A whipping boy, in the 1600s and 1700s, was a young boy who was assigned to a young prince and was punished when the prince misbehaved or fell behind in his schooling.
The wipping boy was created because the idea of the divine right of kings, which stated that kings were appointed by God, and implied that no one but the king was worthy of punishing the king’s son. Since the king was rarely around to punish his son when necessary, tutors to the young prince found it extremely difficult to enforce rules or learning.
Whipping boys were generally of high birth, and were educated with the prince since birth. Due to the fact that the prince and whipping boy grew up together since birth, they usually formed an emotional bond, especially since the prince usually did not have playmates as other children would have had. The strong bond that developed between a prince and his whipping boy dramatically increased the effectiveness of using a whipping boy as a form of punishment for a prince.