phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

The version above is the real one.

Posted by R. Berg on March 28, 2001

In Reply to: Tarred and feathered posted by R. Berg on March 28, 2001

: : When did the ritual of humiliation, known as being "tarred and feathered" begin? Did it occur during the middle ages?

: From the Oxford English Dictionary: "The practice was imposed by an ordinance of Richard I in 1189 as a punishment in the navy for theft: see [three print sources cited here]; in Howell's 'Fam. Lett.' (1650 . . . ) it is said to have been applied in 1623 by a bishop of Halverstade to a party of incontinent friars and nuns; but in neither case is the specific term used."

A misplaced semicolon in my other post muddies the message.