The Social History of the People of The Southern Counties of England in Past Centuries by George Roberts was publish in 1856. The following incident occurred in my home village of Maiden Newton in 1631.
“POVERTY in 1631, as in every age, gave confidence to some who had nothing to lose in the indulgence in great license of language. One Robert Hancocke, alias Randell of Maiden Newton, being by reason of his poverty unable to satisfy the law, indulged in railing upon the governors, officers, and others, his neighbours, in such an open, foul, common, and usual manner as was insufferable. Dr. Whetcombe admonished him in vain. This man was to be committed to the House of Correction at Dorchester for a month, where the keeper was to receive him and set him on work, and give him such due correction as the quality of his offences shall deserve. Submission to Dr. Whetcombe was to procure his enlargement sooner.”
John Whetcombe, Doctor of Divinity, was rector of St. Mary’s, Maiden Newton from 1610 to 1635. A digital copy of this publication is available from Google here