“Termagant” is one of my new favorite words. From the Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary “termagant” is a noun and defined as “an overbearing or nagging woman.” If you follow the Facebook page then you’ll know my children, if they knew of the word, would define me as a “termagant.” But let’s be honest, just about every woman could be defined as such at some point in their lives, such is our burden.
If you were accused of being a termagant up through the 19th century you faced the risk of being sentenced to the ducking stool, a very primitive way of dealing with us hysterical women. In the picture below you can see what a sentence by ducking meant and to be perfectly honest if I wasn’t a little crazy before I would certainly be after. The Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. (HFFI) wrote a recent blog post about ducking stools and their history in Fredericksburg which is what led to our discovery that there is a loose connection between John Ferneyhough Jr. and termagants.
As we know, John Ferneyhough Jr. was a prominent carriage maker in the city of Fredericksburg. It turns out he was a handy guy because he was also very likely the last person commissioned by the city to construct a ducking stool. It’s very worth clicking on the HFFI blog post above because I am not one to plagiarize and they did a very nice job pulling up old articles relating to one termagant in particular, why it was deemed that women should not be nags (hint: it hurts the men’s feefees) and the method of using a ducking stool, plus evidence of John Ferneyhough Jr. making one.
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I love your blog! I’m so intrigued by your house and excited to drive by next time I’m in the ‘Burg. Keep sharing and add more pictures so nerds like me can gawk!! I found you through a post from Habalis, whom I’ve done several projects with. I’m now following you myself. Can’t wait to see more! ~Andrea Hickman, A.HICKMAN Design