go.

  2. Is it possible BQ that this incident (or should I say rather ‘event’?), may have thrown some mud at the Boleyns which stuck, perhaps mostly with Eustace Chapuys who feared for the lives of Katharine and Mary, and even with Henry himself who, after Anne’s fall, cried over his son Fitzroy that he was “greatly bound to God for having escaped the hands of that accursed wh*re, who had determined to poison them”>!

    1. Yes, Globerose, I think the “Lady” as Chapuys calls Anne Boleyn in his report on this ruthless and frightening execution and the “murder” attempt on Bishop John Fisher and his guests or more likely food poisoning, although the cook admitted he put something in the food with a more benign intent, as some bad joke gone wrong, but the food does kill two other people, so off course it is no laughing matter and Henry must have felt under pressure as Bishop Fisher is a public figure, a member of the Royal Court, a veteran of the Church and Court and he was also the expert advisor to Katherine on his annulment and opposed the King on the beginning of the Supremacy. Anne and her family were more or less being blamed for anything and everything. Even the weather was blamed on Anne. This attack as it was seen on a man whom she would have regarded as an enemy definitely had the Boleyn name on it, as far as the public imagination was concerned. It threw mud which, as you said stuck and even though there is no evidence to actually connect them to an event which may even have been an accident, they were implicated by default because as Chapuys noted it was what others believed. Also by default, it reflected badly on the King, hence the ruthless nature of the state action against Richard Roose and in future “poison” cases. All poison cases being treated as treason must have been a limited deterrent as well.

  3. I have never understood the mentality of people wanting to watch an execution, gruesome or not. I thought burning at the stake was as bad as it could get but boiling is so much worse.

  4. There is a sense of the macabre in all of us Michael, as to the boiling method of execution I agree, surely the worst death of all, I know I will never be able eat a lobster again!

  5. I’m disapprovingly ‘shocked’ that our ancestors could turn public executions into popular entertainment and I put on my best po-faced expression just thinking about it. But we have the Net today and the merest twitch of idle curiosity can be satisfied: I, f.i., looked at a photograph of Saddam Hussan’s hanged body and saw that he was indeed dead. I heard that at one point you could have seen the actual execution, if you were quick, online, and inclined to view his suffering on the short rope. No need to hike for miles along filthy streets to arrive at the place of execution, hungry and thirsty, meeting up with friends and neighbours, exchanging gossip and having a bit of a jolly holiday. All we need to do is Click Here. And I can’t help wondering how many people do…..

    1. I remember seeing a pic of Saddam Huissen in his underpants taken whilst he was in his cell, think it was The Sun who published it, (obviously) he was a bad man who had done really dreadful things but why should we the public want to see him in his state of undress, and later as Globerose remarked his execution was available to see online, why should we wish to see that, he deserved to die but why anyone would wish to witness it is beyond me, from early times the human mind has been preoccupied with death, it is perfectly natural, therefore to actually see an execution satisfies some of that curiosity, will the condemned person show courage or falter at the last, what happens to the body after, do we still look the same does the bloom of life recede from the face etc. In the 17th and 18th centuries it was considered a day out to witness an execution, public hangings as they were so called, crowds would follow the condemned who would be carried in a wagon rattling on its way to their site of execution, they would be dressed to the nines, as if going to their wedding, crowds would jostle and some would offer support and pray for them, some would jeer and throw rotton fruit and eggs, even children would accompany them, there would be the pie man and the muffin man for refreshments, one tale I read that was really quite funny happened just before the condemned person was about to die, he refused to step onto the platform and so the executioner tried to force him and there was a struggle, they both fell and were swinging about in full view of the crowd who continued to boo and heckle, in the French Revolution which has been called the reign of terror, the victims were also carried in wagons through the angry exultant crowds, and who gleefully applauded when Madame La Guillotine lopped their heads off, the King and queen had no special treatment they were imprisoned in cells but King Louis had in his possession an account of the execution of Charles 1st, which he would read for comfort, when it was his wife’s turn she had her head cut short and her hands were tied behind her back, her guards even watched her undress thus taking away her final dignity, thank goodness now we are much more humane than that but there will always be exceptions, I must remark on Shemima Begum the ISIS bride who in an interview remarked on how she walked past decapitated heads in baskets and felt nothing, a very unwise thing to say for a young woman who whines pitifully on wanting to return to Britain, and it shows a chilling disregard for life and how even today the mind can be so conditioned to believe one faith is the true one, they cannot see it but ISIS was doomed to failure from the start for they have no part in the modern world, the world has moved on from early times but they are still stuck in the past.

      1. The Sadaam pics were published over here in rags like the National Enquirer. I had no personal interest in seeing them. As you say he was a bad man and paid the price but I didn’t need to see it.

        1. I didn’t watch that execution, turning off when it came on the news but I was, for some reason watching for confirmation that Gadaffi had been killed and unfortunately, did see his body, before turning off after a few moments. It’s the sheer shock I think and disbelief, it makes one need confirmation, but you are right it wasn’t something I needed, which is why I was one who turned off. I don’t believe he was killed in cross fire and he was obviously executed and then hit. It wasn’t something that should have been shown but he wasn’t captured by the BBC but local militia in a revolution, which is why it was so badly handled. He wasn’t taken by professional soldiers and that is why it all went so wrong, because he should have been taken to the Hague and had a trial and as much as a Tyrant as he was, the allies should have oversaw his execution, although it was done under Islamic Law.

          We have Trial By Jury here in Saint George’s Hall were some of the most notorious crimes in Liverpool and Merseyside were held and executions in the cells below over 100 years ago. This is an exact re enactment of the trial, before an audience in the Courtroom, with local history actors, and the script is from the actual testimony and you don’t know who it is until the night so you are going in blind. You hear the case and the law and the testimony and you are then split into two groups to be the jury. Although we are meant to put on a Victorian head, some of the defendants are young, but in rough violent gangs, living in squalor and poverty, putting on a Victorian head is very hard and we end up having rows because people are being too 21st century. These gangs were brutal and the jury would have been all male, middle class business men, white and middle class. It would be a different world for them. The Royal Proclamation of Queen Victoria on the justice expected at the time is read out and you get the idea an example is going to be made to clear out these gangs. If one person in the gang committed the murder then the whole gang is guilty, even if they only watched or ran away, because they were present and consented. That was the law. The jury is told that the charge is wilful murder with no opportunity for manslaughter. A jury could recommend clemency but we were not told that. Believe me that jury room is a hot bed of wild emotions. The first one I went to everyone voted not guilty and one person said guilty. We didn’t stay long and you are not given too long as it’s a play, but the second and third time it was very wild. We could not agree. We had to of course, but it was difficult. I had no sympathy for one lot and sympathy for some of the others and we found the first lad not guilty as he didn’t commit the murder but was there. One time the defendant was our Paul, Steve’s brother who is part of LoveHistory who do the plays so that wasn’t easy. On another time it got a bit wild with people shouting hang him during the trial! In most cases the real verdict, which is also given afterwards is normally hanging and one boy was sent to the colonies. The first one I went too when we would not condemn him, he was in real life found guilty but another man later confessed after he was hanged. It was terrible to hear the sadness in that Court room. No, I definitely would not like to be making such a decision for real, especially before DNA and the rights of the defendants. It’s amazing just how you get drawn in, but very educational. If you ever get the chance to go to one at a local Victorian Court, do, highly recommended.

  6. The sad thing is our species never changes. Here in the US, especially in the 19th century with rhe opening of the west horse thieves, robbers, murderers, etc would be hung and the townspeople would come to gawk. The most notable instance of this was the execution by hanging of the conspirators implicated in the assasdination of President Lincoln in April 1865 right after the civil war. This was also the first instance of a woman executed in the United States. Thisvwas huge and the photographer Alexander Gardner was there to capture it. So many people wantef to see it they had to issue tickets to limit the number.

    1. I don’t know much about American history Michael apart from the early English settlers on the Mayflower and the civil war, but I know Abraham Lincoln was considered a wonderful president and that he abolished slavery, my distant American cousin related to me the tale about how his grandmother owned a pin that once belonged to Jesse James, she would love to show it of to everyone.

      1. My favorite thing that Lincoln did was at the end of of the war he told the southern soldiers to go home and not do it again. No reprisals. He had a plan for reconstruction but we don’t know what it was because he was assassinated the night before he was to announce it.

  7. Oh yes, actually Michael, I have seen pictures of this hanging and probably on line, perhaps after viewing the film with that brilliant actor Daniel Day Lewis (I think it was). I do hope that most people just wanted to see justice done!

    1. I love Danial Day Lewis and in my opinion in ‘The Conspirator’ he WAS Lincoln. No one else could have played that part as well as he did. His performance was very true to the man.

  8. Didn’t he get an Oscar for this role? He was compelling, anyway. He IS compelling but what a subject he had!

    1. I don’t remember. He should have. He had Lincoln down to a t. The way he walked, the way he talked and the way he would crack jokes at the most inopportune times. I believe it is as close as we will get to seen the actual man.

  9. While I doubt very much I could watch an execution, even hanging, not even if someone killed my family, although I would want the right person locked up, I couldn’t watch them being executed; I do appreciate how people could 500 years ago. We all have a healthy dark side, we need it, it’s what gives us strengthening confidence and drive and our other side keeps it in balance. The majority of people watch horror movies and the more gory a show the better and that’s just blood thirsty teenagers. No matter how we hate suffering, most people are comfortable with gore on television, because our brains know it isn’t real. However, that doesn’t stop us having terrible reactions when the bad guy gets eaten by his own hounds on Game of Thrones or even popping virtual champagne when the totally nasty 15 year old King Joffrey was poisoned eating his own wedding pie. Alternatively, the slaughter of an entire family of good guys and all the wedding guests at the Red Wedding and the demise of some of the nicer characters on the show had most people in tears, screaming, fainting and watching in shock and anguish. The situations are not real but the realistic nature of the series brings out real human emotions in viewers. I have actually felt as if I needed therapy afterwards. So, why go back? Because you know that there is a reckoning coming for the brutal people inflicting this horror and you want to follow the story arch of the survivors. One survivor, Arya Stark has become a deadly assassin and has a revenge list, with some people not on the enemy side anymore but having transformed themselves for the better and heading with her brother towards the family home. That should be interesting for the final season opening episode. We also have Sansa Stark, not present at the Red Wedding, but married off to two brutally insane men, family enemies and who helped take one of them down and having Ramsey Bolton eaten by his own dogs after her brother defeated him in a terrible battle. She has gone from innocent gullible dreamer to hard knock but wise lady of the manor. The cheers when Ramsey got his comeuppance was delightful.

    O.K Game of Thrones isn’t real but it explains a lot about how we are as people. Real executions are not very common today, even in countries that have them, save in some exceptional places but generally around the world the public execution at least is no more. We only did away with public execution here in about the 1860s or 1870s, but people still gathered outside of the jail to either pray or cheer or protest. Crowds still gather outside prisons in America when there is an execution even though it is in private, with no more than 30 people, family members of both condemned and victims (hopefully in different rooms) are invited to watch. Even in the worst states an execution is rarer and rarer. So here maybe we have one reason people watch and execution, they are associated with the condemned, family members, people who may have had sympathy, people who hated the person and for satisfaction. Outside of this, the truth is this was entertainment and people are also curious. Some celebrity criminals had a following and some had their deeds glorified in public graphic novels. Highwaymen were the best as they were romantic to the public, heroic even and brave and dashing. The fact that they were also brutal and dangerous killers slipped most people’s minds. Women went to watch in coaches, there was a carnival atmosphere and the men usually were dashing and handsome. Look at the most famous of them all, Dick Turpin and the legendary night ride to York on his horse Bess which was impossible and probably never happened as the only time he actually went to York was as a prisoner. He was off course hung there and his grave is there. Pirates were another example. Here we have famously romantically enhanced heroes and sheroes like Blark Bart, Bluebeard and Edward Teche, Blackbeard. Even the women were brutal. All three ended on the gibbot, or at least bits of them did because all three were sliced to pieces in their final moments, Teche being beheaded. And yet thousands of people read of their adventures and thousands worshipped their legend. Pirates were hung up to rot as were highway robbers and other criminals so the sight of corpses wasn’t far from mind or sight. Heads were stuck up on Tower Bridge for months as a dire warning to people coming into the city. When there was a high profile execution on Tower Hill or Smithfield or Tyburn, they probably were top of the Bill on a day of minor executions. If the figures from the reign of Henry Viii are at all to be taken seriously 72,000 people were executed. There must have been executions on a regular basis if this is the case from the mid 1530s as several crimes carried the death penalty, new laws made sodomy and harmful witchcraft punishable by death, the death penalty was given for beggars who didn’t have a licence on a third offence and theft over a certain amount was punished with the death penalty. Add to this the usual, high and petty treason, rebellion, heresy, rape and murder and you have a population in some areas, hardened to the sight. No doubt a lot of people also had sympathy for those about to suffer, especially religious martyrs or young people and brace yourselves, you could be executed from the age of fourteen as you were considered to be an adult. That was the dire reality. Such executions of young people were very rare and they were often commented on and most people cried because of the cruelty of such young lives being taken by the state. Mint fraud was a capital crime, putting less than the proper amount of silver into the coin and making coins through adulteration of their value to sell as silver pennies was also punished with death. In the 18th century more than 200 crimes were punished with the death penalty.

    Execution meant day out with fairs, toffee apples and drink and food and a carnival and people went to get a good view. In places were houses surrounded the execution site, like the area in Clenkenwell in London, a place of public hanging during Victorian times, you could get a seat in the window of a high society home by paying in advance. The execution of three Finians in the 1840s brought a crowd of 60, 000 people, they needed riot police as most of the people were supporters. Fortunately there was no trouble, just a lot of people singing and the pubs did well all over London later that day. Remember in 1381 mobs from Essex and London took part in hundreds of beheadings during the fall out from the Peasants Revolt, including breaking into the Tower, molesting the Queen Mother, Joan of Kent and dragged the Archbishop of Canterbury and six others outside for mob beheading, before going on into town and killing as well as drinking for three days before Richard ii rode out to meet them outside Smithfield. These people were not exactly delicate. Death was ever present and life was tough. People went to watch executions with different motives, sympathy for the condemned, as official witnesses or because it was how you spent your day off or because the person was famous. Some just went for souvenirs, dipping their scarves in the blood of those killed. But it would be my guess, as it’s virtually impossible to get into the minds of people who lived a long time ago, that they were hardened to it. Maybe not hardened, but used to it. Seeing an execution didn’t mean they didn’t have normal human emotions or didn’t feel revulsion or sympathy or macabrely, enjoyment. It was more integrated into their lives, especially in the City. We don’t see such sights, thank goodness and if an execution is live, we are horrified. The corpse of Lybian leader Gaddafi being dragged around the streets and going global before officially we knew he was dead is the perfect example of how we reacted as human beings. As horribly shocking that sight was, how many people watched, while still feeling horror? How many people tweeted it? It went viral within seconds because he was hated. And yet he was far less of a monster than Saddam Hussain who was at least given some kind of trial before his botched execution. The pictures were gross and I turned them off. What about Mussolini? How many days did his body hang up while people spat on him, most of whom had actually cheered him a few weeks earlier? The highlight of my holiday in Italy when I was nine wasn’t the visit to Como Cathedral or the Villa Carlotta, but to the remote backroad, out of the way sort of farm building where Mussolini was actually shot. It certainly wasn’t my idea. We had three sunny days out of 14. We took my nan to find a foot doctor on one of them, went to Como on one and to see where Mussolini was shot on the other. We travelled for miles on the bus, we went three miles almost (nan was back at the hotel) and had a guide as it is hardly a tourist attraction and up to the building with the wall and you could see graffiti and bullet holes where he and his mistress where murdered. Ironically that was the day my love for history was born as our guide suddenly decided we were not nutty and gave us a tour of some other places nearby actually built by Mussolini and admitted he wasn’t as hated or as bad as he was painted. He took us to a small museum in a car he rang for from his home which he took us to and drove us there. We saw some memories of Mussolini, his medals, letters and pictures. It was actually interesting. I had lots of questions and I remember him telling my father to nurture my curiosity. My dad loved history and football and I inherited both passions. The Villa Carlotta was built for his mistress and they spent a lot of time there. But what a place to go and see! Still there can’t be too many people who have a photo from the spot where Mussolini was shot! We are fascinated by gory tales and it is part of us as a species. We watch horror movies, we watch Claire describing horrible executions, we watch documentaries about them, we watch movies which feature them and for some reason, I can’t fathom, even Tweet them. Some people have books on the history of torture, which off course doesn’t mean they want to or approve of torturing people. I would think the majority of people would not want to or be able to witness an execution today. Even back in time, a large number of people would not have seen an execution. However, in some places they were practically inescapable and unfortunately people were drawn to them in large numbers, even though they may well still have been affected by them.

  10. I was the caregiver to an elderly friend who died at the age of 98 in 2012. That didn’t bother me as her death was peaceful and in her own bed though I saw her right afterwards my only response was that my friend was gone and I would miss her. About 25yrs previously I wad riding the city bus to work downtown and needed to transfer to light rail. The police were there at the station and one was zipping up the body bag of someone hit by the train. Though I did not see the person or blood it affected me for some time. My mother (deceased) and my youngest brother both enjoyed watching horror movies together. Not me. I think I would enjoy Game of Thrones but from what I’ve heard of the violence I’ll pass. I don’t have nightmares, I just get an ‘icky’ feeling when I watch it.

  11. I loved watching the classic hammer horror films when I was young, and would plead with my parents to let me stay up late on a Saturday night so I could watch them, but I used to sit there biting my nails and I would think why I’m I doing this, why am I frightening myself? Now when those old movies come on the screen I laugh was I really scared of that rubbish but I was only twelve at the time, A lot of gore is put in a lot of movies these days and I remember the Hellraiser films, but there is not really a story to them, the directors just throw in a lot of blood and guts for effort the films are really just naff, I don’t think you can beat Alfred Hitchcock for a good fright or sine of the films based on Stephen King novels, The Shining was truly frightening and The Excorsist.

  12. Iv never watched the Game of Thrones so I cannot comment on them, Iv seen my dead relations in their coffins and on some occasions they look completely different to their old selves because of the embalming, others have also mentioned this, my cousin saw a dead body floating down the river, the poor man had committed suicide, she notified the police and it cut her up a bit, I can understand you feeling rather upset on that body in the bag Michael,it is not a nice thing to witness even though you never saw the body, it’s the fact that he must have been horribly injured, my mothers cousins wife years ago walked in front of a train it was horrific not only for the family but for the unfortunate train driver and passengers as well.

  13. I saw my friend with minutes of her death and the odd thing was though she looked exactly the same she looked entirely different and I’m sure that was due to the departure of the spirit and the only thing left behind was an empty suit.

      1. We seem to live in a world filled with death, we are faced with it every day of our lives. It has been that way since the beginning of time and I suppose will never end.until one day we destroy ourselves. Do have a few comments about the Northern War of Aggression against the South. Over 60,000 men died in battle. Women, children and anything breathing was coleratel damage when all was said and done. And to think of the bloodshed and gore from the wounds of all the battles, the loss of limbs and the bloodshed that was so tremendous. The starvation and hate which was brother to brother in many cases. Bodies of the dead Southern Soldiers was thrown to the side of the road, in ditches, along waterways and any place they could be hauled. Often times no names and thousands never knowing what happened to their sons, brothers, husbands. To go to Washington DC and see the white crosses of those Southern men who died in that war gave me cold chills and I will never forget it as long as I live.

        When General Lee surrendered my great grandfather was there. He wrote a diary of the war and it is printed and in the library in Nashville. He wrote that the Southern boys were in rags, no shoes, food or anything to get them home except for their own strength. It must have been a sight to behold because he wrote that after the war was ended and the boys were going home, along the road there was soldiers from the North. These Northern boys took pity on the South and started throwing shoes, clothes, food, blankets and medical wrappings for wounds. There were no horses, trains or any way to get back home other than walk. This is what they did. Some still came into contact with people still wanting to kill them. Not knowing the war was even over. So they had to watch for that and other harmful things along the way. Everything was destroyed. And so it is.

        Every war is awful and for people to live under the horrors of their leaders in many countries even today is tragic and unexceptable in this day and age. I watch the game of thrones and yes, it is pretty bad. However, in the past few years with the beheadings in the middle east and shown on TV,s throughout the US, it was horrific. I probably will never get over that. TV has brought death, and all the terrible ways to kill a person right into our living rooms. We as human beings have lived with the horror of death and the way to kill for centuries. I don’t understand the people wanting to watch someone killed, but even in executions in the US of persons in prison it is televised. Power is what men kill for. Lets pray that we will never have to endure the loss ever again feel the pain and anguish of another world war.

        1. Hello Pat, thanks for your moving post. It was very informative and it is lovely to hear from someone who has a connection to this tragic but transforming time in American history. Conditions in the pow camps, such as there were, were horrendous as well and many people died or were killed in them. I can’t understand any state which wants to put an execution on television; I actually thought that was a myth. For the family or victims family it must be traumatic enough, hardly something suitable for TV, especially as we are here talking about really taking the life of a real flesh and blood human being. Goodness, we really do sink to new lows.

          Very interesting about your great grandfather, thank you for sharing with us.


        2. Thank you for your response to my little bit of info. My great grandfather was
          Captain William Henry Harder Confederate States of America. He lived a very interesting life. Was captured after he was wounded when a bullet entered his arm and went out of his neck. He was paralized from that wound for life. After being captured was on a death march north to the prison camp. There he was soon transferred or traded for men in the Union prison camps and set free to go back to their units. This use to be a practice that was to help the camps when they were so over crowded. You can imagine how crowded they were and also very bad I do believe. I believe Captain Harder was the only living man at the end of the war that was in his unit. He was in most of the major battles Shilo comes to mind, can’t think right now what battles he was in. After the war he returned home and married and had 8 children. Lived to be an old man and would tell the stories to his children and grand children. Was hard for him to farm so he wrote. I think he was also a school teachers. All my family are teachers. I typed the diary I mentioned . It was hand written on leger paper. Seems like it was close to 300 pages. So many stories, so little time.

        3. Got the reply mixed up and so I will answer the one I have following the one you posted. I don’t believe that the condemned deaths are on TV any more. Most states don’t have the death penalty and if they do very little are even carried through. Even though I hate to say how many are on death row in the United States. What on earth are we going to do with all the crimes of death and horror taken place these days. Its like you can take someone, rape them, kill them and dispose of the body. Seems like it is more and more common or just in the news more. Like you say we Are real life human beings and not suppose to be real life savages. (enough of that. ) YUP.

  14. Hi Pat. His name sounds familiar. It must have been a powerful feeling to hold those pages and read first hand the terrible things he saw and experienced. I am from and live in Oregon and as far as I know I have no familial connection to the Civil War, though I have studied it for decades. As bad as that war was as far as I know it it is the only civil war in history to end as it did with no official reprisals from the victors. At least it’s got that. Thank you so much for sharing that history.

  15. It was the terrible loss of life and limb. The North did have reprisals against the South. After all the North completely destroyed the South with Shermans death march through Georgia to the sea, burning everything in its path. Of course the North would never let that news get out after the carnage that was left. I was born in Virginia on the DelMarVa side across from the bay. Right across the Mason Dixon line. And even though my mothers people did not feel the brunt of the war my grandmothers people did. Elizabeth City, Virginia was one of the first places to have the Northern troops come into. My Great Grandfather Cary Selden Jones and his family lived there and was one of the first homes burned to the ground. The kicker is my great grandfather and his wife Carolyn Sinclair burned everything including the barnes for animals, which was sold Everything and anything the North could use was gone. My people ended up in Richmond and think they died in one of the many out breaks of disease close to the end of the war. They are both buried at Hollyrood Cemetery in Richmond. I don’t know why men want to kill each other when they know there is no chance they could ever win a war. The South was farming and the North had iron factories and ways to make the war items they needed. The women and children were also the losers. I don’t know if you ever heard that several hundreds of Southern military with their families went to New Orleans where there was ships which took them to South America. There they lived and died, Many of their descendants are there to this day. My fathers family was from Tennessee and fought for the South as that is where their hearts were and with their people also. The whole history of the South from the very beginning when the Cavaliers from England came over to settle is a wonderful story and what the people went through I just shake my head in unbelief.

  16. What Henri viiiand Anne Boley did has turned to be the order of the day even in the Republic today. poison has become a powerful weapon to exterminate opponents. do not you see a sense of curse there , expert?

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