Monday, 11 February 2013

The most horrible execution ...

Tower of London is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Britain and has witnesses countless executions through the years. The execution of Lady Margaret Pole during the reign of Henry VIII has been named as the most horrible execution that took place at the castle.

Lady Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury
Lady Margaret Pole was arrested because her son Cardinal Pole had denied Henry VIII as the Head of the Church of England and she was suspected of sharing her son's point of view. But that is not the only reason for her arrest - actually it is most likely that it was just a pretext to arrest the entire Pole family. Lady Margaret Pole and her sons where the very last of the Plantagenet family who ruled England before the Tudors which made them a treat in the eyes of Henry VIII.
And so, the entire family was arrested when Cardinal Pole had managed to escape to Rome. Lady Margaret Pole was 72 years old when she was taken to the Tower which made the entire situation absurd even to the courtiers of the day. The elderly Lady was sentenced to death and on May 27th 1541 she was taken out to the place of her execution where 150 spectators were waiting to oversee the execution.

But when the executioner asked her to kneel, she simply said: "So should traitors do and I am none." The Lady was held down by a couple of guards but when the executioner - shocked no doubt - swung his axe he missed her neck and hit her shoulder instead. She ran down from the scaffold in hysteria with the executioner running behind her. He hacked at her eleven more times until she died.

That was the way Lady Margaret Pole died and ever since her ghost has been seen re-enacting the horrible execution over and over again - still being chased by the ghost of her executioner.

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