Politics is nothing. We are free only on the ocean. ~ Renato Beluche
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Horror on the High Seas: The Gunner's Daughter
The gun to which boys serving in the Royal Navy were tied or 'married' when being whipped. On some ships it was superstition that if the boys were not whipped on a Monday, there would be no good winds the following week. To 'hug' or 'kiss the gunner's daughter' thus meant a whipping. When 'married to the gunner's daughter' for a flogging, the miscreant was tied to the four deck rings which held each cannon in place. As the sailor was tied to the gun barrel, the saying 'you've got me over a barrel' comes from this time. Sailors were whacked with a rope's end on the gun deck, where the ceilings were only a maximum of four feet six inches. For more serious offences, requiring enough room to 'swing a cat' of nine tails, the punishment was carried out on the main deck.