Medieval ways of punishing were increasingly considered brutal and barbaric. Early signs of more progressive ways of punishment can be seen in the 16th century, when a new institution was becoming popular, the so-called prison workhouse (houses of correction, tuchthuizen, Zuchthäuser, Arbeitshäuser, hôpitaux généraux or dépôts de mendicité). These establishments can be considered the precursors of the 19th century prison. Altough the workhouses were also places of hunger, humiliation, sexual and physical assault, they provided relief for poor, old and sick persons, and sometimes education. The Rasphuys (around 1700), was a workhouse in Amsterdam were delinquents had to shave wood from the brazilwood tree, rasping it into powder which was delivered to the paint industry.
Project: 7. Persecuted by justice and powers: rebels, political dissidents and criminals in the history of Europe.
Scope: Secondary Education
Resource type: Image
Source: City archive Amsterdam
Date: around 1700
Owner: Amsterdam group (Modernalia)
Abstract: vagrancy, crime, punishment