Crime and Punishment. MEDIEVAL EUROPE. Tower of London. Tower of London. Crime & Punishment. Crimes varied from the stealing wood from the Lord’s forest to serious crimes like murder.
A scold\'s bridle, sometimes called "the branks", as well as "brank\'s bridle" was a punishment device used primarily on women, as a form of torture and public humiliation. It was an iron muzzle in an iron framework that enclosed the head. The bridle-bit (or curb-plate) was about 2 inches long and 1 inch broad, projected into the mouth and pressed down on top of the tongue. The "curb-plate" was frequently studded with spikes, so that if the tongue moved, it inflicted pain and made speaking impossible. Wives that were seen as witches, shrews and scolds, were forced to wear a brank\'s bridle
The thumbscrews or pilliwinks is a torture instrument which was first used in medieval Europe. It is a simple vice, sometimes with protruding studs on the interior surfaces. The victim\'s thumbs or fingers were placed in the vice and slowly crushed. The thumbscrew was also applied to crush prisoners\' big toes.