In 1655, Ralph Gardner wrote that in Newcastle-upon-Tyne,
England “he hath seen men drove up and down the streets with
a great tub or barrel opened in the sides, with a hole in one end
to put through their heads, and so cover their shoulders and
bodies, down to the small of their legs, and then close the
same, called the new-fangled cloak, and so make them march
to the view of all beholders; and this is their punishments for
drunkards and the like.”
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Although the Barrel Pillory (also known as "Drunkard’s Cloak" or “The Spanish
Mantle”) was by no means universal, there is evidence that it
was used sporadically in many European countries, although
not necessarily for drunkards. In 1641, the diarist John Evelyn
wrote that in Delft, Holland the Senate House contained “a
weighty vessel of wood, not unlike a butter churn, which the
adventurous woman that hath two husbands at one time is to
wear on her shoulders, her head peeping out at the top only,
and so led about the town, as a penance for her incontinence”.
The Drunkard’s Cloak was used as late as 1862 on soldiers in the American Civil War.
An eyewitness “was extremely amused to see a rare specimen of Yankee invention, in
the shape of an original method of punishment drill. One wretched delinquent was
gratuitously framed in oak, his head being thrust through a hole cut in one end of
a barrel, the other end of which had been removed; and the poor fellow loafed about
in the most disconsolate manner, looking for all the world like a half-hatched chicken”.