A History Question – and a prize for the first person to get the answer!

Q. What is the deadly connection between Halifax in Yorkshire, England and the French Revolution?

The first person to get this question correct will win a prize!
I look forward to hearing from you all.

About Jim McNeill

I am a blogger on 'The Social History of the Touraine region of France (37)' and also 'The Colonial History of Pennsylvania and the life & Family of William Penn'. I am a Director of Fresh Ground Group Ltd.
This entry was posted in French Revolution, Off the wall historical stuff. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A History Question – and a prize for the first person to get the answer!

  1. katzman says:

    Thats nice Jim! I will write a post on my blog about Pressigny flints in Swiss lake dwellings during the next weeks

  2. GaynorB says:

    I think it’s the Halifax gibbet. Dr Joseph Guillotine visited Halifax to ‘see how the deadly deed was done’!

    Sadly Jim, I didn’t know this but asked my friend Google …

    • Jim McNeill says:

      Well done, Gaynor – you win a prize. It’s quite an extraordinary connection, don’t you think? Now for a prize You can choose a bottle of Touraine wine or a copy of my booklet on the family of William Penn. I’ll get it to you when next we’re in France at the same time!

      • GaynorB says:

        Thanks Jim, although I feel a bit of a fraud winning something with the help of Google!!
        Either would be gratefully received and we’d be delighted to welcome you and Sandra to Le Pre Vert. Our next visit is a couple of weeks at the beginning of April so hopefully our paths will cross.
        Best wishes,

  3. The Halifax Gibbet was a guillotine used for public execution. The earliest reference to this was in 1280 and use continued through to the 17th century, long after the practice had been discontinued in the rest of the country.
    Dr Joseph Guillotine visited Halifax in his search for a means of execution during the French Revolution.and was inspired my this device….

    The gibbet was raised upon a stone platform and was reached by a flight of steps. The gibbet was a wooden structure with a heavy lead blade attached at the top. This was never sharpened, as the weight itself was enough to decapitate a person’s head.

    • Jim McNeill says:

      Well done, Jean. I like the detail you’ve included and also the use of the correct name for the Halifax Gibbet. I think it unlikely, though, that Dr. Guillotine would have visited Halifax as its Gibbet had ceased functioning since 1650 when Oliver Cromwell forbade its use, also, Dr G would probably have been arrested as an ant-Royalist Republican.
      The use of decapitation in England as a means of exicution was not itself particular to Halifax. It must have been an especially fearful form of death as popular Christian beleif was that one’s body had this be in one piece so that it could be resurrected on Judgement Day.
      So, to your prize, if you let me have your e-address I’ll send you a scan of the Journal Offprint I’ve just bought on, The Worked Flints of Pressigny Le Grand, by John Evans, Archaeolgia Volume 40, 1867.

  4. BARRAULT says:


    • Jim McNeill says:

      Pardonnez-moi, mais votre réponse, bien qu’excellente, n’est pas correct.
      La réponse est que Halifax avait une guillotine ~ même si elle n’a pas été utilisé depuis 1650.
      Je vais toujours de penser à un prix pour vous et pour vous la donner bientôt, j’espère, quand nous sommes à côté de Le Chatellier.
      Notre amour à toute votre famille,
      Jim & Sandra

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