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Drawn

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Hanged, drawn, and quartered, or Drawn, hanged, and quartered. The question turns on the meaning of drawn. The evidence seems to be that traitors were drawn to the place of execution, then hanged, then “drawn” or disembowelled, and then quartered. Thus the sentence on Sir William Wallace was that he should be drawn (detrahatur) from the Palace of Westminster to the Tower, etc., then hanged (suspendatur), then disembowelled or drawn (devaletur), then beheaded and quartered (decolletur et decapitetur). (See Notes and Queries, August 15th, 1891.)

⁂ If by “drawn” is meant conveyed to the place of execution, the phrase should be “Drawn, hanged, and quartered;” but if the word is used as a synonym of disembowelled, the phrase should be “Hanged, drawn, and quartered.”

Lord Ellenborough used to say to those condemned. You are drawn on hurdles to the place of execution, where you are to be hanged, but not till you are dead; for, while still living, your body is to be taken down, your bowels torn out and burnt before your face; your head is then cut off, and your body divided into four quarters.”—Gentleman’s Magazine, 1803, part i. pp. 177, 275.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Draw
Draw it Mild (To)
Draw the Long Bow (To)
Drawback
Drawcansir
Drawing-room
Drawing the Cork
Drawing the King’s (or Queen’s) Picture
Drawing the Nail
Drawlatches
Drawn
Drawn Battle
Dreadnought
Dream Authorship
Dreamer
Dreng
Dress your Jacket (or hide)
Dresser
Drink
Drink Deep
Drinke and Welcome

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