Law, order, and punishment over the past centuries in Daventry will be the focus of a new exhibition at the town’s museum in the new year.
Inspired by its collection of civic regalia, Daventry Museum’s new exhibition, ‘Law and Order’ tells the story of how order was kept, and looks at the different types of punishments imposed on criminals in Northamptonshire from the early 1800s onwards.
A spokesman for the museum said: “Imagine a time when stocks and pillories were used to punish and humiliate people who committed minor offences, including drunkenness, gambling, and even in the strictest of regimes, dancing round a maypole!
“The more severe crimes committed such as witchcraft, robbery and murder were punished by various means of execution.
“Through the museum’s gruesome exhibition, visitors will be able to explore the murky past of Northamptonshire’s criminals.”
Exhibits feature poaching articles and many ex-police artefacts including handcuffs, helmets, uniforms, communications equipment and a Victorian truncheon.
Other highlights in the exhibition include a replica pillory (similar to stocks), the cell door from the old Moot Hall, a 1960s police motorbike, a man-trap and a scold’s bridle (an iron muzzle) from Boughton House by kind permission of The Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry KBE.
The exhibition will open at the museum in New Street on Saturday January 14 when the Historic Police Motorcycle Group will be displaying two vintage police motorbikes outside the museum.
One of the bikes on show will be an old Italian Carabinieri Moto Guzzi.
Children can get involved in the exhibition and will be able to learn about past and present roles of the town council and the basic principles of democracy by dressing up in civic regalia as well as handling a replica mace and gavel.
The museum, currently showing the latest Collect-o-Mania exhibition will close at 1.3pm on Friday December 16, and will re-open with the Law and Order display on Saturday January 14 from 10am to 4pm.