lisabel (lisabel) wrote in little_details,

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Effects of Foot Torture; Chancery Court: Wards in Chancery

Two unrelated questions for the same story; I thought it better to post both at once rather than spam the community unnecessarily.

I have a character who was a spy in his youth, got caught, interrogated, and tortured. But now, I've got a few questions on the torture that he underwent during said interrogation. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

I'm thinking of having him undergo foot torture - most likely the Spanish Boot or a variation of it. Googling "foot torture" is not a good idea unless safe search is turned on, and googling "boot torture" brings pages and pages of the same repetitive and monotonous material. I know that the purpose of the boot was to crush the lower legs and feet, that it is extremely painful and disfiguring, but rarely fatal. Question: how disfiguring is it? Would someone who underwent this torture be unable to ever walk again? Or could he, with the use of a cane/stick/crutches, manage to move around by himself? The story is set in late Georgian England and Europe during the Napoleonic period. What sort of medical treatment could he expect, provided he could get to someone who was willing to treat him? Also, how likely would it be for him to be able to (with help) escape from the interrogators after having endured such torture?

The second question relates to the Court of Chancery (England) in the year 1811. I have come across the term 'ward in chancery' often enough in literature and have attempted to find out more about it; as far as I can tell, it refers to a person who is comparable to a 'ward of the state' and who is put under the guardianship of a private individual. If my understanding is correct, would the following situation be plausible?

Three orphaned children go out from England to live with their uncle, who is an army officer stationed in Gibraltar. By the time they arrive in Gibraltar, their uncle has died of malaria and they do not have another relative in the world to their knowledge, nor any friends or connections to whom they might apply. On the way out from England, they shared a ship with a benevolent woman who is quite wealthy and, having been an orphan herself, feels for the children in question. Could she and her husband be made these kids' legal guardians in the chancery court? How would they go about petitioning for such rights? They do not want to adopt the children outright, but they do want to ensure that they will at least be taken care of.

Thanks in advance!

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