Medieval Monday: Scavenger’s Daughter

Lo and behold, it’s the return of medieval torture devices for Medieval Monday. I’ve had several people ask when I was going to post more on the subject, so for the month of April it’s gore time! I never knew you folks were so bloodthirsty. (It’s okay, I am too.) As always, if there is something you would like to see featured in a Medieval Monday, hop into the comments and say so.

I'm pretty sure he can't breathe very well.
I’m pretty sure he can’t breathe very well.

Today, we take a look at the Scavenger’s Daughter. I’d never heard of this one up until recently. The name itself is what initially caught my attention. It sounds like the title to an awesome movie or novel, yeah? Well, it’s not. It’s the name of an unnecessarily cruel and gruesome torture device.

This instrument was invented by Sir William Skevington, Lieutenant of the Tower of London, during the reign of Henry VIII. The fact that this was invented by the Lieutenant of the Tower of London should give you an idea of how despicable this contraption is. The Scavenger’s Daughter had an A-shaped frame made of metal. The head was strapped to the top point of the A. Next, the hands were secured at the mid-point. Then the legs at the bottom ends of the rack. The torturer would then use a screw to tighten the hinge. This would force the person into such a sitting position that compressed the body just so as to force blood from the nose and ears. Other side effects included the ribs and breastbone cracking, the spine dislocating, and on rare occasions, the compression was so great that blood was reported to gush from the fingertips and face.

The Scavenger’s Daughter was invented to be a complimentary torture piece to the Duke of Exeter’s Daughter: the rack where a person is laid down and stretched to the point of their limbs popping out of socket.

Nothing quite like being compressed to death, right?



    1. I know, right? They definitely got inventive when it came to torture devices. There’s enough of them that it’ll take me a very long time to run out of material.

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