Duhaime's LawGallery - The Law In Pictures


Torture device, Scavenger's Daughter (England, 1550)

  • Object type: Other
  • Formal Title: Scavenger's Daughter
  • Creator: Leonard Skeffington
  • Date Created: 1550
  • Origin: Tower of London, London
  • Current Location: Tower of London, London

A torture device invented by the lieutenant of the Tower of London in the time of Henry the VIII (1491-1547). The lieutenant, Leonard Skeffington lent his name to the device earlier on, and it is still referred to in some quarters as Skeffington's daughter", "Skeffington's Irons" or "Spanish cravat".

Somehow, the name became "skavenger", perhaps named after street-cleaners, then called scavengers.

The Scavenger's daughter pulled the victim's head down to between the knees, eventually causing the person extreme discomfort and to bleed profusely from the nose and ears.

It was used during the reign of Mary I (1516-1558) to obtain confessions or to punish Protestant "hereticks" (the event known as the Marian Persecution).

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