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 Gibbeting myth... can anyone help me on this?

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the_holy_ferret



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PostSubject: Gibbeting myth... can anyone help me on this?   Wed 16 Apr 2008, 1:42 pm

Hi folks,

I've been raiding my books of late trying to find info on a tale I remmember reading about once and it appears that I've either overlooked the article, or no longer have the book.

I believe the story was set in Warwickshire and it concerned a man who I believe was meant to be one of the last men hung on the Gibbet post in the local area. Bits of his corpse were gradually removed over time from the Gibbet, including his skull. The tale goes that his skull is in one of the neighbouring pubs and was used to make a mug. I believe the guy in question was a murderer or may have been a rapist. No one knows the location of the mug now, suffice to say that to drink from it is bad luck.

I can't for the life of me find the story anyway, I don't even know the guys name. But if it refers to Gibbeting that it must be prior to 1832 when the last man in the UK was hung from the Gibbet. I am pretty sure it was in the 19th century, when Gibbets became very fashionable again, not during an earlier period.

If this sounds vaguely familiar to anyone, your comments would be much appreciated!
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Ian
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PostSubject: Re: Gibbeting myth... can anyone help me on this?   Fri 18 Apr 2008, 6:03 am

Doesn't ring a bell but I will let you know if I find anything.

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wombat

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PostSubject: Re: Gibbeting myth... can anyone help me on this?   Sat 26 Apr 2008, 11:14 am

It rings a faint bell with me, but a quick search didn't turn anything up. As Ian said, if I have a brainwave, I'll be in touch.
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the_holy_ferret



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PostSubject: Re: Gibbeting myth... can anyone help me on this?   Tue 29 Apr 2008, 12:32 pm

Thanks for the response guys. If you do manage to come up with anything I'd be most appreciative!
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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: Gibbeting myth... can anyone help me on this?   Wed 30 Apr 2008, 12:04 am

This is the only similar story I can recall which involves Warwickshire. I think it's probably it.
A man, named Theophilus Frome, was a renowned Roundhead during the Civil War. A Warwickshire native, he moved to Chilton Cantello, Somerset, immediately after the war to a farm, Higher Chilton Farm, he had acquired. He died in 1680 and on his deathbed he asked for his head to be removed from his body immediately after his death and hidden in the house. He feared that the Royalists would dig up his body, hang it in gibbets and stick his head on a pike. His heirs kept their word and Theophilus' skull has resided in Higher Chilton Farm ever since. Of course, like any screaming skull, any attempt to remove it from its seat result in a wave of paranormal activity.
Why I suspect this is the story you are talking about? According to local folklore in 1826 workmen carrying out renovation works in the farm decided in an act of bravado to drink ale from Theophilus' skull. This of course infuriated poor Theophilus' spirit and the usual loud noises and unexplainable events happened immediately after, forcing both the careless homeowner and the rude workmen to humbly ask for Theophilus' forgiveness.
Could this be the one?
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the_holy_ferret



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PostSubject: Re: Gibbeting myth... can anyone help me on this?   Wed 30 Apr 2008, 2:36 pm

I don't think it's the one I read about, but it's certainly fascinating in itself so many thanks to you for sharing it!

Possibly the myth I had in mind could have been am embelleshment of this, or an alternative version. It's hard with folklore to trace things back to any kind of source, but there in lies part of the intrigue. In my mind at least.

Can I ask where you read about this? It sounds a great tale and I'd like to read more.

Once again, many thanks!
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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: Gibbeting myth... can anyone help me on this?   Thu 01 May 2008, 12:57 am

I took it from Frank Smyth Ghosts and Poltergeists London, Aldus Books 1975. As usual it's not the most well researched book around but it has a wealth of poorly known cases.
I did a bit of research yesterday and there's a locality in Warwick named Gibbet Hill, since it was used to hang outlaws, primarily highwaymen and pirates, in gibbets. Maybe research should focus in this area?
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wombat

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PostSubject: Re: Gibbeting myth... can anyone help me on this?   Thu 01 May 2008, 4:40 pm

Mauro - I think this may be the story I remembered. There's another story about skulls, I know there is, just trying to remember which book it's in...
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