Boiling, in the history of punishment, was a method of execution commonly involving a large container of heated liquid such as water, oil, molten lead, wax, tallow, or wine, into which a convicted prisoner was placed until he died.
It is said that Roman emperor Domitian commanded that the apostle John be boiled to death in oil, but John only continued to preach from within the pot. Another time, John was forced to drink poison, but it did not hurt him. Thus John, the head of the church in Ephesus at the time, was banished to Patmos in A.D. 97.
During the reign of the Roman emperor Nero, thousands of Christians were boiled in oil. In the Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London (1852), a history of London from the late 12th to the mid-16th century, a poisoner is said to have met his death by being lowered on a chain into boiling water at Smithfield in 1522.
However, the only extant legislative notice of boiling in England occurred in an Act passed in 1531 during the reign of Henry VIII, the preamble of which made poisoning a form of petty treason (i.e., killing one’s husband or master), the penalty for which would be boiling to death.
The statute also named Richard Roose (or Rouse).
In 1531 boiling was used to punish Richard Roose, guilty of having poisoned porridge served to various people. His public execution was thus described: He screamed real loud and several strong women became ill at the sight and had to be carried away half dead; others did not seem frightened by the boiling but would have preferred to see a beheading.
Roose was a cook who, by putting poisoned yeast in porridge prepared for the household of the Bishop of Rochester and the poor of Lambeth parish, sickened 17 people and killed a man and a woman. He was found guilty of petty treason and publicly boiled. Read his story.
Things That Happen To Your Body After You’re Boiled Alive