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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Etonian Birchwood Disciplinary Beater Carved with the Words ‘Flagellator / RC’ and to the reverse ‘Eton ✠ Ward’s’"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Old smooth patina
Early 19th Century
Size: 35.5cm wide, 3cm high, 1cm deep – 14 ins wide, 1¼ ins high, ¼ ins deep
John Keate was a famous headmaster of Eton from 1809 to 1834 and is said to have inherited an undisciplined school regime. He restored order by the vigorous and frequent use of the birch beater. He once publicly beat 80 boys in one day. After 1964 the use of the birch beater was given up in favour of the cane.
‘Pop Tanning’ was a severe punishment carried out by the self-elected school society, by its President, in the presence of all the members. The culprit was summoned to appear in a pair of old trousers, as the beating would cut the cloth to shreds as well as leave the buttocks bleeding.