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Did you know? Malta would hold ‘special’ processions to raise funds for hangman’s ropes
The procession pictured was taking place in Merchants Street.

Emma Galea

An eerie image from 1927 shared by a certain John C. Navarro shows off a rarely discussed side of Maltese culture…

This historic shot shows none other than a ‘Procession of the Condemned’ – an event which would take place every time a prisoner was sentenced to death in a bid to raise funds for their rope.

The procession captured in said image was taking place along Merchants Street in Valletta. The side entrance to the Auberge de Castille as well as one of the walls of St James Cavalier can be spotted in the background.

John noted that “only notaries public” were allowed to carry out the aforementioned collections, and “they had to do so with their identity concealed”.

That’s why, as the image evidences, notaries would “go round with their collection tins with their heads covered and only two holes for their eyes”.

A total of 18 executions have happened throughout Malta’s history. Since these were relatively rare events, executions would attract large crows. Capital punishment was abolished in Malta in 1971.

One of the most well known executions was of Carmelo Borg Pisani’s, who was hung for his crimes of espionage against Malta after he joined the Italian National Fascist Party during World War II.

Main Image: Facebook/ John C. Navarro

12th May 2022


Emma Galea
Written by
Emma Galea
Emma is a Gozitan writer who loves all things related to English literature and history. When not busy studying or writing you will either find her immersed in a fictional book or at the cinema trying to watch as my films as she possibly can!

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