Exhibiting a body could ‘backfire’ against a monarch, especially if he was unpopular. Henry of Montfort and Henry of Wylynton, enemies of Edward II and rebels, were drawn and hanged before being exhibited on a gibbet near Bristol. However, the people made relics of these bloody and mutilated remains and surrounded them with respect in violent protest. Even false miracles were organised at the spot where the bodies were hanging.
Although the intention was deterrence, the public response was complex. Samuel Pepysexpressed disgust at the practice. There was Christian objection that persecution of criminals should end with their death.