The Wandsworth Walloper

Wandsworth Prison was built in 1851, and in 1878 it began to serve as London's hanging prison, where condemned prisoners were held and executed. It was also frequently the site of corporal punishment - the place where prisoners sentenced to flogging were kept. It was one such prisoner, Robbie Spiers, who jumped to his death in the 1930s rather than face the flogging he'd been sentenced to.

Reactions were split. George Bernard Shaw, appalled, suggested that any judge who imposed flogging on a prisoner should experience it himself first. Charles John, Baron Darling - himself once a High Court judge - dissented: "In my opinion a public which approves of prizefighting, including the knockout blow, cannot logically condemn flogging. Men and women who flock to [a boxing match] would gladly see 'Burglar Bill' punished by the 'Wandsworth Walloper."

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Picture pending.
Story sources: Time Magazine, 17 February 1930, Foreign News: Wandsworth Walloper; The National Archives, Surrey House of Correction.