Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Stockton’s Stocks (NZ445189)

[From The Monthly Chronicle of North Country Lore & Legend of April 1888]

‘Reminiscences of Stockton by W.Fallows

Some time ago, I was inquiring when the old ‘stocks’ were removed from Stockton, but no one knew anything about them. The punishment of setting people in the stocks was general in former times, being a frequent order by the justices in Quarter Sessions. We are told by the antiquaries that stocks were used in Anglo-Saxon times, and anyone who owns a copy of the ‘Records of the North Riding’ will learn their use at a very early period, with particulars, also, of the whipping-post, a punishment to which women, as well as men, were condemned. At a Quarter Sessions in 1651, the inhabitants of a parish near Easingwold were fined for not having a pair of stocks in their constablewick. I remember having seen men in those at Stockton, but do not remember seeing anyone whipped. The stocks and whipping-post were at the south-west corner of the Town Hall. I have made a drawing of both, which I remember well.

The market of that day was very thinly attended; the butter-sellers were all on the north side of the Cross, and the corn market at the north side of the shambles. There were a few stalls for the sale of different kinds of clothing and very small hooks; also carts with vegetables, &c. On the west side were all kinds of odds and ends. On one occasion a man got on to one of these stalls and called a public auction for the sale of his wife. The woman was sold for 2s 6d. The affair caused a great noise in the town.

The rage for improvement has cleared away another mark of an old pastime in Stockton. That was a flat stone about three feet square with a pin in the centre, to which in former days was attached a ring with a chain for holding a bull to be baited. This was near a public pump, and on the west side of what was called the Coal Hill, where carts with coals, for the supply of the town, usually stood for sale on the Wednesday and Saturdays.

Important Notice

From this week onwards I will only post to this blog ONCE per week - usually a Tuesday. Any guest posts by other folk will appear on Fridays (though no one has yet submitted any articles). If you wish to contribute - or for further details in general about this change in policy - see here.

No comments:

Post a Comment