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SEVERAL LAWS AND ORDERS Made at the GENERAL COURT OF ELECTION Held at Boston in NEW-ENGLAND the 29th. of April 1668.

PRinted and Published by their Order. EDWARD RAWSON. Secr.

WHereas sundry Complaints have been made of much inequality in the annual Assessments to publick charges, the several Towns, and Counties not paying in a just proportion one to another, as is the true intent of the Law Title Charges; It is therefore Ordered by this Court and the Authority hereof, that henceforth from time to time, there shall be some meet, able, faithful and judicious men chosen and Authorized by this Court, viz. two in the County of Essex; two in Suffolk; two in Middlesex, and two in Norfolk, who meeting together with the Commissioners of the several Towns, they or the major part of them so met together, shall have the abso­lute and final determination of the just proportion of each Town, and of each person and estate therein, so as that there may be a just and equal pro­portion between County and County, Addition to the Rule for equal Assessments Town, and Town Merchants and Husbandman, with all other Handicrafts as much as in them lye; And whereas there are several Merchants and others, Traders, that do bring in con­siderable quantities of Goods among us, do gain great Estates thereby, yet they pass [Page 2] away without paying their dues to the Publick, It is therefore Ordered by this Court and the Authority thereof, that henceforth from time to time there shall be appointed and impowred by this Court, two or more meet able and judicious persons in the several Sea port Towns of this Colony, viz. in Salem, Charlstown, Boston, and Portsmouth, who from time to time, in their several Towns, shall repair to all Warehouses or other places where any for­raign Goods or Commodities are put on shoare in any of our Harbours, or are sold or retailed on board of any Ship, Shallop or other Vessel, and require of the Merchant, Owner or other retailer thereof, the sight of his Invoyces, or other just and true accompt of all Goods by them in ported, as abovesaid, and in case any Merchant, Retailer, or other Trader as abovesaid, shall refuse to shew their Invoyces, or other just accompt of their Goods by them imported, and that on Oath to be taken, before a Magistrate if required, in all such cases it shall be in the liberty of the two Commissioners impowred in that Town as above is expressed, and by this Court they are Authorized and Impowred, to assess such Merchant, or other Trader or Traders as to them shall seem meet, according to their own will and doom, and accordingly shall give warrant to the Constable of the Town, to levy of them 1 d. per li. to be paid in to the Publick Treasury as the Law requires.

And it is also Ordered by the Authority aforesaid, that the meeting of the Commissioners in the several Towns, with those appointed by this Court this pre­sent year at Boston, the first third day of the week in the 7 [...] Month, the fourth day at-Cambridge, the sixth day at Salem, and the second day of the week next following at Salisbury, at eight of the clock in the morning, to perform the ser­vice and trust hereby committed to them, to which meetings the Commission­ers, for the several Towns shall bring with them a list fairly written of all per­sons and estates, every mans estate distinctly, and not in the gross sum only and the several parcels thereof, with the value put upon it, that so a full and exact Examination may be made, and an equal imposition put upon the inhabitants of this Colony, and the cause of those Complaints, that one is eased, whilst an­other is burthened, may hereafter be removed.

And for County Commissioners, County Com­missioners. This Court do Nominate and appoint Capt. Hope-full [...] and Ensign Daniel Fisher for Suffolk, Capt. Edward Johnson and Capt. John Wayt for Middlesex, Lieutenant Samuel Apleton and Lieutenant Oliver Purchis for Essex, Capt. Thomas Bradbury and Mr. Samuel Dalton for Norfolk.

And for Sea port Towns, Mr. Anthony Stodard, and Capt William Davis for Boston, Commissioners for Sea ports Capt. John Allen, and Mr. Jacob Green for Charlstown, Mr. Ed­mund Batter, and Mr. Henry Bartholmew for Salem, Mr. Elias St [...]eman, and Mr. Nathaniel Fryer for Portsmouth.

Trade with Indians.

IT is Ordered by this Court and the Authority thereof, Trade with indi­ans for Peltry & Amunition regu­lated. that, henceforth every Person, that is or shall be allowed by the Treasurer of the Country to trade Peltry or Skins with the Indians, shall have liberty to sell unto any [Page 3] Indian or Indians, not in hostility with us or any of the English in New-England, Powder, Shot, Lead, Guns, ( [...].) hand Guns, Rapier or Sword blades, Provided he or they pay unto the Country Treasurer every half Year in [...] a pound for every pound of Powder, [...] for every ten pound of [...] Lead, three shillings for every Gun, three shillings for every [...] of Rapier or Sword blades, Every allowed [...] paying to the Country Treasurer seve­ral [...] ap­pointed, &c. and to proportionably for any quantity that he or they shall sell to any Indian or Indians and every such Person al­lowed to trade as aforesaid, shall upon Oath deliver to the [...] and past accompt of the particulars of the abovementioned Commodities, by him or them sold onto any Indian or Indians. And it is further Ordered that any person allowed as before, that shall be convicted before [...] Magistrate, or County Court of selling or bartering, any of the foremen­tioned Commodities, unto any Indian whereof he or they have not given a true and just accompt, and made due payment unto the Treasurer as is above expressed, every such person or persons shall forfeit to the publick Treasury, five pounds sterling for every pound of powder, five pounds for every ten pounds of shot or lead, ten pounds for every Gun great or small, and ten pounds for every dozen, of Rapier or Sword blades, [...] so proportion­ably for any quantity of the aforesaid Commodities, sold or bartered by him or them unto any Indian or Indians, and all persons except such as are allowed are hereby prohibited from selling any of the forementioned Com­modities, unto any Indian or Indians, upon the penalty expressed, in the Law [...] Indians Sect. [...] And this Order to continue in force during the Courts pleasure, any Law or Order to the contrary notwithstanding.

Impost on Wine and Strong Liquors.

WHereas the General Court hath formerly for good [...] laid an Impost upon Wines and strongImpost on Wine strong Liquors. [...]. It is [...] Expedient by this Court for good causes and [...] all Cyder, Mum, Ale and Beer, Impost on Ale and Beer 2s. 6 d per Hogshead. sold in publick [...] such things, that is to say two shillings sixpence per Hogshead upon all [...] and Beer, and [...] shillings per Hogshead upon all Mum, and so in proportion thereto, [...] each of them [...] greater [...] quantities, Mum 5 s. per Hogshead. [...] doth further Order that these Rates [...] Sums abovesaid [...] Treasurer of the Country or to his [...] in money by every person [...] to keep [...] or House of publick entertainments within this Ju­risdiction whatsoever; And to that end every person [...] Ordered and Required to keep a [...] and just accompt of [...] they shall sell from time to time, and that at the end of every [...] or Week, being thereto required, after the publication hereof, they shall present the said accompt to the Treasurer abovesaid upon Oath if required, or to his assign and pay all the Money due hereby, and in case any of the persons licen­sed as abovesaid, shall [...] or neglect to do what is above Ordered upon con­viction before any two Magistrates, or Court of that County, where the offence is committed, shall pay treble damage to the County, or forfeit his or their license, at the discretion of that Authority that shall take cognizance thereof

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Treasurer and his Assistants to farm the Imposts.

IT is Ordered and by this Court Enacted that the Treasurer of the Country with the assistance of Capt. Treasurer and his Assistants to let and set to farm the Imposts &c. Daniel Gookin, Mr. Anthony Stoddard, and Mr. John Richards, be, and is hereby impowred and authorized, to Rent, Set or to Farm, let, for the use and in the behalf of the Country, for one or more years not exceeding three years, all these particulars following,

  • Viz. 1. The Impost of Wine, Brande, and Rhum.
  • 2. The benefit of Beaver, Furrs, and Peltry with the Indians.
  • 3. The Rates of drawing of Wines from Vintners.
  • 4. The Rates upon Beer, Cyder, Ale, Mum, from publick Sellers.
  • 5. The benefit of selling Amunition to Indians.

Wines and strong liquors imported to be entred with the Officer.

FOr the better Explanation and effectual Execution of the Law tit. Impost, Wines & strong Liquors impor­ted to be entred with the Officer. pag. 39. It is Ordered and Enacted by this Court and the Authority thereof that all wines and strong waters imported into this jurisdiction, according to that Law, be entred with the Officer in particulars, both for quantity and quality before any of it be landed, upon the penalty of the forfeiture of all that is landed before it be entred; It is Ordered that the Impost required by Law, be paid to the Officer in Money or the best of the specie at Money price.

It is further Ordered that the Committee Authorized by this Court, to make improvement of this Impost or any three of them, are hereby Authori­zed to appoint and constitute Officers, make Orders, and give such directions as shall be necessary, for the effectual receiving the said Impost, and the Rate imposed by this Court, upon the Retaylers of Wine, Beer, Ale, Mum, and Cider, and the business of giving liberty to trade for Peltry, and selling Powder, Shot, Lead and Guns, and other Armes to the Indians.

Seasonable transcribing and delivery of matters of publick concern by the Secretary.

WHereas by reason that the Orders of this Court referring to the Com­missionating, Order for the seasonable trans­cribing and deli­very of matters of publick con­cern by the Se­cretary Appointing, and Impowring any particular person or persons for any special trust, negotiation or other matter as from time to time do arise, are [...] [Page 5] of this Court is many times disapointed, and dammage to the Publick [...] accrue;

It is therefore Ordered by this Court, that the [...], from time to time within ten dayes after the end of every Sessions of the General Court, To the Marshal General. shall copy out all such special Orders of this Court as abovesaid, and deliver the same to the Marshall General, who shall re­ceive the same at the Secretaries house, and take Order for the speedy and certain conveyance thereof, to those whom they are especially di­rected unto, and for such Orders as do require a more speedy dispatch then the time above limited, the Officers above named shall accor­dingly hasten the same,

Also the Marshal General shall from time to time receive all warrants, Marshal General to attend the Treasurers and Secretaries di­rection, &c. that are to be sent to the several Towns, from the Country Treasurer, as also the Laws that are at any time to be published, either printed or written, and cause them to be delivered according to the di­rection given him from the Treasurer or Secretary.

The best improvement of Stone Horses.

WHereas the breed of Horses in the Country is utterly spoyled, whereby that useful Creature will become a burthen, which otherwise might be beni­ficial, and the occasion thereof is conceived to be through the smalness and badness of Stone Horses and Colts that run in Commons and Woods; For prevention whereof this Court doth Order and Enact, Order for the best improvment of Stone Horses and be it Ordered and Enacted by the Authority hereof, that no Stone Horse above two years old shall be suffered to go in Commons and Woods at liberty, un­less he be of comely proportion, and sufficient stature, not less then fourteen hands high, reckoning four inches to a handful, and such a Horse to be viewed and allowed, by the major part of the Select men of the Town where the owner lives; and if any person or persons turn any Stone Horse upon the Commons or at Liberty, or in the Woods, [Page 6] being not viewed and allowed as before, he or they shall forfeit Twenty shillings a Month, for every Stone horse running at liberty, after he is a two years old, which penalty is to be taken by warrant, of the Select men and imployed to the Towns use, and if the Select men of any Town do neglect their duty in taking their fines, and viewing such as are brought in according to this Law, they shall forfeit Twen­ty shillings to the County Treasurey; and this Law to be in force the first of October next.

The prises of Horses for the Country Rate.

WHereas the prizes of Horses and Mares in the Country Rate, hath been recconed at Ten pounds per Horse and Mare, which hath been for a good space much more than upon an equal consideration, Order regulate­ing prises of Horses, in the Country Rate. above their worth for the general, for the more equal and just proceeding in Country Rates for the future; It is therefore Enacted by the Authority of this Court, that all Horses and Mares of 3 years old, and upward, shall be recconed at five pounds per Horse and Mare, and all under that age, as two years old, &c. at three pounds per Colt, and all of a year old, &c. at Thirty shillings per Colt, &c.

Order to build a dry Dock.

WHereas this Court in October 1667. granted liberty to any person to build a dry Dock in Boston or Charlstown, Order and en­couragement to build a dry Dock reference unto the said Order being had; It is Ordered by this Court that if any person see cause to set upon building such a dry Dock, and shall finish the same within one year after the next session of this General Court, such person shall have the sole advantage of such Dock to himself, heires, and assignes after the said Dock shall be finished, and it is Declared that no other per­son shall be allowed to undertake the building of a dry Dock in this Jurisdiction for the space of twenty one years▪, after the finishing of the first Dock undertaken, provided such undertaker keep and maintain the said Dock in such repair at all times as my attend the end proposed. [Page 7] FOR [...] of an Order bearing date, Fishermens li­berty to cut flakes regulated 1646. and the Repealing of [...] or giving a liberty to Fishermen according to a reservation [...] cut down wood for flakes or stage and other uses, about [...], that it is intended only in that Order to give liberty to [...], and come only to make Fishing Voyages, and not to Fisher­man [...] Inhabitants, who are not to trespass upon any person in their [...] liable to make satisfaction with dammages, as in any other [...] no way restraining Fishermen in Common Lands, any [...] or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.

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WHereas Thomas Gold, William Turner, and John Farnham Senior, Obstinate and Turbulent Anabaptists: Have some time since Combined themselves with others in a pretended Church Estate▪ without the knowledge or approbation of the Authority here Established, at the Law requires, to the great griefe and offence of the godly Orthodox; some of themselves being persons Excommunicated from the Churches to which they formerly belonging; have also Constituted among themselves, Officer or Officers, to carry on all Administrations in their pretended Church Society, Contrary also to the Law in that case provided viz. that such Officers should be Able, Pious and Orthodox: For which irregularities they have been Convented before severall Courts, and about two years since were enjoyned by this Court to desist from the said practice, and to return to our allowed Church-Assemblies, which they have not in the least attended.

The Councill in March last, desirous (after long forbearance) to use the utmost meanes to convince and reduce them▪ intreated the assistance of divers Elders, who in the meeting house at Boston did publickly endeavour the same, this Court considering with how great Pertenacy and presumption the said Thomas Gold and company had continued their Scismattical assembling to­gether, the Order of this Court notwithstanding, judged it necessary to Con­vent the said Thomas Gold, William Turner and John Farnham Senior, before them, that from themselves the Court might understand what Effect the endeavours of the said Elders had taken with them: where the said persons did in open Court assert their former practice to have been according to the mind of God, and that nothing that they had heard convinced them to the contrary; which practice, being also otherwise circumstanced, with makeing Infant Baptisme a Nullity, and thereby makeing us all to be unbaptized per­sons, and so consequently no Regular Churches, Ministry or Ordinances and also renouncing all our Churches as being so bad and corrupt, that they are not fit to be held Communion with, denying to submit to the Government of Christ in the Church, and entertaining of those that are under Church Censure, [Page] thereby making the discipline of Christ in his Churches to be of none effect, and manifestly tending to the disturbance and distruction of these Churches; the which practise of theirs upon examination before the Court they profess themselves still resolved to adhere unto: all which to allow, would be the setting up a free-scool for seduction into wayes of Error, and casting off the Government of Christ Jesus in his own ap­pointments, with a high hand, and opening a door for all sorts of a­bominations to come in among us, to the disturbance not only of our Ec­clesiastical enjoyments, but also contempt of our Civil Order, and the Au­thority here established, doth manifestly threaten the dissolution and ruine, both of the peace and order of the Churches and the Authority of this Government: which our duty to God and the Country doth oblige us to prevent, by using the most compassionate effectual means to attain the same; all which considering, together with the danger of disseminating their errors and incouraging presumptuous irregularities, by their example should they continue in this Jurisdiction, this Court doth judge it necessary that they be removed to some other part of this Country or else where: And accordingly doth order that the said Thomas Gold, William Turner, and John Farnham senior; do before the twentieth of July next remove themselves out of this Jurisdiction, and that if after the the twentieth of July, the said Thomas Gold, William Turner, and John Farnham senior, or either of them be found in any part of this Jurisdiction, without License first had and ob­tained from this Court or the Council, he or they shall forthwith be appre­hended and committed to prison, by warrant from any Magistrate; there to remain without baile or main prize until be or they shall give sufficient secu­rity to the Governour or any Magistrate, immediately to depart the Jurisdi­ction and not to return as abovesaid: And all Constables and other Officers are required to be faithful and diligent in the execution of this Sentence And it is further Ordered that the keepers of all prisons whereto the said Thomas Gold, William Turner and John Farnham senior, or any of them shall be Committed, shall not permit any resort of company of more then two at one time, to any of the said persons. And although we might expect that our indulgence till the twentieth of July, might prevaile with them to refraine their offencive practices, during the time permitted them to continue amongst us, yet our experience of their high Obstinate and Presumptious carriages doth gage us to prohibit them any further meeting together on the Lords-day, or upon any other dayes, upon pretence of their Church estate or for the ad­ministration or exercises of any pretended Ecclesiastical function as dispen­sation of the Seals or preaching; wherein if they shall be taken offending they shall be imprisoned till the tenth of Iuly next and then left at their li­berty, within ten dayes to depart the Jurisdiction upon penalty as abovesaid.

Edward Rawson Secret.

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