Queen Mary, Elizabeth's half-sister, had spent her short reign trying to reinstate the supremacy of the Catholic Church in Britain. People called her "Bloody Mary" because religious persecution took place during her reign. (Persecutions, of course, took place during the reign of her father, too.)
Stocks were the "mildest" form of persecution and torture. Yet, it could not have been easy for someone in stocks to endure the public humiliation and disgrace - like chamber pots being dumped on them. But what happened when a person was accused of being a heretic and the Inquisitors of the Catholic Church entered the scene?
Once the heretic's fork was firmly imbedded in a victim's body, he could not move his head. He could only breathe the phrase that was inscribed (in Latin) on the inside of the fork: "I recant."
Maybe - if he recanted - he would be spared. More likely, the fork was just the first step in the torture process.
Death - often by burning - would not occur until later, after the victim endured much more anguish. Profound anguish like that produced by "the wheel."