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William Falconer's Dictionary of the MarineReference Works
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Table of Contents

G

GAFF to GANG

GANG-BOARD to GIMBALS
GANG-BOARD
GANGWAY
GARLAND
Shot-GARLAND
GARNET
GARBOARD-STREAK
GASKET
GAUNTLOPE
GEARS
GIMBALS

GIMBLETING to Fire-GRAPPLING

GRATINGS to GROUND-TACKLE

GROWING to GUTTER-LEDGE

GUY to GYBING


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GAUNTLOPE

GAUNTLOPE, pronounced gauntlet, a race which a criminal is sentenced to run in a vessel of war, as a punishment for felony, or some other heinous offence.

It is executed in the following manner: the whole ship's crew is disposed in two rows, landing face to face on both hides of the deck, so as to form a lane, whereby to go forward on one side, and return aft on the other; each person being furnished with a small twisted cord, called a knittle, having two or three knots upon it. The delinquent is then stripped naked above the waist, and ordered to pass forward between the two rows of men, and aft on the other hide, a certain number of times, rarely exceeding three; during which every person gives him a stripe as he runs along. In his passage through this painful ordeal he is sometimes tripped up, and very severely handled while incapable of proceeding. This punishment, which is called running the gauntlet, (courir la bouline, Fr.) is seldom inflicted except for such crimes as will naturally excite a general antipathy amongst the seamen; as on some occasions the culprit would pass without receiving a single blow, particularly in cases of mutiny or sedition, to the punishment of which our common sailors seem to have a constitutional aversion.


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© Derived from Thomas Cadell's new corrected edition, London: 1780, page 138, 2004
Published by South Seas, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-refs-falc-0615