A whipping post is made for whippings in a standing position. The delinquent is made to face the post and his wrists are fastened to the post (usually above his head) with rope or straps to restrain him in position during the flogging. The whipping was usually given on the back, not on the buttocks. The back was often, but not always, bared and the whipping was given with a whip, birch or (seldom) cane.
Whipping posts were common in Europe from Ancient Rome or before up to the 19th century. They may well have been in use in prehistory, and the first whipping posts were probably simply trees. Also, columns and poles that were part of buildings could be used as whipping posts.
Whipping posts are different from pillories, although it is also possible to whip a person who is restrained in a pillory.
"Punishing negroes at Cathabouco", watercolour by Augustus Earle (c. 1822).
Castigo do Açoite by Jean-Baptiste Debret (1768-1848).
- RED HANNAH: Delaware's Whipping Post, a book review with photos on World Corporal Punishment Research
- Flogging post in Kingston Penitentiary, Canada (photo on Flickr)
- The Punishment of Slaves, illustration for 'Voyage Pittoresque et Historique au Bresil', 1839 (colour litho)
- Haiducii lui Saptecai, aka The Outlaws of Captain Anghel (Romania, 1971), public switching clip