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Device

The Guillotine,It Was A Classic Execution Device First Used In The French Revolution.

Dr. Joseph Ignace Guillotin did not invent the execution machine that bears his name.

A similar device known as the Halifax Gibbet had been in use in that Yorkshire town since 1286 and continued until 1650. It was noticed by a Scotsman, James Douglas Earl of Morton, who had one built in Edinburgh in 1556, which became known as the Maiden and remained in use until 1710. There is a credible recording of an execution by a similar machine in Milan in 1702, and there are paintings of a guillotine like machine used in Nuremberg in the mid 1500's. However, it was Dr. Guillotin (Deputy of Paris) who on October the 10th, 1789 proposed to the Constituent Assembly that all condemned criminals should be beheaded on the grounds of humanity and egalité (equality). Beheading was seen as by far the most humane method of execution at the time and was allowed to people of noble birth in many countries. Ordinary prisoners were slowly hanged, broken on the wheel (an horrendously cruel form of execution) or burnt at the stake. The idea of a standardised, quick and humane death was much more in line with revolutionary thinking.

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