interesting information about Medieval Torture and Punishment, specifically Ducking Stool,
during the era
Punishment - Ducking Stool
During the Medieval times inflicting pain and torture was an accepted form of
punishment or interrogation. The cruel and pitiless torturers were induced to inflict the horrors
of torture or punishment, including the Ducking Stool, on the pitiful prisoners.
Different types of torture or methods of punishment were inflicted, depending on the
crime and the social status of the victim,
using various methods and various types of devices
The Law, Crime,
Torture and Punishment - Ducking Stool
There were no laws or rules
to protect the treatment of prisoners
who faced torture or punishment, such as the Ducking Stool.
No matter what the type of torture or punishment
was used it was seen as a totally legitimate means for
justice to extract confessions, obtain the names of accomplices, obtain
testimonies or confessions or to
impose a penalty, sanctioned by law for a wrong committed.
The following description provides facts and information about the Ducking Stool.
Information about the Ducking Stool
There were some different tortures which were used for men
or women. The
Medieval Ducking Stool was specifically used as a torture method for women. The
device was a chair which was hung from the end of a free-moving arm. The
woman was strapped into the chair which was situated by the side of a
river. The device would then be swung over the river by the use of the
free-moving arm. The woman would then be ducked into the freezing cold
water. The length of immersion into the water was decided by the
operator and the crime of which the woman was accused. It could last for
just a few seconds but in some circumstances this punishment process
could be continuously repeated over the course of a day.
warranted the use of the Medieval Ducking Stool
The Medieval Ducking Stool was a punishment
strictly designed for women. The crimes which deemed such a punishment
were prostitution and witchcraft. Scolds were also punished by this
method. A scold was a term given to a gossip, shrew or bad tempered
woman during the Medieval times and era. A scold was defined as: "A troublesome and
angry woman who by brawling and wrangling amongst her neighbours breaks
the public peace, increases discord and becomes a public nuisance to the
neighbourhood". The device was used in cases of witchcraft. Ducking was
seen as a foolproof way to establish whether a suspect was a witch. The
ducking stools were first used for this purpose but ducking was later
inflicted without the chair. In this instance the victim's right thumb
was bound to left toe. A rope was attached to her waist and the 'witch'
was thrown into a river or deep pond. If the 'witch' floated it was
deemed that she was in league with the devil, rejecting the 'baptismal
water'. If the 'witch' drowned she was deemed innocent. This particular
method of ducking was also inflicted on men accused of witchcraft.
Medieval Torture and Punishment - Ducking Stool
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