Methods of Punishment
Maintenance of Stocks, Etc.
1672: Stocks required for Clondagad
1699: Presentment for a pair of stocks and constables staff, one
pound six shillings.
1701: Repairing the stocks, Six shillings to make up the stocks
sufficient for four years.
1723: Substantial pair of stocks and whipping post, one pound three
1762: Repairing the stocks - five shillings.
1769: Three pounds two shillings "for the stock and stands and
for erecting them".
1775: "Whereas, it appears to us that a pair of stocks are much
wanting in said borough and that we can't with propriety lay in more money
for the present year, but Mr. John O'Dea having agreed with us to supply
a good, substantial pair of stocks, for which we have agreed to pay him
three guineas, which said sum we promise shall be presented for him at
the next Michaelmas quarter meeting".
1796: Five pounds to complete and erect stocks.
1748: One pound and ten shillings
cost "to make up a proper ducking stool" to punish scolds and nagging
A ducking stool was a seat attached
to a long pole mounted on a support. A scold or nagging woman, on the
order of the borough court, would be strapped to the stool and ducked
in the waters of the Fergus.
Recalcitrant prisoners were flogged
at the whipping post set up in the Market Place in front of the Courthouse.
One pound three shillings was to be collected from the freemen of the
borough "for erecting a good and substantial pair of stocks and whipping
post with sufficient materials".
Assizes and Courtmartials
In the first week of March many of the
prisoners were bought to trial at the Clare Assizes. Seven were condemned
to death, while others were sentenced to transportation or gaol or whipping.
Those sentenced to death were brought back to their own areas for execution.
These executions took place in public and attracted big crowds of people.
When Hugh Kildeas and Michael Murphy were hanged at Ennistymon their bodies
were left on the gallows for three hours "as an awful warning to the spectators."
A "good and substantial pair of stocks
and whipping post" were erected in 1724 and men were publicly flogged
in Ennis as late as 1800.
The provost could declare people personae non gratae and bar them
from the borough (of Ennis).
In 1743, Mary McNamara was removed from
the town as "a lewd, loose and idle woman".
In 1748, Arthur Parks was paid one pound
and ten shillings to "make up a proper ducking stool" to punish
common scolds or nagging women.
- Instrument of punishment consisting of a heavy wooden
frame with holes in which the feet, hands or head of an offender were
- Breach of the Sabbath, a five shilling fine or three
hours in the stock.
- Walking at time of Divine Service, two shillings
and sixpence or three hours in the stock.
Description of Flogging
The Ennis Chronicle described
the scene of a flogging in Ennis on 22nd June, 1798.
"Last Friday morning, the troops from the garrison of Clare and those
quartered in this town, under the command of Lord Granard, with the horse
and foot corps of Yeomanry, under the command of Captain Crowe, lined
the streets when the different persons confined in our jail on treasonable
charges were brought forth and marched to the square opposite the court
house, where the sentence of the court martial, which lately sat here
was pronounced against the following culprits:"-
- Michael Pilkington, to receive 800 lashes and to
be transported for life. He was in a delicate state of health and
being tied up to the pumps, 60 lashes only were inflicted for the
- Brennan, to receive 200 lashes, but being represented
by the court as an object of mercy on account of his youth, Lord Granard
was pleased to remit his sentence of finding sufficient security for
his future good conduct.
- John Commane, to receive 500 lashes and serve his
Majesty abroad, 425 of which were well applied and Michael Commane,
his brother, to receive 300 - 75 of which induced him promise that
he would make useful discoveries, upon which he was taken from the
pumps and reconducted to prison.
- The punishment of the above traitors was inflicted
by the drum boys of the Longford Militia, who in the application of
their cats, most "feelingly" proved their detestation of Republican
Flogging at Corofin, 1798.
The following is a note made many years
ago by the late Dr. George U. MacNamara, of Baunkyle House, Corofin, Co.
Clare, and which was recently discovered among his papers by his son,
Dr. Donagh MacNamara.
"Andreas Reagh Kane, father of Shawn Reagh Kane the tailor, was flogged
at Corofin three market days in succession, tied to a cart, for supposed
complicity in the rebellion of '98."
North Munster Antiquarian Journal,