Cart's tail

Lord Kenyon flogs Lady Buckinghamshire; art by James Gillray (c. 1796)
Titus Oates whipped for perjury in London (1685).

To be whipped at a cart's tail or end was a form of punishment used in the British Isles in from at least the 16th to the 19th century. The miscreant sentenced to such a whipping would be stripped to the waist, and have their hands bound to the back end of a cart, which would be pulled through the town or city, frequently following a customary or prescribed route. The person to be whipped had little alternative but to follow the cart or to risk being dragged by it. As the procession moved along the route, the subject would be whipped.

Frequently more lashes would be inflicted than in a stationary punishment, the conclusion of the whipping being the end of the journey. The person being punished would be forced to travel throughout their own town, and many more people would see the whipping occur. The extra strokes, the requirement of the whipped person to walk the route, and the humiliation of being seen were all part of this punishment.

Depictions on filmEdit

 
James Naylor whipped at a cart's tail (1656).

Cry of the Banshee (1970) is an Anglo-American exploitation horror film that portrays the abuse and punishments of heretics and suspected witches in 17th century England. This includes a cart's tail whipping (as in the illustrations shown) of a topless woman who afterwards has her feet locked in the stocks.

LinksEdit