Friday, 22 October 2010

19th Century - Theresa Berkley

I was searching on Google for horsey items (friend's daughters birthday) and this lady's name came up in the search. I hadn't heard of her so I did some research.

So who is Theresa Berkley I hear you say.

Theresa Berkley was a British Dominatrix of the 19th century and The Berkeley Horse, was designed for or by her and earned her a fortune flogging both wealthy men and women of that time and is still used in some BDSM establishments to this day. An adjustable flagellation table on which her clients could be secured and placed in various positions for maximum erotic pleasure. She also maintained a hook and pulley for hanging up her clients for their.

According to an account by Henry Spencer Ashbee (aka "Pisanus Fraxi") It is capable of being opened to a considerable extent, so as to ring the body to any angle that might be desired. There is print in Mrs Berkley memoirs, representing a man upon it quite naked. A women sitting in a chair exactly under it, with the bosom, belly and bushy exposed: she is manualizing his embolon, whilst Mrs Berkley is birching his posterior.

She also ran a very high class flagellation brothel in London which specialised in chastisement, whipping, flagellation and much more. An expert with all instruments of torture, her talents became highly sought after by the aristocracy. A master of the art of inflicting pain for pleasure, and practised absolute privacy to protect her clientele.

Quote again by Henry - "Her instruments of torture were more numerous than those of any other governess. Her supply of birch was extensive, and kept in water, so that it was always green and pliant: she had shafts with a dozen whip thongs on each of them; a dozen different sizes of cat-o'-nine-tails, some with needle points worked into them; various kinds of thin bending canes; leather straps like coach traces; battledoors, made of thick sole-leather, with inch nails run through to docket, and currycomb tough hides rendered callous by many years flagellation. Holly brushes, furze brushes; a prickly evergreen, called butcher's bush; and during the summer, a glass and China vases, filled with a constant supply of green nettles, with which she often restored the dead to life. Thus, at her shop, whoever went with plenty of money, could be birched, whipped, fustigated, scourged, needle-pricked, half-hung, holly-brushed, furze-brushed, butcher-brushed, stinging-nettled, curry-combed, phletbotomized, and tortured till he had a belly full".

"She also enjoyed a certain amount of torture inflicted on her by her clients, given that they were willing to pay her price, but she also employed a number of women for that task if indeed her clients wished to inflict more pain than she was willing to take herself."

Shame that no photographs or portraits of her is know to have survived. There have been occasional reference to her being attractive but that's all.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by here and commented yesterday on LOL Day and a big hug and thank you to Bonnie for organising it and Hermione for all the work she put in.



PK said...

Wow! This Theresa Berkley sounds like quite a woman!! I guess there is nothing new under the sun. It seem if so many have enjoyed TTWD for so long we wouldn't have to still be so far into the closet. Oh well, maybe someday.

Yesterday was fun wasn't it!


Florida Dom said...

Ronnie: Good research to show there's nothing new under the sun. The cave men probably spanked their women!!!!

But as PK said, wouldn't it be nice if we could talk about spankos casually as if it is normal, which it is for many of us.


Hermione said...

Hi Ronnie,

I've heard of the Berkeley Horse but never saw (or rode) one before. That was fun research!

Hermione said...

In school, I once presented a report dressed as Joan of Arc. Wouldn't it have been much more interesting to have done a report on Theresa Berkley? If we could turn back time...

Awesome research, Ronnie! It is comforting to know that we are in the company of many ancestors in TTWD.




I wonder what embolon manulizing is (he said innocently, as if he could not guess).


Abel1234 said...

I do love a good piece of historical spanking research. I must go and re-read my Ashbee!

Only just discovered your blog - now why is that, given it's so good? Looking forward to reading much more.


Daisychain said...

To prefectdt... indeed, sir, no idea what it means.... LOL
Great research, Ronnie! Sorry I missed LOL day, but here I am a little late! Hugs, xxxxxxx

ronnie said...

PK - You'd think as it's has been going on for centuries we would be able to talk about it openly. I enjoyed LOL day.

FD - Thanks. I wonder if there's any reference to cave men spanking their women:)

Hermione - I'd never heard of the lady or her horse Hermione.

Pink - Yes, TTWD does go back a long way. Your Joan of Arc would have been intersting. Thanks Pink

Prefectdt - I had no idea what it meant either LOL

Abel - Welcome. Lucky find. I'd never heard of her or The Berkeley Horse. Hope you'll stop by again Thanks.

Daisy - Never too late Daisy.

Thanks all.

Have a good weekend.


Anonymous said...

Wow! That is in interesting article.
Funny thing - I used to have dreams of being bound to a contraption that looked similar to The Berkeley Horse! I mean, dreams while I was sleeping!

It must be archetypal - truly something classically legend. That will never go out of style!

Thanks for the article. Glad I found your blog!


ronnie said...

FT - Hello and welcome. Used to, not any more?

Thanks for stopping by.


sixofthebest said...

Personally I would have loved to tie Teresa Berkley to her own horse contraption, bared her derriere, and whipped her solidly on her naked posterior. Just for the sake of tasteing her own medicine.

ronnie said...

SOTB - I am sure you would have. She did like to have pain inflected on herself but had other girls if her clients wanted to inflect more than she would be willing to take.

Thanks for stopping by.