Official Table of Drops

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The Official Table of Drops, issued by the British Home Office, is a manual which is used to calculate the appropriate length of rope for long drop hangings.

Following a series of failed hangings including those of John 'Babbacombe' Lee, a committee chaired by Henry Bruce (Baron Aberdare) was formed in 1886 to discover and report on the most effective manner of hanging. The committee's report was printed in 1888 and recommended a drop energy of 1,260 ft-lbs.

In April 1892, the Home Office issued a Table of Drops based on an energy of 840 ft-lbs. In practise, however, the hangmen ignored this table and awarded considerably longer drops.

A significantly revised edition of the Table of Drops was published in October 1913, allowing 1,000 ft-lbs of drop energy.

After 1939, nine more inches were added to the drop found by the 1913 table.

While the Table is no longer used in the United Kingdom, it is still in use in former British colonies, such as Singapore.[1]

Body weight 1888 drop 1892 drop 1913 drop
Stone lb kg ft cm ft cm ft cm
14.0 196 89 6′5" 196 4'3½" 131 5′1" 155
13.5 189 86 6′8" 203 4'5" 135 5′3½" 161
13.0 182 82½ 6′11" 211 4'7" 140 5′6" 168
12.5 175 79¼ 7′3" 221 4'9½" 146 5′8½" 174
12.0 168 76¼ 7′6" 229 5'0" 152 5′11½" 182
11.5 161 73 7′10" 239 5'2½" 159 6′2½" 189
11.0 154 70 8′2" 249 5'5" 165 6′6" 198
10.5 147 66⅔ 8′7" 262 5'8½" 174 6′9½" 207
10.0 140 63½ 9′0" 274 6'0" 183 7′2" 218
9.5 133 60¼ 9′3" 282 6'3½" 192 7′6" 229
9.0 126 57 9′6" 293 6'8" 203 7′11" 241
8.5 119 54 9′9" 297 7'0½" 215 8′5" 257
8.0 112 51 10′0" 305 7'6" 229 8′6" 259

References[edit]

  1. ^ The process of judicial hanging

External links[edit]