Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Abandoned sandstone quarry near Turkey Nab

A pair of cairns have been constructed on the nab itself, where once a gibbet stood, last used so I understand, in 1729, when Willam Parkinson was hung there in chains1‘Stokesley. | Whitby Gazette | Saturday 28 January 1888 | British Newspaper Archive’. 2023. Britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk <https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0001103/18880128/088/0004> [accessed 4 February 2023].

My notes say that Parkinson was tried at York assizes for the murder of a Scottish drover at Great Broughton. He was brought back north for the sentence to be carried out. All within fifteen days. Justice was swift in those days.

Ingleby Manor was then the residence of Sir William Foulis who could see the gibbet from his windows, so he had it removed2J. Fairfax Blakeborough. ‘ ‌From Readers’ Diaries. | Northern Weekly Gazette | Saturday 02 September 1916 | British Newspaper Archive. [online] Available at: https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0003075/19160902/198/0024 [Accessed 27 Apr. 2022]..

‘Hand of Glory’ in Whitby Museum.

I wonder if Parkinson’s body survived intact. The hand of a felon, cut from his body while it was still hanging from the gibbet were much valued by burglars as a magic charm. It would be pickled, and then used to either hold a candle or the fingers themselves were lit. Anyone sleeping would not awake until the light was extinguished. There is an actual ‘Hand of Glory’ exhibited in Whitby Museum3‘Hand of Glory – Whitby Museum’. 2023. Whitbymuseum.org.uk <https://whitbymuseum.org.uk/hand-of-glory/#:~:text=The%20mummified%20severed%20human%20hand,a%20’Hand%20of%20Glory’.> [accessed 4 February 2023].



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