The guillotine itself was only a more-developed version of older devices, such as the ‘Halifax Gibbet’, in use from the late 13th Century until 1650.

Holinshed’s Chronicles suggest that a similar device may have been in use in Ireland as early as the 14th Century.

Also, there is the ‘Scottish Maiden’, designed and built around 1564, with its first recorded use the following year, and its final one in 1716. The Maiden was mostly used in Edinburgh, but was designed to be easily dismantled, transported and set up anywhere needed. It can be seen in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Snapper-up of unconsidered trifles, walker of paths less travelled by. Advocate-in-Ordinary to His Satanic Majesty.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store