The stocks were used in many countries as a method of corporal punishment. While it may look innocuous, like the stock market, the stocks were an uncertain and indeterminate affair… anything could happen.
The offenders feet would be immobilised, usually bare, between the boards and they would be taunted and abused by passers-by. The stocks were often set up in the village square or market. As the offenders were left out in all weathers by day and night, many died from this form of punishment and there is nothing amusing about the way they were used.
However… if a pair of feet were locked into the stocks…and two prisoners could be exposed side by side to the punishment…. why do these stocks have five holes?