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The Scold’s Bridle-How Men In The Middle Ages Dealt With A Gossiping Wife

By Andrew Alpin, 6 February 2018


Today society is much more refined in terms of social ostracization although it may be rampant in pockets around the world such as rural areas and where illiteracy rates are low. But, you’ll be surprised that even among the higher echelons of society, you will get that occasional gossip monger and regardless of being a man or woman, you would give anything to shut that trap once and for all. Had you been living in the medieval ages, you would have got your wish, because gossip mongers were given special treatment and if you learn what it is, then you may end up shocked.

1Gossip was rampant in the middle ages

In the middle ages, women who loved gossiping were considered a threat to society and were publically humiliated by the husbands. They were forced to wear what was called a Scold’s Bridle. However, the use of such a painful contraption then led to it being forced upon women who spoke their views against the church.

Gossip was rampant in the middle ages

Image Source: www.livinghistory.co.uk

2Not your regular kitty party

Like today’s all women night at pubs, in the medieval ages, women also got together to gossip, but in all probability, the gossip then had major repercussions and had the potential do much social damage to individuals and families. The topic of a medieval chit chat was nothing more than a ripping apart of an individual’s character or the reputation of families through lies and slander. Women were sometimes made to undergo the worst possible corporal punishment and that was public shaming by wearing a Scold’s Bridle which was essentially a trap to keep a woman’s mouth shut.

Not your regular kitty party

Image Source: www.thevintagenews.com

3The Scold’s bridle


It was an item that proves how different the lives of women are today as compared to the Middle Ages. The Scold’s bridle consisted of several iron strips surrounding a muzzle that would then be placed over a woman’s mouth and strapped tight like a mask. An iron piece known as the bridle bit would then be placed inside her mouth and this would be pressed on the tongue to prevent the woman from speaking.

The Scold’s bridle

Image Source: www.pinterest.com


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