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collectivehistory:

The Execution of Robert-François Damiens

Robert-François Damiens was a French domestic servant whose attempted assassination of King Louis XV of France in 1757 culminated in his notorious and controversial public execution.  He was the last person to be executed in France by drawing and quartering, the traditional and gruesome form of death penalty used for regicides.

Fetched from his prison cell on the morning of 28 March 1757, Damiens allegedly said “La journée sera rude” (“The day will be hard”). He was tortured first with red-hot pincers; his hand, holding the knife used in the attempted assassination, was burned using sulphur; molten wax, lead, and boiling oil were poured into his wounds. He was then remanded to the royal executioner, Charles Henri Sanson, who harnessed horses to his arms and legs to be dismembered. But Damiens’ limbs did not separate easily: the officiants ordered Sanson to cut Damiens’ joints with an axe. Once Damiens was dismembered to the applause of the crowd, his reportedly still-living torso was burnt at the stake.

The execution was witnessed by famous 18th-century adventurer Giacomo Casanova, who included an account in his memoirs:

We had the courage to watch the dreadful sight for four hours … Damiens was a fanatic, who, with the idea of doing a good work and obtaining a heavenly reward, had tried to assassinate Louis XV; and though the attempt was a failure, and he only gave the king a slight wound, he was torn to pieces as if his crime had been consummated. … I was several times obliged to turn away my face and to stop my ears as I heard his piercing shrieks, half of his body having been torn from him, but the Lambertini and Mme XXX did not budge an inch. Was it because their hearts were hardened? They told me, and I pretended to believe them, that their horror at the wretch’s wickedness prevented them feeling that compassion which his unheard-of torments should have excited.

karen-meredith:

Description: During the Victorian period cures for diseases were often more dangerous than the illness itself. Laudanum is a notable example of the Victorian cure. Pharmacies could prescribe the dangerous drug over the counter unchecked. It would be taken for many ailments including headaches and menstrual cramps. Some women would even use the drug to obtain a pale complexion, as frailty among women was considered attractive. However, Laudanum was addictive due to its opium content. Notable addicts were Lord Bryon, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (who wrote the poem Kubla Khan while in a Laudanum induced state), Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats and Edgar Allen Poe. The drug is also mentioned in numerous Victorian books; such as Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.Neuralgia was a fairly unknown disease till John Locke in 1677 was asked to help the Countess of Northumberland. Previously numerous doctors had tried to describe the condition but failed to fully understand the illness. Locke was able to decrease the pain the Countess was feeling by treating her with laxative therapy.Later during the 1700s other doctors built on Locke’s ideas and started to prescribe surgery to help the patient. By 1820 Charles Bell had completed the research by separating the disease from others and actually caused the condition to be named trigeminal neuralgia. The medicine pictured would have been prepared by Dale’s Chemist, Stoke-on-Trent from Adams’s recipe to ‘cure’ Neuralgia.
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karen-meredith:

Description: During the Victorian period cures for diseases were often more dangerous than the illness itself. 

Laudanum is a notable example of the Victorian cure. Pharmacies could prescribe the dangerous drug over the counter unchecked. It would be taken for many ailments including headaches and menstrual cramps. Some women would even use the drug to obtain a pale complexion, as frailty among women was considered attractive. 
However, Laudanum was addictive due to its opium content. Notable addicts were Lord Bryon, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (who wrote the poem Kubla Khan while in a Laudanum induced state), Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats and Edgar Allen Poe. The drug is also mentioned in numerous Victorian books; such as Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Neuralgia was a fairly unknown disease till John Locke in 1677 was asked to help the Countess of Northumberland. Previously numerous doctors had tried to describe the condition but failed to fully understand the illness. Locke was able to decrease the pain the Countess was feeling by treating her with laxative therapy.
Later during the 1700s other doctors built on Locke’s ideas and started to prescribe surgery to help the patient. By 1820 Charles Bell had completed the research by separating the disease from others and actually caused the condition to be named trigeminal neuralgia. The medicine pictured would have been prepared by Dale’s Chemist, Stoke-on-Trent from Adams’s recipe to ‘cure’ Neuralgia.

ninamunteanu:

The Battle of Lake Peipus (The Battle of the Ice)

The battle between the Livonian branch of the Teutonic Knights and the Novgorod Republic was fought mostly on the icy lake in 1242.

Hoping to exploit the Russians’ weakness in the wake of the Mongol and Swedish invasions, the Teutonic Knights attacked the neighboring Novgorod Republic. The Battle of Lake Peipus was a significant defeat sustained by Roman Catholic crusaders during the Northern Crusades against pagans and Eastern Orthodox Christians. The crusaders’ defeat in the battle marked the end of their campaigns against the Orthodox Novgorod Republic and other Russian territories for the next century. 

"Medieval physicians explained leprosy’s unsightly symptoms by humoralism, a well-established medical model that divided bodily composition into four fluids, or humors: blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm. Many asserted that an excess of black bile contaminating the blood resulted in the leprous condition. This conjecture resulted in a variety of treatments that aimed to purify the blood and the body as a way to realign the humors."

(Source: wondersandmarvels.com)

the-stuff-of-fairy-tales:

Eleanor of Castile (1241-November 28, 1290) was the first wife and queen of Edward I of England. She was also the Countess of Ponthieu in her own right. Eleanor bore about sixteen children, among them Edward II of England. Being a foreigner, she was not liked by her adopted people. The kingdom looked upon her with suspicion and labeled her a greedy foreigner. Even though she had a very limited role in the politics of her husband’s reign, being a highly educated and cultured woman, she dedicated her time and energy to the arts, literature and was a very active patron. She founded a few priories in England and supported their work at both Cambridge and Oxford. After suffering bouts of what was most probably malaria, Eleanor died at the age of 45/46 on November 28,1290. Her death was most probably caused by internal bleeding. During her funeral procession to Westminster Abbey, Longshanks rode behind her and erected crosses at every overnight stop. Some of these Eleanor Crosses remain to this day. Longshanks clearly loved Eleanor, and when he remarried Margaret of France about 9 years later, they named their first daughter Eleanor in his first wife’s honor. 

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