39.4 MB (2.2 MB compressed)
4350 x 3167 pixels
36.8 x 26.9 cm ⏐ 14.5 x 10.6 in (300dpi)
NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cucking stools or ducking stools were chairs formerly used for punishment of disorderly women, scolds, and dishonest tradesmen. The ducking-stool was a strongly made wooden armchair in which the offender was seated, an iron band being placed around her so that she should not fall out during her immersion. The earliest record of use is towards the beginning of the 17th century, with the term being first attested in English in 1597. Usually the chair was fastened to a long wooden beam fixed as a seesaw on the edge of a pond or river. Sometimes, however, the ducking-stool was not a fixture but was mounted on a pair of wooden wheels so that it could be wheeled through the streets, and at the river-edge was hung by a chain from the end of a beam. In sentencing a woman the magistrates ordered the number of duckings she should have.
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