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year 1817, but she could not be ducked as the water was too low. Mr. Dickens also stated that the persons ducked were immersed at three different parts of the town, twice in the river Lug, and once in a pond; and that when the machine was wheeled through the town, the woman in the Chair at the end of the beam was nearly as high as the first floor window of the houses.
I have been told that the tomb of the person called Jenny Pipes, is near the west door of Leominster Church. And I am also informed by Mr. Bernhard Smith, that the Chair of a Cucking Stool is in the Museum at Scarborough ; by Mr. Hawks that a Cucking Stool still remains in St. Mary's Church, at Warwick ; and by Mr. Pollard, that another still exists in the Town Hall of Ipswich.
That there was a convicted Scold at Newbury in the polite reign of Charles II. is evidenced by the following entries in the Quarter Sessions Book of that place of which I am favored with copies by Mr. Vines, clerk of the peace.
July 24 Car. 2. } Burgus de Newbury.
Ordered to appear at the next Sessions, being served with processe for that purpose. 27 January 1 Margarett Adames, Widow, hath appeared and pleaded
24 Car. 2. not guilty to her indictment for a common Scold and put herself on the Jury, who being sworne, say she is guilty of the indictment against her.
Cur. That she is to be ducked in the Cucking Stool according as the Mayor shall think the time fitting.”
In Shropshire, scolds existed till a later period, as I was told by the late Mr. George Morris the eminent genealogist and antiquary of that county, that his father saw a woman ducked at Whitchurch in the year 1777, and that he himself saw a woman branked at Shrewsbury in 1807.
In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, there was a Cucking Stool at Marlborough. It seems to have been a fixed tre-buchet, and I am told by Mr. T. Baverstock Merriman that according to tradition, it was placed at the edge of the stream near the south front of the Master's lodge at Marlborough College. This Cucking Stool must have been in pretty frequent use as it appears from the Corporation accounts, that it was repaired in 1580 : repaired again in 1582, and in 1584, they were obliged to have a new one.
having uttered unseemly language against Elizabeth the wife of John Webb, the latter complains to the Mayor, who on the offence being proved by three additional witnesses, orders that the culprit shall ride in the cucking stool from the Guildhall to the dwelling house of her husband, the said William Martin, and the cucking stool shall stand at her door.
There appears to have been a Cucking Stool at Salisbury as late as 1750. It is shown on Naish's plan of the city, published by Collins, and dedicated to the then Bishop [John Gilbert]. Its situation, together with that of the Cage, was on the Canal near the western extremity of Milford Street, towards the New Canal.
The Cucking Stool appears to have been used as a punishment in some of the Colonies. My friend Mr. Duncan Stewart, of the Chancery Bar, saw a black woman ducked in the sea for theft by a Cucking Stool on the see-saw principle at Bermuda, about thirty years ago.
THE BRANK, OR SCOLDS' BRIDLE. This instrument, used for the punishment of scolds, of which a specimen, now in my possession, was exhibited at the Meeting of the Society at Marlborough, appears to have been in use in this country from the time of the Commonwealth to the reign of King William the Third.
As far as I am aware, it never was a legal punishment; indeed in the year 1655, Mr. Gardiner, in his work hereafter cited, complains of it as illegal and improper. The punishment for scolds was, and is still, by the laws of England, the Cucking-stool, and I have not found the word "Brank,” in any dictionary.
I know of the existence of branks in several places, and no doubt there are other examples; the punishment, must therefore, have been quite a common one.
There was, in the year 1655, a brank at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and it possibly exists there still. Dr. Plot mentions branks at Newcastle under-Lyme and at Walsall, in the reign of King James II.
These, however, are a little different in form from that at Newcastleupon-Tyne.
There is a brank in the Ashmolean Museum, at Oxford; and another in the Police Office at Shrewsbury. The branks at Oxford and Shrewsbury are both similar to that figured by Dr. Plot ; except that each of them had only one staple, and not different staples to suit persons of different sizes.
A brank, from Lichfield, was formerly shown at a meeting of the Archæological Institute, and I am told that another exists at the Church of Walton-on-Thames ;' and Mr. Noake, in his “ Worcester in the Olden Time," gives an entry in the Corporation books of that city, relating to the repair of this species of instrument, under the date of 1658.
The brank in my possession is of the reign of William III., if a stamp of the letter W, crowned, may be considered as denoting
that date. Of this brank I can W
give no account.
I was told by the Venerable Archdeacon Hale, that, in addition to cucking-stools and branks, the scolds of former days had the terrors of the ecclesiastical courts before their eyes, and that the ecclesiastical records of the diocese
of London contained many entries Brank in the possession of Mr. F. A.
respeeting scolds; and it is stated
"I am informed by Mr. Llewellyn Jewitt, F.S.A., that there are excellent examples of branks at Stockport, at Altrincham, at Congleton, one formerly at Carrington (now at Warrington) and also four specimens at Chester, all of which have been figured by Mr. Brushfield, and that a curious allusion is made to the mode of using branks (with a quaint woodcut) in the “Memoirs of the first forty five years of the life of James Lackington ” 1795.
by Mr. Noake, in his “Notes and Queries for Worcestershire,"l that “in 1614, Margaret wife of John Bache, of Chaddesley, was prosecuted at the sessions as a 'comon skould, and a sower of strife amongste her neyghboures, and hath bynn presented for a skoulde at the leete houlden for the manour of Chadsley, and for misbehavying her tonge towards her mother-in-law at a visytacon at Bromsgrove, and was excommunicated therefore.'
“In 1617, Elinor Nichols was presented as a great scold and and mischief-maker,' who is said to have been excommunicated, and had never applied to make her peace with the Church."
Mr. Brand in his “ History of Newcastle-upon-Tyne." says, “In the time of the Commonwealth, it appears that the magistrates of Newcastle-upon-Tyne punished scolds with the branks, and drunkards by making them carry a tub, called the Drunkard's Cloak, through the streets of that town. We shall presume that there is no longer any occasion for the former; but why has the latter been laid aside ?"2
“A pair of branks are still preserved in the Town-court of Newcastle. See an account of them, with a plate, in Plot's *Staffordsbire.' Vide Gardiner's · English Grievance of the Coaltrade.' The representation in this work is a fac-simile from his.”3
Gardiner's book was published in 1655,4 and commences with an Epistle dedicatory to “His Highness Oliver, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, &c.," in which
1P. 106. This is an admirable little work. It contains much information, in a cheap and popular form, and is in effect 326 pages of addenda to “Brand's Popular Antiquities."
2 For representations of both, see the plate of “Miscellaneous Antiquities,” No. 2 and 3, " Brand's History of Newcastle,” vol. ii., p. 47.
3" History of Newcastle," vol. ii., p. 192. The representation is not very accurate as regards the dress.
4 In Mr. Hargrave's copy of this work, now in the British Museum, is the following note, written by that learned gentlemān :-"19th May, 1783. This book is extremely scarce.
copy of it, though without the map mentioned in the title, was sold at the sale of Mr. Gulston's books for one guinea, to Mr. King, bookseller in Lower Moor Fields. I bought it of Mr. King, and paid him one guinea and a half for it.-F. Hargrave.”
the writer states several public grievances, and makes ten suggestions for their remedy; the tenth suggestion being as follows :
“X. And that a law be created for death to such as shall commit perjury, forgery, or accept of bribery.”
Against this some one has written in the margin of the British Museum copy—“The author suffer'd death for forging of guineas :"'! the handwriting of this piece of interesting information being apparently of the reign of Queen Anne or George 1.
At p. 110 the following Deposition occurs, to which is prefixed the well-known engraving, which has been frequently copied, representing a female wearing the branks.
“(A.) Iohn Willis of Ipswich, upon his oath said, that he, this Deponent, was in Newcastle six months ago, and there he saw one Ann Bidlestone drove through the streets by an officer of the same corporation holding a rope in his hand, the other end fastened to an engine called the Branks, which is like a Crown, it being of Iron, which was musled over the head and face, with a great gap or tongue of Iron forced into her mouth, which forced the blood out. And that is the punishment which the Magistrates do inflict upon chiding and scoulding women, and that he hath often seen the like done to others.
“(B.) He, this Deponent, further affirms that he hath seen men drove up and down the streets with a great Tub or Barrel opened in the sides, with a hole in one end to put through their heads and so cover their shoulders and bodies down to the small of their legs, and then close the same, called the new-fashioned Cloak, and so make them wear it to the view of all beholders, and this is their punishment for drunkards and the like.
“(.C) This deponent further testifies that the Merchants and Shoemakers of the said Corporation will not take any apprentice under ten years' servitude, and knoweth many bound for the same terme,, and cannot obtain freedom without.” 5 Eliz. 4.
“(D.) Drunkards are to pay a fine of five shillings to the poor, to be paid within one week, or be set in the Stocks six hours; for the second offence to be bound to the Good Behaviour. I. K. James, 9, 21, 7.
“(E.) Scoulds are to be Duckt over head and ears into the water in a Duckingstool.
“(F.) And Apprentices are to serve but seven years. 5Eliz. 4.”
Dr. Plot, in his “Natural History of Staffordshire,” chap. ix., 8. 97, says—“We come to the Arts that respect Mankind, amongst which, as elsewhere, the civility of precedence must be allowed to the women, and that as well in punishments as favours. For the
1 Counterfeiting gold or silver coin was a capital offence in the reign of Charles II., but no forgery of any document was so till the reign of George I.