Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cramp-rings n.

also cramping-rings, queer cramp-ring
[SE cramp: a small iron bar with its ends bent into hooks + ? pun on the orig. 15C SE cramp-ring, a ring worn on the finger to ward off cramp, epilepsy etc + queer adj. (1)]

(UK Und.) shackles or fetters.

[UK]Harman Caveat for Common Cursetours in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 84: quier crampring boltes or fetters.
[UK]Groundworke of Conny-catching A2: [as cit. c.1566].
[UK]Dekker Lanthorne and Candle-Light Ch. 1: To the quier cuffin we bing / And then to the quier Ken to scowre the Cramp-ring.
[UK]Dekker ‘Canting Song’ O per se O O2: Till Cramprings quier, tip Cove his hire / and quier-kens do them catch.
[UK]Jonson Gypsies Metamorphosed 9: Heres no Justice Lippus Will seeke for to nip vs in Cramp-ringe or Cippus [the stocks].
[UK]Dekker ‘Canting Song’ in Eng. Villainies (8th edn ) O3: Thou the Cramp-rings nere didst scowre, as Harmans had on thee no power.
[UK]Dekker ‘Canters Dict.’ in Eng. Villainies (9th edn).
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue [as cit. 1612].
[UK] ‘Of the Budge’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 31: But if the cully nap us, / And once again we get / Into the cramping rings, / But we are rubbed into the Whitt.
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Cramp-ring, shackles, Bolts.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Cramprings Bolts or Shackles.
[UK]J. Shirley Triumph of Wit 196: [as cit. 1612].
[UK]Defoe Street Robberies Considered 31: Cramprings, Shackles.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 15: Shackles – Crampring.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK] ‘A Shove In The Mouth’ in Regular Thing, And No Mistake 61: When I tipped you a fogle to twist round each damp / That sported a cramp-ring so queer.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[Aus]Argus (Melbourne) 20 Sept. 6/4: Sometimes [...] the operator in coin has a serious check, the first stage of which is either cramp rings, bracelets, barnacles, darbies, or irons — all of which are just handcuffs.