In times of olde, drunks were punished by being forced to wear a barrel in public

Originally published at: In times of olde, drunks were punished by being forced to wear a barrel in public | Boing Boing

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Anyone who has been to the Bigg Market will be comforted to know that little has changed over the centuries, even if we did get rid of the big barrels for punishment.

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The worst part was being the butt of a tun of stupid jokes.

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At least they weren’t bitter.

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Fairly certain that what is going on in the left-side of that engraving (man with a leash to an armature of some sort over a woman’s head) is none other than … The Scold’s Bridle. …nasty male dominance meets yet more public humiliation kinda thing. Oh, for the inventiveness of cruelty to be applied to actual needs

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“phsycial (sic) discomfort would have been a notable part of the punishment”

Oh, for sure, barrels were extremely heavy, abrasive and obviously not suited well for wearing. Accounts from the time indicate that it was a very painful experience that would result in wounds (from the abrasions), infections, and all the other fun stuff you expect from old tyme punishments

eta:

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What’s the point of arm holes? Did they make them carry a sign too?

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Sounds like a lark next to “death by the boat”.

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Is that what that old-timey meme we used to see in cartoons was all about?

I always thought it was meant to imply poverty; losing everything, including the clothing off of one’s back…

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It usually was, although there was sometimes the suggestion of having passed out in an alley and been robbed of everything, so there was a drunkenness connection.

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I’m wearing a barrel right now.

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This individual is being forced to dress in barrels as a humiliating punishment for a traffic speeding offense. He was caught doing the tun.

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This individual is not entirely clear on the concept.
image

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You’d probably have to be a pretty serious drunkard to be punished for drunkenness in 16th century England.

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Man, BB today: whipping boys, drunk barrels, end of “free filing”, someone launching their car off the highway, and Ivan the Terrible dealing with the shock of murdering his son.

We’re really off the “Wonderful Things” brief today, folks. Are the editors… doing okay?

We’re going to need one of those unicorn chasers pretty soon.

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Perhaps to immobilize the hands?
Likely part of the punishment was that your head was vulnerable and, as with the stocks, people could “join in” the punishment and toss garbage at you.

But, does this “punishment barrel” have any relation to the modern-ish “bankruptcy barrel” meme?

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Ahhh. That’s the stuff.

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