17th Century Domestic Violence

The Tailor’s Lamentation – 1685

A tailor with a young and beautiful wife has a weakness for whores. Then, one dark night, he  has dallied with a doxy and is left stripped of clothes and money and must go back to his wife to explain…

…When she came in, she rang me a peal,

Ay, and her fist she forc’d me to feel…


There with her fist my face she did maul,

till at length I was forc’d to fall

Down on my knees, her love to obtain,

vowing I’d ne’er offend her again.


‘Rascal! (said she) I’ll pardon thee now!

If that this day you solemnly vow

To be obedient still to your wife.’

‘Yes, if you please to spare but my life.’


Ever since then she bears such a sway,

that I am forc’d her Laws to obey,

She is the Cock and I am the Hen:

this is my case, Oh! pity me then.

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