An uncomfortable bridle which used to be employed to silence scolds was called the branks.
A man and his wife were ordered to stand at the Kirk-style with the branks in their mouths.
If that did not stop the rancour of their tongues he tried the effect of an instrument called the "branks."
It belongs to a class of engines far more formidable than branks.
The brutality of the stronger and governing to the weaker and subject sex was not limited to the ducking-stool and branks.
They'll need to stand on a baikie that put the branks on him.
The horse had neither saddle nor bridle, but only a branks (or halter) about its head.
Who has not heard of the Langholm witches, and the branks to subdue them?
At Oswestry are two branks, one belonging to the Corporation, and the other is in the store-room of the Workhouse.
The Session (of Glasgow) appoint jorgs and branks to be made for punishing flyters.
1590s, of unknown origin, perhaps from North Sea Germanic. An instrument of punishment for women, originally Scottish, it was a kind of iron cage for the head with a metal bit attached to still the tongue.
Paide for caring a woman throughe the towne for skoulding, with branks, 4d. ["Municipal Accounts of Newcastle," 1595]"Ungallant, and unmercifully severe, as this species of torture seems to be, Dr. Plot, in his History of Staffordshire, much prefers it to the cucking stool, which, he says, 'not only endangers the health of the party, but also gives the tongue liberty 'twixt every dip.' " [Brockett, "A Glossary of North Country Words,"1829].