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The Feluy Pillory

In 1981, excavations undertaken in the interior courtyard of the Château de Feluy enabled the unearthing of an octagonally-shaped stone made of bluestone. Researchers were able to establish that this stone once formed the base of the château’s pillory, a column dominated by a statue of a lion, which until 1982 was attached to the porch-tower of the château’s interior courtyard and was later moved.
Here is a custom that is interesting to come back to.
From the end of the 12th century onward, the pillory consisted of a wooden post to which a defendant sentenced to be publicly displayed was attached, using an iron collar. Later, the wooden post would be replaced by a stone column.
This type of punishment fell under high justice and only the lord had the right to erect a pillory. But starting in the 14th century, the defendant could petition for judgment by the county court, in this way circumventing the high lord.
In 1789, the French Revolution abolished feudal privileges and by extension the punishment of the pillory. The country was annexed to France on October 1, 1795, but the de facto domination started after the Battle of Fleurus on June 26, 1794.
The punishment of the pillory was replaced by the Penal Code of 1791. Criminal sentences were at that time divided into two categories: afflictive and defamatory sentences, and defamatory sentences. Defamatory sentences led to civic degradation and to the iron collar. Afflictive and defamatory sentences, for their part, consisted of death, deportation, fetters, imprisonment and detention. But before serving the sentence, the accused was brought to a public place attached to a post placed on a scaffold and exposed to public view for several hours. The de facto punishment of the pillory, therefore, was definitely still used, as is related in this article concerning public executions to which several residents of the region fell victim during the Napoleonic era.

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