Punishment by whipping 1
'Until his body be bloody'

A public whipping in 1786
There are a great variety of documents among the records of the Quarter Sessions for the counties of Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire and Breconshire which say a great deal about crime and punishment in earlier times.
Some examples of these, often dealing with the extremely harsh treatment of those who broke the laws of the day are illustrated by the extracts on these pages.

Quarter Sessions
Easter 1786

Powys County

Quarter Sessions extract

A particularly alarming example by today's standards, but not unusual for the time, is shown here. This extract from the Order Book of 1786 reads as follows:
"Ordered that William George who was convicted at this Quarter Sessions of Petit Larceny be confined to Hard Labour in the House of Correction for the Term of Three Months and on the Saturday immediately before the Expiration of his Confinement to be Publicly whipped at the Carts Tail before the Town Hall for the space of Half an Hour until his Body be Bloody."

Public whippings were fairly routine punishments for women as well as men, and they were usually carried out on market days to provide a large audience for the spectacle, and also presumably to maximise the deterrent effect of the punishment.

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