QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2005-04 > 1114287988
Subject: History Facts
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 16:26:28 EDT
"Fingers are obviously vulnerable to barbed arrows. Fingernails are even
more sensitive to needles inserted under them. This was the torture which the
Catholic priest Alexander Bryant was subjected to in March 1581.
Previously having been so starved that he had had to eat the clay from the
walls of his cell, he was racked and then endured the agony of having needles
forced under his finger nails.
On Dec 1, 1581 he was hanged, disemboweled and quartered at Tyburn. Nearly
400 years later, on Oct 25, 1971, Alexander Bryant was canonized, a martyr to
The needle torture was also employed in Russia during the Revolution. In a
report submitted to the British War Office, General Knox stated that "At
Blagoveschensk officers and soldiers from Torbolof's detachment were found with
gramophone needles thrust under their finger nails, their eyes torn out, and the
marks of nails of their shoulders where shoulder straps had been worn."