Whipping As A Punishment — Part One Published June 29, So easy was a whipping to administer, and so obvious the deterrent it was thought to be, it became the punishment most common throughout the world.
It was not until the reign of Elizabeth I, in , that culprits were only required to be naked from the waist up. From that time also, the whipping post came into being, for the majority of cases, instead the back of a moving cart. Doubtful the victim benefited other than a stationary target was easier to hit than a moving one. This punishment was not just for those who committed a crime. Mothers of illegitimate children were punished in this way in the 16th century as were the reputed fathers.
Deranged people were whipped for being deranged, ill people for being ill. Blasphemers and drunkards were also constant targets usually with a Whip of Nine Knotted Cords. Mary Hamilton, alias George Hamilton, alias William Hamilton, who in the guise of a man, married no fewer than fourteen women.
The sentence of the court was a follows: Often the offender was not only whipped in the market place but also flogged out of the town. There President of the Court sat with a wooden hammer in his hand, while the prisoner stripped to the waist was tied to the post.
The whipping continued until thought sufficient by the President, and he would then bring down the hammer. This pleasure was denied to the London dandies when in , the whipping of female vagrants was declared illegal, all women being spared the lash by the passing of the Whipping of Female Offenders Abolition Act in The last man being whipped, at the cart tail, at Glasgow on 8th May, , shortly after all public flogging were abolished. However even into the s punishment by the whip continued to be administered in English prisons.
The ends of the cords were bound with silk thread to prevent fraying. The convict was tied with outstretched arms to a triangular frame, so that he could neither move nor see what was happening. Protective pads were fixed over his kidneys and neck to prevent serious injury, and he was previously examined by a prison doctor to ensure he was fit enough to endure the whipping. The cat was wielded by a turnkey, a warder, using both hands, the tails being shaken out after each blow and the number of the stroke called out as he did so.
A report covering the years found, blood did not flow during the whipping, probably due to the tails not being knotted, that the convicts seldom lost consciousness and rarely was there need for prolonged hospitalization.
Wandsworth prison had a whipping post, a ten foot high rectangular frame fitted with straps which buckled around wrists, waist and ankles of juvenile offenders who were then beaten with a birch rod to which a bunch of long birch twigs was attached. The considered to injurious for these youthful offenders. Flogging having been authorised by the Mutiny Act of , punishments of a thousand lashes or more were commonplace under his command.
The range of punishments available to members of courts martial were harsh in the extreme. This was added to by the practise of some regiments of not cleaning the cat after it had been used, the dried blood stiffening the tails. Other regiments soaked their cats in brine, and dipped them in salt and water during the punishment.
At the completion of the flogging the soldier was taken to the sickbay, there to have his mutilated back covered with cloths wetted with a dilute solution of sugar of lead.
Flogging was gradually phased out however as late as floggings were still administered in military prisons and the Army Regulations still permitted provost marshals to apply up to thirty strokes for certain offences.
After every twelve lashes another NCO took over, until the required total had been delivered. A small floating procession set out, with a despatch boat in the lead to announce the approach of the offender, the boat with the offender and a third boat following carrying a Lieutenant and the Surgeon. They delivered the number of lashes apportioned to them, the total number of lashes having been divided by the number of ships anchored. By flogging could only be awarded with Admiralty concurrence, but it was not until that all corporal punishment was finally and officially abolished.
Caning of boy seamen was however retained. Whipping Gallery 1 Whipping Gallery 2 Whipping Gallery 3 The most horrific implement of punishment would have had to the Battoir used during a period of intense religious conflict in France during , where Protestants suffered appalling maltreatment at the hands of the more numerous Catholics. This simple paddle had nails driven into the wood of the Battoirs in the form of fleur-de-lys and was used by the Catholics on the Protestant wives and daughters.
Their petticoats were pulled over their heads and fastened, exposing them naked and they were beaten until the blood streamed from their bodies. To carry out these outrages to the highest possible degree not even pregnant women were spared. The Battoir was never a judicial instrument, the official instrument being the whip which was abolished in but used by the French Navy until however its use was still made of in the prison hulks after that date.