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Welcome to an almost daily peek at our beautiful Williamsburg, Virginia which includes the "Historic Triangle" consisting of Colonial Williamsburg -the world’s largest living history museum- Yorktown and Jamestown.

March 2, 2011

Crime And Punishment In Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia


The public stocks and pillory are popular attractions in Colonial Williamsburg.  Crime in colonial times was not tolerated and punishment was swift, public and severe. The stocks is the punishment where you sit on a board with your feet through the restraining device while the pillory is the device where you stand with your hands and head through the holes. Common punishments for theft and other misdemeanors included whipping, fines, and some time in the pillory or stocks in full view of your neighbors.  Depending on the offense, the person's ears could be nailed to the pillory board or, at times, branding was used to identify certain criminals and their crimes. A thief could have his hand burned with a "T" to forewarn the general public of his proclivity. So, it's fun today but then, not so much.

4 comments:

Indrani said...

Very painful to even imagine.

Naturedigital said...

The public humiliation was, I think< the worst of all.
Costas

Karine said...

Ouch, ouch, ouch!!! The thoguht of those punishments would definitely be enough to keep me on the straight and narrow!

this too will pass said...

rough justice..still to be found in some parts of the world

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