Drunkard’s Cloak

I hate regional stereotypes, but the folk of Newcastle are fond of their drink, and it seems they always have – this is from an Irish newspaper of 1846:

Drunkard’s Cloak-  a large cask/barrel, with the bottom taken out, holes in the top and sides, was passed over the body of the ‘jolly god’ so as to rest on his shoulders, with his head and arms though the apertures. Then he was paraded through the streets.  It was invented during the Commonwealth by Magistrates of Newcastle-upon-Tyne which made the person upon whom it was inflicted look sufficiently ridiculous in the eye of his “friends, kinfolk and acquaintances”. It does not seem that this drunk cloak was ever worn in any other places or that it continued its use in Newcastle after the Restoration

I think today’s drunks would rather enjoy it. Shame isn’t what it used to be.

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