Who are whipping boys and why they were needed

(ORDO NEWS) — In many parts of the world, aristocrats and nobles, kings and young princes were considered “untouchable” and were under divine protection.

Raising a hand against a nobleman or noble child was often a misdemeanor punishable in the most severe manner, sometimes even death.

How then to punish a little boy who is also your king, his heir or just a very noble guy? The solution was found – a “whipping boy” was needed.

A whipping boy, known as a “confidant to correct”, was a boy raised alongside a prince or monarch boy who received corporal punishment such as whipping or whipping for the young monarch’s mistakes and misdeeds.

The prince was made to watch this happen, with the rationale that seeing a friend being punished on their behalf would deter them from further misdeeds.

For example, the young King Edward VI of England had a whipping boy named Barnaby Fitzpatrick, son of the 1st Baron of Upper Ossory.

In 1592, Conrad Heresbach wrote that a whipping boy was whipped in front of the young king, especially when the latter was uttering obscenities.

Barnaby Fitzpatrick graduated from the royal court and later became a prominent nobleman in his lifetime, becoming 2nd Baron Upper Ossory.


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