In 1672 centuries before the serial slayer Jack the Ripper stalked the streets of London another albeit less homicidal tyrant was scaring the pants off women everywhere. ‘Whipping Tom’ has he eventually came to be known appeared not once, twice but three times over the course of the century. It is probable that all three were different versions however the nature of the attack was the same all involving ladies bottoms and a hard smack on the behind.
The legend began in 1672 with the tale of a beastly figure who would pursue his victims into murky passageways and dimly lit courtyards. Once cornered Sir Spankalot would then proceed to pull down their drawers strike them on the buttocks then flee into the midst of obscurity. By 1681 the yarn had evolved with Jack the Smacker becoming a full on celebrity earning the nickname Whipping Tom and roaming the streets of London in hope of a bare buttock to beat this time with a homemade bat. Victims stated that out of the shadows whipping Tom would emerge bend them over his knee and belt them on the backside this time yelling ‘SPANKO!!!! to the masses'.
Due to a police force not existing at the time (it would be another two hundred years until Robert Peels Bobbies in blue would show up) women began carrying knives and sharp objects as protection. It was even said that some men would dress in women’s clothing plumping their rumps in hope of enticing the whipper himself. However El Spanko had other ideas and would evade capture so quickly that some people thought him a ghost earning him the title ‘the enemy of milk wenches’ bums everywhere’.
By late 1712 Smack the Whipper had moved east this time in Hackney, which was then a village on the outskirts of London. Carrying the same nickname Whipping Tom was up to his old tricks following lone women to the darkest of spots and thrashing them on the rear. 70 women later and Tom was finally caught confessing to the crimes in an instant. His reason?
‘Being resolved to be revenged on all the women he could come at after the manner, for the sake of one Perjur’d Female who had been barbarously false to him’.
Must have been one hell of a bad break up.