Re: Wildfire and Blackpowder
The story of Staunton's prank gone wrong and the resulting punishment shows a British legal distinction that is still around today both in England and in the US. I think the reason he had to walk thrice through the gauntlet rather than meeting the rope was that the court or whatever body dispensed punishment believed that the deaths were a result of gross boobery. If they had found that he acted with a "depraved heart" by intentionally creating a situation likely to result in death he would have swung for murder. This distinction is the difference between modern involuntary manslaughter and 2nd degree murder charges.
Three times through the gauntlet was no joke, though.