Shipboard punishments for mutiny, 1555.
In the early modern world, penal systems generally operated on the principle of
deterrence rather than rehabilitation. Severe methods of punishment were established
in order to terrorize the populace into lawful behaviour. This woodcut from Olaus
Magnus' Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus: Romæ 1555 (Description of the Northern
Peoples: Rome 1555) illustrates several different shipboard punishments. It is probable
that penalties similar to these were also carried out by Newfoundland fishing admirals, who
were responsible for administering justice, during this era.
From Samuel Eliot Morison, The Great Explorers: The European Discovery of America
(New York: Oxford University Press, © 1978) 23. Courtesy of Harvard College Library.