Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Scold's Bridle

First used in late medieval Scotland, the scold's bridle, witch's bridle, or brank, as it was sometimes called, had many different appearances. Fundamentally, it was the same: a metal cage for the head with a built-in gag. Some branks were very cruel pieces of work, with spikes which pierced the tongue. Some simply had a bell built in, a device which would further humiliate the "scold" who wore it through the streets.

In the streets, the scold would be subjected to the taunting and jeering of the crowds which gathered to witness the spectacle.


1 comment:

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