Swords and Spindles Visit the Good Folk of Ilchester

Ilchester Muesum April 2015 2 Photograph by Joseph Lewis, freelance contributor - Kelsey Publishing
Photograph by Joseph Lewis, freelance contributor – Kelsey Publishing

Last week, Master Christopher and Mistress Agnes mounted their horses and set off through the mud and mire to entertain the good folk of Ilchester. Unfortunately the nearest stabling was some way from their destination and walking along the highway whilst carrying whips and scold’s bridles is sure to attract attention. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) they had left pillory behind in Darkest Devon – it be a little tricky to get on a horse.

On arrival, there was a wonderous crowd gathered but to Master Christopher’s amazement, the goodwives be wearing the britches of a man. Mistress Agnes did encourage the men amongst the party to discipline their womenfolk more carefully. Clearly, by the length of the ladies’ hair, there be many gossips and scolds amongst the wives of Ilchester. Their good masters now know that they do right to punish such offenders by cutting their hair short and Master Christopher tried to raise a few groats towards the cost of his new sword by offering to hire out the scold’s bridle. In extreme cases, the men may beat their wives, as long as they obey the rule of thumb and do use a stick no thicker than their thumbs.

 

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