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NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A Drunkard's cloak was a type of pillory used in various jurisdictions to punish miscreants. The drunkard's cloak was actually a barrel, into the top of which a hole was made for the head to pass through. Two smaller holes in the sides were cut for the arms. Once suitably attired, the miscreant was paraded through the town, effectively pilloried. Drunkenness was first made a civil offense in England by the Ale Houses Act 1551, or An Act for Keepers of Ale-houses to be bound by Recognisances. The drunkard's cloak, sometimes called the Newcastle cloak, became a common method of punishing recidivists, especially during the Commonwealth of England.
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