John Waller pelted to death by the mob

Detail of John Waller pelted to death
John Waller pelted to death

Background

This illustration shows John Waller on the pillory, being pelted by the crowd.

John Waller was a highwayman. At this time highwaymen were a great menace to travellers on Britain's roads and penalties against them were severe. Waller was convicted of perjury. He gave false evidence against the innocent, causing them to be blamed for his own crimes.

The pillory was a wooden frame with holes cut into it, into which a prisoner's head and hands were inserted and locked, exposing them to the scorn and violence of the crowd. Pillories were set up in public spaces, often accompanied by a placard detailing the prisoner's crime. The use of the pillory signalled a serious crime, and would produce a suitably angry response from the crowd.

Taken from: The Newgate Calender
Author / Creator: Compiled by Andrew Knapp and William Baldwin
Publisher: J Robin and Co.
Date: 1824 - 1828
Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
Shelfmark: 1379.h.12