1800-1859 | Executions | Jamaica | Slavery

Slaves in Jamaica refuse to work for their British slave masters

27 December 1831 On 27 December 1831, a widespread slave strike occurred in Jamaica, then an integral part of the British Empire. A severe drought during the summer had brought increased hardship for the slave population, which was compounded by the ruthlessness of the plantation owners, who insisted on their legal right to flog both…

1800-1859 | Executions | Slavery | Trinidad and Tobago

Rebel slave plotters seized, hung and their heads impaled on Poles

25 December 1801 About 120 slaves on two Tobago plantations, Bacolet and Belvedere, planned to launch a surprise uprising on Christmas Day evening 1801. They would set fires among the sugar cane, kill those whites who came to extinguish them and then seize any remaining arms they found in the planters’ houses. A false attack…

1800-1859 | Executions | Guyana | Slavery

‘Heads (of blacks) fixed on poles in various parts’ of Demerara

18 December 1823 Following a mostly non-violent slave insurrection in the British colony of Demerara (now Guyana) in August 1823, in which the plantation owners had been locked into their homes, Governor Major General John Murray imposed a savage crackdown. His troops shot dead at least a hundred rebel slaves in the fields, though some…

1920-1939 | Executions | Palestine

Suspect Arab rebel hung just five days after his arrest

27 November 1937 At 8 am on the morning of Saturday 27 November 1937, Sheikh Farhan al-Sa’di, an Arab village elder, was executed by hanging at the crusader castle at Acre.  Described in the British press as ‘a picturesque figure, six foot tall and bearded’ and as ‘one of the most notorious trouble makers in…

1860-1899 | Executions | New Zealand

Maori rebel Hamiora Pere executed for treason

16 November 1869 At half past eight in the morning of 16 November 1869, a young Maori warrior, Hamiora Pere, who had participated in a rebellion against colonial forces who were seizing Maori land, was hung at the Terrace Gaol at Wellington, the administrative capital of the British colony of New Zealand. Pere was the…

1860-1899 | Burning villages | Executions | Flogging | Jamaica

Paul Bogle hung for demanding justice for black Jamaicans

24 October 1865 Today in 1865, Paul Bogle, a Baptist deacon and the leader of a workers revolt in Jamaica known as the Morant Bay Rebellion, was hung by the British. He had demanded justice, equal voting rights and fair treatment for the island’s black population. Bogle’s last words were addressed to the governor Edward…

1860-1899 | Afghanistan | Executions

Mass executions to ‘celebrate’ the British capture of Kabul

12 October 1879 On 12 October 1879, Lieutenant General Frederick Roberts led a British army into Kabul, declaring martial law and offering financial rewards for the handing over of anyone known to have taken up arms against the Empire.  According to the Freeman’s Journal, he ‘celebrated the capture of Cabul by hanging scores of Cabulese,’ noting…

1920-1939 | Burning crops | Burning villages | Collective punishments | Executions | Iraq | Punitive operations

General on his troops ‘burning every village within reach’

20 August 1920 On 20 August 1920, Major General George A.J. Leslie, commanding the 17th Indian Division in Iraq, wrote to his wife Edith in India, informing her that Brigadier General H.A. Walker’s column, comprising two British and six Indian battalions was ‘slowly working its way back here ravaging the country on its way,’ while…

1900-1919 | Deportation | Executions | Prisoners murdered

Minister – sanctioning the shooting of Boer prisoners would be ‘awkward’

21 June 1900 On 21 June 1900, opposition was voiced by a minister in Cabinet to General’s kitchener’s ruthless war against Boer insurgents in South Africa, including the destruction of entire villages and the shooting of prisoners on sight. It was not on a point of principle but rather over concern as to how public…

1500-1799 | Executions | Gibbeting | Jamaica | Slavery

Report from Jamaica – Gibbeted slaves survive four to eight days

18 June 1760 A letter, dated the 18 June 1760, from the British Caribbean territory of Jamaica and subsequently published in newspapers across England, Scotland and Ireland, described, with a grudging respect, the resilience of slaves who ‘are gibbeted alive in terrorem (and)  commonly live from four to eight days, which under the intense heat…