E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Flogged by Deputy.
When Henri IV of France abjured Protestantism and was received into the Catholic Church, in 1595, two ambassadors were sent to Rome who knelt in the portico of St. Peter, and sang the Miserre. At each verse a blow with a switch was given on their shoulders.
Strange as this may seem, yet numerous examples occur in the Scriptures; thus, for Davids sin thousands of his subjects were flogged to death by deputy; and what else is meant by the words by his stripes we are healed?