SO4959 : The ancient ducking stool in the Priory Church, Leominster

near to Leominster, Herefordshire, Great Britain

The ancient ducking stool in the Priory Church, Leominster
The ancient ducking stool in the Priory Church, Leominster
This old relic has been stored in an aisle of this church since its last recorded use in 1809 (and the very last recorded use of a ducking stool in all England) when a Leominster resident, one Jenny Pipes, was paraded through the town and ducked in the River Kenwater for 'using foul and abusive language', as ordered by the local magistrates. Apparently, with the town mayor in attendance the culprit upon her release again committed the same crime, somewhat undermining it's effectiveness as a punishment. However in 1817 it was used again, but on this occasion only for parading a Sarah Leeke around the town, the river being too low for an actual ducking. The implement has rested here ever since.

It was possibly made in 1634 when a John Gwatkyn was paid 11 5s for 'making a cage, pillory and cucking stoole' for the town. Cucking is Anglo-Saxon for scolding, and the origin of the term ducking. Most towns had pillory's, whipping posts, stocks and ducking stools, as required by the laws of the time.

Men were also ducked; town traders who sold short measure, adulterated their wares or male residents who brawled in public could all be secured in the stool, paraded through town and ducked.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Jeremy Bolwell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
year taken
2011
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SO4959, 189 images   (more nearby)
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 6 July, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Wednesday, 6 July, 2011
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Religious sites  City, Town centre 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SO 4984 5927 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:13.7599N 2:44.1491W
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SO 4984 5927
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South-southwest (about 202 degrees)
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