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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Corporal Punishment

The medieval school boy princes of Europe employed “whipping boys” to take their punishment for them. When Edward VI of England was a student, his whipping boy was a certain Barnaby Fitzpatrick.

Roger Ascham was a schoolmaster who was tutor for two years to the future Elizabeth I. His book The Schoolmaster, published by his widow in 1570, laid out his liberal ideas, which included him being against corporal punishment.

Poland was the first nation to outlaw corporal punishment in schools in 1783.

Flogging in the British army was abolished in 1859.

The United States Army abolished flogging in 1861.

The Eastbourne manslaughter (R v Hopley) was an 1860 legal case in Eastbourne, England, about the death of a teenage pupil at the hands of his teacher, Thomas Hopley. Reginald Cancellor's parents gave Hopley permission to use corporal punishment to overcome what he perceived as the boy's stubbornness. After the boy died, the teacher insisted that the beating was justifiable and that he was not guilty of any crime. An inquest into Cancellor's death began when his brother requested an autopsy. As a result of the inquest Hopley was arrested and found guilty of manslaughter.  The judge Sir Alexander Cockburn, who was the Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench, sentenced him to four years in prison.

Cockburn's requirement for "moderate and reasonable" punishment was established as a legal limit to corporal punishment and is still employed in modern legal scholarship,

The Hopley trial was sensationalized by the Victorian press and incited debate over the use of corporal punishment in schools.

1888 cartoon depicting J.S. Kerr, an Australian proponent of punishment by caning

Physical discipline was officially banned in state-funded schools, throughout the United Kingdom, in 1986

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