The Wooden Horse

The Wooden Horse

Isle of Man law passed in 1629

 

“Whosoever shall be found or detected to pull Horse Tayles shall be punished upon the Wooden Horse, thereon to continue for the space of two hours and to be whipped naked from the waist upwards.”

 

The wooden horse (aka the wooden pony or the Spanish donkey) is the name given to an extremely painful torture device used throughout history, particularly during medieval times and the American colonial period by Union guards against their Confederate prisoners.

There are three variations of the device, however, the principle and design is the same. The wooden device is triangular in shape and angled, often sharpened at the top. The victim is forced to straddle the triangular ‘horse’, placing their full body weight on their vulva, with additional weights added to their ankles to keep them from falling off. Needless to say, the additional weight would pull the victim’s entire body down severely injuring their crotch, and sometimes even slicing it in half.


 

(source: Folklore of the Isle of Man by AW Moore, 1891; wiki)

Bernadette Weyde

Bernadette Weyde

I'm a web designer, amateur historian and keen gardener and I enjoy bringing Manx history, folklore and poetry to a modern audience.


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customsmanx life

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