1642-1649: Hand brand for use Royalist deserters

“Made by the British Army during the English Civil War (1641-1651). Initials ‘CR’ surrounding a crown. This is presumed to refer to ‘Carolus Rex’ – King Charles I. This tool would have been used to mark ‘ownership’ of Royalist army deserters. The metal spikes on the hand are blunt. Perhaps they are dulled through use or perhaps it is deliberate to inflict more pain. However, they were likely heated first to burn the imprint in. Branding was abolished in 1829 with the exception of army deserters. The mark was then tattooed on the body, not branded with irons. The practice was totally abandoned in 1879.”

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