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Monday, 17 February 2014

Dorset Museums 3-The Keep Military Museum, Dorchester

Flog it! Cat o' seven tails; two tails missing but who's arguing? Only abolished in 1881.

When I was a nipper I was always told, 'join the army and it'll make a man of you'...well in the 18th and 19thC it was more a case of 'join the army and it'll make mincemeat of you'...the museum lists  a few of the punishments that may have made you wish you'd opted for flower selling.

Flogging  Up to a 1000 lashes with a count of five between each lash to prolong the agony for up to four hours.
Picketing  Victim suspended by wrists with feet on stake just sharp enough to break the skin.
Wooden Horse  Rough, sharp edged, boards knocked together forming a horsey shape. Victim was made to sit on the sharp ridge of the 'back' for many hours with  muskets or other heavy objects tied to the ankles to increase the weight.
Strappaddo The unfortunate soldier's hands were first fastened behind his back, after which he was hauled high into the air by a rope tied to them and then dropped with a jerk often causing dislocation.
Running the Gauntlet  A man's comrades armed with sticks formed a corridor through which the victim, stripped to the waist, passed while being thrashed. In front of the unfortunate were guards with bayonets drawn to stop him moving through at faster than regulation pace.
Bottling or Cold Burning  The soldier's hand was tied palm uppermost. Water was then allowed to slowly drip on it from a height of several feet, apparently the accumulated pain over a period of time was said to make the strongest of men faint away.
Caution...I hope it goes without saying that none of the above should be tried at home.

Board hung round the neck of a murderer on the way to the gallows after riots in 1898.

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