Stocks & Pillories
The Thief, the Cross, and the Wheel: Pain and the Spectacle of Punishment in Medieval and Renaissance Europe

Crime and Justice in Late Medieval Italy

Medieval Crime and Social Control

The Spectacle of Suffering: Executions and the evolution of repression from a preindustrial metropolis to the European experience

The stocks are an instrument of punishment consisting of a framework with holes for securing the ankles and/or wrists; a pillory is a framework on a post with holes for securing the head and hands. They are as much a source of physical torture as public humiliation.

The Jusicium Pillorie “provided the articles for inquests into violations of the assizes of bread and beer, weights and measures, and forestalling.” As such, many medieval English references to the pillory involve the punishment of bakers.

See also History of Pillory and Stocks. For additional reading, see The Pillory in Medieval London in Medieval Literature and Historical Inquiry: Essays in Honor of Derek Pearsall.