Halifax Gibbet

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Gibbet Street, Halifax, United Kingdom

Halifax Gibbet Reviews

539 reviews
Theft Means Death in Halifax Feb 21, 2017
The city of Halifax in England has been granted the right by the Monarch to behead criminals who are confirmed to have stolen goods worth at least 5 pence (10 US cents). 4 Constables (Policemen) must testify to the theft. Fair enough. This is very very real. The beheading is done by this ingenious contraption – the Gibbet. The bad news? They don’t enforce this law anymore.

Shame really.

The Halifax Gibbet is the forerunner of the guillotine was in use in Halifax from 1286 until 1650. So yes, the French copied Halifax and no good reason has ever been given for why they stopped beheading criminals so they could not reproduce. The Royal Decree granting this right is still on the books.

By the way the deserving criminals were mocked by onlookers (pictured) and the colourful (think about it) event was held on market days. To add a bit of democracy every man available pulled on a long rope to unleash the pin holding the huge and heavy blade to crash down and save the world from one more bad person.

Please note: There is a fantastic website called The Guillotine Headquarters that even lists the names of the 53 people beheaded here.
NickelP says:
I'd say rocks are a perfectly acceptable substitute if cabbage isn't available.
Posted on: Feb 21, 2017
DAO says:
Sadly, not on the day of the photos. Why not rocks? There were loads nearby.
Posted on: Feb 21, 2017
NickelP says:
No cabbage for throwing at the criminals? :)
Posted on: Feb 21, 2017
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davidx davidx
564 reviews
Hell, Hull and Halifax Aug 28, 2010
According to different websites it may have been the beggar's litany, the thieves' litany or the Dalesman's litany - the three H's appear in practically any order.

The one I learned was 'From Hell, Hull and Halifax, Good Lord, deliver us.'

We all know what Hell is supposedly about. Hull may have either been in the trio for its prison or as a transportation port. Halifax was included for its gibbet.

As a boy I remember Gibbet Hill north of Tavistock in Devon, where there was a structure with an arm from which people were hanged - and until I came to live in Yorkshire, I always equated the word 'gibbet, with that. The Halifax gibbet is nothing of the sort. It was a machine like a guillotine, which I used to think was never used in England. Just how wrong can you get?

According to Wikipedia its first recorded use was in 1286 and the last in 1650. Apparently its use in Halifax continued for some time after it discontinued elsewhere in England. The original blade is on exhibit in banksfield Museum, Halifax.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
bernard69 says:
thx for sharing David,u didn't use the guillotine but u were the inventors of the sash windows called in French fenêtre à guillotine:)
Posted on: Aug 29, 2010
Chokk says:
Nice story, thx
Posted on: Aug 28, 2010

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