A verb named for Captain William Lynch. Contrary to what Webster 1913 says in Lynch law, this is pretty solid. In the late 1700s in Pittsylvania County, Virginia (USA), Mr. Lynch started a sort of vigilante group to wreak havoc on criminals in the area that had so far found ways around the system.

From a compact thought to have been written by Lynch:

"If they will not desist from their evil practices, we will inflict such corporeal punishment on him or them, as to us shall seem adequate to the crime committed or the damage sustained."
The 'adequate corporeal punishment' usually means hanging.

Lynch (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Lynched (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Lynching.] [See Note under Lynch law.]

To inflict punishment upon, especially death, without the forms of law, as when a mob captures and hangs a suspected person. See Lynch law.

 

© Webster 1913.

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