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Judicial Corporal Punishment Of Women: Stories And Novels

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nsur1

Executioner
Perhaps a fantasy about an old German Zuchthaus is appropriate for one of your future stories, if this theme interests you. For example, "A few days from the life of the Ludwigsburg House of Punishment."
Well, I think that would be the obvious sequel to the Doris whipping story. After all, she did spend more than three years in the Spandau Spinnhaus after her whipping so would have experienced all sorts of corporal punishments there. As it was behind closed doors, the historical record isn't quite as good unfortunately.

One thing I am very excited about is that the Prussian State Archive is currently trialling a beta site which will eventually give full access to the collected daily edicts issued by Friedrich Wilhelm I. The scans and text are not yet accessible, but you can already search the index. For some reason, Doris's whipping order itself isn't there (but it has been in the public domain for almost two centuries), but we do have the appointment of her father to the post of Rector and Kantor at Potsdam in December 1729 -- she had lived in Potsdam for less than a month when she first got to know the Crown Prince -- her father's dismissal on 9 September 1730 (two days after the whipping), the appointment of his successor on 10 September 1730 and finally Doris's pardon issued in 1733. As a posthumous slander, the pardon is filed under the index category of "deserters - female accomplices", which is a crime she was almost certainly innocent of. Away from the Doris story, we have a fair number of other convictions of women to the Spinnhaus, including at least two unfaithful wives of noble officers (the Marquise de Ferrand in December 1729 and Margarethe von Wagner, the wife of Major von Wagner, in September 1729) -- there must be a story associated with that, but I can't find anything else about either of them online. Clearly, being sent to the Spinnhaus was a realistic risk for adulterous wives even if they had a higher status than Doris (who was a commoner).
 

Jon Smithie

Governor
Well, I think that would be the obvious sequel to the Doris whipping story. After all, she did spend more than three years in the Spandau Spinnhaus after her whipping so would have experienced all sorts of corporal punishments there. As it was behind closed doors, the historical record isn't quite as good unfortunately.

One thing I am very excited about is that the Prussian State Archive is currently trialling a beta site which will eventually give full access to the collected daily edicts issued by Friedrich Wilhelm I. The scans and text are not yet accessible, but you can already search the index. For some reason, Doris's whipping order itself isn't there (but it has been in the public domain for almost two centuries), but we do have the appointment of her father to the post of Rector and Kantor at Potsdam in December 1729 -- she had lived in Potsdam for less than a month when she first got to know the Crown Prince -- her father's dismissal on 9 September 1730 (two days after the whipping), the appointment of his successor on 10 September 1730 and finally Doris's pardon issued in 1733. As a posthumous slander, the pardon is filed under the index category of "deserters - female accomplices", which is a crime she was almost certainly innocent of. Away from the Doris story, we have a fair number of other convictions of women to the Spinnhaus, including at least two unfaithful wives of noble officers (the Marquise de Ferrand in December 1729 and Margarethe von Wagner, the wife of Major von Wagner, in September 1729) -- there must be a story associated with that, but I can't find anything else about either of them online. Clearly, being sent to the Spinnhaus was a realistic risk for adulterous wives even if they had a higher status than Doris (who was a commoner).
Nsur, I'd like to enthusiastically second Elephas's comments above, thanking you for providing so much in-depth research and information on corporal punishment in Germany.

I eagerly await your findings concerning the edicts of Friedrich Wilhelm. The idea that women of high status could also suffer these punishments is quite stimulating.
 

elephas

Tribune
Away from the Doris story, we have a fair number of other convictions of women to the Spinnhaus, including at least two unfaithful wives of noble officers (the Marquise de Ferrand in December 1729 and Margarethe von Wagner, the wife of Major von Wagner, in September 1729) -- there must be a story associated with that, but I can't find anything else about either of them online. Clearly, being sent to the Spinnhaus was a realistic risk for adulterous wives even if they had a higher status than Doris (who was a commoner).
The idea that women of high status could also suffer these punishments is quite stimulating.
It sounds very interesting: high-status women who end up in the Spinnhaus for the crime of adultery.
 

nsur1

Executioner
Thanks, Jon and elphas. Using the online index to the King's edicts is a bit like collecting clues to piece together a crime story.

In respect of the Marquise de Ferrand, there are ten separate edicts concerning her or her husband in the index -- many more than for Doris, I note, presumably a reflection of the high status of her husband, the Marquis de Ferrand. According to the index, he was a "Kammerherr", which is the German for "chamberlain", a senior offical at the Royal Court. Here are the screenshots of the index:

Marquise de Ferrand records 1.jpgMarquise de Ferrand records 2.jpg

All these entries are dated between January and December 1729. The first entry in the list is:

Date: 20 December 1729
People: Adressed to Wilhelm Durham, public prosecutor. Concerns Marquise de Ferrand
Institutions: Prison (Spandau), Spinnhaus
Subject: Delinquents - Adulterers - Punishment


Three days later , 23 December, we have two edicts impounding the salary paid to the Marquis. On the second page we then get two documents in French dated 18 and 19 December addressed to the Marquis himself concerning "Delinquents - Adultery - Investigation". The final entry on the list, dated 23 December, is addressed again to the public prosecutor and concerns both the Marquis and the Marquise de Ferrand, with the subjects of "Delinquents - adulterers - punishment", "Delinquents - adulterers - banishment" and "Medals (or rank) - demotion". My reading of this is that three days after the wife was sent to the Spinnhaus in Spandau, the husband was dismissed from his position at court, broken in rank and expulsed from Prussia. Altogether, I think it adds up to a proper scandal at court about which I can't find anything else online.

Regarding Margarethe von Wagner and her husband, Major David Jakob von Wagner, we have nine separate index entries, as below:

Margarethe von Wagner.jpg

The first of these is dated 1 September 1729, when the commander of the Spinnhaus at Spandau was asked to report on the female delinquent Margarethe von Wagner. We then get four separate documents dated between 4 February 1730 and 26 August 1732 concerning divorce proceedings between Margarethe and her husband, the first of which also has the index reference "Delinquents - officer's wife - investigation". Finally we get two documents on 24 June 1731 and 17 July 1732 concerning the Spinnhaus, filed under "Delinquents - officer's wife - treatment during incarceration" and "Delinquents - officer's wife - behaviour (conduct)". From which I conclude that Margarethe was in the Spinnhaus at Spandau for at least three years, during which time her husband divorced her and the King requested update reports on her conduct and treatment in prison at least three times. Her time in the Spinnhaus coincided almost exactly with Doris's, so we would think they would have known each other in shared misery. Again, there must be a story here but I can't find it online.
 
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nsur1

Executioner
The idea that women of high status could also suffer these punishments is quite stimulating.
Well, we do have Princess Wilhelmine's first-hand account of her lady-in-waiting, the very aristocratic Frau von Sonsfeld, being threatened with whipping at all crossroads of the town, and the King's majordomo relishing in the mental image of seeing the blood pour down the white flesh of her aristocratic back. See my translation here:

I posted the above excerpt from Cornelia Naumann's novel in my first post on Doris Ritter, thinking that other than the whipping scene observed through the window (and translated by me here), the dialogue was fictional. And indeed, we know that Princess Wilhelmine did not witness Doris's whipping. However, it turns out the meeting itself between these three protagonists (Princess Wilhelmine, her governess/confidante Dorothea von Sonsfeld and the King's personal valet/pet bully Eversmann) and most of the words exchanges are historically accurate, but took place several months later, in May 1731.

Here are the memoirs of Princess Wilhelmine (the King's daughter and the sister of Friedrich II) in full and in her own words. They were written around 1740 and focus mainly on the events of 1730/31 when she was caught up in the fight between the King and Crown Prince. It is littered with outbreaks of rants by the old King, issuing violent threats of arrest, torture and incarneration at Spandau against everybody suspected to be on the Crown Prince's side, male or female, including his own wife and daughter. She also describes in graphic terms being beaten nearly-dead by her own father in the presence of her helpless mother, the Queen, in a fit of rage taking place in the very week between Doris's arrest on 1 September 1730 and her whipping on 7 September (a beating also mentioned by Voltaire, to whom she was showing off her scars some years later). Clearly, he was unhinged at the time, and more likely than not Doris's misfortune was that some lackey (Eversmann, I suspect -- based on the below extract he makes a wonderful movie villain for my story) was copying down the order when he was invoking vile punishment against her in one of his many rants. Her being a commoner, there were no second thoughts or delays to let the King's rage cool down -- the King's words are the law.

Wilhelmine wasn't really interested in the fate of commoners and mentions Doris only in passing as hearsay from a courtier ("... a mistress of the Crown Prince was whipped and banished ..."), but the below extract does contain near-verbatim the above conversation from the novel in a different context:

Am nächsten Tag, dem 10. Mai [1731], dem denkwürdigsten Tag meines Lebens, kam Eversmann erneut zu Besuch. Kaum war ich wach, erschien er schon vor meinem Bett. „In diesem Augenblick komme ich aus Potsdam zurück“, sagte er zu mir, „wo ich gestern hinfahren musste, nachdem ich von Ihnen fortgegangen war. Ich konnte mir nicht vorstellen, welche dringende Angelegenheit mich so eilig dorthin rief. Ich fand den König und die Königin zusammen. Die Königin weinte heiße Tränen und der König schien sehr erzürnt. Sobald er mich erblickte, befahl er mir, so schnell wie möglich hierhin zurückzukehren, um die nötigen Einkäufe für Ihre Hochzeit zu machen. Die Königin wollte einen letzten Versuch machen, um den Schlag abzuwenden und ihn zu besänftigen, aber je dringender sie ihn anflehte, desto ärgerlicher wurde er. Er schwor bei allen Teufeln der Hölle, Frau von Sonsfeld unehrenhaft zu entlassen, und um an ihr ein Exempel zu statuieren, wolle er sie öffentlich an allen Straßenecken der Stadt auspeitschen lassen. ‚Denn sie allein‘, sagte er, ‚ist schuld an Ihrem Ungehorsam.‘ Und was Sie angehe, wenn Sie sich nicht unterwürfen, würde man Sie in eine Festung bringen; und ich darf Sie warnen, die Pferde dafür sind schon bestellt.“

Dann sagte er zu Frau von Sonsfeld gewandt: „Ich bedauere Sie von ganzem Herzen, zu einer solchen Schande verurteilt zu werden, doch es hängt von der Prinzessin ab, sie Ihnen zu ersparen. Ich gebe freilich zu, dass Sie ein schönes Schauspiel abgeben werden und das Ihren Rücken hinablaufende Blut dessen Weiße noch deutlicher herausstellen und einen reizenden Anblick bieten wird.


The relevant passages translated into English are:

[The King] swore by all devils in Hell to dismiss Frau von Sonsfeld in dishonour, and in order to make an example of her, he would have her publicly whipped at all street corners of the Town. ... Then he turned to Frau von Sonsfeld and said: "I pity you with all my heart, to be condemned to be so shamed, but it is up to the Princess to spare you. I will however freely admit that you will make a beautiful spectacle and that the blood running down your back with bring out the whiteness of your flesh to even greater advantage and will make an arousing view.

[Can't you just feel Eversmann leering at the poor lady-in-waiting, and Wilhelmine's flesh crawling as she retells the scene -- having been threatened with incarneration herself seconds earlier, the prospect of whipping must have felt very personal to Wilhelmine.]

From which we learn that:
  1. The phrase "whipped at all corners of the Town" appears independently of each other in the official royal order for Doris's punishment and in Wilhelmine's memoirs in respect of a diffferent woman several months later, suggesting that it was a favourite fantasy of the misogynistic and sadistic King which the Hangman then had to translate into a practical punishment regime. I can't find any other references to such a punishment online other than relating to the actual whipping of Doris and the threat of whipping of Frau von Sonsfeld, both sprung from the mind of the old King and retold with horror in all 18th and 19th century sources, so I don't think it was a common sentence in Prussia at the time.
  2. Wilhelmine used the expression "an allen Straßenecken" [at all street corners], whereas the King's order for Doris said "an allen Ecken", i.e. not specifically street corners. As discussed in my previous posting, the count of six separate whippings for Doris appears to be based on Potsdam having precisely four corners, the town walls being roughly rectagonal in outline at the time. If the King was talking about street corners, the punishment is potentially much more severe, although the hangman may have struggled to execute it verbatim. So, perhaps it was after all a version of whipping at the cart's tail while being driven on a circuit through the town's streets. However, I note that "Straßenecken" is itself a translation as Wilhelmine wrote her memoirs in French, the common language of 18th Century aristocrats.
  3. Whipping was indeed on the naked skin of the stripped woman, as can be seen from Eversmann's gleeful image of red blood running down the white flesh of a whipped back. For the purposes of retelling the story, I'd like to think that Eversmann witnessed (and maybe even directed) Doris's whipping as the King's representative, and was relishing in the memory of Doris's blood-streaked back when threatening Frau von Sonsfeld with a repeat performance.
 
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Jon Smithie

Governor
Well, we do have Princess Wilhelmine's first-hand account of her lady-in-waiting, the very aristocratic Frau von Sonsfeld, being threatened with whipping at all crossroads of the town, and the King's majordomo relishing in the mental image of seeing the blood pour down the white flesh of her aristocratic back. See my translation here:
Thank you. Somehow I had missed that post. Along with the further information on the high status women being incarcerated for adultery, this just keeps getting better and better! Surely every German house of correction would have had a whipping bench like that in Ludwigsburg, and that all prisoners, regardless of status, would be given the "Welcome."
 

nsur1

Executioner
I have now started to write up a fictionalised version of Doris's story, but it's slow going -- I will start posting it in a separate thread once I have a few chapters down and am reasonably confident that I can complete it. This will closely follow the historical record as per my previous posts here, with plausible (and I hope suitably on-topic for Cruxforums) interpolations as to the details of Doris's public punishment where they were not recorded.

In the meantime, I have been reading a copy of the "Land-Recht" issued by Friedrich Wilhelm I in 1721, which is a codified collection of penal laws. This was issued nine years prior to Doris's whipping, but would not have been directly relevant to her case as it applied only in the province of East Prussia (the Brandenburg province around Postdam and Berlin didn't have codified laws until sixty years later under Friedrich II). Nevertheless an interesting read as it illustrates penal practices at the time and would reflect Friedrich Wilhelm's approach to penal laws.

The entire law book is at Google Books in a 921-page (!) PDF. I attach the section on sexual offences: 14 pages of excruciatingly detailed consideration of different types and sub-types of sexual offences, each with a finely-graduated specific penalty. Penalties were, in decreasing order of severity: death, banishment with prior whipping ("Staupenschlag"), banishment without whipping and prison/Spinnhaus for several years. I won't translate it, but the categories of sexual offences are (each with multiple sub-categories):

1. Adultery
2. Bigamy
3. Whoring and fornication
4. Pimping
5. Incest
6. Rape
7. Sodomy
8. Abduction of women for sexual purposes

What is very bad news for Doris is that the provisions on rape are very specific that a crime is only commited if the victim is an honourable wife or maiden of good reputation. In addition, there is a specific paragraph on jailers having sex with imprisoned women, which is again only a crime if the prisoner is "otherwise of honourable character". That means that Doris, having been condemned to the dishonouring penalty of whipping by the common hangman, had no protection from the law against rape either by her jailers at the Spinnhaus or anybody else.

The book also has the attached list of fees paid to the hangman for the various punishments he delivered:

Whipping: 0.75 Mark
Hanging or decapitation: 3 Mark
Breaking at the wheel: 5 Mark
Burning at the stake: 10 Mark
Tearing the flesh with red hot pincers: 1.5 Mark per tear
 

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nsur1

Executioner
Thank you. Somehow I had missed that post. Along with the further information on the high status women being incarcerated for adultery, this just keeps getting better and better! Surely every German house of correction would have had a whipping bench like that in Ludwigsburg, and that all prisoners, regardless of status, would be given the "Welcome."
I have some more now in respect of the punishment regime and the "Welcome"/"Farewell" at the Spinnhaus in Spandau.:

Yes, there would have been a welcome and farewell whipping in the Spinnhaus, but not necessarily for all prisoners. I found these passages in a Prussian edict issued by Friedrich II (Doris's old maybe-lover) in 1772, forty years after Doris, which (unlike the laws in my previous post) did apply to the Brandenburg province, i.e. Potsdam, Berlin and Spandau.

Spinnhaus penalties for non-payment of fines 1772.jpg

The edict concerns customs and excise fines (a somewhat boring topic), but has regulations as to what happens to those who can't or won't pay the fine. Penalties depend on the sum of money owed and the social standing of the debtor. For the lower orders, the penalty was a time at the Zuchthaus (for men) or the Spinnhaus (for women), as follows:
  • For unpaid fines between 150 and 550 Reichstaler, imprisonment for eight months to two years (depending on the sum owed), but "without welcome and farewell".
  • For unpaid fines between 550 and 1150 Reichstaler, imprisonment for two to three years, plus "mild welcome and farewell".
  • For unpaid fines above 1150 Reichstaler, imprisonment for three years plus one further year for every 1000 Reichstaler, plus "mild welcome and farewell" or "sharp welcome and farewell", depending on how "malicious" the delinquent is considered.
The edict doesn't say what "mild" or "sharp" welcomes mean, but I found this in an academic book about the history of prisons in Bremen:

Willkomm und Abschied.jpg

This book says welcome and farewell were performed by tying the prisoner to a tree and using a whip, and alternatively also describes a punishment bench much like the one at the Ludwigsburg museum: "A bench consisting of a plank of wood with openings through which the prisoner had to stick head and arms, then was tied and flogged". In some prisons, floggings were open to the general public. At one prison in Mannheim, there were four different tiers of welcome:
  • Small welcome: 12-15 lashes
  • Half welcolme: 18-20 lashes
  • Grand welcome: 20-30 lashes
  • Sharp welcome: 40 lashes
No mention of women on the page I have copied above, but the next page says that no difference was made in corporal punishments between men and women, except that pregnant women were let off. In Bremen at least, the prison population was predominantly female in the 18th century: at one time in the 1750s there were 11 men and 29 women incarcerated at Bremen.

This book has no explanation for why there were so many more women than men in prison, quite unlike the situation in modern prisons. Most likely, this was because women were readily imprisoned for immorality (prostitution and/or pregnancies out of wedlock).

Taking us back to Doris, and the Spinnhaus at Spandau, I have found some quite specific evidence showing that (a) there were also many more women than men incarcerated at Spandau, (b) that the prisoners were readily and repeatedly whipped and (c) that the main reason women ended up at the Spinnhaus was for immorality:

My first source is a travel guide from 1732, published while Doris Ritter was actually in the Spinnhaus from 1730-33. The town of Spandau has a light-hearted entry which contains the sentence: "And finally there is also a Spinnhaus in the town, which is always full of womenfolk who have lived too gallantly", which I take to mean that at least in popular perception the Spinnhaus was a place specifically for immoral women, rather than general criminals.

Spandau - Vollstaendige Geographie.jpg

Rather less light-hearted but much more detailed is an account of the Zuchthaus and Spinnhaus at Spandau written about seventy years later in 1798, and quoted in full at this site:


Relevant excerpts include:
  1. "Die jetzige Anzahl der Gefangenen habe ich nicht genau erfahren können; 1789 belief sie sich auf 156 Personen, nemlich 38 männlichen und 118 weiblichen Geschlechts; die Letztern sitzen fast mehrentheils wegen verheimlichter Schwangerschaft und der daraus entstandenen unglücklichen Folgen. Ohne Königlichen Befehl darf niemand aufgenommen werden." ["I could not establish the number of prisoners at present; in 1789 there were 156 persons, of which 38 male and 118 female; the latter incarcerated almost predominantly (sic) because of concealed pregnancy and the unfortunate consequences arising thereof. Nobody may be admitted without royal order"]. Doris Ritter, of course, was sent to the Spinnhaus by such a royal order.
  2. "Die Oberaufsicht dieser Anstalt ist dem jedesmaligen Gouverneur, dem Generalauditeur und Commandanten der Festung übertragen; [...] die Unteraufsicht hingegen haben fünf Zuchtmeister, welche die ihnen anvertrauten Reviere in Ordnung halten, die Gefangenen verschließen und die zuerkannten Strafen, welche in Peitschenhieben und in Kellereinsperren bestehen, vollziehen müssen. " ["The overall command of the institution rests with the governor, general auditor and commandant of the fortress; under him are five prison wardens who keep their respective quarters in order, lock up the prisoners and execute the penalties that are conferred, which consist of lashes with the whip and locking into the basement cells."]
In addition, there is a lot of stuff about prison clothing (very drab and basic, and only provided to those that are "very poor or sentenced to more than two years", others were expected to clothe themselves) and food ("as cheap as possible and only enough to keep them barely alive"), finishing on a long moral sermon of how mixing with the lowest dregs of society while locked up causes moral degradation in the prisoners so that they tend to re-offend as soon as they are released.

Based on the above sources, I would say that "Nell in Brideswell" comes across pretty much as a straight documentary. Again, poor Doris!
 
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nsur1

Executioner
This is fascinating for me, but may not be to anybody else as there is no explicit forum-relevant content -- please ignore unless you're following me down the wormhole of my Doris Ritter obsession.

I have previously posted a map and description of the locality relevant to the story:

There aren't that many sources about the actual punishment. The most authoritative, and most contemporaneous, is the King's actual order quoted above. That makes no mention of stripping but does mention two very locatable places of whipping (the town hall and her father's house), plus the rather vague "then at all corners of the Town". I know exactly where the Town Hall and Doris's home were located on an old map of Potsdam, only about 50m from each other. The Town Hall was (and still is) on the east side of the Alter Markt, whereas Doris's father had lodgings in the four-story school building adjuncted to St. Nicolai Church, located right to the East of the Church. Here is an old map of the time:

View attachment 878257

The Town Hall is marked "Rathaus", and is the red building at the east of the market square, i.e. south east of the church. Doris and her Family lived on the top floor of the school, which is the red building directly east of the church (red demarks buildings of four stories or higher). The Royal Palace was also directly opposite, the large red building at the south west of the market square (now the State Parliament of Brandenburg). All very cosy and near to each other -- Potsdam was then a very small town recently transformed into a combination of royal residence and military garrison, with all these buildings having been built in the previous five years after the King relocated his court from unruly Berlin. The Prince got to know Doris when he heard her sing during a church service at St Nikolai (where her father was cantor, i.e. director of the church music, a post that was combined with that of running the affiliated grammar school), a short stroll from the Palace, and then on the spur of a moment followed her to her lodgings and knocked at the door. All this happened in this little market square.

So, we had a first whipping outside the town hall, then she was dragged to the next block and whipped again outside the school building where her family's lodgings were. Nobody knows in detail what happened thereafter when she was whipped at "all corners of the Town". Several sources say with confidence that there were another four whippings, but as far as I can see that is simply based on the fact that Potsdam at the time had a broadly rectangular outline, and interpreting the "corners of the Town" as the corners of that rectangle. The alternative would be to think that they were street corners, but even in 1730, Potsdam had a few dozen crossroads which is unworkable even if the King's malice may have liked that. Voltaire's description sounds like a humiliating circuit of the entire town, maybe something like a whipping at the cart's tail. I'm still trying to decide what option to go for in my fictionalisation (if I ever get around to it). Either way, at the end of that ordeal she was brought to Spandau for incarceration. That may have been by cart, but it may have been easier dumping her on a boat going down the River Havel which connects both towns.
So, the four main buildings relevant to this story were all arranged around a single square, the Alter Markt (Old Market) in Potsdam:
  1. The Stadtschloss (Town Palace), where the Crown Prince and the King lived.
  2. The Church of St. Nikolai, Potsdam's main Lutheran church, where Doris's father held the post of cantor (master of the church music) and organist. This is where the prince first saw Doris when she was singing the solo soprano in mass, under her father's direction.
  3. The school house affiliated to St. Nikolai, where Doris's family lived and her father held the post of rector (which was part of the cantor position). This is where the Crown Prince first met Doris, where he visited on a near-daily basis in Spring 1730 for joint music-making. This is also where Doris received her second whipping, clearly a deliberate measure by the King to maximise her (and by proxy his son's) exposure and humiliation.
  4. The Town Hall, where Doris was taken after her arrest on 1 September 1730, where she was interrogated by two army officers (a Leutnant and a Fähnrich), where she was held for seven days, and where she then received her first public whipping.
All conveniently located within a hundred metres or so from each other, and all shown in great detail in three wonderful paintings by Karl Christian Wilhelm Baron which show the Alter Markt from three different angles. They were commissioned in 1771 by Friedrich II (the former Crown Prince, Doris's maybe-lover) to show off his new building work in the centre of Potsdam, and all three are available at Wikimedia (from the website of the palace of Sancoussi) in exceptionally high resolution. I am uploading them in lower resolution here, but have also clipped and magnified some interesting details, as Baron has included some street scenes which help visualising how the populace may have reacted to the whipping. Because of the new building work in the forty years since 1730, it doesn't look quite the same as during Doris's time, but the layout is the same and no doubt the street scenes would have been broadly similar.

The first painting is the view onto the church of St. Nikolai:
Baron,_Karl_Christian_Wilhelm_-_Alter_Markt_in_Potsdam_mit_Nikolaikirche.jpg

We see the corner of the palace on the left side of the picture. On the right side, we have the Town Hall (with the peculiar tower). The school house (Doris's home) is in the street between church and Town Hall, the sligthly-higher building opposite the church, i.e. two houses along from the Town Hall. Not a long distance for Doris to be dragged between the first and second whippings. The Town Hall and the school were both re-built in the 1750s, but they occupy the same plot as their predecessor buildings (which themselves had been built only in 1725, i.e. were only five years old in 1730, but the old King was famously tight with money and the buildings therefore a bit shoddy). The palace and the church are still the same buildings as in 1730 (the church was also built in 1725, the palace about hundred years earlier), but the church had a new and ill-fitting rococo entrance added in the 1750s. The obelisk is also from the 1750s (and still there now). The church burned down in 1795 and was replaced by a much grander classicist church now occupying the space.

The second painting shows the same square but this time with a view along the front of the palace:

Karl_Christian_Wilhelm_Baron,_Alter_Markt_in_Potsdam_mit_Stadtschloss_(Blick_in_Richtung_Schlo...jpg

Palace to the left, church of St. Nikolai to the right.

Finally, we also get a view onto the Town Hall:

baron-karl-christian-wilhelm-alter-markt-in-potsdam-mit-blick-auf-das-rathaus-1772-gk-i-57-3.jpg

Church on the left, Town Hall in the centre, the view onto the school is obscured by the church building and we see only the house between school and Town Hall.

The street scenes show that despite this being the grand ceremonial heart of the kingdom (still a very minor state in 1730, although somewhat grander by 1771), this was very much still a functioning, busy and ribald market square, with lots of market stalls and various street amusements. Thus, a ready source for a crowd of onlookers to gather to gawk at the spectacle of a young girl being whipped for involvement in the big scandal of the day, the attempted desertion and arrest of the Crown Prince by his own father. As this was a major garrison town, and Prussia a thoroughly militarised state, we do get to see a lot of military personnel in uniform on the streets.

I can't see a Schandpfahl (whipping post) or a fixed public pranger (pillory) in front of the Town Hall. However, there does appear to be a form of public shaming in a type of pillory going on just about where Doris's first whipping would have taken place:

Spanischer Mantel (Pranger) vor dem Rathaus.jpg

This appears to be a man forced to stand in a "Spanischer Mantel", a form of cangue made out of a barrel with a cutout for the neck in the lid. There is a platoon of soldiers with guns around him, and a desultory number of not-very-interested onlookers -- clearly not much fun watching a man being humiliated by standing in a wooden barrel. Not like a good old whipping... A much larger crowd has gathered at the other side of the square, where some sort of spectacle is taking place but we can't make out what. Several carts in the crowd, possibly with women on them, but too indistinct to tell:

Crowd on Alter Markt.jpg

The other pictures have intriguing crowd scenes as well. Here is a fight between three market wives in the second painting, upending a stall and a basket of eggs with various bailiffs with sticks ineffectively trying to break up the fight. I suspect these women may spend some time in these double neck fiddles specifically designed for quarrelling market wives (do they make them in a three-women-version?):

Quarrelling Market Wives.jpg

Finally, we have this very strange scene going on in front of the Town Hall in the first painting. There is a ring of two rows of soldiers with guns and fixed bayonets, some with royal flags. Outside the ring of soldiers, there are a fair number of onlookers, mainly women. Inside the ring, there are three figures: two in plain dress holding sticks or guns diagonally across their bodies, and the third dressed in white in a very dramatic posture, with a pistol in one hand firing down into the ground. What on earth is going on? Some sort of circus spectacle, or a public execution?:

Crowd in front of Town Hall.jpg
 

nsur1

Executioner
go west-03-p.jpg

This image is by Settantuno and was posted by him in his own image thread here.


From the file name (go west-03), it's part of an ongoing series which he hasn't fully posted -- there is a later one in which the girl is being hanged. However, taking this image on its own and without the separate hanging image, it fits the Doris Ritter story very nicely. The clothes and uniforms are about right for Prussia in 1730, as can be seen from these images of King Friedrich Wilhelm inspecting his regiment of "Potsdam Giants" and of the execution of Katte (the Crown Prince's and supposedly Doris's co-conspirator -- that's the prince looking on through the window of his prison cell).
Potsdam-Giants.-Realmofhistory.jpg449_Die_Hinrichtung_des_Hans_Hermann_von_Katte.jpeg
We don't know precisely how Doris was driven through the streets of Potsdam to be "whipped at every corner of the town", but this image is a perfectly valid imagining of how that might have looked -- Voltaire called it a "tour of Potsdam conducted by the hangman" and later historians refer to a cart. Not sure whether the woman in the background is horrified or shouting abuse at Doris!
 

Jon Smithie

Governor
This is fascinating for me, but may not be to anybody else as there is no explicit forum-relevant content -- please ignore unless you're following me down the wormhole of my Doris Ritter obsession.
Fascinating for me also. I will continue to follow you down the wormhole. I hope you do write your Doris Ritter story.
 

nsur1

Executioner
Fascinating for me also. I will continue to follow you down the wormhole. I hope you do write your Doris Ritter story.
Thanks for those kind words. I am writing, but don't really want to post until I'm fairly sure I will be able to complete the story -- nothing worse than stories that are abandoned a couple of chapters in.

In the meantime, here is an interesting passage about Doris's punishment from a serious historical essay about the Katte process and the prince's desertion written in 1984 by the historian Gerd Heinrich:

Gerd Heinrich - Katte, Fontane und der Koenig - Doris Staupenschlag Zitat.jpg

"Grotesquely, the King appeared to consider that one of the co-conspirators in the "conspiracy" was Doris Elisabeth Ritter, a 16-year-old Postdam cantor's daughter whom the Crown Prince and Katte had occasionally paid harmless visits, merely crossing the boundaries of the court. [Actually, Katte did not know Doris -- Heinrich confuses him with Ingersleben.] She was arrested on 1 September, subjected to a virginity test which gave a negative result, and was on 7 September in accordance with an absurd punishment decision by the King, publically subjected to an outdated Staupenschlag by the hangman at several corners of Potsdam town centre and then delivered "for ever" to the Spinnhaus at Spandau. The equally innocent father, a native of Wurttemberg and a student of Francke, had to leave Potsdam, he hurriedly departed for the quieter Mecklenburg. Friedrich Wilhelm released the daughter only in mid-1733. This process also demonstrates the spells of mental instability and unreasonableness into which Friedrich Wilhelm lapsed over and over again during autumn of 1730, despite his demonstratively displayed jollity."

If Heinrich is right, the punishment meted out to Doris was considered even at the time to be wildly over the top compared to the supposed offence, and a sign of temporary insanity by the King.

The use of the word "Staupenschlag" here is interesting -- it does not appear in the King's actual order, but is clearly implicit in its wording. "Staupenschlag" is an ancient word in formal German judicial language which combines a public whipping with a formal loss of honour and expulsion from polite society. Here is the definition of the word from "Zedler's Univeral-Lexicon", published in 1744 (14 years after Doris's punishment), which we can assume reflects how her contemporaries understood Doris's punishment. Note just how long the dictionary entry is:

Zedlers Univeral-Lexicon 1744 - Staupenschlag.jpg

The German text reads (from here):

"Staupenschlag, ist, da der Verurtheilte öffentlich durch die Gassen und Strassen von dem Scharf-Richter, oder dessen Knecht, über die entblößten Schultern mit Ruthen gehauen wird. An theils Orten aber werden dergleichen Verbrecher an eine besonders darzu errichtete Staup-Säule, oder den Pranger, mit Händen und Füssen angebunden, und so von dem dabey stehenden Scharf-Richter, oder dessen Knechte, mit einer gewissen Anzahl Ruthen in die blossen Seiten und über den gantzen Rücken gestrichen. Bißweilen werden auch wohl in den Besen oder die Ruthen so gar, nach Beschaffenheit des Verbrechens, und zu desto empfindlichern Schmertzen, eiserne Dräter eingeflochten welches denn gemeiniglich auf den Tod hauen heißt; weil gar öffters die damit Gestäupte davon crepiren müssen. Sonst aber ist diese Art der Strafe heutiges Tages fast die gemeinste, und zugleich eine grosse und schwere Strafe, indem sie nicht nur sehr infamiret, sondern auch dem Leibe grosse Pein und Schmertzen verursachet. Worbey zu mercken, daß diese Strafe allezeit, die ewige Landesverweisung mit sich führet. Denn es wird keiner öffentlich mit Ruthen ausgestrichen, welcher nicht zugleich des Landes ewig verwiesen wird. Wenn der Delinquent schwach und kräncklich ist, also, daß er ohne Einbusse seines Lebens oder Gesundheit keinen starcken Staupenschlag vertragen kan, alsdann wird ein gelinder Staupenschlag dictiret. Wann dannenhero ein Weib ein säugend Kind hat, so ist die Aushauung mit Ruthen oder der Staupenschlag dergestalt zu moderiren, daß dem Kinde an seiner Nahrung kein Abbruch geschehen möge.
(...) Es pflegt wohl auch der Landes Herr solche Strafe bißweilen in Vestungsbau zu verwandeln. Und zwar entweder beydes, oder nur die Landesverweisung nach ausgestandenem Staupenschlage.
"


"Staupenschlag is when the condemned is publicly whipped with rods onto the bared shoulders [and driven] through the alleys and streets by the public hangman or his assistant. In some towns, such criminals are tied hand and foot to a whipping post or pillory specially erected for this purpose, and there beaten over the bared sides and the entire back with a certain number of lashes by the attending hangman, or his assistants. Sometimes, depending on the nature of the crime and to increase the pain, iron wires are bound into the bundle of switches or rods which is commonly referred to as "beating to death", as the thus whipped often die of their injuries. Either way, this type of punishment is these days almost the most common [or "the most vicious" -- "gemein" has two meanings and it is not clear which is intended here], and at the same time a grand and heavy penalty, as it is not only very dishonouring [and/or humiliating] but also causes great pain and agony to the body. It is to be noted that this punishment is invariably combined with permanent banishment for life, as nobody is publicly whipped who is not also banished from the lands. If the delinquent is weak and sickly so that they cannot suffer such a whipping without losing life or health, a milder whipping is carried out. If a woman has a suckling child, the whipping with rods is to be moderated so that the child's nourishment is not impaired.
(...) Sometimes, the ruler of the land may commute this penalty into imprisonment. This may apply to both elements, or only to the banishment after the completed Staupenschlag"


As can be seen from the passage about women with suckling babies, this type of punishment applied to men as well as women. The final sentence applies to Doris, who was sent to the Spinnhaus for life after the whipping rather than being banished from Prussia -- since the opening of the Spinnhaus at Spandau in 1682, the rulers or Prussia generally used imprisonment rather than banishment after public whippings, as they wanted to have a cheap source of labour to spin yarn for military uniforms. Doris may have preferred banishment, as her family had to flee from Prussia to Mecklenburg two days after her whipping anyway. However, banishment was in some places accompanied by either branding (with brands indicating the offence and the town from which the offender is banished, i.e. two separate brands) or mutilation (e.g. cutting off the ears) so that a returning convict can be recognised. That may not however have been in use in 18th century Prussia any more.

There are similar but less detailed entries for "Staupenschlag" in every 19th century German dictionary, a time when the punishment was obsolete but still in living memory. The details vary, but all entries stress the dishonouring and public nature of the penalty and the automatic combination with banishment for life. Some refer to whipping through the streets, some to whipping at a post or pillory, and one says that a whipping bench may be used instead of a post. As Germany had hundreds of separate jurisdictions at the time, I would expect this simply reflects local variations. Several refer to being beaten on the naked back, most mention bundles of switches, rods or birch twigs being used (but sometimes also rope or leather whips). Some refer to forty lashes being the standard punishment, based on an Old Testament verse (anybody here knows which one?). One refers to Staupenschlag being reserved specifically for the crimes of arson and whoring. Another says that Staupenschlag commonly involved a spell standing in the pillory, and may also have been combined with shearing of the hair.

I have however seen no references at all anywhere else for the use of multiple Staupenschlag punishments in a row, as for Doris, which would support that this was a cruel and unusual punishment in the eyes of the time, when even an ordinary Staupenschlag was a severe and life-threatening penalty even for hardened criminals. In view of the wording of the King's order, and of the above dictionary entry, it may be the case that rather than six separate whippings as seems to be the consensus among modern historians referring to her, what she actually got was a combination of two stationary whippings tied to the whipping post (one in front of the Town Hall and one in front of the school house where her father taught and lived) followed by whipping through the streets. How this works together with the "standard" forty lashes count is something I will need to figure out in writing my story.

For English speakers, this 1799 German-English dictionary gives several gory translations for Staupenschlag and the associated verb stäupen and participle ausgestäupt:

Staupenschlag 1799 dictionary.jpg


"The whip given by the hand of the Hangman or Executioner", "To be whipped or lashed by the Hangman's Hand; also to be whipped at the Whipping-Post", "to give the Whip, to lash, to scourge", "to whip till the Blood comes", "to be whipt at the Cart's Arse or Tail, to be flogg'd, to receive a Flogging at the Whipping-Post", "a Whipping, Lashing", "a Whip, a Spripe, Lash, Slash or Jerk with Rods".
 
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Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
Grim history. I think one of the humane reforms enacted by that enlightened ruler Henry VIII of England was to put a stop to people being whipped naked. Instead they were tied to the whipping post half naked, and whipped till the back be bloody'. As to be whipped through the streets, I don't think that was a common punishment in England or Scotland, but the Quaker, James Nayler, was - on the order of Cromwell's Parliament, for the crime of riding into Bristol on a donkey in imitation of Christ - paraded through the streets of London being whipped at every 'kennel' (drain channel across the roadway), before being stood in a pillory with his ears nailed to the wood. Oh, and I think his tongue was burnt through with a red-hot iron.
 

Jon Smithie

Governor
Of interest is 2 Corinthians 11:24, in which Paul describes his trials and tribulations, including "Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one." Note that he says "the" forty lashes, suggesting that it was the standard punishment.

I'm not Jewish, and all I know of this is from a superficial google search, but apparently, according to Talmudic law in Makkot 22a, "forty lashes less one" was the maximum flogging sentence. The rationale was that if the convicted was sentenced to forty lashes exactly, there was the potential for a miscount, with the danger of giving the convict a lash too many, and thus violating God's law.

https://steinsaltz.org/daf/makkot22/

Also of interest is that one third of the blows were to be given on the breast, the other two thirds on the back, and would be delivered in groups of three. I don't know if that applied to women as well as men.

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/flogging

It's interesting to me that the governments of many other countries, including Germany and England, which, though Christian, supported a literal interpretation of the bible, ignored this particular stricture. As they did many others, of course. I suppose the justification was that they applied only to legalistic Jews and certainly not to the far more compassionate and enlightened believers in the New Testament, who were free to punish miscreants with hundreds of lashes.

BTW, in popular culture, the famous American writer Elmore Leonard wrote a Western titled "Forty Lashes Less One," and Quentin Tarrantino has talked about adapting it for movie or a TV mini-series.
 

windar

Teller of Tales
Grim history. I think one of the humane reforms enacted by that enlightened ruler Henry VIII of England was to put a stop to people being whipped naked. Instead they were tied to the whipping post half naked, and whipped till the back be bloody'. As to be whipped through the streets, I don't think that was a common punishment in England or Scotland, but the Quaker, James Nayler, was - on the order of Cromwell's Parliament, for the crime of riding into Bristol on a donkey in imitation of Christ - paraded through the streets of London being whipped at every 'kennel' (drain channel across the roadway), before being stood in a pillory with his ears nailed to the wood. Oh, and I think his tongue was burnt through with a red-hot iron.
Similar things happened in New England (specifically Massachusetts) as recounted here
 

twonines

Tribune
Grim history. I think one of the humane reforms enacted by that enlightened ruler Henry VIII of England was to put a stop to people being whipped naked. Instead they were tied to the whipping post half naked, and whipped till the back be bloody'. As to be whipped through the streets, I don't think that was a common punishment in England or Scotland, but the Quaker, James Nayler, was - on the order of Cromwell's Parliament, for the crime of riding into Bristol on a donkey in imitation of Christ - paraded through the streets of London being whipped at every 'kennel' (drain channel across the roadway), before being stood in a pillory with his ears nailed to the wood. Oh, and I think his tongue was burnt through with a red-hot iron.
I believe the last public whipping of a woman took place in Inverness in 1817,the year that Parliament abolished the practice. The offender was allegedly whipped at the cart`s tail.
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
Similar things happened in New England (specifically Massachusetts) as recounted here
Yes, early Quakers got up to some curious antics - 'going naked for a sign' has biblical precedents among the Prophets - both Isaiah and Ezekiel refer to doing it. A couple of young ladies who performed such witness in Oxford raised the spirits of the undergraduates, but sadly not the Spirit within them. The Proctors sent them away with a whipping.
 

nsur1

Executioner
Of interest is 2 Corinthians 11:24, in which Paul describes his trials and tribulations, including "Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one." Note that he says "the" forty lashes, suggesting that it was the standard punishment.

I'm not Jewish, and all I know of this is from a superficial google search, but apparently, according to Talmudic law in Makkot 22a, "forty lashes less one" was the maximum flogging sentence. The rationale was that if the convicted was sentenced to forty lashes exactly, there was the potential for a miscount, with the danger of giving the convict a lash too many, and thus violating God's law.

https://steinsaltz.org/daf/makkot22/

Also of interest is that one third of the blows were to be given on the breast, the other two thirds on the back, and would be delivered in groups of three. I don't know if that applied to women as well as men.

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/flogging

It's interesting to me that the governments of many other countries, including Germany and England, which, though Christian, supported a literal interpretation of the bible, ignored this particular stricture. As they did many others, of course. I suppose the justification was that they applied only to legalistic Jews and certainly not to the far more compassionate and enlightened believers in the New Testament, who were free to punish miscreants with hundreds of lashes.

BTW, in popular culture, the famous American writer Elmore Leonard wrote a Western titled "Forty Lashes Less One," and Quentin Tarrantino has talked about adapting it for movie or a TV mini-series.
I wasn't going to post this as I figure I have already posted enough 18th century book German scans in gothic typeface, but Jon's post ties in nicely with yet another book I've found at Google Books. This one has the grand Latin title of "Theatrum Poenarum, Suppliciorum Et Executionum Criminalium", or "The Theatre of capital and corporal punishments, which were not only in use in ancient times by all peoples and tribes, but are also still now being common at all four corners of the World", written and self-published by Jacob Döpler in 1697 (33 years before Doris's whipping).

The author would no doubt be a devoted CF member these days, as he has compiled in two volumes with a total of almost 1200 pages a comprehensive survey of judicial punishments as described in Roman, Greek, Jewish, Arabic and medieval sources, combined with more or less detailed descriptions of how these were still being used in 1697. It's not really easy bedtime reading, being a mix of 17th/18th century German with lengthy untranslated Latin citations from his sources, but it certainly is thorough. We have one volume of capital punishments and one volume of corporal punishments. A look at the index is intriguing (see attached PDF). It includes the following chapter headings, each with many pages of text:
  • Chapter IX: Of cuffs, chains and bondage used in ancient times to tie up and lock up slaves and prisoners, some of which are still commonly found today.
  • Chapter XVI: Of caning of boys and girls under the age of 12 to 14.
  • Chapter XX: Of drumming out and putting on straw crowns [for whores and sluts].
  • Chapter XXVII: Of being sent and welding of prisoners to the galleys.
  • Chapter XXXV: Of pillories and neck irons.
  • Chapter XXXIX: Of Staupenschlag [public flogging].
  • Chapter XLII: Of putting out the eyes.
  • Chapter XLIII: Of cutting off ears and noses.
  • Chapter XLIV: Of cutting off lips and tongues.
  • Chapter XLVII: Of cutting off and tearing apart female breasts.
  • Chapter LIII: Of castrating men and women.
  • Chapter LIV: Of cutting off male members.
  • Chapter LVII: Of the Falaka, beating or cutting open of feet.
  • Chapter LIX: Of nailing horseshoes to hands and feet.
  • Chapter LXII: Of degrading delinquents prior to their execution.
No doubt this gives you some idea of what kind of individual we are dealing with, or indeed why he had to self-publish his book. Most of the actual chapters are about 90% collected quotations from other books, mainly from antiquity, with short sections on then-current punishments where applicable. For example, the section on cutting off and tearing female breasts is mainly concerned with early Christian martyrs, but then ends with a short and disturbingly matter-of-fact paragraph saying:

"These days, when a woman has commited a gruesome murder on her husband or children and is condemned among other punishments to being torn with red hot pincers, this is done also on the breasts and arms, where there is plenty of flesh."

The main exception to this is the section on Staupenschlag (public flogging) which is particularly lengthy (32 pages, see attached) and equally interested in current practices as in antique precedent. Reading it next to the dictionary entry in "Zedler's Univeral-Lexicon" from 1744, which I have quoted in my previous post, makes it readily apparent that Zedler got most of the material for his description from this book, in parts quoting verbatim (but without attribution). Thus, Döpler is the source for the Zedler's suggestion that whipping was mainly done by the hangman while chasing the delinquent through the streets of the town, up to the town gate through which he or she was then sent for banishments -- all the other German sources I have seen describe the delinquent being tied to a whipping post, pillory or bench to present a fixed target. I have to say the logistics of flogging on the move seem tricky to me, and I suspect that Döpler may not have spoken to or watched actual hangmen doing this. At least Döpler does address head-on the question we are all wondering about: if delinquents were stripped to the waist, what about female breasts:

"When a delinquent is condemned [to public flogging], the Hangman will bare his back or their entire upper body and he will be driven while being hit with rods from the Town Hall or Court House to or across the Market Square and through the alleys to the town gate or however far is customary. When a rod is worn and no longer sharp, the Hangman will throw it away for his assistant to pick upm and he will take from that assistant a fresh replacement. It is to be considered that when a woman is being flogged, to prevent public nuisance, a cloth is placed in front of her breasts."

Again I have problems with the logistics here: once a woman has been stripped to the waist, how to you affix a cloth to cover her breasts and how do you keep them covered when her back is bare and you are driving her in a state of distress through the streets, across the market square and eventually chasing her out of the town gate, continually hitting her with rods. Somehow, in that scenario I cannot see public decency being the main priority for either hangman or delinquent!

Getting back to Jon's post, Döpler does quote in his chapter all of the Old and New Testament and Talmud verses than Jon has referred to, including the "40 lashes less one" and the letters of St. Paul.
 

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Jon Smithie

Governor
It's not really easy bedtime reading, being a mix of 17th/18th century German with lengthy untranslated Latin citations from his sources,
Would that I were fluent in German and Latin! I do have a limited acquaintance with both, but not to the extent that I would be able to make any headway in the Theatrum Peonarum. I am determined to improve my German, however, and have decided to begin a close study of Mark Twain's The Awful German Language ("Awful," I'm sure, meant in its archaic meaning, i.e. "full of awe") by way of attaining fluency.
A look at the index is intriguing
Indeed it is. I was especially curious about the following:
Of being sent and welding of prisoners to the galleys.
I assume this means that the shackles at the galley's rowing benches were more or less permanently welded onto the prisoner. So prisoners were not able to take comfort breaks, coffee breaks, or just get up when things were slow, stretch their legs and admire the view. I would think it would make it inconvenient at best to release a prisoner from his bench when his sentence were over, or if he were sick, or disabled. Maybe instead of cutting the shackles off the prisoner, the prisoner was cut off the shackles? I wonder what the average life expectancy of galley slaves was?
Of castrating men and women.
Men and women? They didn't give anybody a break! I've heard about female "circumcision" aka female genital mutilation, but I wonder what Dopler had in mind with castrating women.
Of nailing horseshoes to hands and feet.
When pony play gets real.
Of degrading delinquents prior to their execution.
Not enough to kill them, you have to embarrass them first. I believe the English philosophy of the 17th-19th century was that a person sentenced to capital punishment could not be subjected to corporal punishment as well. Was that different in Germany? I don't know about America, either, come to think of it, but we Americans usually followed the English model.
Again I have problems with the logistics here: once a woman has been stripped to the waist, how to you affix a cloth to cover her breasts
I would guess a halter top or apron sort of garment. I've noticed occassionally in other writing of the 1700-1800's, that when a narrator mentions that a woman was stripped of her clothing, it turns out he only means she was stripped to her chemise and skirts. I'm hopeful that that typically was nothing more than a gentle dissimulation to protect the finer feelings of the readers of the time. But no, the idea that a woman might be subjected to a public punishment and yet allowed to protect her modesty really doesn't bear thinking about.
 
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