Famous Failed Executions

Anne Green was a 22 year old woman from England who was most likely seduced by the grandson of her employer. When Green became pregnant she hid her pregnancy and gave birth to a premature baby boy who died soon after he was born.

After trying unsuccessfully to hide the child’s body Green was accused of the murder and was sentenced to death by hanging. During the execution Anne Green had to climb the ladder up to the gallows where the rope was laid around her neck and then was pushed off the ladder.

After about half an hour her body was cut down and placed in a coffin and taken to a local doctor who gave anatomy lectures at the university. When the doctors and others assembled for the dissection and opened the coffin they noticed that the corpse “took a breathe and they heard sounds coming from her throat.”

After giving her hot drinks she opened her eyes. The treatment continued with bloodletting and twelve hours after the execution Anne Green was able to say a few words. After her unique rescue the court usher attending the execution and the prison director of Oxford agreed that Anne Green should be reprieved.

Green later married, had three children and lived for fifteen years after her famous execution.

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