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Posthumous execution is the ritual or ceremonial mutilation of an already dead body as a punishment.
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- Li Linfu, Chancellor of Tang China for 18 years (734–752) during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong (712–756), was stripped of many of his funerary regalia before his funeral could take place, and was instead buried in a commoner's coffin as punishment for crimes of high treason. Xuanzong's successor, Emperor Suzong, considered the idea of a posthumous execution by exhuming Li Linfu and cremating the corpse with the intent of scattering the ashes, but was dissuaded by his adviser.
- Harold I Harefoot, king of the Anglo-Saxons (1035–1040), illegitimate son of Cnut, died in 1040 and his half-brother, Harthacanute, on succeeding him, had his body taken from its tomb and cast in a pen with animals.
- Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, was killed of wounds suffered at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, his corpse was beheaded, castrated and quartered by the knights of Henry III of England.
- Roger d'Amory (c. 1290 – before 14 March 1321/1322) died following the Battle of Burton Bridge and was then was posthumously executed for treason by Edward II.
- Jacopo Bonfadio (1508–1550) was beheaded for sodomy and then his corpse was burned at the stake for heresy.
- By order of Mary I, the body of Martin Bucer (1491-1551) was exhumed and burned at the Market Square in Cambridge, England.
- In 1600, after the failure of the Gowrie conspiracy, the corpses of John, Earl of Gowrie and his brother Alexander Ruthven were hanged and quartered at the Mercat Cross, Edinburgh. Their heads were put on spikes at Edinburgh's Old Tolbooth and their limbs upon spikes at various locations around Perth, Scotland.
- Gilles van Ledenberg, whose embalmed corpse was hanged from a gibbet in 1619, after his conviction of treason in the trial of Johan van Oldenbarnevelt.
- A number of the 59 regicides of Charles I of England, including the most prominent of the regicides, the former Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, died before the Restoration of his son Charles IIin 1660. Parliament passed an order of attainder for High Treason on the four most prominent deceased regicides: John Bradshaw the court president; Oliver Cromwell; Henry Ireton; and Thomas Pride. The bodies were exhumed and three were hanged for a day at Tyburn and then beheaded. The three bodies were then thrown into a pit close to the gallows, while the heads were placed, with Bradshaw's in the middle, at the end of Westminster Hall (the symbolism was lost on no one as that was the building where the trial of Charles I had taken place). Oliver Cromwell's head was finally buried in 1960. The body of Pride was not 'punished', perhaps because it had decayed too much.
- In 1917, the body of Rasputin, the Russian mystic, was exhumed from the ground by a mob and burned with gasoline.
- In 1918, the body of Lavr Kornilov, the Russian general, was exhumed by a pro-Bolshevik mob. It was then beaten, trampled and burned.
- In 1945, the body of Gebhard von Blücher (1742-1819) was exhumed by Soviet troops who broke into his mausoleum and his skull was reportedly used as a football. After 1989, his profaned remains were taken from the desecrated grave by a priest and buried in the catacomb of the church in Sośnica, 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Krobielowice.
- The body of General Gracia Jacques, a supporter of François Duvalier ("Papa Doc") (1907–1971), the Haitian dictator, was exhumed and ritually beaten to 'death' in 1986.
Dissection as a punishment in England
Some Christians believed that the resurrection of the dead on judgement day requires that the body be buried whole facing east so that the body could rise facing God. If dismemberment stopped the possibility of the resurrection of an intact body, then a posthumous execution was an effective way of punishing a criminal.
- Cadaver Synod, in 897, when Pope Stephen VI had the corpse of Pope Formosus disinterred and put on trial.
- Zizhi Tongjian, vol. 218.
- Encyclopaedia Britannica
- Frusher, J. (2010). "Hanging, Drawing and Quartering: the Anatomy of an Execution". Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- Henderson 1897, p. 19.
- Juhala 2004.
- Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660–1667 (1802), pp. 26–7 House of Commons The attainder was predated to 1 January 1649 (1648 old style year).
- Bradshaw, Richard Lee (2010), God's Battleaxe, Xlibris Corporation, pp. 379–381, ISBN 9781453583920
- Barbara Yorke (2006), The Conversion of Britain Pearson Education, ISBN 0-582-77292-3, ISBN 978-0-582-77292-2. p. 215
- Fiona Haslam (1996),From Hogarth to Rowlandson: Medicine in Art in Eighteenth-century Britain,Liverpool University Press, ISBN 0-85323-640-2, ISBN 978-0-85323-640-5 p. 280 (Thomas Rowlandson, "The Resurrection or an Internal View of the Museum in W-D M-LL street on the last day", 1782)
- Staff. Resurrection of the Body [dead link], Retrieved 2008-11-17
- Mary Abbott (1996). Life Cycles in England, 1560-1720: Cradle to Grave, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-10842-X, 9780415108423. p. 33
- Dr D.R.Johnson, Introductory Anatomy , Centre for Human Biology, (now renamed Faculty of Biological Sciences, Leeds University), Retrieved 2008-11-17
- Henderson, Thomas Finlayson (1897). "Ruthven, John". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 50. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 15–20.
- Juhala, Amy L. (2004). "Ruthven, John, third earl of Gowrie (1577/8–1600)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/24371.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)