HC Deb 29 June 1820 vol 2 cc105-6
Mr. Chetwynd

rose to move for leave to bring in a bill to abolish the punishment of Whipping Female Offenders in any case whatever. The House was aware, that by an act of the year 1817, the system of public whipping of females had been wholly exploded; but he was surprised that the private whipping of females had been by that measure permitted to continue, looking on it as he did as objectionable, or even more objectionable than the other. It might be said, in defence of its continuance, that it was necessary for the sake of example; but, on the other hand, as the infliction of the punishment was private, it was in the power of the gaoler or other superintendant to render it the most excruciating torture possible, or a mere matter of form; and this alone he thought a decided objection to it. With respect to the public whipping of females, he was of opinion that no exhibition could be more revolting to the feelings. The act to which he had alluded only abolished the punishment of the public whipping of females; but if the House would agree with him, they would go much further. His intention was to move for leave to bring in a bill to repeal that act, and substitute other provisions for the more effectual prevention of the whipping of females; and the object of it would be to prohibit that practice, not only in the cases already provided for, but in workhouses, houses of correction, lunatic asylums, and other places for the reception of lunatics. If, therefore, the House should be of opinion that it should in no case be permitted, he should humbly move for leave to bring in a bill to abolish the punishment of whipping female offenders in any case whatever.

Leave was given, and the bill was brought in and read a first time.

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