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People Executed by Burning

Updated 5 Nov 2019 19.4k views183 items
A lit of people who have been executed utilizing fire as a form of capital punishment. The practice of killing people as a form of execution goes back to Classical Antiquity, and has been regularly used around the world since due to both the public spectacle caused by the act and the intense pain of burn wounds. In Ancient Sicily, the Greek tyrant Phalaris, for example, was famed for roasting his enemies alive inside a bronze bull. (The designer of the bull, and even Phalaris himself, were eventually executed using the device.)

Burning was also popular among the Ancient Romans (and was a popular method of executing Jewish and early Christian martyrs) and the native Indians of North America. The last person to be burned alive for heresy in England was Baptist Edward Wightmen in 1612, who was burned at the stake in a market square in Staffordshire.

Burning at the stake is the most iconic and infamous method for execution-by-fire, and was the method employed as punitive sentence during the famed Salem Witch Trials. Eventually, prisoners were burned only after suffering other torments or humiliations, such as being hanged, drawn or quartered.

This list includes historical figures known or thought to have been executed by fire.
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