lay (one) by the heels

(redirected from laid by the heels)

lay (one) by the heels

obsolete To place one's hands or feet in shackles; to lock up or imprison one. Even now citizens have been calling for the governor to be laid by the heels for his involvement in the scandal. Though they may lay us by the heels, we must never give up our fight against their oppression!
See also: by, heel, lay

lay by the heels

To put in fetters or shackles; imprison.
See also: by, heel, lay
References in classic literature ?
“Now, I’ve known very good sort of men, aboard of the Boadishey, laid by the heels, for nothing, mayhap, but forgetting that they’d drunk their allowance already, when a glass of grog has come in their way.
Ain’t it enough for any Christian, let him harbor never so much malice, to get an honest old fellow laid by the heels in this fashion, without carrying sail so hard on the poor dog, as if you would run him down as he lay at his anchors?
I was laid by the heels for ten days, but Trevor used to come in to inquire after me.
"I couldn't get it out of my head that somehow you would be laid by the heels. It was not your pluck that I distrusted, my dear fellow, but it was your very pluck that made me tremble for you.
Sir Arrogant is here, and I am glad to say, has been laid by the heels here.
'When conjecture ran wild, when the most extravagant suspicions were afloat, when half a dozen innocent people might have been laid by the heels any hour in the day!' said Mortimer, almost warming.