Medieval Torture Devices

Court and The Jury

The Manorial Court dealt with all but serious crimes.

A jury of twelve people is chosen by villagers to determine if the person is guilty.

The King's Court dealt with the serious crimes through ordeal.

In the Ordeal of Water, the person's hands and ankles were tied together, if he or she sank, the person was innocent and if they floated they were guilty.

In the Ordeal of Fire, a person held a hot iron bar, then came back after a few days after being bandaged. If the hand was healed or not determined whether they were guilty or innocent.

In the Ordeal of Combat, the accused person fought to the death with a nobleman.


In theft, the person had extra work, fines, or had their hands cut off

With murder, the person had the death penalty.

A person who didn't work hard enough was beaten.

Cheating or drunkenness caused the person to be put in the stocks or pillory.

A scold's bridle was put on a gossiping woman.

A high treason caused the person to be hung and cut down the middle while still alive, then split into four parts which were put on public display.

Heresy caused the person to be banished or burned at the stake.

Witchcraft caused strangling or being burned at the stake.

Punishment was meant to put fear in the hearts of people.

Torture Devices

Inquisition chair - put the whole body in pain, used to make people confess

Gallows - where people were hung

The rack - destroyed joints and limbs

Pillories and stocks - were trapped and publically shamed

Decapitation - head cut off my sword or axe

Guillotine - head cut off by falling blade

Don't get in trouble in the Middle Ages!


Created with images by -JvL- - "Thumbscrew" • ell brown - "Hotel de Ville, Rue Francois I, Amboise (Morin Hotel)" • Fabiano Rebeque - "Neptune @ Versailles" • Anosmia - "underground Lviv" • rwayne307 - "knight horse battle armour" • Glen Bowman - "Scold's Bridle/Witche's Bridle (The Witch Trials) - The Museum of Witchcraft - Boscastle, Devon" • mattmangum - "Inquisition Chair" • Servicelinket - "gallows blue sky wooden frame" • quinet - "Rack with nails" • Tim Green aka atoach - "Pillory" • mailme6 - "guillotine vietnam war" • Bernt Rostad - "Torture device" • Ben Sutherland - "Screwing torture device" • ToastyKen - "Monster Light"

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