Rogues Gallery Uncovered
Rogues Gallery Uncovered
Bad behaviour in period costume
A non-judgmental expose into the scandalous lives of history’s greatest libertines’ lotharios and complete bastards
This podcast contains particularly adult themes and a suggestion of colourful language - actually its more than in suggestion, some of its pretty filthy.
If this is likely to offend, then I don’t know what to tell you – is suppose you could listen with the sound turned down.
SPANK YOU VERY MUCH
There’s no such thing as “Flogging a Dead Horse” in Regency London’s most notorious house of pain.
TERESA BERKELYBefore we crack on – a quick shout out to “Lovable Rogue” Sophie who last week became the first customer of the official podcast merch store.
she should, perhaps as we speak - be sashaying through the streets of Berlin resplendent in a “Bad Girl Good Behaviour” T shirt – which is the title of a soon to be released episode.
Thank you Sophie and I hope you enjoy the t shirt.
The store has loads of exclusive t shirts and mugs to choose from with – hopefully – amusing rogues gallery Uncovered related phrases emblazoned on them.
I had a great time coming up with them all and trying my hand at design, I reckon, like Sophie, that you’ll find something in stock that will tickle your fancy.
But then I would, wouldn’t I?
Have a look and let me know what you think There’s a link to the store in the show notes or visit roguesgalleryuncovered.com
Now, Fans of the following sound effect are in for a treat
This tale is all about nineteenth century BDSM and corporal punishment so you are likely to hear variations of it quite a lot.
I promise Ill try really hard not to lazily over use it
But I cant make any gurentees
The following tale is written in the present tense of the period in which its set…. and as such, may contain attitudes and opinions of
the protagonists and their times which would today be considered unacceptable.
As I’m not a freshly flogged regency submissive with a high pain threshold and an errection those attitude and opinions are obviously not mine
28 Charlotte Street, London 1836
By God, that hurts! My back’s on fire……. I’m bleeding, I can feel the blood running down my legs.
I didn’t say stop woman, HARDER, lay it on! I’ve been a very, very bad boy!
That’s It… AGAIN YOU HARLOT, AGAIN!
There’s nothing like a good flogging to get a fellow’s prick standing to attention.
And there’s no more skilled a practitioner of the art of flagellation than the lady who is, as we speak, tearing my arse to ribbons with a needle pointed strap…. Miss Theresa Berkley.
I’ve been coming here to Charlotte Street since it opened in ‘28 but I’ve been an avid follower of Ms Berkeley for many years.
She’s been catering for those of us who like to feel the whip for decades and for a long time ran a very popular establishment in Soho Square.
A veritable mansion, it housed many different rooms within which men and women of quality could be thrashed with all manner of painful implements.
There was the Gold, Silver and Bronze rooms, The Painted Chamber (for those who enjoyed being hurt in vibrant surroundings) and The Grotto and the Coal Hole (for those who preferred to suffer in the dark)
There was even The Skeleton Room – where images of grinning skulls and flensed bodies added a frison of terror to the delicious paroxysm of one’s pain.
But it was at this address that Teressa Berkeley became London’s most sought after “Governess.”
For it was under this very roof that she installed an apparatus that has truly brought “The English Vice” into the modern industrial age.
I think it’s as important a scientific invention as the steam engine – and if I could find a way to use one to travel between Stockton and Darlington believe me, I would. – they call it The Berkeley Horse.
Of course, Mrs Berkeley being a woman of refinement referred to it simply as a “Chevalet” – it’s a masterpiece of ingenious design.
No longer will we endure the predictable sensations of being bent over a glorified wooden pony to receive our strokes.
As you can see it’s an adjustable wooden frame – covered in padded leather - to which one is securely fastened – face down- by wrist and ankle.
The height and angle of the frame can be altered to suit the subject’s stature and comfort preferences.
A strategically placed hole for the face allows him or her to breathe while another for the genitals allows unrestricted access to those particular centres of pleasure.
I have spent many a pleasant afternoon naked in its tight embrace, having my back and buttocks scourged by a governess on one side while a pretty young strumpet on the other shows me her quim while tickling my balls.
If the pain is unbearable and I start to weep, a solicitous tart will often take it upon herself to greedily suck upon my cock to enhance the sensation – a delicious act that would have been impossible before this remarkable apparatus.
It’s not the first purpose built flogging device – a very cleaver yet dissipated chap named Chace Price, back in the last century, built a machine that could beat 40 people at the same time –I hear it’s still in use today (probably in the Houses of Parliament). The Horse however is simple to produce and can be installed in any suitably private space. The chap who designed it said that his invention would make Mrs Berkeley’s name live on long after her death, and I suspect that he’s right.
You really should give it a go.
Do you know that in London alone there are over twenty well-appointed salons such as this that cater exclusively for those who like to be flogged?
And since the retirement of the eminent Miss Mary Wilson – who presided over the Eleusinian Institution in St Pancras – it is to Mrs Berkeley’s house that the most discerning customers now retire. She really is a most remarkable woman. Handsome – there’s no denying it, even though she is now past the prime of life, she is well educated and of good character.
A devout Christian, she converses with intelligence and charm, regardless of a person’s position or social status – before savagely beating them into a rapture.
The skills of a governess are so highly prized that many young women of the town willingly undertake a long apprenticeship under the tutelage of an experienced hand, in order to fully learn the subtle nuances of inflicting pleasurable discomfort – one governess even passed on her skills to her own niece.
What makes Mrs Berkeley so special, in my opinion, is that she listens to her customers desires, taking the time to understand each individual whim and caprice – however unusual.
Then – if the price is right- she will do her utmost to gratify them.
She exhibits the most valuable trait in a courtesan in that she is genuinely lewd – she loves what she does and is as moved by the swish of the rod now as she was as a young lady.
Mrs Berkeley is also discretion personified, which considering the public stature of many of her clients is another much-appreciated attribute.
You may remember the scandal surrounding General Sir Eyre Coote, who after a distinguished military career was so overcome with his “flagellatory” desires that he crept into a prominent boys school in 1815 and offered some of the most likely lads a fistful of money if they would flog him ( or allow themselves to beaten in turn)
He was caught by the school nurse and although a subsequent donation to the school spared him from prosecution, the damage done to his reputation when the scandal became public was irreparable.
He was dismissed from the army, lost his seat in parliament and died in disgrace eight years later.
To relax among luxurious surrounding confident in the knowledge that one’s proclivities will never be known by the public at large enables one to truly relax and give full rein to whatever scenario best gets the blood pumping.
Never have I visited such a well-equipped house of correction; Mrs Berkeley has spared no expense in assembling a veritable arsenal of punishment inflicting tools.
There are switches with a dozen whip thongs on each, an assortment of cat o nine tails in different sizes - some with needle points worked into the leather - a multitude of canes and a variety of straps fashioned from toughened animal hide that have been rendered even harder from years of use - some of which are delightfully studded with nails.
I’m particularly impressed with her selection of punitive greenery. If you so desire you can be beaten all year round with a spiked or stinging plant of your choice.
Holly brushes, Furze brushes, a particularly spikey evergreen known as a butcher’s brush – in the summer months she even keeps large vases of nettles on hand, filled with water to make them more pliable.
And once a fellow has finally decided with what he wants to be chastised, he then has the dilemma of deciding where to stand while it is done.
If he doesn’t fancy being strapped to the horse, he can always make his way to the second floor of Mrs Berkeley’s house where she has thoughtfully attached to her celling a hook and a pully so that he can be hauled up by his hands and lightly suspended as he’s whipped.
For those who may require a little additional stimulation either before or during their punishments Mrs Berkeley also happens to be the curator of one of the finest collections of “illustrations de arcanis Veneris et amoris” in London. It goes without saying that Mrs Berkeley is as shrewd with money as she is skilled with the cane.
All of her clients are from the upper echelons of society, member of the nobility, politicians’ barristers, judges, churchman and the like (The lower classes it seems are not as enamoured of a sound thrashing as their betters.)
I’ve heard that his majesty King George IV was a regular visitor to the flogging house of Mrs Collet of Tavistock Court. Perhaps, were it not for his recent demise, he would now be availing himself of the facilities here, God bless him.
It also goes without saying that the rich and powerful nature of her clientele means that Mrs Berkeley never gets raided by agents of law – unlike many of her more conventional contemporaries.
I would stake my family’s good name that she will not see the inside of a prison cell or end her days on the Australian coast.
Nothing Mrs Berkeley provides comes without a considerable price which these pillars of British empire are more than willing to pay, there is a rumour that in the past eight years she has amassed a fortune of over £10,000 pounds.
Her expensive services do not solely focus on those wishing to be the recipient of a beating – she also is happy to welcome those who like to administer one.
She is perfectly happy to be whipped herself if the price is sufficient and no doubt derives much pleasure from the experience.
If, however the pain a client wishes to inflict is more than she is prepared to endure she has several strumpets in her employ who are willing to withstand the most violent abuse in return for coin.
I have taken the rod to a few of them myself – just by way of a change you understand and can attest that Miss Ring, One-eyed Peg, Bauld-cunted Poll, and Ebony Bet are nothing if not stoical- unless you pay them to scream. I’m not sure why the act of flagellation has become so well esteemed in England– perhaps the cold weather has something to do with it.
Certainly, nowhere else in the world is there such a deep affection for the rod.
For myself, I have fond memories of my days at boarding school when I was first introduced to the birch as a means of disciplining boys for poor performance and lax behaviour.
I lost count of the times I was thoroughly beaten by a master or a prefect for daydreaming in Latin or not playing hard enough on the sports field.
But while many of my fellow pupils shrank from the blows, nursing their welts and easing their red- raw posteriors slowly onto nearby cushions, I found the act engendered a most stimulating rush of blood to my extremities.
Later as a young officer, I watched with envy as some common trooper was tied to the triangle following a misdemeanour - probably drunkenness – and given a taste of the cat. With each stroke, as the knotted leather ends of the whip drew more and more blood from his back while he bit down upon a strip of the same material to stop himself from crying out, I felt every nerve in my body tingling.
Was I somehow at fault for feeling such as this? Upon my return to civilian life I endeavoured to find out.
It was Mrs Berkeley – an expert on such matters - who taught me that my tastes were far from unique and that embracing them could even be beneficial to my health.
Its long been accepted in medical circles that flagellation can have a rejuvenating effect on the body, invigorating it and giving one a healthy glow.
For many – particularly elderly gentlemen – it has long proven to be effective in restoring virility, bringing that which was once dead, back to life.
Its benefits however are not just enjoyed by the old and infirm, there are many young and virile men and indeed some women for whom pleasure and pain are inextricably connected.
Mary Wilson- a much beloved governess of whom I have previously spoken drew upon her years of experience to determine the three types of person who are drawn to this particular pastime.
1. Those who like to receive fustigation, more or less severe from the hands of a fine woman, who is sufficiently robust to wield the rod with vigour and effect.
2. Those who desire to administer birch discipline on the white and plump buttocks of a female.
3. Those who neither wish to be passive recipients nor active administrators of birch discipline, but derive sufficient excitement as mere spectators of the sport.
For women venturing to an establishment such as this is rare – although those that do attend return to their husbands fully invigorated.
For most ladies interested in the sensations of the birch, membership of small private clubs containing like-minded women is a far less vulgar way to satisfy their appetites.
Many, bored by the indifference of continuing married life see it as a way to experience once again the ecstasy of their younger days without making a cuckold of their husbands.
Once assembled lots are drawn and after a speech delivered by the club president about the therapeutic effects of flagellation, half the women assume the position of recipients, lifting their skirts to expose their most sensitive parts.
The other half are each given a rod and watch as the president - a woman such as Mrs Berkeley perhaps - provides a demonstration of the most efficacious techniques, starting with light whipping of the calves and progressing upwards to heavier strokes on the posterior.
Once it’s understood what must be done, they then take their turn in administering punishment to their fellows, who may have the opportunity to return the favour later.
Most would scorn those who paid a governess to beat them at a flogging house but all still leave with their buttocks red and their inner hunger satisfied so in truth the two experiences are not that different.
My advice to a husband whose wife appears listless in his presence see if she is hiding “Exhibition of Female Flagellants” or another of George Cannons books in her sewing box, and if she is - invest in a rattan cane.
I can offer no greater an example of the high regard and devotion that Mrs Teressa Berkeley evokes than this letter received by her just a few days ago and shown to me in the strictest confidence.
I am an ill-behaved young man and quite incorrigible! The most celebrated tutors in London have chastised me but have been unable to curb my wilfulness.
A gentleman of the name of Brunswick recommend me to a Madame Brown, who was supposed to have remarkably strong arms. Another sent me to Madame Wilson in Marylebone, who was even less slenderly built. The old hotelier January of Leicester Square took me to Mrs Calmers, who is supposed to be very experienced with the use of the stick and I was invited to dinner with this lady.
She received me in her elegantly appointed house, but to no purpose! In spite of her imposing form and the strength of her arm, she could make no impression on me!
Another advised me to go to Mrs Jones. But she like all the others tried in vain to belabour my back with sticks. Captain Johnson recommended me to Betsy Burgess, who is supposed to be a skilful governess. The bookseller Brooks of Bond Street, gave me one of Mrs Collett’s cards and also Mrs Beverley’s. I am aware that all these ladies understand their profession, but their united efforts failed to make any impression on me.
Finally, honoured lady, I received an introduction from your close friend Count G, which is causing me to jump for joy, because I have been told of your famous apparatus, the Chevalet, which should succeed in punishing sufficiently undisciplined young men like myself.
It will come to see you at the beginning of February, when I am in London with my friend the Count, where Parliamentary duties await us, I herewith give you a list of my requirements.
1. It is necessary that I should be securely fastened to the Chevalet with chains which I will bring myself.
2. A pound sterling for the first blood drawn.
3. Two pounds sterling if the blood runs down to my heels.
4. Three pounds sterling if my heels are bathed in blood.
5. Four pounds sterling if the blood reaches the floor.
6. Five pounds sterling if you succeed in making me lose consciousness.
I am honoured lady,
Your quite incorrigible
By the 1830s flagellation had been a particular popular English pastime for over 100 years.
There’s an elderly character in a play by Thomas Shadwell entitled the virtuoso who says of his addition to it that “I was so used to it at Westminster school that I could never leave it off since” and that was back in 1676.
It seems to have really taken hold of the public imagination though after the publication of a “Trieste on the use of flogging” in 1718 which appears to have extolled its (arguably) beneficial properties.
After this, specialist flogging brothels spang up all over London and the city became the slap capital of Europe
One of the madams who took advantage of this love of all thing’s corporal was a lady named Mother Burgess who found herself and her specialities immortalized in a poem about the joys of Covent Garden written in 1738 entitled “The Paphian Grove”
An extract of the bit about her reads
With breeches down there let some lusty lad
(to desperate sickness desperate cures are had
And honest birch excoriate your hide
And flog the cupid from your scourged backside
By the late 18th century such establishments were being frequented by royalty as we’ve heard when king George the fourth was prince regent, he was a regular at Mrs Collets house of correction – although where he was the flogger or floggee is not known.
After Teresa Berkley had hung up her rod, she was succeeded by a host of other madams such as Sarah Potter who worked from a variety of premises around Leicester square, Wardour street and Covent Garden.
She was arrested in 1873 following which a pamphlet was published giving Victorian society the shocking details of her tawdry business.
As for Teresa herself, she died in 1836.
Her brother who was a missionary rushed back from Australia to handle her estate but when he found out where her money had come from, he legged it back to oz in a frenzy of Christian indignation and renounced all claim on it .
The estate was valued at around £ 100,000 which I’ve worked out as about 11 million in today’s money but that cant be right can it?
Anyway, it was also offered to the executor of her will Dr Vance – who was her medical attendant - but he refused it too so it ended up going to the crown
Which in a weird way is the royal family getting its money back with interest.
Its also rumoured that dr Vance came into possession of a box containing letters from a variety of very wealthy and important men and women who visited Teresa’s establishment, the publication of which would have caused a tsunami of embarrassment all across English society.
It’s said that he burned them – nice one dr vance
As for the legendary Berkley horse it found its way in to the collection of the Royal society of arts who promised to display it publicly – I can find no record of if they did or indeed any indication that they still have it.
Id like to think it’s still being used by some mild mannered academic in a dusty storage cupboard somewhere.
But we’ll never know.
Or will we?
Next time on Rogues Gallery Uncovered
Bad, Girl Good behaviour
The art of not giving a damm, offending just about everybody and inventing sex
I hope you’re all still enjoying the podcast don’t forget to get in touch and let me know what you think and who should be included by visiting rouges gallery uncovered.com. and using the contact form at the bottom of the home page.
If you have any suggestions of roguish history books, I should read id also appreciate that, I’ve got loads and although my wife despairs at the amount of books I have all over the house, I can always do with a few more.
I’m currently working my through a biography of the marquis de sade by Neil Schaffer - he’s definitely going to be the subject of a episode or two – de sade not Shaffer.
You can sign up to the newsletter there too as a great many rogues already have – this comes out roughly once a month and should keep you up to date with all my devious schemes.
The site also has an actual gallery – 4 in fact – featuring portraits of various rogues along with contemporary scenes of their shocking behaviour.
There’s the official store where you can get exclusive merchandise – if you fancy walking into the pub wearing a “wicked jimmy what a c T shirt this summer, your dream can become a stylish reality.
The other thing you can do on the website is support the podcast with a small regular donation via patreon – every penny goes into making rogues gallery uncovered grow and allows me to devote more time and resources to it.
RGU – as I’ve suddenly just started calling it - is an independent podcast that’s researched, written hosted, produced and edited by me, so the generosity of people who enjoy it is really important.
There’s access to some exclusive roguish extras for patrons along with of course my sincere gratitude – and you know how difficult it is for a rogue to be sincere.
Anyway, before I get maudlin ill pop off and do something naughty so have a great week
And ill see you yesterday