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Tithing Rod

1942.4733 (RS32436)

Description

In the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries the tithing rod was an invaluable tool of office. On Sundays, the tithing man, carrying his rod, noted absentees and ensured order and attention during meetings. This was no insignificant chore, given that these meetings usually lasted for three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. It was the tithing man's job to wake sleepers and quiet fidgeters. While women who were caught sleeping were woken by the tickle of a feather or the gentle nudge of a rabbit's foot affixed to the end of the rod, boys who misbehaved and men who were chronic sleepers were assured of a hard rap on the head or knuckles.\n

Details

Label
"Cherished Possessions": In the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries the tithing rod was an invaluable tool of office. On Sundays, the tithing man, carrying his rod, noted absentees and ensured order and attention during meetings. This was no insignificant chore, given that these meetings usually lasted for three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. It was the tithing man's job to wake sleepers and quiet fidgeters. While women who were caught sleeping were woken by the tickle of a feather or the gentle nudge of a rabbit's foot affixed to the end of the rod, boys who misbehaved and men who were chronic sleepers were assured of a hard rap on the head or knuckles.<br/>
Maker
unknown
Date
1780-1800
Associated Building
Original to Beauport, Sleeper-McCann House (Gloucester, Mass.).
Material
painting (coating)
wood (plant material)
Object type
Visual Communication T&E; Visual Communication Devices
Places
Massachusetts (United States)
New Hampshire (United States)
Descriptive terms
Device, Visual Signaling
painting (coating)
Pointer
Stick, Pointer
tithing
wood (plant material)
Accession Number
1942.4733
Credit Line
Gift of Constance McCann Betts, Helena Woolworth Guest and Frasier W. McCann
GUSN
190788

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