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Hundred de Swanborough.
Down to the time of the Municipal Corporation Act in 1835, in many cities and towns, Recorders had the power of life and death; as by charter they were authorized to try all felonies whether capital or not, except murder; and down to that time the Recorders of Bristol and Oxford, and no doubt some others, could try murder. And in the year 1835 Mrs. Burdock was tried before Sir Charles Wetherall, as Recorder of Bristol, for the murder of her husband and was convicted and executed.
* I am told by the Rev. T. Etty, Vicar of Wanborough, that the junction of the four roads which lead from Aldbourn to Lower Wanborough, and from Little Hinton to Upper Wanborough is called Callis Hill, supposed to be a corruption of Gallows Hill.
+ Justiciar of Ireland and brother of William Earl of Salisbury whose monument is in the nave of Salisbury Cathedral.
# It appears from the Placita de Quo Warranto [p. 795. et seq.] that in 8 Edw. I. (1280) William de Giselham the King's Attorney General filed Quo Warranto informations against the abbot of Malmesbury, the abbot of Reading, William de Valence, Walter de Paveley, the Bishop of Salisbury, the abbot of Glastonbury, Sampson Foliot, calling on each respectively to show (inter alia) by what authority “ habet furcas” (he has a gallows]. Every one of these defendants substantiated his right to this important privilege; some by the production of their charters when they pleaded to the informations, the others on trials. In some instances no Quo Warranto information was necessary as it was found by the Juries in their presentments that the franchise claimed had been granted to the owner of it by a Sovereign whom they named.
The pillory at Marlborough was used as late as the year 1807. Several members of our society who were at the congress at Marlborough in September last, had seen a person in it in the year 1807,' and by the kindness of Mr. Kite I have been favored with two illustrations of it. The annexed woodcut represents the remaining portion, which is still preserved in the Town Hall. It is a wooden frame 4 feet 3 inches in height, by about 3 feet in width, containing four horizontal pannels, the central two of which, sliding upwards and downwards, enclosed the neck and wrists of the criminal in three holes pierced for the purpose, the larger one being about sia, and the two smaller ones each three inches in diameter. The pillory must have been a very ancient punish
Remains of the Marlborough
Pillory. ment for perjury.
Sir Henry Spelman in his Glossary, Tit. Healsfang, states that this was the pillory and that it was by the laws of Canute the punishment of perjury, and for this he cites a MS. of the laws of that sovereign, Chap. 64., but in the “Collection of Anglo Saxon laws” edited by Dr. Wilkins in the reign of George the First and “the Ancient Laws and Institutes of England” published by the Record Commissioners in 1840, this law is not to be found by this reference, but in the latter work in the laws of King Canute (p. 17) the law cited by Sir H. Spelman is given in the original Anglo Saxon with this translation.
“Of false witness. “37, And if any one stand openly in false witness and he be convicted, let not
his witness but let him pay to the King or to the landrica [lord of the soil] according to his healsfang.” [a kind of pillory]."
* Another criminal underwent a similar sentence in the Market Place at Salisbury about the same date; and a third in the Market Place at Devizes, some few years earlier.
* These explanations are taken from the Glossary at the end of the work, and to the latter explanation the learned editor Mr. Benjamin Thorpe, F.S.A., adds this note. “This is at least the original signification of the term, but which seems to have fallen into disuse at a very early period; no mention of it in that sense occurring in all these laws where it merely means a certain fine graduated according to the degree of the offender, and was probably the amount of mulet annexed to every class as a commutation for a degrading punishment. Healsfang may therefore be defined the ‘sum every man sentenced to the pillory would have had to pay to save him from that punishment had it been
Dr. Cowell in his Interpreter, Tit. Hea/fang or Halsfang [Collistrigium] says that it is compounded of two Saxon words Hals i.e. Collum and Fang i.e. Captura. But Healfang cannot signify a pillory in the charter of Canutus de Foresta, cap. 14, “et pro culpa solvat Regi decem solidos quos Dani vocant “Halfe hange.” Sometimes 'tis taken for a pecuniary punishment or mulct to commute for standing in the pillory, and is to be paid either to the King or the chief lord, viz. “Qui falsum testimonium dedit reddat Regi vel terrae Domini Halfeng’” Ileg. Hen. I. cap. 11.
The pillory is also mentioned in the Statutum de pistoribus which is of uncertain date, assigned by some to 51st Henry 3rd (1267) and by others to 13th Edward 1st (1285), and is printed by the Record Commissioners in the statutes of the Realm Vol 1. p. 203. By this statute it is ordained that
“Pilloria sive Collistrigium et tumbrellum continue habeantur debite fortitu“dinis ita quod delinquentes exegui judicium pidaum sine corporis periculo.”
“Every Pillory or stretchneck and tumbrel must be made of convenient “strength, so that the execution may be done upon offenders without peril of “their bodies.”
Mr. Serjt. Hawkins in his “Pleas of the Crown, bk. 2. chap. 11. p. 113, says that it seems that a court leet may be forfeited if the lord “neglects to provide a pillory and tumbrel, but it is said that a vill may be bound by prescription to provide a pillory and tumbrel and that every vill is bound of common right to provide a pair of stocks.” The pillory was abolished in all cases, except perjury and subornation thereof, in the year 1816, by the stat. 59 Geo. 3. chap. 138. and in all cases in the year 1837, by the stat. 7 Will. 4 and 1 Vict. chap. 23. I saw the last man in the pillory who was ever in it in England: his name was Hague, he stood in the pillory for an hour in front of Newgate in the year 1821. The second woodcut represents the Marlborough pillory as set up for use. The wooden frame shown at p. 19, is here elevated on a strong upright post about 15 feet in height, the lower end being firmly fixed in the ground, and a platform erected round it, at the height of about 12 feet, on which the criminal stands. His head and hands being then firmly fastened into the frame, which turned on a swivel, he was left to escape as he best could the various kinds of missiles which were indiscriminately showered at him by the surrounding multitude.
About thirty years ago, I saw the stocks, the whipping post and the pillory, all one above the other, at Wallingford, fixed up close to the Town-Hall; there being a small platform, below the pillory and about 8 feet from the ground, for the pilloried patient to stand on. All this except the stocks, was taken away about twenty five years ago.
I am also informed by Mr. Llewellyn Jewitt, F.S.A., that a similar machine still exists at Coleshill in the county of Warwick of which he has favored me with the annexed representation.
WHIPPING THE POOR.
At the Wilts Quarter Sessions at Devizes, on 25th April, 1598, the following order was made, which is entered at the end of the military muster book of that place: Sir John Popham being in the chair.
Wiltes. Order for punishment of Rogues, Vagabonds, &c., made at the Sessions holden at the Devizes the xxv" of April 1598 by S. John Popham Knight with the full consent of all the Justics there assembled.
1. First y' is ordered that evry pishe. before the vijo day of May next provide w” in yt self a meet & convenient howse or place and also an able man wo a hood and disguised garments and whippes to punishe as wel such Rogues as shall wander contrary to the statute as also suche psons as shall transgresse suche orders as are made or shall hereafter be made touching the statuts lately made for the relief of the poore & punishmt of Rogues & Vagabonds, w” howse or place so to be pvided shal be called a howse of Correction.
2. Item that the statute made for the punishmt of Rogues be pclaymed in euy mkett towne won in the county in the open mkett place duringe the tyme