7. William Duell (Circa 1724)
17 year old William Duell was convicted of raping and murdering Sarah Griffin in London and he was sentenced to death. The executioners hung his body for about 20 minutes (which was a standard procedure to make sure the person has died) before cutting him down. It was a practise then to donate dead criminal bodies for training of students to medical institutes. Accordingly Duell’s body was brought to Surgeons’ Hall. The corpse was stripped and laid on the board and was about to be anatomized when one of the servants noticed he was breathing which got quicker every minute. He was then bled, and in two hours, he was able to sit upright. Duell was sent back to prison again. The authorities soon decided to reprieve him and his sentence was commuted to transportation also known as penal transportation (i.e. exile).