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The Branks

The Branks.jpg The Burning of booksThumbnailsRyding the wooden horseThe Burning of booksThumbnailsRyding the wooden horseThe Burning of booksThumbnailsRyding the wooden horse

The brank or scold’s bridle was unknown in America in its English shape: though from colonial records we learn that scolding women were far too plentiful, and were gagged for that annoying and irritating habit. The brank, sometimes called the gossip’s bridle, or dame’s bridle, or scold’s helm, was truly a “brydle for a curste queane.” It was a shocking instrument, a sort of iron cage, often of great weight; when worn, covering the entire head; with a spiked plate or flat tongue of iron to be placed in the mouth over the tongue. Hence if the offender spoke she was cruelly hurt.

Author
Project Gutenberg's Curious Punishments of Bygone Days, by Alice Morse Earle Originally published 1896
Keywords
Punishment
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