For people of this name, seeStocks (surname). For other uses, seeStock (disambiguation).
Village stocks redirects here. For the humorous Wikipedia feature, seeWikipedia:Village stocks.
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Stocksare restraining devices that were used as a form ofcorporal punishmentandpublic humiliation.
The stocks,pillory, andprangereach consist of large wooden boards with hinges; however, the stocks are distinguished by restraining ones feet.
The stocks consist of placing boards around the ankles and wrists, whereas in the pillory the boards are fixed to a pole and placed around the arms and neck, forcing the punished to stand.
Some consider the stocks an example oftortureandcruel and unusual punishment.citation neededVictims may be insulted, kicked, tickled, spat on, or subjected to other inhumane acts. In the Bible, the treatment ofPaulandSilas, disciples of Jesus, was detailed in theActs of the Apostles: Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.1TheOld Testamentbook of Jobalso describes the stocks, referring to God:
The stocks were employed by civil and military authorities frommedievaltoearly moderntimes including Colonial America. Public punishment in the stocks was a common occurrence from around 1500 until at least 1748.3The stocks were especially popular among the early AmericanPuritans, who frequently employed the stocks for punishing the lower class.4
In the American colonies, the stocks were also used, not only for punishment, but as a means of restraining individuals awaiting trial.5
The offender would be exposed to whatever treatment those who passed by could imagine. This could include tickling of the feet. As noted by theNew York Timesin an article dated November 13, 1887, Gone, too, are the parish stocks, in which offenders against public morality formerly sat imprisoned, with their legs held fast beneath a heavy wooden yoke, while sundry small but fiendish boys improved the occasion by deliberately pulling off their shoes and tickling the soles of their defenseless feet.6
EnglandsStatute of Labourers 1351prescribed the use of the stocks for unruly artisans and required that every town and village erect a set of stocks. Sources indicate that the stocks were used in England for over 500 years and have never been formally abolished.7
Finger pillories often went by the name of finger stocks. Public stocks were typically positioned in the most public place available, aspublic humiliationwas a critical aspect of such punishment. Typically, a person condemned to the stocks was subjected to a variety of abuses, ranging from having refuse thrown at them,ticklingtopaddling, whipping of the unprotected feet (bastinado).
Their last recorded use in the United Kingdom was in 1872 at eitherAdparNewcastle Emlyn, westWales8orNewbury, BerkshireEngland(11 June).9
In Toronto, Ontario, Canada, court records from 1811 required the building of a set of stocks for punishment.10The Spanishconquistadoresintroduced stocks as a popular form of punishment and humiliation against those who impeded the consolidation of their settlements in the new world. They were still used in the 19th century inLatin Americato punish indigenousminersin many countries for rebelling against their bosses.
American courts normally punish offenders by sentencing them to incarceration in jail or prison or to probation, which may include community service.
InUnited States v. Gementera,(2004) the defendant was convicted of mail theft and sentenced, among other measures, to stand in front of a post office for eight hours wearing a sandwich board that read: I stole mail. This is my punishment.11The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld this sentence, finding that the district court did not impose itsolelyfor the purpose of humiliation, but also to serve the criminal-justice goals of deterrence and rehabilitation.11The Ninth Circuit further found that the alternative sentence did not violate the Eighth Amendments ban on cruel and unusual punishment because it was within the limits of civilized standards and was not coupled with a lengthy prison sentence.11
In 1989 the Arkansas town ofDermottpassed a curfew law punishable by up to thirty days in jail for the offender and up to two days in the stocks for the offenders parents.12The city almost immediately remitted the punishment because, among other things, the city did not have a set of stocks and had allocated no funds to build one.13
The British town ofThamemade international headlines in 2016 when it took up a proposal to build stocks in the town. Introduced by Councillor David Bretherton, the stocks would be used for hire and for charitable events. As noted by Bretherton, Perhaps for charity we could do something like that, get people in the stocks and have others donate money for the time they last while having their feet tickled.14Bretherton noted that the stocks were still legal in England. It is not believed that the stocks would be used for actual punishment purposes. Currently, further study of the topic is ongoing.15
In Colombia in 2012, married thirty-four-year-old Alfreda Blanco Basilio and her eighteen-year-old lover Luis Martinez were placed in stocks by the Sampues tribe in Colombia due to Basilios adultery. Basilio spent 72 hours barefoot in the stocks for her offense.16
An excellent example of stocks can be seen inDromore, County Down, inNorthern Ireland. They are occasionally preserved in churches though as wooden devices they are naturally subject to rotting and decay.
Bible, Acts 16:24. This most likely occurred around the year 57.
Job 13:27. Biblical scholars are unable to agree on when Job lived. But, it is most likely that he lived somewhere between 2350 and 1400 B.C.
Archived copy. Archived fromthe originalon 2014-12-02
Earle, Alice Morse. Curious Punishments of Bygone Days, (1896), available in digitized form through the Gutenberg project.2015-09-24 at theWayback Machine
Cox, James A.,2012-11-15 at theWayback Machine,
Pillory, Stocks and Whipping Post, Colonial Williamsburg, VA – Punishment and Disciplinary Devices on m.
David Kers New York Times article, England in Old Times (page 11 of New York Times, November 13, 1887)
.Archivedfrom the original on 24 December 2017
Crime & Punishment in Colonial Upper Canada Toronto.
.Archivedfrom the original on 23 September 2017
,379F.3d596, 59899, 606, 608(9th Cir.2004).
New Ordinance in Arkansas Town Threatens Parents with confinement in the stocks.
. Washington, PA. Associated Press. 13 August 1989. p.A4
Arkansas City Revises Stockade Ordinance. Associated Press. 22 August 1989.Archivedfrom the original on 1 January 2017
Town council makes bid to reinstate medieval punishment.
Brian Andrews on NTN24 and RCN,2016-03-09 at theWayback Machine
Articles needing additional references from July 2009
Articles with unsourced statements from April 2015
Commons category link is on Wikidata using P373
This page was last edited on 29 March 2019, at 06:07