Curious Punishments of Bygone Days

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Published: 1896
Language: English
Wordcount: 27,458 / 88 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 63.8
LoC Category: KF
Downloads: 1,621
Added to site: 2010.09.28
mnybks.net#: 29094
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genre: History
Excerpt

ay be indicted, and if convicted shall be sentenced to be placed in a certain engine of correction called the trebucket, castigatory, or ducking-stool."

The trebuchet, or trebucket, was a stationary and simple form of a ducking machine consisting of a short post set at the water's edge with a long beam resting on it like a see-saw; by a simple contrivance it could be swung round parallel to the bank, and the culprit tied in the chair affixed to one end. Then she could be swung out over the water and see-sawed up and down into the water. When this machine was not in use, it was secured to a stump or bolt in the ground by a padlock, because when left free it proved too tempting and convenient an opportunity for tormenting village children to duck each other.

A tumbrel, or scold's-cart, was a chair set on wheels and having very long wagon-shafts, with a rope attached to them about two feet from the end. When used it was wheeled into a pond backward, the long shafts were suddenly tilted up, and the

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