• Richard I of England is said to have ordered felons' "head shorne, and boyling pitch poured upon his head, and feathers or downe strawed upon the same whereby he may be knowen" The boiling part sounds particularly hazardous.
  • They use to use pine tar, which isn't the same as the tar used on the road. So it can be warm enough for a bath, but nothing in comparison to asphalt. If pine tar was hot, then it would blister the skin, however some attacks were about humiliation, and so the tar wasn't that hot, sometimes it was done over clothing. If it was hot it could make flesh fall off with the tar, cause pain, and discomfort, but there are no examples of people in Revolutionary America dying from being tarred and feathered alone. Looks ghastly though doesn't it, I remember that seen on the film Lawless?
  • "During the Whiskey Rebellion, local farmers inflicted the punishment on federal tax agents."

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