Scold's bridle

Move your pointing device over the image to zoom to detail. If using a mouse click on the image to toggle zoom.
When in zoom mode use + or - keys to adjust level of image zoom.

Date:1600 - 1650 (c.)

Description:An iron scold's bridle or brank from Stafford. Its date is uncertain, possibly early 17th century.

The scold's bridle was generally employed as a punishment for slander and similar minor misdemeanors. The flat bit of the bridle covered the tongue and effectively prevented the victim from talking. Some bridles had bits that ended in a spike that lacerated the tongue if one tried to talk. Only very occasionally was it used upon men and as a punishment for crimes such as assault. They are also known to have been employed in the Workhouses. The Stafford 'scold's bridle' is inscribed GARRULA LINGUA NOCET - The Garrulous tongue causes harm. It was last used in 1838 when the Mayor used or threatened to use it upon Mary Careless and the incident was reported at the time in the Staffordshire Advertiser.


The timeline shows resources around this location over a number of years.

Broadsheet  - Staffordshire Lent Assizes, 1845
Broadsheet - Staffordshire Lent Assizes, 1845

A broadsheet detailing the sentences for prisoners at the Staffordshire Lent Assizes, ...

Market Square, Stafford
Market Square, Stafford

Black and white glass positive, lantern slide. Brougham cabs and horses on Market ...

Turner & Co., late Brookfields, Greengate Street, Stafford
Turner & Co., late Brookfields, Greengate Street, Stafford

When Brookfields department store closed in 1909 James Turner, one of the store's ...

Horticultural Show, Shire Hall, Stafford
Horticultural Show, Shire Hall, Stafford

Displays at a horticultural show held in the Great Hall at the Shire Hall, Market ...

Charity run, Market Square, Stafford
Charity run, Market Square, Stafford

Venture Scouts pictured in front of the Shire Hall, Stafford at the start of a long ...

View Location


Link to this resource

Ordering:Click the button to add the item to your basket. Follow the link for further information on ordering.

Image courtesy of: Staffordshire Museum Service

Donor ref:DSC_0029.tif (37/17735)

Source: Staffordshire Museum Service

Copyright information: Copyrights to all resources are retained by the individual rights holders. They have kindly made their collections available for non-commercial private study & educational use. Re-distribution of resources in any form is only permitted subject to strict adherence to the usage guidelines.