Monday 18 July 2016

A Punishment To Fit The Crime

Now this certainly was one thing I didn't expect to encounter within a church! A cucking stool [Saxon for scolding] or a ducking stool as many will know it. Originally the perpetrator of the crime simply sat in the chair in a public place and was subject to humiliation from the baying crowd [rather akin to the stocks or the pillory].

Later on it was adapted to include the element of ducking into the water. Generally it was used as a punishment and deterrent for minor crimes and was not just restricted to nagging scolds, but those who sought to deliberately adulterate food and find ways to cheat the customer by short measures etc. 

For me though, knowing how many innocent lives were lost due to intolerance during the terror of the witchcraft persecutions, I would be a liar if I said I didn't view it with a degree of unease. This example is one of a handful of rare survivals and is in Leominster. It was last used in 1809 and nationally in 1817.



  1. Just had a row with hubby...i could do with one!

    1. Hope you and the Professor are on good terms today again!


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