Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Scourgers in New South Wales

1809 - 1836

In 1836 there were twenty five scourgers employed throughout New South Wales at a cost of £798, each being paid Is. 9d. per day [1]

Every district Magistrate had a district constable and two ordinary ones under his command; and also a scourger, to inflict corporal punishment

SELECT FROM THE DISTRICTS below to find the names of some of the Scourgers employed in New South Wales:

Brisbane Water
Sutton Forest
Carter's Barracks
Hyde Park Barracks
Lower Portland Head
Patrick Plains
Pattersons Plains
Phoenix Hulk
Port Stephens
Upper Hunter River


John Nowlan appointed Scourger at Lumley in the room of Joseph Shuigfield who was dismissed - Sydney Gazette 30 December 1828

Thomas Hyams / Hyman per Champion appointed scourger at Inverary in the room of John Nowlan deceased - Sydney Gazette 26 March 1831.


William Robinson per Grenada 1819 appointed flagellator at Bathurst. - Sydney Gazette 10 November 1826.

David Morris per Countess of Harcourt was Scourger at Bathurst prior to 1831.

George Wilson per Sir Charles Forbes appointed Scourger and constable in the room of David Morris who obtained his ticket of leave. Sydney Gazette 17 December 1831

Stephen Maypole per Clyde - scourger at at No. 2 Stockade. Witness in Court Sydney Gazette 7 November 1835. Later tried for bushranging

George Wingfield per Isabella appointed constable and scourger in the room of George Barclay dismissed. Sydney Monitor 20 August 1836

George Barclay appointed constable and scourger in the room of George Winfield dismissed. Sydney Monitor 10 March 1837

Return of Corporal Punishments inflicted by Order of the Court of Petty Sessions at Bathurst, from the 1st to the 30th September 1833, inclusively, in the presence of Thomas Evernden, J.P. Superintendent of Police.


William Wirdnam/ Warnham per Shipley. On return of constables in district of Bringelly. Scourger. Colonial Secretary's correspondence 16 May 1825

George Morrow per Countess of Harcourt - Constable and scourger at Bringelly - The Australian 9 August 1826

John Callow appointed Constable and scourger at Bringelly in place of George Morrow who was dismissed for repeated misconduct - Sydney Gazette 16 September 1826.

Abraham Clarke per Atlas appointed constable and scourger at Bringelly in place of John Callon/Callow who resigned - The Monitor 28 June 1828

Dennis McCarthy per Mangles appointed constable and scourger in the room of Abraham Clarke - Sydney Gazette 9 May 1829

Thomas Clarke ticket of leave holder appointed constable and scourger in the room of Dennis McCarthy who was dismissed - Sydney Gazette 6 February 1830

Brisbane Water

James Waddale / Waddell arrived on the Baring in 1819. Appointed Scourger at Brisbane Water - Sydney Gazette 4 October 1826. Waddell's wife Letitia who arrived on the Lord Wellington declined to join him at Newcastle in 1822 because of the peculiarity of his employment.

Charles Keys arrived on the Shipley in 1822. He was appointed Scourger at Brisbane Water in place of James Waddell who was dismissed for improper conduct - Sydney Gazette 29 January 1829

Robert Chitty arrived on the Sophia in 1829. He was appointed constable and scourger at Brisbane in place of Charles Keys, deceased - Sydney Gazette 24 September 1829. Later he joined the Jewboy bushranger gang

Bong Bong \ Sutton Forest

Jacob Wroughton arrived on the Grenada in 1819 He was appointed to act as Scourger and Petty constable - Sydney Gazette 19 February 1827

Thomas Ramsden per Earl St. Vincent appointed scourger in the room of Jacob Wroughton who was dismissed - Sydney Gazette 20 August 1827

James Wade per Medina appointed constable and scourger in place of Thomas Ramsden who resigned - The Monitor 19 July 1828

Michael Burn/ Byrne per Marquis Huntley appointed scourger in the room of James Wade who resigned - Sydney Gazette 6 February 1830

William Paul Bond appointed constable and scourger in the room of William Clarke committed for trial Sydney Herald 28 October 1833
*Byrne*Byrne, former scourger of Bong Bong one of a gang of bushrangers who flogged a ticket of leave man - Sydney Monitor 19 December 1835


Joseph Rogers arrived on the Minerva in 1819 scourger at Minto Gaol - On return of constables in Co. Camden. - Colonial Secretary's correspondence June/ July 1825

Stephen Curran arrived on the Baring in 1815 - constable and scourger at Camden - to be dismissed for improper conduct - Sydney Gazette 24 March 1827

Edward Gately per Lonach appointed scourger at Cawdor - Sydney Gazette 14 March 1828


Jeremiah Byrne/ Burns per Castle Forbes appointed scourger in the room of James Winwood who was removed to Illawarra Sydney Gazette 10 March 1827.

Return of Corporal Punishments inflicted by the Bench of Magistrates at Campbelltown, from the 1st to the 30th September 1833, inclusively, in the presence of the Police Magistrate, William Howe, Esq., J.P., and John Coghill, Esq., J.P. Page 2

Carter's Barracks

Dr. Paley, under the head of punishments, expresses his opinion, that all public exhibitions of bodily suffering, whether of death or otherwise, should be avoided as much as possible; and states a mode of execution of the penalty of death, which would affect the imagination without hardening the heart.

The late superintendent of the Carter's Barracks (Dr. Elyard) adopting this principle, administered the torture of the scourge in a peculiar way. After every lash, the scourger waited a minute. The effect on the imaginations of the culprit and the by-standers, was increased by this means, while the real amount of torture was reduced; for the Doctor always found 20 lashes, this way, less endurable than 50 'the common method. Twelve lashes occupying 12 minutes, he found was considered by the culprits a dreadful punishment. So much so, that at length even six lashes made them tremble, and became the substitute for the ordinary trifle (as it is thought) of five-and twenty. - The Monitor 1 September 1826

Joseph Snipe was employed as Constable at the Treadmill at Carter's Barracks in 1830 - Sydney Monitor 29 September 1830


Edward Reynolds, scourger received rations from H.M. Stores. Colonial Secretary's Correspondence 6 May 1809

John Conner, scourger. Discharged from Hawkesbury Stores. May 1809

Hyde Park Barracks

Alexander Green arrived on the Countess of Harcourt in 1824. He was employed as scourger at Hyde Park Barracks in the 1820's and later as executioner

James Stewart constable and scourger at Hyde Park Barracks, witness in court - Sydney Herald 29 May 1834

Return of Corporal Punishments inflicted by Sentence of the Hyde Park Barrack Bench, from the 4th to the 30th Septembr 1833, in the presence of E.A. Slade, J.P. Superintendent Hyde Park Barracks.


John O'Donnell, arrived on the Sophia in 1829. In 1831 as a ticket of leave holder and late scourger he was appointed constable at Invermein in the room of John Dorkins who resigned - Sydney Gazette 2 June 1831

John Wiseman per Larkins 1817 appointed scourger at Invermein - Sydney Gazette 2 February 1832

William Shearman arrived on the England in 1826. He was scourger at Invermein in 1841 when he was tried for the murder of George Clerk/ Clark.........

Sunday our police magistrate held a court of inquiry and a post mortem examination on the body of a man named Clark, who was proved to have met his death in the following manner :-On Saturday night, the deceased with four or five others, was standing near the Inn at Murrurundi, when the scourger assigned to Scone Bench, named Shearman, made his appearance, having it is supposed, been sent to press another party of our ticket-of-leave servants, to go in pursuit of the bushrangers, and as usual, without any person to control him in his wild pranks. He marched up to the group and exclaimed' what is all this' ! and then fired a pistol at random amongst the people. Clark fell and expired in two hours. The scourger was instantly secured, and will of course be tried for the murder. Sydney Herald 15 June 1841........

J A Robertson examined by Mr Cheeke - I am Police Magistrate of Scone, I have known the prisoner since March,1840, and I have always found him the most efficient constable I have had, though of the lowest grade of constables, he is of a bold and reckless temper, but he is not a passionate man, he was always reckless in the discharge of his duty, and he was better to me in the bush than any six other constables. To the Judge.-Shearman is detested by all the convict population of this district, and his general character is as good as that of other constables, he was out after the bushrangers in June, and particularly after Wilson, and he had orders to go armed. He has been a prisoner since 1825, but I intended applying to the Governor for his ticket, in consequence of his efficient discharge of his duty. The Attorney General declined replying on behalf of the Crown. Mr Justice Stephen charged the Jury at great length, and read over the whole of the evidence. The Jury retired for about 20 minutes, and upon their return to Court delivered a verdict of Not Guilty. Mr Justice Stephen addressed the prisoner and expressed his approval of the verdict, as there had been doubt in the case, but said, that as the prisoner appeared to be a violent man, he should be removed from the district. Sydney Herald 13 September 1841


James Darby. Scourger at Liverpool. Colonial Secretary's Correspondence 8 September 1821

Curtis - Scourger at Liverpool in 1822. Petition for salary

Lewis Francisco per Hercules 1825 - a black man who was employed as scourger at Liverpool - The Australian 16 August 1826

Lower Portland Head

John Smith per Marquis of Huntley appointed scourger in the room of John Donohue dismissed - Sydney Gazette 27 July 1830

James Lennox per James Pattison appointed constable and scourger - Sydney Gazette 26 November 1831

Charles Lane per Claudine appointed scourger in place of James Lennox - Sydney Gazette 15 March 1832


Return of Corporal Punishments inflicted by Sentence of the Bench of Magistrates at Maitland from the 1st to 30 September 1833, in the presence of P.N. Anley, J.P. Resident Magistrate.


The convict, John Slater who arrived on the Larkins in 1817, described Newcastle in April 1818.....

'The Commandant (Morisset) is a humane good man, but the people are such a set of rascals, punishment is actually necessary to be frequent for example's sake. The punishment generally inflicted at this place is corporal, and that over the breech, by the beat of drums, two floggers alternately administering 25 lashes.' According to Major Morisset the offence most frequently punished by flogging was escaping into the bush. He believed that if it could be prevented he would be able to abolish corporal punishment altogether. However, such offences as repeated theft, smuggling, homosexual practices, insolence, refusal to work and attacks on natives or other convicts were also punished by the lash. - Slater, John, fl. 1817-1818 A description of Sydney, Parramatta, Newcastle, etc. settlements in New South Wales, with some account of the manners and employment of the convicts in a letter from John Slater, to his wife in Nottingham, published for the benefit of his wife and four children. Canberra : National Library of Australia, c1988 - University of Newcastle.

John Large per Atlas 1816 scourger at Newcastle 1819 - 1823

William Thompson per Ocean 1823 was employed as scourger at Newcastle in 1825.

Robert Young arrived on the Hindostan in 1809 as a soldier of the 73rd regiment. He was sent to Newcastle for a colonial crime in 1811 and was listed the return of constables for the Counties of Northumberland and Durham 18 April 1825 and was also employed as scourger - Colonial Secretary's Correspondence

James Longbottom per Minerva appointed scourger in place of Robert Young, who was removed in consequence of the finding of Coroner's Inquest - The Monitor 29 September 1830 (See Sydney Gazette 15 January 1831 for the trial of Robert Young)

Patrick Crinion per Cambridge appointed scourger at Newcastle in the room of David Newton GG 30 May 1832.

Joseph Fleming appointed constable in the room of Patrick Crinion who was dismissed for theft. - Sydney Gazette 6 September 1832

Thomas Bray per Midas 1827 was scourger at the Stockade in August 1835.

Edward Gretton per Princess Victoria 1834 was scourger of the No. 3 Stockade at Newcastle in 1835

George Botham who arrived on the Parmelia in 1834 applied for the position of scourger in 1835......He was unpopular with the convicts at Newcastle as the following court cases shows..... John Tilley, stood indicted for striking George Botham with a spade or shovel, with intent to kill and murder him, at Newcastle on August 24th. Another count laid it with intent to do some bodily harm. It appeared from the evidence for the prosecution that the prisoner and prosecutor both belonged to the ironed gang at Newcastle. On the day laid in the indictment, Botham and others were employed filling a cart with stone, when Botham received a blow on the back of his head, which made him insensible, and, according to the evidence of Dr. Brooks; if it had not been in a slanting direction must have been fatal. Two other men belonging to the gang (Dredge and Byrnes) positively swore that they saw Tilley strike Botham with a spade, and Byrnes said, that Tilley stated, he would give himself up. It appeared, that Botham had previously applied for the situation of scourger, and had otherwise given annoyance to the gang by giving an account of some misconduct which had occurred. For the defence several witnesses were called; Sergeant Sherry of the 4th Regiment, deposed that he was on duty on the day which the accident occurred and he heard Dredge and Byrnes and several others of the gang, say, they did not see how he got the hurt; they only saw him fall, and that Botham himself said, his head got light and he fell against a stone, and upon his (the Sergeant's) asking him, if any one had struck him, he said, no. The men were found not guilty. - The Monitor 14 November 1835

In June 1836 the Sydney Herald reported.......The man who acted as scourger at Newcastle was stabbed by a prisoner of the Crown last week, and his life despaired of. The monster stabbed the man under the ribs, and repeated the blow in the abdomen until his bowels actually protruded. The fellow was brought before the Magistrates and committed. - Sydney Herald 16 June 1836. The man who stabbed George Botham was Michael Brannigan, a convict attached to the Newcastle Stockade who had arrived on the Cambridge in 1827. He was indicted for stabbing or George Botham scourger to the Stockade, with intent to kill and murder him. A second count laid the offence as being, committed with intent to do him some grievous bodily harm. It appeared that the prisoner had been sentenced to receive fifty lashes, and was left in charge of the prosecutor, while a messenger was sent for the surgeon to attend the punishment. Without any provocation being given, the prisoner stabbed the prosecutor in the belly and breast with a knife which he had concealed. The prosecutor was taken to the hospital, and the wounds were so severe that Dr. Brooks considered him in danger of his life for upwards of a week. The prisoner was found guilty and received a sentence of death - Sydney Herald 4 August 1836

William Mackay was a former scourger. In 1836 he was working as a convict at the Newcastle Stockade having been dismissed from the position of scourger. The other convicts continually taunted him with reproaches. On 17th June, he attacked William Cullen with a knife. He was indicted for stabbing Cullen with intent to kill and murder him. A second count laid the offence as being committed to do same grievous bodily harm. The prisoner stabbed the prosecutor while at dinner and when taken into custody by Serjeant Canning he said he had done it with Intent to get hanged. The line of defence set up by Mackay was, that in consequence of his having at a former period been a scourger, he was abused by the men in the gang, but more especially by the prosecutor, to such a degree that life was unbearable. The wounds Inflicted were very slight. William Mackay was found guilty on the first account.' Sydney Herald 4 August 1836. Justice Kinchela said, the sentence would have been the forfeiture of life, but they had considered the irritation under which he was influenced, but no provocation was a justification for such an outrage; Mackay received a sentence of death recorded. SG 20 August 1836


James Walton per Glatton on list of constables at Parramatta. Scourger. Colonial Secretary's Correspondence 12 January 1825. James Walton was viciously attacked in 1825.......

Two hundred dollars reward. Whereas on the night of Friday, the 11th instant (September) about twelve o'clock, a most violent and outrageous attack was committed on the person of James Walton, scourger and constable of Parramatta. It appears James Walton resides in a dwelling contiguous to the old Factory, Parramatta; about twelve o'clock a constable called him up to go on duty at the gaol (as was usual;) Walton got up and went into the front yard, on his turning about to re- turn into his dwelling, he was knocked down in the door way, where he lay for some time insensible, by some person or per- sons unknown. On examination in the morning it was discovered that he had received a severe wound on the back part of his head, and some severe bruises on his person. A very large bludgeon, has been found on the premises, with which it is sup- posed the blows were inflicted. Any person, or persons giving information that may lead, to the conviction of the party or parties concerned in the said outrageous and murderous assault, will receive a reward of Two Hundred Dollars by applying at Walker's Hotel, Parramatta. The Australian 22 September 1825

Joseph Thompson, free by servitude, appointed scourger in the room of James Walton who was dismissed for highly improper conduct - Sydney Gazette 27 March 1830

Stockade - Jenkins employed as scourger - Sydney Gazette 22 December 1838.....

The Scourger of Parramatta who lately had the imprudence to swear a robbery against a newly arrived emigrant, and whose complaint was dismissed has since been tried and found guilty of prevarication in making such complaint, and sentenced 12 months to an ironed gang. - Sydney Monitor 9 January 1839.

Return of Corporal Punishments inflicted by Sentence of th Bench of Magistrates at Parramatta, from the 1st to 30th September 1833, in the presence of S. Wright J.P. Resident Magistrate.

Patrick Plains

John Calderwood arrived on the Prince Regent in 1824. He was appointed Constable and Scourger - Sydney Gazette 14 March 1828

John Calderwood resigned in November 1830 - Sydney Gazette 30 November 1830

Duncan McArthur per Albion appointed constable and scourger in the room of John Calderwood Sydney Gazette 30 December 1830

George Fawcett who arrived on the Susan in 1834 was employed as constable and scourger at Patrick Plains. Witness in court Sydney Herald 9 November 1838

Patrick's Plains, February 8. Apprehension of three Bushrangers.......On Saturday the Police Magistrate, having received information of three bushrangers being in the district, gave orders for the constables to go in pursuit of them, and on Sunday, Harris, the scourger, a prisoner for life, having received information where they were armed, went himself in pursuit of them, and after some difficulty he succeeded in capturing all three of them and they were safely lodged in the Lock-up. Surely the Governor will give this man some indulgence for his meritorious conduct, this making altogether seventeen he has either helped to take or taken The Australian 11 February 1840

John Drew scourger at Singleton - Australasian Chronicle 7 November 1840

Patterson Plains

Joseph Thompson per Ocean 1823 appointed constable and scourger at Paterson Plains. - Colonial Secretary's Correspondence 31 August 1825

George Higgins arrived on the Ann in 1810 - Sydney Gazette 20 August 1827

William Smith per Somersetshire appointed Constable and Scourger in place of George Higgins, deceased.

William Oldaker appointed scourger in the room of John Scully who was dismissed - Sydney Gazette 5 November 1828-

Benjamin Harris per America appointed scourger in the room of William Oldaker, who was deceased - Sydney Gazette 8 November 1832

David Newton - Return of Corporal Punishment inflicted by Sentence of the Bench in the presence of P.N. Anley, Magistrate. 50 lashes for drunkenness and neglect as scourger. Back much cut but did not bleed September 1833

Return of Corporal Punishments inflicted by Sentence of the Bench at Paterson, from 1st September to 1st October 1833 inclusive, in the presence of P.N. Anley, J.P.,


John Wall per Martha appointed constable and scourger in the district of Evan in the room of (Charles) Keys per Shipley 1822 who was transported to Port Macquarie. - Colonial Secretary's correspondence 22 September 1824

William Smith per Mary 1822 recommended to the position of scourger and constable at Evan. - Colonial Secretary's Correspondence 14 February 1825

James Norman per Mangles appointed constable and scourger at Penrith - The Australian 5th April 1826

Abraham Taylor per ship Campbell Macquarie appointed scourger at Penrith in place of James Norman who was dismissed for improper conduct. -The Australian 17 January 1827.

James Turner per Countess of Harcourt was appointed scourger in the room of Abraham Taylor who was dismissed for improper conduct - Sydney Gazette 3 August 1827

John Lawrence per Prince Regent appointed scourger in the room of James Turner dismissed for highly improper conduct - Sydney Gazette 31 December 1827

John Houldham (?Houlihan) per Norfolk appointed constable and scourger in the room of John Lawrence who was dismissed for drunkenness and improper conduct - Sydney Gazette 1 October 1829.

Phoenix Hulk

Mr. J. Sleight was Superintendent at the Phoenix Hulk in 1826. Select here to read his description of the cat o nine tails used at the hulk in this year.

CORONER'S INQUEST.-On Thursday an inquest was held at the ' Bunch of Grapes,' King-street, on the body of Daniel Burke, an old man lying at the General Hospital. The deceased had formerly been a scourger on board the Phoenix hulk, but had latterly resided at Botany. A few days ago he was found in a hut there in a deplorable state, and removed to the Hospital. He was said to have been a very intemperate man, and the surgeon was of opinion that that circumstance accelerated his death. The jury returned a verdict to that effect. - Sydney Gazette 8 December 1838

Port Stephens

Anthony Curren per Friendship 1800 employed as scourger at Port Stephens 1823/24/25


Edward Gately, scourger appointed Constable at Bargo in the room of Michael Gorman - Sydney Gazette 29 September 1831 Champion to act as ScouJames Stewart per Champion to act as Scourger at Stonequarry - Sydney Gazette 8 November 1831

William Wilkins per Lord Melville appointed constable and scourger in the room of James Stewart who was dismissed - Sydney Gazette 13 September 1832 William Wilkins, a constable and scourger of No. I Stockade, stood indicted for forgery, in attaching the signature of H. C. Antill, J. P. Police Magistrate of Stone Quarry District, to a document purporting to be a certificate of the trial and conviction at Stone Quarry Petty Sessions, of one Patrick Neil, who was stated in the said document to have received sentence of 12 months to an ironed rang, on which certificate the prisoner had received the sum of £5, as a reward for the alleged apprehension of the said Patrick Neil, thereby defrauding the Government, no such person having been apprehended by him, or convicted, as set forth in the said fraudulent certificate; Major Antill's evidence proved the forgery of his signature to the document in question.-' Guilty.' Sentenced to be-transported for life. - Sydney Monitor 13 August 1836

John Morton scourger at Stonequarry - The Sydney Monitor 7 May 1838

Return of Corporal Punishments inflicted by Sentence of the Bench of Magistrates at Stonequarry, from 1st to 30 September 1833 inclusive in the presence of H.C. Antill J.P., Resident Magistrate.

Upper Hunter River

The old flogger at Merton, having been promoted to the situation of Sydney hang-man, much inconvenience has been felt since the vacancy of his office, prisoners having been obliged to travel about sixty miles to get flogged. This is now remedied by the appointment of a scourger for that district. - Sydney Herald 3 April 1823.

William Clayton per England appointed Scourger - Sydney Gazette 4 June 1827

William Clayton dismissed from position of scourger for neglect of duty - Sydney Gazette 29 August 1829

James Pickup per Sesostris appointed scourger at Merton in the room of William Clayton Sydney Gazette 20 October 1829-


Richard Townsend per Baring 1819, Scourger.Stephen Curran per Baring 1819, Scourger. On list of prisoners victualled at Windsor. Colonial Secretary's correspondence. 19 September 1822

Stephen Curran Dismissed from position of Scourger for improper conduct Colonial Secretary's Correspondence 1 March 1825 on return of constables at Windsor. Scourger. Colonial Secretary's correspondence - December 1822 - 5 July 1825 (1825 states arrived on the Morley in 1817)

John Kirton per Larkins appointed constabJohn Kirton per Larkins appointed constable and scourger in the room of William Reynolds per Morley who resigned Sydney Gazette 14 December 1827

William McCoy per Albion appointed constable and scourger in the room of John Kirton who resigned -Sydney Gazette 29 September 1831

Daniel Boyle per Hercules appointed constable and scourger in the room of Thoms Sumpter who was promoted Sydney Gazette 25 April 1835

John Charters scourger at the gaol was found guilty of stealing £11 from the person of John Poulther and sentenced to 3 years in irons - Sydney Monitor 18 August 1840

Return of Corporal Punishments inflicted by Sentence of Magistrates at Windsor, from the 1st to the 30th September 1833 in the presence of S. North, J.P., Superintendent of Police.

Whipping as a Punishment

Extract from the Sydney Monitor 1833........

We shall not discuss the question, as to how far whipping is objectionable altogether as a punishment. Most men who have been accustomed to see that punishment inflicted in the army and navy, approve of it. The experience of such men is urged as the best authority; but we are sorry to say; that experience of another kind has taught impartial and profound thinking men, that the members of every profession, are very sorry judges of the faults of their respective professions. Whoever heard of Judges recommending leniency in the law ? or of Bishops recommending leniency in Church discipline, or decrease of tythes and Easter offerings ? neither are we to look for leniency in military men. other sticklers for flogging in the army, all vindicated the flogging as it took place fifty years ago, when for one lash which is given in the navy and army now, five or ten were given in the last century. But there is a great difference in honour and sentiment, between sailors and soldiers on the one hand, and men transported for all sorts of crimes on the other. Hence it by no means follows, that because an army may be brought to a high degree of professional pride, so as to consider death preferable to the degradation of the scourge, therefore transports are possessed of the same high feelings, and require the same superior treatment. The stupid ass will take a beating much more patiently than the high mettled racer. On the other hand, we do not consider it a safe conclusion, that because whipping is retained in the army in a measure, therefore it is necessary to the due subordination of a prison population like that which exists in New South Wales.

We shall not in fact go into the question whether whipping might, by means of the tread-mill, and solitary confinement, and other irksome punishments, be superseded. What we undertake to do now is, to give an account of a whipping which we saw inflicted in Hyde-park Barracks last week, and to make some comment on that punishment; and the nature of whipping generally. We expected the punishment would take place in the yard of the Barracks, in the open air; but it being a cold day, it took place in a room at the east end of the southern range of offices.

On being ushered into the room, we saw a table, on one end of which was a small bed rolled up in the shape of a bolster. The culprit was brought in. The Superintendent of the Barracks (Mr. Slade) was in attendance; and also his assistant, with the warsdmen. Mr. Slade directed a person present, who we suppose was a Barrack clerk, to read the warrant. This being done, the culprit was ordered to strip, which he did very obediently, and advanced to the end of the table. He leaned forward over the table, by, which his breast came to rest on the bed rolled-up as before-mentioned. He extended his arms and two men made them fast with cords, one to each side of the middle of the table. The same men then tied his legs to the legs of the table but owing to the end of the top of the table projecting beyond the legs of the table as is common with tables of that form or make, the legs of the culprit we observed could not be brought in sufficiently close contact with' the legs of the table, so that in the writhing of the culprit during the execution, one of his legs got loose. A table should be made of a pattern precisely adapted to the purpose. The culprit being now completely tied hands and feet so as to give the executioner fair room, and a clear view, the latter commenced his painful duty.

The executioner was a tall, muscular man. He took his position, measuring the distance with great care, which is a principal point with him. He then stepped out one leg, stretched forth his right arm, and throwing the lashes around his head with a degree of manly grace, worthy of a less horrible occasion, he brought the fatal tails to a certain point in the dread convolution, and then raising himself on the great toe of the left foot, he struck the ends of the tails of the scourge with such prodigious force on the left shoulder blade the the culprit, that we looked for blood to spurt out instanter. To our sur prise, there appeared only half-a-dozen red streaks, and no indication of blood. The culprit now turned his head, and said to the flogger in a very subdued tone, 'on the other side, if you please.' The fact was that the man had been flogged two or three weeks before, and in one part of the left shoulder, the old wound had not quite healed, and he was desirous to be flogged on the right shoulder instead of the left. The scourger repeated the blow will the same tremendous force, which made us shrink again, and again to expect fatal consequences. It seemed actually like cutting the man in two. We were again surprised to see only a few red streaks make their appearance in addition to those produced by the first blow.

We did not perceive the culprit lose his breath, but we are told, that some men cannot call out the first three or four lashes, in consequence of their lungs being prevented from playing for a few seconds; an effect we do not wonder at, for we lost half our breath ourselves, on witnessing the first blow, and we feel persuaded, had we been in the culprit's situation, we should have quite lost the other half. A feeling came over our minds, that the scourger would surely not he firm enough to keep on with such prodigious force as he commenced with. But he never abated the weight of a grain during the whole of the execution. Between each blow, seven seconds were counted; which appeared to give all parties breath, both scourger, and culprit, and spectators; for we do believe, that novices in looking on, suffer part of what the culprit does, from mere sympathy. At the third blow the man began to writhe, at the fourth to groan, at the fifth and successive blows, to cry out, as one enduring great agony. When the culprits cry out in this way, it makes the spectators look very white, and feel very qualmish, until they get used to it ; but we observed, that the men who tied the prisoners, having nothing to do, seem ed to feel a good deal with him. They looked very queer. The executioner himself seemed too deeply engaged, to think of any thing but his arduous and laborious duty, for nothing could exceed the dreadful vigour and Herculean grace, with which he wielded the burning weapon, which fell like molten lead, for pain and weight, on the back of the screeching prisoner. At length to our great relief the words twenty five were pronounced, and one more blow put an end to the cries of the sufferer, and he was untied.

The right shoulder was not touched. The left was covered with a patch of deep purple, as though it had been dyed with mulberries. The old wound bled, and this gave the execution a revolting appearance. At Moreton Bay, the prisoners used to be flogged until the skin was all off both shoulders, and then a sort of red bladder would rise, into which the tails fell at every stroke. The sight of such severe scourging, must have been very awful. When the blood does not flow, you are more struck with the force of the blows, than with any other circumstance. There is a great difference, we were told, between the flesh of one man and of an other. The skin of some breaks after one dozen lashes, and then the brood flows freely. Other men bleed little or none after a hundred lashes.

It is calculated, by Mr Slade, who has often witnessed military executions, that every lash given with the present scourge at the Hyde-park barracks, is equal in severity to four given in the army. But none but a very strong and expert scourger could make it equal to four. The executioner drew his hand, secundum artem, at every blow, which caused the tails to cut, with out diminishing the force with which they were laid on. We feel persuaded that a novice could not have given the blows with more than half the severity, with which our executioner administered them. We remember witnessing an execution at the gaol sometime ago. The tails were as long again as those of the whip used at the barrack. The scourger delivered his blows with a moderate swing of his arm, but in consequence of the great length of the tails and of knots being in them, and the cords being of a harder twist than those of the Hyde park barrack whip, the effect was nearly as severe. We noticed, too, that whenever the knots fell on the man in the gaol the skin came off at every, knot. The Hyde-park barrack whips are of a softer twist and the three knots in each tail are slight, being made with one strand only; hence, by an unskilful scourger, twenty-five, lashes with the present scourge, at the Hyde park barrack, would not be more severe that a scourging at the Blue-coat school of an old offender. What strikes the beholder in the present mode of scourging at the Hyde-park barrack is, the prodigious force with which the blows are laid on. They sound perfectly terrific, and you look or the swooning of the culprit under each of them; until, by mere repetition, you are, at length convinced, that he is strong enough to sustain them by the score. It occurs to you, how strange at is to see one fellow creature, nowise inferior, perhaps, in mind, or in personal endowments to his fellows compelled to submit to such extraordinary pain and degradation; and, yet, that such doings are absolutely necessary, to prevent one class of men mal-treating their peaceable and unoffending neighbours; and that the culprit, whose cries for mercy are now so heart-rending, would, if not thus chastised, be soon encouraged to pillage, ravish, and destroy, all who did not submit to his will. We should think, that a man with an internal disease, especially an organic- disease might die under the weight of above three or four dozen blows; and therefore, that as death would bring great discredit on the Government, a surgeon should attend whenever the sentence exceeds twenty five lashes.

A man may be a hardened pick-pocket, and yet not able to endure such weighty blows as we saw administered. Fifty lashes being equal to two hundred in the army, we pronounce the mode of flogging in the army much the severer of the two; not four times perhaps, but certainly above twice; for it is the number of lashes which torments. Fifty large portions of torture, can never be equal to two hundred smaller portions. Thin whipcord, which acts and tortures with out bruising, must be nearly as painful as stripes inflicted by a thick cord, such as are used in the navy. Therefore the army punishment is preferable to that of the navy. A smaller number of lashes will answer the same end, without damaging a man's back, which is an evil to be mitigated as much as possible. 'We should therefore recommend the same sort of whip, and the same number of lashes to be used in this Colony, as is used in the army, as damaging the back less than the heavy scourge used in the navy. The present Hyde Park scourge is, in point of weight, between the army scourge and the navy one. For it is not right in inflicting any punishment, whether that of solitary confinement, or of tread-mill, or of scourging, to injure a man's health, or decrease his bodily vigour. Because such an effect can be avoided and yet the culprit may be put to an equal degree of torture. The end of all punishment, legitimately considered, is torture; and not the injuring muscular vigour or general health. The latter is the Russian and Chinese practice, and is to be reprobated by all civilized nations. Never let us lose sight of the ends of punishment. Those ends are benignant. And hence they require that as little damage be done to the body or mind of the culprit, as is possible, consistently with his due chastisement, and a due example and warning to other evil doers. On the principles we have laid down the half of every sentence above twenty five lashes, should be delivered on the right shoulder. One hundred blows, such as we heard and saw fall on the left shoulder-blade of the culprit in the Hyde park Barrack, would greatly damage the flesh of tender-skinned men, if all delivered on the left- shoulder. '

We compare the Hyde Park Barrack whip with one which had been used in a man-a -war. The latter was two-thirds thicker in the cord, and we should think, neatly as heavy again. It was also three inches longer both in the handle and tails. On the whole it was a much more formidable instrument, save, that the tails had no knots in them. But some cats used in the navy have knots. Such knotted cats would be twice as severe as the present Hyde Park Barrack cat, and the blows from such cats must deprive the culprit of his breath on the first application. Logan's cat, at Moreton Bay, was of awful weight and the men often hung their heads, either for loss of breath, or in fainting fits, while he and his officers, surgeon and all, looked on and cracked their jokes. Some died afterwards in the hospital. But it is said, they never died of the flogging, according to the book. We rejoice that Logan himself was afterwards cut in pieces, either by the blacks or whites. He died just as such a man ought to die.

We offer the following as the result of a good deal of thinking on the subject, and of some experience in this Colony to assigned servants.

1st. That the legitimate end of scourging is the administering the greatest quantity of torture, with the least damage to bodily health and vigour.

2nd. That therefore, a man-o'-war's cat is an improper instrument, notwithstanding that custom has rendered it less odious in the eyes of naval men than in the eyes of others; because it bruises a man's flesh, takes away his breath, is not without danger when used on a man of weak constitution, while the torture it inflicts is not greater than the same number of lashes administered with whip-cord, in lieu of thick cord or log-line.

3rd. That the army cat, on these grounds, is the best instrument.

4th. That the cat at present used at Hyde Park barrack is inefficient in a sentence of only 25 lashes, when applied by an unskilful scourger; and, that; in order to be efficient; it ought to be 12 inches larger in the tails by which it need not to be laid on with such prodigious force, and such great skill as we saw it administered in the said barrack.

5th. That Captain Logan's scourge at Moreton Bay, and certain scourges we have seen up the country, which were knotted and also tied at the ends with waxed thread, and the ends afterwards dipped in pitch, were all improper instruments, making holes in the flesh, and affecting men's health and bodily vigour unnecessarily, cruelly, and contrary to law.

6th. That the blows being administered at quarter minute time, renders a light whip more efficient, by increasing the torture, without additional injury to the back, and should therefore be practised by all scourgers.

7th. That the cats used up the country, being lighter than the ones at present used in the Hyde -park Barracks, and wielded by unskilful floggers, who were not made to do their duty, but left to their own discretion in punishing their fellow-prisoners, must, up to the amount at least of forty lashes, have been a complete farce and excited the derision of all bold and able bodied culprits.

A modern author has undertaken to vindicate scourging, as being more effectual, and less calculated to raise vindictive feelings and not more degrading than the divers substitutes for it invented in modern times. But he guards his subject by one condition. He insists, that the punishment be inflicted with every mark of solemnity, and even pomp. We agree with him in this respect. And we think that, not only should the proper officers all be in attendance, and the ceremony performed with solemnity; but they scourger ought himself to be a free man, have the rank of a government. officer be a person of good character, and be well rewarded, by which alone, respectable men will take so disagreeable an office. The practice of flogging prisoners in New South Wales without any ceremony at all, and especially, turning them over to a brother convict, as has always been the practice in the badly regulated police of this Colony, is degrading to the laws, violates the popular sympathy, and is disgusting to human nature.

A fat man suffers more than others. The blows cut the flesh of such men more, and the skin of a fleshy man is generally thin. There is, in short, wonderful difference between some men and others. Men of sensitiveness and fine feeling, suffer so much, that fifty lashes, as administered in the Barrack, cause them to stagger about after being released. If such a man want courage, he suffers more than a brave man with less feeling, would, with a hundred. A Police Magistrate to make a judicious distinction in this respect, but our unpaid half-informed magistrates can not be expected to discriminate. Hence in the former case (that of the sensitive man), if the sentence be heavy, the country Justice is likely to get a bad name. A man who bears himself insolently before the Bench, is likely to take punishment badly ; his insolence is often the effect of great sensitiveness, coupled with courage

At the Hyde-park Barrack, Mr. Slade enters notes in a book, of the effects on the culprit, of every execution. The following is a copy of the notes he took of

'Thomas Holdsworth.(arrived per Parmelia) Pilfering from his master. At the first lash, the prisoner uttered piercing screams, which were continued at each succeeding lash, and he appeared to suffer greatly. The fifth lash brought blood, and the flesh was considerably reddened. The man said he was never flogged before. There appeared no marks on his back of former punishment. I am of opinion, he was sufficiently punished at the twenty fifth lash for his strength was nearly exhausted, as manifested by his staggering gait when let loose.

Joseph Kenworthy. (Arrived per Camden) Accessory to pilfering from his master. The first lash elicited loud cries from the prisoner. At the eighteenth lash, the blood appeared. At the twenty fifth, the blood was trickling ,and at the thirty-second lash, it flowed down his back. The bleeding continued to the end of the punishment. I am of opinion, he would have been sufficiently punished at the twenty fifth lash. The man said he was never flogged before; his back exhibited no signs of former punishment. He was very fat, with a thin skin. The suffering of the prisoner was evinced, by his unnerved state when let loose. (Signed) E. A. SLADE.

Those gentlemen who in former times ordered a shepherd five hundred lashes, be cause he told his master, 'that he was foolish in not giving him a better mess, seeing that he could easily repay him in lambing time,' will not be, satisfied with such, punishments as the above. Nothing short of the treatment which negro slaves endure, will satisfy such men. [2]


[1] Sydney Herald 21 July 1836.

[2] Sydney Monitor 28 September 1833