Open; Ancient Times AU

“No, no don’t kill him!” Lola yelled through the gate as her father brought in a thief. She knew him and she didn’t want to watch him get executed. She was the daughter of an executioner who worked in castle. Everyone knew she wasn’t fit to be one. She was too gentle and kind hearted to kill anyone. “Please don’t kill him.” She begged as her father looked at her. The thief looked at her and she smiled. xdarknessxfollowsx

Alfred Clark’s “The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots” (1895) featured what was possibly the first ever edit within a film—and it was a cut in more ways than one. In order to simulate a decapitation, a hidden cut allowed the substitution of a dummy in the place of the (male) actor playing the queen. The effect was so horrific and realistic at the time that audience members reportedly believed that someone had really given her life for the part.

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In 2004, Mohammed Bijeh raped and killed as many as 16 boys in Iran, ranging from 8-years-old to 15-years-old. He would lure the boys out to the desert under the pretence of taking them hunting. He would then bury them in shallow graves. He received 16 death sentences and 100 lashes for the rapes. On 16 March, 2005, Bijeh was handcuffed to a pole where he received those lashings. The crowd booed and threw rocks at him and at one point during the public execution, the brother of one of his victims broke out of the crowd and stabbed him in the back. Following this, the mother of one of his victims placed a noose around his neck and he was hoisted up in the air by a crane.

Today in history - The execution of Anne Boleyn

On the morning of Friday 19 May 1536, Anne Boleyn was executed within the Tower precincts, not upon the site of the execution memorial, but rather, according to historian Eric Ives, on a scaffold erected on the north side of the White Tower, in front of what is now the Waterloo Barracks. She wore a red petticoat under a loose, dark grey gown of damask trimmed in fur and a mantle of ermine.Accompanied by two female attendants, Anne made her final walk from the Queen’s House to the scaffold and she showed a “devilish spirit" and looked “as gay as if she was not going to die”.Anne climbed the scaffold and made a short speech to the crowd:

Good Christian people, I am come hither to die, for according to the law, and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that, whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord. And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best. And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me. O Lord have mercy on me, to God I commend my soul.

She gracefully addressed the people from the scaffold with a voice somewhat overcome by weakness, but which gathered strength as she went on. She begged her hearers to forgive her if she had not used them all with becoming gentleness, and asked for their prayers. It was needless, she said, to relate why she was there, but she prayed the Judge of all the world to have compassion on those who had condemned her, and she begged them to pray for the King, in whom she had always found great kindness, fear of God, and love of his subjects. The spectators could not refrain from tears

The ermine mantle was removed and Anne lifted off her headdress, tucking her hair under a coif. After a brief farewell to her weeping ladies and a request for prayers, she kneeled down and one of her ladies tied a blindfold over her eyes. She knelt upright, in the French style of executions. Her final prayer consisted of her repeating continually, “Jesu receive my soul; O Lord God have pity on my soul.”

The execution consisted of a single stroke. It was witnessed by Thomas Cromwell; Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk; the King’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy; the Lord Mayor of London, as well as aldermen, sheriffs, and representatives of the various craft guilds. Most of the King’s Council were also present. Cranmer, who was at Lambeth Palace, was reported to have broken down in tears after telling Alexander Ales: “She who has been the Queen of England on earth will today become a Queen in heaven." When the charges were first brought against Anne, Cranmer had expressed his astonishment to Henry and his belief that "she should not be culpable.” Still, Cranmer felt vulnerable because of his closeness to the queen, and so on the night before the execution, he declared Henry’s marriage to Anne to have been void, like Catherine’s before her. He made no serious attempt to save Anne’s life, although some sources record that he had prepared her for death by hearing her last private confession of sins, in which she had stated her innocence before God. On the day of her death a Scottish friend found Cranmer weeping uncontrollably in his London gardens, saying that he was sure that Anne had now gone to Heaven.

She was then buried in an unmarked grave in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. Her skeleton was identified during renovations of the chapel in 1876, in the reign of Queen Victoria, and Anne’s resting place is now marked in the marble floor.

Edith Cavell was a nurse and is known and celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers during the First World War. She did not discriminate and helped both German and Allied soldiers. She also helped over 200 allied soldiers to escape from occupied Belgium, for which she was arrested. Regardless of the fact that she helped German soldiers, she was found guilty of treason and was executed by a German firing squad in 1915.