Tuesday, December 22

A Workhouse Flogging

Eliza stood trembling before the workhouse Master. Clad only in her light shift dress and white socks she shivered in the cool night air. It was late, the other girls already in bed for the night. She alone had been requested to the punishment room. This was not the first time she had been before the Master, but on this occasion he was not alone, accompanied by a distinguished looking gentleman she did not recognise.

She knew why she was here. Knew that since her complaint about her treatment at the workhouse had not been upheld that he would make her pay. The courts hadn't believed her that the punishments meted out here were unduly harsh. Nor that they were often treated indecently, their buttocks bared for punishment.

The Master explained that his companion was Sir Abel, the local Poor Law Commissioner. He was present to witness for himself whether the workhouse treatment was too harsh or indelicate.

Both men were furious with her and determined to make her pay for her impunity in making a complaint against them and the system they worked in. Poor Eliza was to be made an example of. They made her remove all her clothes except her socks, laughing as she tried to cover her modesty and sneering was this what she called indelicate behaviour.

Then placed her with feet in the side bars of the whipping horse and ordered her to hold onto the rope across the top. In this position her bottom was nicely presented to them for the flogging. She was warned to hold still and threatened with extra strokes if she let go or moved out of position. Told to count the twenty strokes aloud.

Trembling she clutched the rope as the men each took the most senior cane available to them. A dense dragon cane, a finger thick.

The first stroke made her scream aloud and she bucked against the horse as it branded her skin rising to a furious crescendo of pain. Before she could recover from it the second landed and she took one hand off the rope. An extra stroke quickly followed as punishment, no mercy shown.

By the fourth she was crying, by the eighth sobbing. Each time she released the rope earned her an extra stroke. At ten she fell off the horse, couldn't bear it anymore. The pain was too intense, each stroke reigniting the pain of the previous ones, burning deep in her bottom. Would have done anything to stop it, to get away from them. But there was nowhere to go. They forced her back up into position and another extra stroke was delivered.

For the next ten she screamed through each one until the final two, where she could only whisper the count out, her voice so raw from pain and sobbing.

As the twenty strokes were finally counted to their satisfaction, in between the extras, she prayed they were done. Her bottom was hot and raw, covered in ugly welts. But her ordeal was to continue, the strap this time.

Ordered to place herself flat atop the horse with a cushion to raise her hips they began her torment again, taking it in turns to administer the heavy judicial strap. Long, wide and made of the thickest leather with holes bored through for delivering intense pain. She almost fell off the horse when the first stroke cracked down, covering her bottom in entirety. The next five were just as horrific as the Master, long practised with this strap, used it to maximum effect leaving her writhing and howling across the horse.

She was overwhelmed as the pain engulfed her. How was it possible to endure so much? Sir Abel next took up the strap and another six cracked down, again hard and unmerciful.

Were they done? She raised her head in hope. Only to feel the deepest despair as she realised they intended to give her another flogging with the rod. Meekly she assumed the first position again and endured the first six strokes as best she could. Crying fresh tears as the pain increased with each stroke. The next six were harder still. Criss crossing over existing stripes causing her to scream through each one. Desperately holding on, an extra stroke was inconceivable. Until it finally stopped. Until they were happy they had taught her a severe lesson not soon to be forgotten.

She was lifted down and made to apologise for daring to complain, for daring to rage against the system. Shaking and struggling to stop her tears she was a pitiful sight indeed as she gathered her clothes and was dismissed from the room, naked and clearly bearing the marks of her punishment. Both men were pleased. They had well and truly broken her and the other girls wouldn't dare to repeat her folly.


Scarlett De Winter said...

Ich, ouch! Poor babygirl... Sounds like you had lots of fun, but I'm repeating the sentiment that you're either very brave or very silly to let those two in a room together, let alone with you and a cane!

Abel1234 said...

Such a hot account of such a hot scene. Poor Eliza really did end up paying a severe price for the accusations she'd made against the Master and the damage she'd caused to the reputation of the workhouse.

And we really were both hard, merciless with you (her). I knew we were taking you close to the limits of what you could stand - keeping you just within them in terms of the severity, your headspace not letting you give in.

Knowing how hard you'd been flogged already, and knowing what an exposed position you were in over the horse, and knowing how severe a cane I was using, and knowing how hard I administered them... those final six strokes were as harsh a caning as I've ever administered. I knew I *could* have been easy on Eliza at that stage; I knew that the opposite was called for.

You were so brave, so lovely. Such a wonderful scene.

opsimath said...

What a mind-blowing scene! You are really into this, aren't you? Your blog is a shining example of what a CP blog can be!

I think Eliza will be more careful in what she says in future - unless, of course, in secret...

Perhaps best 'not to go there', as they say!

Thank you for your blog, and this story in particular, and may I offer you my very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

EmmaJane said...

@opsimath, thanks so much, lovely to hear from you and Many Happy Returns!