History's Botched Executions

Thomas Cromwell: According to records, it took several blows to decapitate him. July 28, 1540 marks the day.

Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury: Her executioner's life hard by refusing to lay her head down to be axed, but it reportedly took a whopping 11 blows to finish the job.

Mary, Queen of Scots: In 1587, three axe blows was how much it took for Mary, Queen of Scots' head to become detached from her body.

William Russell, Lord Russel: lIn 1683, Lord Russell was decapitated at the hands of the infamous English executioner Jack Ketch. 

James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth: The Duke of Monmouth was also executed by Jack Ketch, who reportedly took five to eight blows to finish the job, this in 1685.

2. Arthur Elphinstone, 6th Lord Balmerino: In 1746, three blows was how much it took to decapitate the Scottish nobleman and Jacobite.

Robert-François Damiens: Damiens was sentenced to death by dismemberment after attempting to assassinate King Louis XV of France.

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