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Costly Executions

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Edam, in Holland, where the Dutch cheese comes from, has a museum of local antiquities, and among the not least interesting of the exhibits are the accounts of the municipal executioners uring the eigbteenth century, says the London Chronicle. One of these functipnaries, by name Vogel, presents a detailed billdated Dec. 19, 1713, in which he sets forth a claiin for 6 florins for one decapitation and 3 florins each fora sword and winding sheet, with 3 florins 14 cents for a coffin for the decapitated one. His charge for banging a criminal was also 6 florins, with the fnrther addition of 3 florins for "cutting down and impaling ditto. " "Breaking a man on the wheel" was a costlier luxury and ran to 9 florins, while for "supplying nine new lashes for scourge" the charge was 2? florins. On the whole, however, Mr. Vogel was a moderate man in his charges or the value of human life went up a good deal in the next 50 years, for in the no less circumstantial accounts of Johannes Ka, presented Aug. 1, 1764, we have a charge of 12 florius for "going on board the Hans and preparing instrumenta of torture, " with a like charge for "torturing one person. " But this must have been for the lesser torture only, as on Aug. 30 the same Johannes sends in a bilĂ­ for "torturing three persons at 75 florins a head" - total, 225 florins, wbile a few days later no less than 600 florins is charged for "hanging foar persons at 150 florins each, " and for "flogging two persons and burning a third" he exacts 150 florins. Clearly considerations of economy, if not of humanity, must have tended toward the reform of the criminal code in Holland.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News