Death by Pressing was another form. The victim was laid upon a sharp stone, their body covered with a board onto which weights were piled until the offender’s bones broke and the victim eventually suffocated. This was graphically illustrated in the television drama series Gunpowder with the death of Anne Clitheroe, who was crushed to death for the crime of harbouring priests.
Aske was born around 1500 to Sir Robert Aske and Elizabeth Clifford, he was their third son and had family connections with the Percys and Cliffords. Robert Aske was admitted to Gray’s Inn, one of the ancient Inns of Court in London where he studied law and history, afterwards working as a lawyer in Yorkshire. Some believe Aske was always a dissenter, an agitator, others see him as law abiding and driven by a great sense of justice.
This forced Henry VIII to bring the seasoned warrior, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk out of retirement but Norfolk was a Catholic and an enemy of Thomas Cromwell and possibly had more sympathy with the rebels than was wise. Although he raised a large army, he claimed to have doubts as to their reliability and urged the king to negotiate with the rebels instead. On failing to persuade Darcy to hand Aske over to the king, he returned to London where he advised the king to offer a pardon to the commons, and punish the leaders once they’d dispersed.
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