Social corrective combining public humiliation and discomfort, occasionally death. The offender's hands and neck were immobilized within a hinged pair of planks attached to an upright post on a platform, erected in open spaces, usually for an hour on market‐day. The spectators' mood could vary. Defoe found them kind (1703), but taunts and pelting with eggs, vegetables, and vermin were more common; if real anger prevailed, stones could prove fatal. The practice was abolished in 1837.
Subjects: British History.