Punishment of women by birch
A birch rod often shortened to "birch" is a bundle of leafless twigs bound together to form an implement for administering corporal punishment. Contrary to what the name suggests, a birch rod is not a single rod and is not necessarily made from birch twigs, but can also be made from various other strong and smooth branches of trees or shrubs, such as willow. Another factor in the severity of a birch rod is its size - i. In some penal institutions, several versions were in use, which were often given names. In the s, the Royal Navy abandoned the use of the cat o' nine tails on boy seamen.