The Law, Crime, Torture and Punishment - Stocks
There were no laws or rules to protect the treatment of prisoners who faced torture or punishment, such as the Stocks. 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 Stocks.
Facts and Information about the Stocks
The Stocks were a wooden structure formerly in use both on the continent of Europe and in Great Britain as a method of punishment for petty offences. The culprit sat on a wooden bench with his ankles, and sometimes his wrists or even neck, thrust through holes in movable boards. Punishment in the stocks generally lasted for at least several hours. During this time passers-by would throw all forms of disgusting waste at the hapless culprit. It is known that the stocks were used by the Anglo-Saxons by their often figuring in drawings of the time. The second Statute of Labourers (1350) ordered the punishment of the stocks for unruly artisans. It further ordered that stocks should be made in every town and village in England. Though never expressly abolished, the punishment of the stocks began to die out in England during the early part of the 19th century, though there is a recorded case of its use so late as 1865 at Rugby. In many of the villages in the country may still be seen well-preserved examples of stocks, in some cases with whipping posts attached.