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Prison CP - 1884

The Bulletin, Sydney, 2 February 1884

How to Flog

Two "medical gentlemen", the AUSTRALASIAN MEDICAL GAZETTE informs us, attended the late floggings at Woolloomooloo "from professional reasons". These worthies consider that the punishment was got over too quickly, and that the administering of twenty-five lashes in less than three minutes did not inflict sufficient pain on the culprits.

To avoid in future such a leaning towards mawkish sensibility, they propose that there should be an interval of thirty seconds between each stroke, so that the correction "would be unutterably more severe, without causing any more injury to the man flogged, and with less shock to the nervous system."

But their suggestion does not end here. They complain that "the lashes are administered too much on one spot," and should be more impartially distributed, so that no portion of the dorsal region could reasonably complain of being neglected.

Even this does not exhaust their ingenuity. Half the number of stripes should be apportioned to the buttocks, "so that for the next fortnight or so the men flogged would be in such a state as to prefer standing to sitting".

They compare the leniency of the larrikins' whipping, where blood was draw in one case only, and that but slightly, with the severity of naval and military punishments, where "it generally ran pretty freely."

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