Saturday, December 31, 2022

Quote of the Hour: Exterior Decorating

Maintaining a good display of heads around the city took time and effort. For more than three hundred years, from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries, there was a Keeper of the Heads who lived in the gatehouse on London Bridge, and whose job it was to arrange traitors' heads and body parts to their best effect. Heads that had become too rotten were usually thrown in the river to be replaced with new, fresh heads. Sometimes the displays were arranged symbolically. When the Scottish nobleman John of Strathbogie, Earl of Atholl was executed as a traitor in 1306, his head was placed next to Wallace's, but on a higher pole to signify his higher status.

 - Frances Larson, Severed, p.92

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