on it, and well painted and ornamented. , about it. I mention these things as the pracWhen the new bridge of stone was erected, tice seems now to be totally laid aside." about 1754, this was taken away, and I lately This was written about 1780. Mr. Cole saw the carved and gilt back of it nailed up died in 1782. by the shop of one Mr. Jackson, a whitesmith, The stool is represented in a cut annexed in the Butcher Row, behind the town-hall, who to the Dumps, designed and engraved by Lud. offered it to me, but I did not know what to du Guernier. do with it. In October, 1776, I saw in the There is a wooden cut of one in the frontisold town-hall a third Ducking-stool of plain piece of the popular penny history of “ The oak, with an iron bar before it to confine the Old Woman of Ratcliff Highway." (V) person in the seat : but I made no inquiries |


O At a court of the manor of Edgeware, ' He says it was in use even in our Saxon's anno 1552, the inhabitants were presented time, by whom it was called Scealfing-stole, for not having a Tumbrel and Cucking-stool. | and described to be " Cathedra in qua rixosæ See Lysons's “ Envir. of London," vol. i. p. mulieres sedentes aquis demergebantur." It 244. This looks as if the punishments were was a punishment inflicted also anciently different.

upon brewers and bakers transgressing the () The following extract from Cowel's laws. “ Interpreter," in v. Thew, seems to prove Henry, in his “ History of Great Britain," (with the extract just quoted from Mr. Ly- vol. i. p. 214, tells us that “In Germany, sons's “Environs of London") that there was cowards, sluggards, debauchees, and prostia difference between a Tumbrel and a Cuck tutes, were suffocated in mires and bogs," and ing-stool or Thew. “Georgius Grey Comes adds, “it is not improbable that these useless Cantii clamat in maner. de Bushton & Ayton members and pests of human society were pupunire delinquentes contra Assisam Panis et nished in the same manner in this island :" Cervisiæ, per tres vices per amerciamenta, & asking at the same time, in a note, “Is not the quarta vice pistores per pilloriam, braciatores Ducking-stool a relic of this last kind of per tumbrellam, & rixatrices per Thewe, hoc punishment?" est, ponere eas super scabellum vocat. a In the “ Promptorium Parvulorum," MS. Cucking-stool. Pl. in Itin. apud Cestr. 14 Harl. 221, Brit. Mus. “ Esgn, or CUKKYN," is Hen, VII."

interpreted by stercoriso: and in the “ Domes(8) An Essayist in the “Gent. Mag." for day Survey," in the account of the City of May, 1732, vol. ii. p. 740, observes that Chester, vol. i. fol. 262 b, we read, “Vir “ The stools of infamy are the Ducking-stool | sive mulier falsam mensuram in civitate faciand the stool of repentance. The first was ens deprehensus, iiii. solid. emendab'. Simiinvented for taming female shrews. The stool | liter malam cervisiam faciens, aut in CATHEof repentance is an ecclesiastical engine, of DRA ponebatur STERCORIS, aut iiii. solid. dab' popish extraction, for the punishment of for- prepotis."

£.8. d. nication and other immoralities, whereby the 3) “ 1572. The making of the delinquent publicly takes shame to himself,

Cucking-stool .080 and receives a solemn reprimand from the

Iron work for the minister of the parish."

same . . .03 0 (4) Blount finds it called “le Goging Stole"

Timber for the same 0 7 6 in Cod. MS. “de Legibus, Statutis, & Con

3 brasses for the suetudinibus liberi Burgi Villæ de Mount

same and three gomery a tempore Hen. 2.," fol. 12 b.

wheels . . .0 4 10."

Cole (MS. Brit. Mus. vol. xlii. p. 285) In “ The New Help to Discourse," 3rd in his extracts from Mr. Tabor's book, among | edit. 12mo, 1684, p. 216, we read: instances of Proceedings in the Vice-Chancellor's Court of Cambridge, 1st Eliz., gives

On a Ducking-stool. “Jane Johnson, adjudged to the Duckinge “ Some gentlemen travelling, and coming stoole for scoulding, and commuted her pe near to a town, saw an old woman spinning nance.

near the Ducking-stool : one, to make the “Katherine Sanders, accused by the church company merry, asked the good woman what wardens of St. Andrewes for a common scold that chair was made for? Said she, you and slanderer of her neighbours, adjudged to know what it is. Indeed, said he, not I, unthe Ducking-stool."

less it be the chair you use to spin in. No, There is an order of the corporation of no, said she, you know it to be otherwise : Shrewsbury, 1669, that “ A Ducking-stool be have you not heard that it is the cradle your erected for the punishment of all scolds." See good mother has often layn in ?!! the History of the Town, 4to. 1779, p. 172. In “ Miscellaneous Poems, &c., by Ben

In Harwood's “History of Lichfield,” p. jamin West, of Weedon Beck, Northampton383, in the year 1578, we find a charge “For shire," 8vo. 1780, p. 84, is preserved a copy making a Cuckstool with appurtenances, 88." of verses, said to have been written near sixty

(6) Misson, in his “ Travels in England,' years ago, entitled " The Ducking Stool." p. 46, thus describes the Cucking-stool. It The description runs thus : may with justice be observed of this author

- There stands, my friend, in yonder pool, that no popular custom escaped his notice:

An engine call’d a Ducking-stool : Chaise. La maniere de punir les femmes

By legal pow'r commanded down, querelleuses et debauchées est asssez plaisante

The joy and terror of the town, en Angleterre.

If jarring females kindle strife, “On attache une Chaise à bras à l'extre

Give language foul, or lug the coif; mité de deux especes de solives, longues

If noisy dames should once begin de douze ou quinze pieds et dans un eloigne

To drive the house with horrid din, ment parallele, en sorte que ces deux pieces

Away, you cry, you'll grace the stool, de bois embrassent, par leur deux bouts voi

We'll teach you how your tongue to rule. sins, la Chaise qui est entre deux, & qui y est

The fair offender fills the seat, attachée par le côte comme avec un essieu, de telle maniere, qu'elle a du Jeu, et qu'elle

In sullen pomp, profoundly great. demeure toujours dans l'etat naturel & hori.

Down in the deep the stool descends, sontal auquel une Chaise doit être afin qu'on

But here, at first, we miss our ends; puisse s'asseoir dessus, soit qu'on l'éleve, soit

She mounts again, and rages more qu'on l'abaisse. On dressee un pôteau sur

Than ever vixen did before. le bord d'un etang ou d'une rivierre, & sur

So, throwing water on the fire ce poteau on pose, presque en equilibre, la

Will make it but burn up the higher. double piece de bois à une des extremitez de

If so, my friend, pray let her take laquelle la Chaise se trouve au dessus de

A second turn into the lake, l'eau. On met la femme dans cette Chaise,

And, rather than your patience lose, et on la plonge ainsi autant de fois qu'il a

Thrice and again repeat the dose. été ordonné, pour rafraichir un peu sa cha

No brawling wives, no furious wenches, leur immoderée.” See Ozell's Transl. p. 65. In “ Whimzies, or a New Cast of Charac

No fire so hot but water quenches. ters," 12mo. Lond. 1631, p. 182, speaking In Prior's skilful lines we see of a Xantippean, the author says: “ He (her For these another recipe : husband) vowes therefore to bring her in all A certain lady, we are told, disgrace to the Cucking-stoole ; and she vowes (A lady too, and yet a scold) againe to bringe him, with all contempt, to Was very much reliev'd, you'll say, the stoole of repentance."

By water, yet a different way; .


A mouthful of the same she'd take, 1 of Rochford, mentions “ Cukingstole Croft, Sure not to scold, if not to speak.”

as given for the maintenance of a light in A note informs us, “ To the honour of the this church; as appears by inquisition, 10 fair sex in the neighbourhood of R****y,

Eliz." this machine has been taken down (as useless)

In “The Regiam Majestatem," by Sir John several years."

Skene, this punishment occurs as having been © Borlase, in his “ Natural History of

used anciently in Scotland : under “ Burrow Cornwall," p. 303, tells us : “ Among the

Lawes," chap. lxix., speaking of Browsters, punishments inflicted in Cornwall, of old time,

i.e. Wemen quha brewes aill to be sauld," was that of the Cocking-stool, a seat of infamy

it is said—“gif she makes gude-ail, that is where strumpets and scolds, with bare foot

sufficient. Bot gif she makes evill ail, conand head, were condemned to abide the de

trair to the use and consuetude of the burgh, rision of those that passed by, for such time

and is convict thereof, she sall pay ane unas the bailiffs of manors, which had the pri

law of aucht shillinges, or sal suffer the vilege of such jurisdiction, did appoint.”

justice of the burgh, that is, she sall be put Morant, in his “ History of Essex," vol. i. |

upon the Cock-stule, and the aill sall be distrip. 317, speaking of Canuden, in the hundred | buted to the pure folke."


They have an artifice at Newcastle-under-, of the magistrate, and fastened with a padLyme and Walsall, says Dr. Plott, in his lock behind, she is led round the town by an “ History of Staffordshire," p. 389, for cor officer, to her shame, nor is it taken off till recting of scolds, which it does too, so effect- after the party begins to show all external ually and so very safely, that I look upon it signes imaginable of humiliation and amendas much to be preferred to the Cucking-stoole, ment. which not only endangers the health of the Dr. Plott, in a copper-plate annexed, gives party, but also gives the tongue liberty 'twixt a representation of a pair of Branks. They every dipp; to neither of which this is at all still preserve a pair in the town court at Newliable: it being such a bridle for the tongue castle-upon-Tyne, where the same custom as not only quite deprives them of speech, once prevailed. See Gardiner's “ England's but brings shame for the transgression and Grievance of the Coal Trade,”and my History humility thereupon before 'tis taken off': of that Town, vol. ii. p. 192. which being put upon the offender by order |


It appears from Gardiner's " England's, holes in the sides for the arms to pass through, Grievance in Relation to the Coal Trade,” | called the Drunkard's Cloak, through the that in the time of the Commonwealth the streets of that town. magistrates of Newcastle-upon-Tyne punished See my “ History of Newcastle," wherein scolds with the Branks (just described), and is also given a representation of it in a copperdrunkards by making them carry a tub with plate, vol. ii. p. 192.

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" L. Paullus Consul iterum, cum ei, bellum ut cum Rege Perse gereret, obtigisset; ut ea ipsa die domum ad vesperum rediit, filiolam suam Tertiam, quæ tum erat admodum parva, osculans animum advertit tristiculam : quid est, inquit, mea Tertia ? quid tristis es? Mi pater, inquit Persa periit. Tum ille arctius Puellam complexus, accipio OMEN, inquit, mea filia : erat enim mortuus catellus eo nomine."

Cic. de Divinat. lib. i. sect. 46.

The word Omen is well known to signify | A superstitious regard to Omens seems ana sign, good or bad, or a prognostic. It may | ciently to have made very considerable ad. be definerl to be that indication of something ditions to the common load of human infelifuture, which we get as it were by accident, city. They are now pretty generally disreand without our seeking for.

garded, and we look back with perfect secu

rity and indifference on those trivial and truly able to recover them all: and to evince that ridiculous accidents which alternately af | in all ages men have been self-tormentors, the forded matter of joy and sorrow to our ances- bad Omens fill a catalogue infinitely more extors. () Omens appear to have been so tensive than that of the good. numerous that we must despair of ever being


0 Gibbon, in his “ Decline and Fall,” | Abuses Stript and Whipt,” 8vo. Lond. 1613, &c., vol. viii. p. 201, speaking of the wars of p. 167: the Emperor Maurice against the Avars, A.D.

“ For worthlesse matters some are wondrous 595, tells us that, on setting out, “ he (the

sad, Emperor) solicited, without success, a mira

Whom if I call not vaine I must terme culous answer to his nocturnal prayers. His

mad. mind was confounded by the death of a fa

If that their noses bleed some certaine vourite horse, the encounter of a wild boar, a

drops, storm of wind and rain, and the birth of a

. And then againe upon the suddaine stops, monstrous child; and he forgot that the best Or, if the babling foule we call a jay, of omens is to unsheath our sword in the de.

A squirrell, or a hare, but crosse their way, fence of our country. He returned to Con

Or, if the salt fall towards them at table, stantinople, and exchanged the thoughts of

Or any such like superstitious bable, war for those of devotion."

Their mirth is spoil'd, because they hold it Apposite is the following from Joh. Saris

true ber. de Nugis Curialium, fol. 27 : “ Rusti

That some mischance must thereupon canum et fortè Ofelli Proverbium est—Qui

ensue.” Somniis et Auguriis credit, nunquam fore securum. Ego Sententiam et verissimam et The subsequent, on the same subject, from fidelissimam puto. Quid enim refert ad con Dryden and Lee's “Edipus," act iv. sc. I, sequentiam rerum, si quis semel aut amplius need no apology for their introduction : sternutaverit? Quid si oscitaverit? His mens

“For when we think fate hovers o'er our nugis incauta seducitur, sed tidelis nequa

heads, quam acquiescit.”

Our apprehensions shoot beyond all bounds, “Omens and Prognostications of things,"

Owls, ravens, crickets seem the watch of says Bourne, Antiq. Vulg. p. 20, “ are still

death; in the mouths of all, though only observed

Nature's worst vermin scare her godlike by the vulgar. In country places especially

sons; they are in great repute, and are the directors

Echoes, the very leavings of a voice, of several actions of life, being looked upon

Grow babbling ghosts and call us to our as presages of things future, or the deter

graves : miners of present good or evil.” He specifies

Each mole-hill thought swells to a huge several, and derives them with the greatest

Olympus, probability from the heathens, whose obser

While we, fantastic dreamers, heave, and vation of these he deduces also from the practice of the Jews, with whom it was a


And sweat with an imagination 's weight; custom to ask signs. He concludes all such

As if, like Atlas, with these mortal shoulders observations at present to be sinful and dia

We could sustain the burden of the world." bolical.

The following lines, which have more truth In the “ Statistical Account of Scotland," than poetry in them, are from “ Wythers's | vol. xiv. p. 541 (8vo. Edinb. 1795), parish

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