DSL - DOST Pilli(e)-, Pilnie-, Pinnywinkis, -es, -win(c)ks, n. (Sc. altered forms of late ME. pyrewinkes ( ? 1401), also pyrwykes (1397), `an instrument of torture for squeezing the fingers; supposed to resemble the thumbkins or thumb-screw' (OED.). Of unknown origin. Also in later use in Sc.) ---
Her maister ... did with the help of others torment her with the torture of the pilliwinkes upon her fingers; 1590-1 Crim. Trials I. ii. 215. [Tosh was put] first to the tortour of the buittis ... next to the tortour of the pilliewinkis; 1631 Sc. N. & Q. 1 Ser. II. 78. Spence ... is again tortured and his thumbs crushed with pilliwincks or thumbikins. It's a new invention used among the coiliars when transgressors and discovered by Generalls Daleell and Drummond, they having seen them used in Musco[vy]; 1684 Lauder Notices Affairs II. 548. ---
Hir guidman being in the stokes ... and hir daughter in the pilniewinks; 1594 Law Memor. Pref. xlvi. ---
The dochter being sevin yeir auld put in the pinnywinkis to the effect that [etc.]; 1596 Dalyell Darker Superst. 646.