Gt Budworth wooden stocks, High St, near Northwich, Cheshire, North West England, UK
Contributor:Tony Smith / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:47.7 MB (3.2 MB Compressed download)
Releases:Model - no | Property - noDo I need a release?
Dimensions:4572 x 3648 px | 38.7 x 30.9 cm | 15.2 x 12.2 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:4 November 2018
The stocks were employed by civil and military authorities from medieval to early modern times including Colonial America. Public punishment in the stocks was a common occurrence from around 1500 until at least 1748. The stocks were especially popular among the early American Puritans, who frequently employed the stocks for punishing the "lower class". In the American colonies, the stocks were also used, not only for punishment, but as a means of restraining individuals awaiting trial. The offender would be exposed to whatever treatment those who passed by could imagine. This could include tickling of the feet. As noted by the New York Times in an article dated November 13, 1887, "Gone, too, are the parish stocks, in which offenders against public morality formerly sat imprisoned, with their legs held fast beneath a heavy wooden yoke, while sundry small but fiendish boys improved the occasion by deliberately pulling off their shoes and tickling the soles of their defenseless feet." England's Statute of Labourers 1351 prescribed the use of the stocks for "unruly artisans" and required that every town and village erect a set of stocks. Sources indicate that the stocks were used in England for over 500 years and have never been formally abolished.