The Ducking stool and ponds weren't used in witchcraft trials, they were punishment for 'scolds', dishonest tradesmen, and brewers or bakers who sold bad produce.
"Then was the Scold herself,
In a wheelbarrow brought,
Stripped naked to the smock,
As in that case she ought:
Neats tongues about her neck
Were hung in open show;
And thus unto the ducking stool
This famous scold did go."
(Ballad, anon. "The Ducking of a Scold" - c.1615)
Amazingly, Ducking was still legal punishment for scolds in New Jersey until 1972!
'Water trials' in the case of witches consisted of attaching weights to the accused and dropping them into the river from a bridge etc., and if he/she floated - they were declared guilty, because Satan was 'looking after his own'! If they sank, they were 'proved innocent' - but drowned!
Edited by ealdwita, 20 March 2013 - 08:44 PM.