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An 1860 Hansard trawl - featuring flogging in the navy, seditious cakes and thae age old dilemma - pub or museum?

Autre temps, autre moeurs:

MR. W. WILLIAMS  in rising to call the attention of the House to flogging in the Army and Navy, said the system was most injurious to those services because it prevented respectable men from joining them. Upon their soldiers and sailors the country depended for fame, for honour and for security, and yet under the existing practice our soldiers and sailors were liable, for trivial offences, to receive worse treatment than that given to convicted criminals and felons. By the present law no culprit could be flogged in the public streets except one who had actually threatened the life of the Queen.


Crikey.


The officers who opposed the abolition of this punishment were influenced just as the Judges and Recorders were influenced when it was proposed to humanize our criminal code. "If," they said, "you do away with the penalty of death for a vast number of offences, the country will be overwhelmed with crime." Yet the result had been a diminution instead of an increase of crime throughout the land.

Intriguing, no?

Colonel North (no relation...) took up the 'it never did me any harm approach':

"The hon. Member had year after year complained of flogging in the army and navy. If the hon. Member, or any other civilian who joined in his complaints, could devise a punishment which, while it was, severe, would keep the soldier only a short time away from his duty, he would be hailed with the greatest gratitude by the whole army and navy. What was wanted was a punishment that would not throw extra duty on the well-behaved soldier. He had known many men who did not care for being three months in confinement; and while they were there, who was doing their work? Why, the good soldier, who ought to be protected by the officers instead of having the duties of his disorderly comrades thrust upon him in addition to his own. The hon. Seconder of the Motion had stated that in the Trench army there was no flogging. Did he inquire how crimes were punished in that army? If he had done so he would have found that where we flog the French shoot. Would the English public like a man to be shot for knocking down a non-commissioned officer? Do not then talk about our treating men as brutes, when the French shot where we flogged"

Captain Vernon would not seem to have an opinion of 'our boys':

He need hardly inform the House that those who went to sea or who followed the drum were not the best part of the community, but were men who hung loosely on society, and those men into whose hands arms were put had to be controlled by necessary discipline. The fear and dread of punishment made soldiers good, just as it did civilians. The soldier was a very different man, when once he became a soldier, from any other person. He (Captain L. Vernon) had seen a man shot in the West Indies for doing that for which any hon. Member of that House who was a magistrate would have fined a civilian only 10s. in this country. But why was the man in question so dealt with? Because, the regiment to which he belonged being in a state approaching to mutiny, he struck the adjutant in the presence of his colonel.
A small gem of an anecdote from Lord Russell:

LORD ROBERT MONTAGU  said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, "Whether Her Majesty's Government have received any communication from the Government of the Two Sicilies, complaining that agents of the Government of Sardinia have been trying to excite a mutiny in the Troops of the King of Naples?

LORD JOHN RUSSELL  Sir, we have received no information of the kind referred to by the noble Lord, nor has the Government of the Two Sicilies made any complaint of the sort. At the same time, I should tell the noble Lord that that Government is not disinclined to make complaints. Not long ago I received a complaint that an English officer of marines, in paying a visit to a lady at Naples on her birthday, called in at a pastry cook's and bought a cake for her, which cake was said to have had on it three flags of different colours. The Government of the Two Sicilies complained of this as an attempt to excite an insurrection.
Recreation and improvemet of the people:



SIR JOHN TRELAWNY said, he had waived that part of his Motion on this subject which involved any allusion to the Lord's-day, and to the Resolution in its altered shape he believed that no opposition would be raised. His object was to obtain for the people the advantages of the expense already incurred in reference to such institutions as the British Museum and the National Gallery. If these places were open at stated hours on week-day evenings, as was the case now at Kensington, working men would be won from other pursuits highly injurious to their morals, and great benefit would result to the community.

I suspect that the 9th Baronet was being a tad optimistic.

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