the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

forgotten traditions

The Stang Ride, Scotland

1390 Scotland: a 17th century version of 15th century event
“he gathered early next morninga crowd of labourers of both sexes rejoicing as if for the harvest,
as is also the custom nowadays, and a girl called Roxgirne was raised up on a pole, and he proceeded
to stir up a great noise of singing, shouting,”

from: manuscripts of Walter Bower's 'Scotichronicon', which was composed in the
1440's (Marchmont A.c.15) in: Scottish Historical Review, Volume LXXIV, 2: No. 198:
October 1995, pages 144-158
‘Robert Ill's 'Rough Music':Charivari and Diplomacy in a Medieval Scottish Court’ by JOHN J. McGAVIN

18th century Leith "In the 18th century there lived a good natured gardener called Joseph Scott.
When sober he would boast about his wife and say how wonderful she was. However as soon
as he was drunk his character completely changed and on many occasions attacked his wife.
Until it got so bad that while attacking his wife another woman tried to stop it and was struck.
That was the last straw and a meeting was called by the villagers of Restalrig and it was decided
that he should "Ride the Strang". The following morning the decision was put into effect and Gardiner
Scott was seized on the way to work and forced onto the rough branch of a tree and jolted around
the village and graveyard. It was at this point things took a serious turn, the point being that Scott
was hardly sober, and it was realised that Scott was an expert swimmer and it was suggested that
he could be thrown into Lochend Loch which they did and to everyone's surprise he sank to the
bottom and was drowned. "


"That upon the eleventh of January instant the said Mr John Fraser did under the cloud of night most inhumanly and barbarously beat and bruise Anne Johnston his said spouse to the effusion of her blood and great hazard and peril of her life. And not only but it is common practice as can be attested by several of the neighbourhood who have divers and sundry times risen from their bed at midnight and has rescued her out of his merciless hands or she would have been miserably butchered by him. And seeing your petitioners are informed that the said Fraser has given in ane information to your Lordship against some of our good neighbours who upon Saturday last being the twelfth instant went to his house alluding they would cause him to ride the "Strang" (use and wont in such cases) but to our certain knowledge with no other design than to frighten and deter him from his villainous and cruel usage of his said spouse in all time coming."

Scottish Archives

1808 dictionary definition: 1808'An Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language: Illustrating the Words in Their Different
Significations by Examples from Ancient and Modern Writers' by John Jamieson
18161816 Lothian

"'I am informed,' says Dr. Jamieson, 'that in Lothian, and, perhaps, in other countries, the man who had debauched his neighbor's wife was formerly forced to ride the Stang,' yet this punishment was not exclusively inflicted on gallants detected in criminal amours. The virago who had beaten her husband was also subjected to ride the Stang…"

'Curious Customs Of England: Wife-Selling, Whipping the Cock, Sowing Hemp Seed, Etc.' by Stephen J. Gertz, 1816


English examples

top of page