Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

An Account of a notorious Smuggling gang in the early 18th Century

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with the rope about his neck, all over blood, his wounds gaping and himself extremely weak and ready to faint through loss of blood ; yet in this miserable plight these cruel executioners obliged him to get over the pales as well as he could.
Willi a great deal of difficulty he got over the pales, when he found himself just upon the brink of the well, the pales standing very near to it. Being over, Tapner took hold of the rope which was fastened to Chater's neck, and tied it to the rail of the pales where the opening was, for the well had neither kerb, lid nor roller. When the rope was thus fixed to the rail, they all got over to him and pushed him into the well; but the rope being of no great length, would not suffer his body to hang lower than knee-deep in it; so that the rest of his body, from his knees upwards, appeared above the well, bending towards the pales, being held in that position by the rope that was tied to the rail. But as in this posture he hung leaning against the side of the well, the weight of his body was not of sufficient force to strangle him presently. For his inhuman executioners, whether wearied with tormenting him so long or whether they wanted to get home to their several places we cannot say, but they seemed now resolved to dispatch him as soon as they could.
After they had waited about a quarter of an hour, and perceiving by the struggles he made that he would be a considerable time in dying, they altered the method of his execution. Thomas Stringer therefore, with the assistance of Cobby and Hammond, pulled his legs out of the well, and Tapner untying the cord that was fastened to the rail, his head fell down upon the ground, and then, bringing it round to the well, put it in. Then Stringer, who had hold of his legs, assisted by Cobby
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