This is a true and fairly gruesome story of torture which was told to us by the tour guide on the Edinburgh Ghost Tour. But it's not about Ghosts, it's about real people so don't read it if blood makes you queasy.
Many, many years ago Edinburgh was famous for it's "Mob". The Mob wasn't a specific gang, just the rank and file city dwellers. The Mob would hang around the market square, baying for blood of an evening because that's where the public floggings and executions took place. There could be several executions on some evenings, but the Mob were never satisfied, every night the literally bayed "Blood. Blood. Blood".
One night in the seventeenth century, a couple of Englishmen were arrested in one of the taverns. There was no discussion, they weren't even told what they had done wrong, the guards marched them up to the square and the Mob quickly gathered and started chanting and baying.
They we're put up against the wall and the first treatment was 20 lashes to the bared backs, the lashes had glass embedded in them. Next they were given the fixed smiles where each cheek is cut from the hinge of the jaw almost each corner of the mouth, then a punch to the stomach causes the final split and showers the mob in blood.
One of the men then had his ears sliced off and thrown to the crowd , nails hammered into his ear-holes. The other had is tongue pulled and clamped at the base. The effect is that the tongue swells up with blood until it explodes, again showering the mob with blood. They liked that.
That was enough, the men were taken to the edge of town and released, no-one knows what happened to them. They were never told what they had done wrong. After they were taken away, the charges were read to the mob. One was accused of saluting the King, the other was accused of listening.
They were both English Royalists.