Boot for torture purposes, probably English, 1501-1600

Made:
1501-1700 in England
maker:
Unknown

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Boot, of rivetted iron sheet, to hold boiling oil, for torture purposes probably English, 16th to 17th centuries. Full
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Boot, of riveted iron sheet, to hold boiling oil, for torture purposes probably English, 16th to 17th centuries

Boiling oil or water was held in this huge boot during torture. It is made of riveted iron sheet and this form of torture is sometimes called ‘foot roasting’. The boot was filled with a cold liquid and then heated with the foot inside until scalding. This may explain why the sole of this boot is so worn. The torturer could also pour boiling oil or water straight into the boot. Torture was commonly used in England during the Middle Ages and well beyond. It was considered a legitimate way of extracting information from prisoners.

Details

Category:
Wellcome (general)
Object Number:
A27366
type:
torture equipment
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • costume
  • footwear

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