Defoe in the pillory

This painting by Eyre Crowe of 1862 shows Daniel Defoe in the pillory. Defoe was a trader and writer best known for his novel Robinson Crusoe. In 1703 he spent a week in the pillory as punishment for writing the pamphlet ‘The Shortest Way with Dissenters’. The pillory was used to punish minor offenders by public shaming. They would be locked in a wooden framework where people could jeer and throw objects such as rotten food and dead animals at them. However, the public were sympathetic towards Defoe and threw only flowers at him.