Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Cucking Stool Definition:

A medieval form of punishment; a chair in which was restrained an offender.

Related Terms: Ducking Stool

Also known as a cuck stool or cukkyng-stole or the Latin term, cathedra stercorsis.

Very similar to a stock except the cucking stool was in the form of a chair.

Used to punish scolding. But Henry VIII, in a statute which was published in the third year of his reign, provided that upon conviction of fraud in the manufacture of wool products, the convicts were:

"… to be set upon the pillory or the cucking stool, man or woman, as the case shall require."1

Eventually, the cucking stool was displaced by the popularity of the ducking stool; a contraption by which a person was restrained in a chair and then repeatedly immersed into a body water.

Andrews, in his book Old Time Punishments, writes:

"In the course of time the terms cucking and ducking stools became synonymous and applied the machines for the ducking of scolds in water."


  • Andrews, Williams, Old Time Punishments (New York: Dorset Press, 1990).
  • Note 1: spellings adjusted to modern English. For example, pillorie changed to pillory and cukkyng-stole changed to cucking stool.

Categories & Topics:

Always looking up definitions? Save time with our search provider (modern browsers only)

If you find an error or omission in Duhaime's Law Dictionary, or if you have suggestion for a legal term, we'd love to hear from you!