Stocks #midnighthaiku

The stocks were used in many countries as a method of corporal punishment. While it may look innocuous, like the stock market, the stocks were an uncertain and indeterminate affair… anything could happen.

The offenders feet would be immobilised, usually bare, between the boards and they would be taunted and abused by passers-by. The stocks were often set up in the village square or market. As the offenders were left out in all weathers by day and night, many died from this form of punishment and there is nothing amusing about the way they were used.

However… if a pair of feet were locked into the stocks…and two prisoners could be exposed side by side to the punishment…. why do these stocks have five holes?

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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14 Responses to Stocks #midnighthaiku

  1. scskillman says:

    I dread to think, Sue, how those five holes would be used, but it may be the prisoner was contorted into a position whereby the feet were held as well. It is terrible to dwell on medieval punishments but we cannot help but be fascinated by extremes of human behaviour – and perhaps it feels safer to focus on those in the past rather than those in the present (as our love for Horrible Histories testifies). Personally, though I live near Warwick Castle which I have visited many times, I have only ever been to the dungeon once, and have no appetite any more to view the instruments of torture!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very enlightening post, Sue. I don’t even want to think about your question [hands over ears and eyes].


  3. Ritu says:

    Er, my first thought was middle hole head, then hands and the furthest holes to hold the feet.. a true contortionist would be needed to achieve that…!


  4. Denis1950 says:

    Fascinating image, story and haiku offering a solution for badly behaved politicians. In answers to your question re 5 holes. Rolf Harris would know!!


  5. Widdershins says:

    Yeah, I wondered that too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’d rather not think about it, Sue. 😦 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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