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Revised and Published by Order of the GENERALL COURT. In June 1671.

CHAP. I. The Generall Fundamentals.

1. WEE the Associates of New-Plimouth, comeing hither as Free-born Subjects of the State of England, endowed with all and sin­gular; the Priviledges belonging to such being Assembled; [...] to be made by the Freemen o [...] their repre­sentatives. Do in Act, Ordain and Constitute; That no Act, Impo­sition, Law or Ordinance, be made or imposed upon us, at pre [...]ent or to come; but such as shall be made or imposed by consent of the Body of Freemen or Associates, or their Representatives legally Assembled: which is according to the free Liberties of the State of England.

2. And for the well-governing this Corporation;Annual Electi­o [...] by Freemen. It is also Resolved and Ordered, That there be a Free Election Annually, of Governour, and Assistants by the Vote of the Freemen of this Corporation; and that none shall presume to impose themselves or any other upon us, but such as are so chose, according to the priviledge granted us by Charter.

3. That Justice and Right be equally and impartially Administred unto all, not sold, denied or causelesly deserted unto any.Justice equally and [...].

[Page 2]4. It is also Enacted, that no person in [...] Government shall be en­damaged in respect of Life, [...] suffer but according to Law [...] this [...], Law [...] God or L [...]w of England. Limb, Liberty, Good name or Estate, under colour of Law, or countenance of Authority, but by virtue or equity of some express Law of the General Court of this Colony, the known Law of God, or the good and equitable Laws of our Nation suitable set us, being brought to Answer by due process thereof.

All Tryals to be by a Jury.5. That all Trials, whether Capital, Criminal, or between Man and Man, be tried by Jury of twelve good and lawful Men, according to the commendable custome of England; except the party or parties concerned, do refer it to the Bench, or some express Law doth refer it to their Judge­ment and Tryal, or the Tryal of some other Court where Jury [...]s not; in which case any party a [...]ieved, [...]ay appeal, and shall have Tryal by a Jury.

And it shall be in th [...] libert [...] of both Plai [...]f [...] and Defendant or any Del [...]quent, [...] that is to be try [...] by a Jury, [...] cha [...]enge any of the Jurors, and if the chalenge be found [...]ust and reaso [...]ble by the B [...]nch, it shall be allowed him, and others without just exception shall be impannelled in their room: And if it be in case of Life and Death, the Prisoner shall have liberty to except against six or eight of the Jury, without giving any rea­son for his exception.

6. That no Man be Sentenced to Death without Testimo [...] of two witnesses at least,What testimon [...] in [...]ses Capital. or that which is equivalent thereunto, and that [...] or three Witnesses being of competent Age, Understanding and of good Reputa­tion▪ Testifying to the Case in question, shall be accounted and [...]xcepted as full Testimony in any Case, though they did not together see or hear, and so Witness to the same individual Act, in reference to circumstances of time and place; Provided the Bench and Jury be satisfied with such Testimony.

7. And it is provided, as the supposed Priviledge of our Charter, that all persons of the age of twenty one years,power & liberty for all to Will [...] their estate of right Understa [...]ng and Memory, whether Excommunicated, Condemned or other, having any Estate properly theirs to dispose, shall have full power and liberty to make their reasonable Wills and Testaments, and other lawful Alienations of their Lands and Estates; Be it only here excepted, that such as are Sentenced for Treason against the Kings Majesty,except such as are sentenced for Treason. the State of England, or the Common­weal; shall forfeit to the King or Colony their personal Estate, their Lands being still at their disposal.

8. That whereas the great and known end of the first comers, in the year of our Lord, [...] joy the pure worship of God 1620. leaving their dear Nat [...]ve Country, and all that was dear to them there; transporting themselves over the vast Ocean into this re­mote waste Wilderness, and therein willingly con [...]cting with Dangers, Losses, Hardships and Distresses sore and not a few; WAS, [...] without offence, they under the protection of th [...]r Native Prince, together with the enlargements of his Majesties Dominions, might with the l [...]berty of a good Conscience, enjoy the pure Scriptural Worship of God, without the mixture of Humane Inven­ [...]ons and Impositio [...]: And that their Children after them might walk in the Holy wayes of the Lord; And for which end they obtained leave from King James of happy Memory and his Honourable Council, with further Graunts from his Gracious Majesty Charles the fi [...]st and his Honourable Council, by Letters, Patents, for sundry Tracts of Land, with many Priviledges therein contained, for their better incouragement to proceed [...]n in so Pious a Work, which may [Page 3] especially [...] to the propagation of Religion, &c. as by Letters Patents more [...], and with f [...]rther assurance also of the continuance of our [...] and Priviledges, both Civil and Religious, under the Royal Hand and Seal of our Soveraign Lord King Charles the Second: And [...] Hand of our God upon us, many others since the first comers are for [...] end come unto us, and sundry others rise up amongst us, [...] Conscience to wal [...] in the Faith and Order of the Gospel; [...] many Churches gathered amongst us walking according [...].

And [...] (by the Grace of God) we have now had near about fifty Years Experience, of the good Consisten [...]y of these Churches, with Civil Peace and Order, and also with spiritual Edification, together with the wel­fare and [...] of that Government;

It is therefore for [...]he Honour of God and the propagation of Reli­gion,The Churches of Christ [...]ere to be protected in their peace [...] and orderly wal­king▪ and the [...] of the [...] provi­ded for. and the [...] welfare of this Colony Ordered by this Court and the Authority thereof, That the said Churches already gathered, or that shall hereafter be ord [...]ly gathered, may and shall from time to time by this Government be protected and encouraged, in their peaceable and or­derly walking, and the Faithful, Able, Orthodox, Teaching Ministry thereof, duely encouraged and provided for; together with such other Orthodox able Dispensers of the Gospel, which shall or may be placed in any Town­ship in [...] Government, where there is or may be defect of Church Order.

9. And Finally, it is Ordered and Declared by this Court and the Authority thereof, That all these foregoing Orders and Constitutions,All the forego­ing fundamen­tal [...] [...] to be preserved are so Fundamentally essential to the just Rights, Liberties, Common good and special end of this Colony, as that they shall and ought to be inviolably preserved.


IT is Enacted by this Court and [...]he Authority thereof, That if any person having had the knowledge of the true God,Idolatry. openly and manifestly, Have or Worship any other God but the Lord God, he shall be put to Death, Exod. 22.20. Deut. 13.6, 1 [...].

2. If any Person within this Jurisdiction, pro [...]ssing the true God, shall wittingly and willingly pre [...]ume to Blaspheme the Holy Name of God,Blasphemy. Father, Son or Holy Ghost, with direct, express, presumptuous or high-handed Blasphemy, either by wilful or obstinate denying of the true God, or His Creation or Government of the World; or shall Curse God, Fa­ther, Son or Holy Ghost, such Person shall be put to Death, Levit. 24.1 [...], [...]6.

[Page 4]3. Treason against the Person of our Soveraign Lord the King, the State and Common-wealth of England, Treason. shall be punnished by Death.

4. That whosoever shall Conspire and Attempt any Invasion, Insurre­ction,Conspiring a­gainst this Juris­diction. or Publick Rebellion against this Jurisdiction, or the Surprizal of any Town, Plantation, Fortification or Amunition, therein provided for the safety thereof, or shall Treacherously and Perfidiously Attempt and En­deavour the Alteration and Subversion of the Fundamental Frame and Constitutions of this Government; every such Person shall be put to Death.

5. If any Person shall Commit wilfull Murther by killing any Man, Woman or Childe,Wilful Murther premeditate upon premeditated Malice, Hatred or Cruelty, not in a way of necessary and just Defence, nor by casualty against his Will; he shall be put to Death.

6. If any Person slayeth another suddenly in Anger and Cruelty of Passion;Sudden murther in passion. he shall be put to Death.

7. If any Person shall slay another through Guile, either by Poyson­ing or other such Develish practises;Murder by guile poysoning he shall be put to Death.

Witchcraft.8. If any Christian (so called) be a Witch, that is, hath, or con­sulteth with a Familiar Spirit; he or they shall be put to Death.

9. If any Person lyeth with a Beast or Bruit Creature, by Carnal Co­pulation, [...]estiality. they shall surely be put to Death, and the Beast shall be slain and buried and not eaten.

10. If any Man lyeth with Mankinde, as he lyeth with a Woman, both of them have committed Abomination;Soddomy. they both shall surely be put to Death, unless the one party were forced, or be under fourteen years of Age: And all other Sodomitical filthiness, shall be surely punished according to the nature of it.

11. If any Person Rise up by False Witness, wittingly and of pur­pose to take away any Mans life;False-witnes he shall be put to Death.

Man-steal­ing.12. If any Man Stealeth Man-kinde, he shall be put to Death or otherwise grievously punished.

Cu [...]sing or smiteing Father o [...] Mother.13. If any Childe or Children above sixteen years old, and of com­petent Understanding, shall Curse or Smite their Natural Father or Mo­ther, he or they shall be put to Death, unless it can be sufficiently testi­fied that the Parents have been very Unchristianly negligent in the Educa­tion of such Children, or so provoked them by extream and cruel Corre­ction, that they have been forced thereunto, to preserve themselves from Death or Maiming.

14. If a Man have a Stubborn or Rebellious Son, of sufficient years and understanding (viz.) sixteen years of Age,The Rebel­lious Son. which shall not obey the voice of his Father, or the voice of his Mother, and that when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them; then shall his Father and Mother, being his natural parents, lay hold on him, and bring him before [Page 5] the Magistrates assembled in Court, and testifie unto them, that their Son is Stubborn and Rebellious, and will not obey their voice and chastise­ment, but lives in sundry notorious crimes; such a Son shall be put to Death, or otherwise severely punished.

15. If a Man shall Ravish a Maid or Woman, committing Carnal Copulation with her by force; that is above the age of ten years, Rape. or if shee were under ten years of age, though her will was gained by him, he shall be punished with Death or some other grievous punishment, accor­ding as the Fact may be circumstanced.

16. Whosoever shall wilfully or on purpose, Burn any House, Ship, Barque or other Vessel of considerable value;Wilful burning of House [...] Ships &c. such person shall be put to Death, or otherwise grievously punished, as the case and circumstances of it may require.


IT is Ordered by this Court and the Authority thereof; That what per­son soever is to Answer any Criminal Offence, whether they be in pri­son or under Bayle, his Ca [...]e shall be heard and determined at the next Court that hath proper cognizance thereof, and may be done without prejudice of Justice.

2. It is Enacted by this Court, &c.Adultery how punished That whosoever shall Commit Adultery with a Married Woman, or one Betrothed to another Man, both of them shall be severely punished, by whipping two several times, viz. once when the Court is in being, at which they were Convict of Fact, and the second time as the Court shall Order; and likewise to wear two Capital Letters, A. D. cut out in Cloth and sewed on their upper­most Garments, on their Arm or Back; and if at any time they shall be found without the said Letters so worne, whilest in this Government, to be forthwith taken and publickly whipt, and so from time to time as often as they are found not to wear them.

3. Be it also Enacted, That whosoever Committeth Fornication,Fornication without contra [...] be­fore, or without lawful Contract, shall be punished by whipping, or else pay ten pounds fine each of them, and be imprisoned during the pleasure of the Court, not exceeding three dayes;If they be or wil [...] be Married but if they be or will be Mar­ried to each other, then but ten pounds both, and imprisoned as aforesaid, by lawful Contract, the Court understanding the mutual consent of Pa­rents, Guardians or Overseers, and a solemn promise of Marriage made to each other by the parties, before competent Witnesses.

And if any Commit Carnal Copulation after Contract,Af [...]er Contra [...] before Mar­riage, they shall be Amerced each of them fifty shillings, and be imprisoned if the Court see Reason; And if any cannot or [Page 6] will not [...] the fine, then to be punished by whipping. And for the more [...] of t [...]is prevailing evil:

The Co [...]t hath further Determined, That such as transgress in any of these wayes, shall be convict in publick Court; and their fines to be paid in money.

4. [...] many persons of late years have been and are apt to be injurious to the Gods and L [...]ves of others, notw [...]thstanding all Laws and [...] to prevent and punish the sam [...];

[...]It is therefore Ordered by this Court and Authority thereof, That if any person shall commit Burglary, by breaking up any Dwelling House, or Ware-house, or shall forceably Rob any person in the Field, or High-wayes;First. such Offender shall for the first offence be Branded on the right Hand with the letter (B,) and if he shall offend in the same kinde the second time,Second. he shall be Branded on the other Hand and be severely whip­ped; And if either were committed on the Lords day, his Brand to be set on his Forehead;Third offence. And if he shall fall into the like offence the third time, he shall be put to Death, as being Incorrigeable, or otherwise grie­vously punished, as the Court shall Determine.

5. And whosoever shall steal or attempt to steal any Ship, Barque, or Vessel of Burthen,Stealing of Ves­sels or Amuni­tion. or any Publick Amunition, shall be severely punished, according to the nature of such a Fact, provided it extend not to Life or Limbe.

Stealing or Pur­loining6. That if any Stranger, or Inhabitant of this Government, shall be legally convict of Stealing or Purloining any Horses, Chattels, Moneys, or other Goods of any kinde, he shall be punished by due reparation to the party wronged; and a fine, or Corporal punishment, as the Court or three Magistrates shall Determine; Provided that where such Sentence is not given by the Court, it shall be at the liberty of the Delinquent to Appeal to the next Court, putting in due caution there to appear and a­bide a Tryal.

7. That any Magistrate may Hear and Determine such smaller Thefts and Pilfrings,Smaller Thefts and Pilfrings as exceeds not the damage or fine of forty shillings, or penalty of Stocking or Whipping, not exceeding ten stripes, or only legal Admonition, as he shall see cause; saving liberty of Appeal to the Delinquent as aforesaid.

8. It is Enacted by the Court, &c. That whosoever shall prophanely Swear or Curse by the Name of GOD, or any of his ATTRIBUTES, WORD or WORKS;Prophane Swearing He or Shee shall be set in the Stocks, not ex­ceeding three hours, or be fined ten shillings, or be Imprisoned, according to the quality of the person; if a Stranger, the Constable or his Deputy shall demand the fine, which if he refuse, then to set him in the Stocks, not exceeding two hours.

9. This Court taking notice of great abuse, and many misdemeanours committed by divers persons in these many wayes, Prophaning of the Sabbath or Lords day, to the great dishonour of God, Reproach of Religion, and Grief of the Spirits of Gods People;

[...]Do therefore Order, That whosoever shall Prophane the Lords day, by doing unnecessary servile Work, by unnecessary travailing, or by sports and [Page 7] recreations, he or they that so transgress, shall forfeit for every such default forty shillings, or be publickly whipt: But if it clearly appear that the sin was proudly, presumptuously and with a high hand committed, against the known Command and Authority of the blessed God,If presumptu­ously such a person therein Dispising and Reproaching the Lord, shall be put to death, or grievously punished, at the Judgement of the Court.

10. And whosoever shall frequently neglect the publick Worship of God on the Lords day, that is approved by this Government,Neglect of the publick worship shall for­feit for every such default convicted of, ten shillings, especially where it appears to arise from Negligence, Idleness or Prophaness of Spirit.

11. Forasmuch as the open contempt of Gods Word, and the Messen­gers thereof, is the desolating sin of Civil States and Churches;

It is Enacted, that if any Christian so called in this Government,Vilifying the Scriptures shall speak contemptuously of the Holy Scriptures, or of the Holy Pen men thereof,or Holy Pen-men o [...] them such person or persons shall be punished by Fine or Corporal punishment, as the Court shall see reason, so as it extend not to Life or Limbe.

Or shall behave himself contemptuously towards the Word of God Preached, or any Minister thereof called,or the Word Preached and faithfully dispensing the same in any Congregation,or the Ministers thereof either by manifest interrupting him in his Ministe­rial Dispensations, or falsly and peremptarily charging him with Teaching Error, to the disparagement and hindrance of the Work of Christ in his hands, or manifestly and contemptuously reproach the Wayes,or the wayes of Churches or Ordinances of Christ Churches or Or­dinances of Christ, being duely convicted thereof, He or They shall for the first Transgression, be amerced twenty shillings to the Colonies use, or be set in the Stocks, not exceeding four hours; But if He or They go on to Transgress in the same kinde, then to be amerced forty shillings or be whipt for every such Transgression.

It is to be understood not hereby to deprive any of their lawful liberty, in a modest and orderly way to propose his scruple for further satisfa­ction.

12. Although no Creature be Lord, or have power over the Faith and Consciences of men, nor may constrain them to believe or profess against their Consciences, yet it being a duty to restrain or provide against such as may bring in dangerous Errors or Heresies, tending to corrupt and destroy the S [...]uls of men;

It is therefore Ordered, &c. That if any Christian (so called) shall within this Jurisdiction, go about to subvert or destroy the Christian Faith,Heresie▪ or Religion, by broaching, publishing or maintaining any such dangerous Error or Heresie, or shall endeavour to draw or seduce others thereunto; every such person so offending, and continuing obstinate therein, after due means of conviction, shall be fined, banished, or otherwise severely puni­shed, as the Court of Magistrates duely considering the offence, with the aggrevating Circumstances and Dangers like to ensue shall judge meet.

13. It is Ordered, &c. That where a Judgement is given in any Court, for any person of House or Lands,Forceable de­tainer upon the tryal of the Title thereof, or other just cause, if the person against whom the Judgement is given, doth either forcibly detain possession thereof,Entry & [...] either against the Officer impowred to serve an Execution thereon, or after Execution served, enter upon it again and so retain poss [...]ession by force, he shall be accounted an [Page 8] high Offender against the Law and Breakers of the publick Peace; there­fore [...]peedily to Redre [...]s such a Criminal Offence, every Magistrate is impowred and by his place hath power to give Warrant and Command to the Marshal, Off [...]cer and other men (whom he thinks meet to be im­ployed in the business) the Marshal or other Officer also requiring aid, greater or lesser (as need requires) to suppress the force, and give Pos­session to the Owner, and to imprison such as do appear to be Delin­quents and their Aiders and Abettors, to be forth comeing at the next Court that did give the Judgement in the Case, there to make their An­swer, and whom the Court doth finde guilty, to set such fine or other pu­nishment upon them as the merit of their several Cases doth require.

D [...]s [...]urbance of the peace14. It is Ordered, &c. That whosoever shall disturbe or undermine the peace of this Jurisdiction or Inhabitants thereof, by plotting with o­thers, or by his own tumultuous and offens [...]ve carriage, traducing, quar­reling, challenging, or assaulting, or any other way tending to publick distur­bance, in what place soever it be done, or shall defame any Court of Justice, or any of the Magistrates or Judges of any Court in this Jurisdiction,Def [...]mation of Court or Judge. in re­spect of any Act or Sentence therein passed; every such Offender, upon due proof made, shall be by the Court of Magistrates punished by fine, imprisonment, binding to the Peace or good Behaviour, according to the quality and measure of the Offence or Disturbance, to them seeming just and equal.

Beating or [...]urt­ing of any per­son.And that such as Beat, Hurt or Strike any other person, shall be liable to pay unto the party hurt or stricken, together with such fine to the Co­lony, as on consideration of the party smiting or being [...]mit, and with what Instrument, danger more or less, time, place, provocation, &c. shall be judged just and reasonable to the merit of the Offence.

15. It is Ordered, &c. That if any person shall Forge any Deed or Conveyance,Forging of [...], Bonds, &c. Testament, [...]rd, Bill, Release, Acquittance, Letter of Aturney, or any Writeing to pervert Equity and Justice, he shall pay the party grieved double damages, and be fined himself so much to the Countries use, and if he cannot pay it, to be publickly whipt, and burned in the [...]ace with a Roman F.

16. Be it also Enacted; That if any Notary or Keeper of publick Records,Falsifying of Re­cords or Writeings, shall wilfully imbezle or make away any such Re­cords or Writeings of Concernment, committed to his keeping and trust, or shall on purpose fals [...]fie or deface them, by racing out, adding to them, or otherwise; Such Corrupt Officer shall lose his Office, be Disfranchized, and be burned in the Face, or fined, according to the circumstances of the Fact.

[...] that cor [...]pt­eth an Officer to such intent17. And if any person shall endeavour to corrupt any Officer, that keepeth such publick Records or Papers of concernment, to procure him to Deface, Corrupt, Alter, or Imbezle any of them, he shall be severely punished, by Fine, Imprisonment, or Corporal punishment, as the matter may be circumstanced.

18. It is Enacted by this Court, &c. That what person soever, being sixteen years of age, Lying. shall wittingly or willingly make or publish any Lye, which may be tending to the damage or hurt of any particular person, or [Page 9] with intent to deceive and abuse the people with false News or Reports, shall be fined for every such default ten shillings, and if the party cannot or will not pay the fine, then he shall sit in the stocks so long as the Court shall think meet; and if the Offender shall come to a Magistrate, and own his offence, it shall be in the power of that Magistrate to exe­cute the Law upon him where he liveth, and spare his appearance at the Court, but in case where the lye is greatly pernicious to the publick weal, it shall be more severely punished according to the nature of it.

19. It is Enacted by this Court, &c. That if any person shall wil­fully, and of set purpose, burn any mans fence;Wilf [...]l burning of Fences he shall make good the damage to the party wronged, be amerced forty shillings, and be bound to the good Behaviour if the Court see reason.

20. And it is further Ordered;Breaking of Fen [...]e [...] or Gridge That any person that shall wilfully and on purpose break down another mans Fence, Gate or Bridge, to the annoyance either of a particular person, or a neighbourhood; he shall make up such said Fence, Gate or Bridge at his own charge, pay the da­mage thereby sustained, and be amerced according to the nature of the offence: saving the right of him that pulls up a Fence set on his Land without his approbation.

21. And whosoever shall wilfully pluck up, remove or deface any Land­mark or Bounds between party and party, that have been,Removing of Land marks or shall be orderly set up by persons thereunto appointed; he or they shall be fined from twenty stillings to five pounds as the offence may be circum­stanced.

22. It is Enacted by this Court, &c.Gaming at pub­lick Houses That no In-keeper or publick House, shall suffer any unlawful Games, nor any kinde of Gaming in or about his House, for money or monies worth, Liquors, Wine, Beer, or the like, on forfeit of forty shillings for the Master or Keeper of the house, and ten shillings a piece from each Gamester.

23. Be it also Enacted, That no person in this Government,Playing at unlawful Games shall play at Cards, Dice, Cross and Pile, or any such unlawful Game, wherein there is Lottery, at any private house or else where in this Government on penalty of ten shillings fine, to be paid by every one that so playes, and twenty shillings by the Master or Head of a Family that shall know of and suffer such Gaming in his House or where he hath Com­mand.

24. It is Enacted by this Court, &c.W [...]aring vizard [...] That no person in this Govern­ment shall wear any Vizards, or disguise by strange Apparel, to lascivious and evil ends and purposes, on penalty of being fined fifty shillings to the Colonies use, for every such default, or being publickly whipt or bound to the good Behaviour, as the Court may see reason.

25. Forasmuch as it is observed, that the sin of Drunkenness, doth greatly abound, to the dishonour of God, impoverishing of such as fall into it, and grief of such as are sober minded; For prevention, and it may be sup­pression of that growing and prevailing evil;

It is Enacted by this Court and Authority thereof, that whatsoever persons shall be found drunk at any time in any Tavern, Ordinarie,P [...]u [...]ty of dru [...] ­kenness Ale-house or else [Page 10] in this Government, or be legally convict thereof, he or they shall for the first default be fined f [...]ve shillings to the Countries use; for the second default ten shillings, and if he or they will not, or cannot pay the fine, then to be set in the Stocks, not exceeding two hours; for the third transgres­sion to be bound to the good behaviour, and if he shall transgress a fourth time, to pay five pounds or be publickly whipt, and so from time to time as often as they shall be found tran [...]gressors in that kinde: by Drunken­ness is to be understood,Drunkenness de­ [...]i [...]ed one that [...]ps or falters in his speech by reason of over much Drink, or that staggers in his going, or that vomits by rea­son of excessive drinking, or that cannot by reason thereof follow his calling.

26. Whereas notwithstanding all [...] and endeavours of this Court to prevent that great and raging sin of Drunkenness; yet still many goe on in it;

Therefore this Court doth further Act, That the Names of such as are found to be common Drunkards in this Government, shall be [...] or recorded, and that whatever person or persons, whether Ordinary keepers or others, shall give, sell or lend, either directly or indirectly any strong Liquors, or Wine, or strong Beer unto any such person or persons, shall forfeit ten shillings, five shillings to the Colonies use, and five shillings to the Informer.

And the Names of such as are so found in any Town, shall be set up in some publick place.

27. Whereas many have sustained great damage by indiscreet and untimely firing of the Woods;

It is Ordered, &c. That none shall fire the Woods at any time, but they shall give warning thereof to their neighbours about them, [...]ntimely firing the woods and the time of firing them, to be between the fifteenth of February and the latter end of April; and if any shall unnecessarily fire the Woods, or not obser­ving this Order, damnifie any, he shall make good the damage, and be fined ten shillings or be set in the Stocks.

28. And forasmuch as some have been injured by careless taking of Tobacco abroad in the Streets, and near unto Barns, Stables, Hay-Stacks, or Corn-ricks;

It is hereby Ordered, &c. That whosoever shall be found smoaking of Tobacco in the Streets,Careless smoak­ing of Tobacco or in such places of danger, shall forfeit to the poor of the Town two shillings for every such default, which the Constable may without further Warrant, distrain and dispose of; and if it can be known that damage did accrue unto any by such careless smoaking of Tobacco, it shall be repaired by him that was the occasion of it, or he shall be made to serve it out: Souldiers whilest in Arms are dispensed with, to smoak it in the field.

And if any person or persons shall be found smoaking of Tobacco on the Lords-day, going to, or comeing from the Meetings, within two miles of the Meeting house, they shall pay two shillings for every such default, to the Colonies use.

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IT is Enacted by this Court, &c. That in all Warrants respecting Acti­ons, the special ground of the Action shall be expressed: [...] And that a circumstantial Error in a Summons or Warrant shall not be taken as a sufficient ground for [...] suit, where otherwise both the party and case intended may be [...] understood; and it shall also be expressed in the Warrant, in wha [...] quality the Plaintiffe Sues, whether as Principle, Attorney, Guardian or otherwise.

2. Because much time is lost in the beginning of Courts of Tryals, by neglect of timely Entry of Actions;

It is Enacted by this Court, That Actions shall be Entred upon,Time of Entry or Actions or be­fore the first day of the Courts sitting, and not after; And in case any Plaintiffe shall delay his Entry longer then the forenoon of the first day of the Court, he shall pay ten shillings to the Countries use, besides ordi­nary Fees for Tryal of Actions. And all persons whether parties or wit­nesses are enjoyned to attend their respective concerns the whole time of the Courts publick sitting until they are issued.

And shall present the whole plea and evidence before the case be com­mitted to the Jury,No further plea after [...] committed to Jury and no other plea or evidence to be admitted to any person, any usage or custome to the contrary notwithstanding.

And to this end all Marshals and Constables, are required to make their ret [...]ns of all such Warrants as they have served, sometime the first forenoon of the Court that is to take cognizance of the case concerned therein.

3. Whereas in Suits and Actions brought into Courts between party and party, sometimes the Plaintiffe, and somet [...]mes the Defendant, Non-att [...]dan [...]e upon Actions and sometimes neither of them d [...] attend the call, to prosecute or answer, to the great [...] of Court and [...]ury, and others concerned in the case, and is contrary to the laudable custome of all Courts in our Native Country and else where;

It is therefore Ordered and Enacted, That if any Plaintiffe have entred an Action, to be tryed in this Court, or which comes by Replevin,Plaintif [...] damage Re­view, or otherwise, and doth not by himself or by his Attorney, make their appearance and prosecute their Action, after they have been three times called in Court, they shall be Non-suited; [...] and if the Defendant ap­pear not to such call, the Plaintiffe appearing, the Suit shall neverthele [...]s proceed: And if plaintiffe or Defendant appear at their call, they shall have their costs granted against him that appeared not;A [...]ay for re [...]entry and if afterwards both parties do agree to try the Case at the same Court, they shall be al­lowed so to do, the Plaintiffe paying for a new Entry, one half to the Treasury, and the other to the Jury and Officers.

4. And if any person Summoned to answer any Presentment, [...] or for any Fact or Misdemeanour, do not appear at the time appointed, he or they shall be proceeded against for contempt, except it appear they have been prevented by the [...]and of God.

[Page 12]5. The ordinary setled charge for the tryal of an Action in this Court, shall be nine shillings, for the Jury, Secretary, and Marshal, distributed accor­ding to the former custome of the Court, and two shillings six-pence per day to Witnes [...]es:Charge of Trials And if the Defendant obtain a Verdict, he shall not only have his Costs allowed him for Witnesses as abovesaid; but two shil­lings sixpence per day for what time he hath necessarily attended on the Action, shall be given him without Suit, and this shall bare the Defendant from Suit, unless by Imprisonment, or otherwise he hath been more then ordinarily damnified.

6. It is also Determined, That it shall be at the liberty of a Plaintiffe, to withdraw his Action at any time before the Jury bring in a Verdict if he see cause,Plaintifs liberty to withdraw in which Case he shall allow the [...]efendant his full costs, and may afterward Review his Suit at another C [...]rt.

7. Be it also Enacted, That no man in any Suit, or Plaint against another,Vexatious Suits shall falsely pretend great damages, or debts, to vex or discred [...]t his Adversary: And in all Case [...] where it appears to the Court, that the Plaintiffe hath wittingly wronged the Defendant, in commencing Suit, or prosecuting Complaint or Inditement against him, he shall pay unto the Defendant double costs, and be amerced twenty shil [...]ings or more, as the Case may be circumstanced, for such his vexatious Suit or Plaint.

8. It is further Enacted, That in case a Plaintiffe obtain not a Ver­dict,Reviews he may Review his Action if he see cause; as likewise may the De­fendant, if he be cast: but if either of them having fallen twice in his Case upon Review, do still go on to Review, and be cast a third time, whereby it appears that he is vexatious and troublesome to the Court and party prosecuted, he shall be awarded to pay double costs to the party and twenty shillings fine to the publick Treasury.

9. Be it also Enacted, That a Jury bringing in a Verdict, the Bench concurring and accepting it,Judgem [...] granted Judgement shall be forthwith granted: But if they concur not, the Jury may be put upon further consideration of the Case; And if they still retain their Verdict, they shall be required to give their Reasons on which it is grounded,When Verdict rejected which if they refuse, or having given their Reasons, they appear not of weight, but the Jury through ob­stinacy or prejudice to the person or case, will maintain their Verdict, the Court may in such case reject such Verdict, and impannel another Jury, for the tryal of the Action,A new Jury im­pannelled at that Court or the next; but if the second Jury do in the substance of their Verdict agree with the former, it shall be accepted.

10. It is Ordered by this Court, &c. That no Attachments shall be granted in any civil Action to any Forreigner, against a setled Inhabitant of this Jurisdiction,Forreigners shal not Attach In­habitants with­out giving cau­tion for costs before he hath given sufficient Security or Caution duely to prosecute his Action, and to answer the Defendant such costs and damages as the Court may award:

And it is further Ordered, That in all Attachments of Goods and Chattles, Lands, or Heriditaments, which may be in such case where the person cannot be had, whether it be by forreigners or setled Inhabitants, legal notice shall be given to the party concerned, or left in writeing at his House or place of usual abode before the Suit proceed [...] he be out of the Jurisdiction, the cause shall proceed to Tryal, [...] Judgement shall [Page 13] not be entred till another Court, at least a Month after; and if the De­fendant do not then appear, Judgement shall be entred, [...] but Execution shall not be granted before the Plaintiffe hath given sufficient Security to be Responsal to the Defendant,and [...] if he shall reverse the Judgement within one year, or such further time as the Court shall see cause to Order.

11. Al [...]ugh is hath been the common usage o [...] this Court in ordinary cases, n [...]t to allow Att [...]ments [...] any Go [...]s or other [...], wher [...] the per­son can be found to be responsible to the [...]; the Court being apprehensive that in some cases persons may be therein in [...]ured;

Do hereby Order, [...] That it shall henceforth be in the liberty of the Court, or any Magistrate, as they or he shall see cause on con [...]deration of circumstances attending the ca [...]e, to grant Attachment either of the person or estate or both.

12. That a Summons from any Magistrate shall be [...] sufficient war­rant to bring any person within this Government, [...] to answer to any Suit commenced against him.

13. And that all Warrants, whether to Attach or Summon any to answer to an Action, [...] Presentment or Complaint shall be served three com­pleat working dayes before the Court, or time appointed for appearance thereat.

14. Be it also Enacted; That henceforth Goods Attached to a Tryal, [...] shall not be released upon the appearance of the party, or Judgement given, but shall stand engaged until the Judgement, or the Execution gran­ted upon the said Judgement be discharged, which for the time thereof, shall be as the Court shall Order,Nor Sureties [...] nor shall any Surety or Sureties for ap­pearance at any Court, except in Capital or Criminal cases, be relea [...]d from his or their Bond, until an hour at least be expired after Judgeme [...]t in such case granted; any Custome or Usage of this Court to the con­trary notwithstanding.

15. Liberty is granted by this Court to any person, to improve one or two Attornies to help him in his Pleas; [...] provided they be persons of good repute, and such as the Court shall approve; and the [...] Attornies [...] required, [...]s to be faithful to their Clyent, so also to avoid fraudulent pleas that may have attendency to mis [...]ead the Court or dar [...]en the case.

16. And it is Enacted, That if any person be proved a common [...], [...] by vexing others with unjust, frequent and troublesome Suits, it shall be in [...] power of the Cou [...]t, both to [...] his cause, and punish him for his [...]arratry, by Fine or Imprisonment.

17. It is also Ordered by this Court, That none shall have power to pass away Lands, Herid [...]taments, or other Estate, or be capable of Seeing or being Sued at any Court in his own person, [...] until he attain unto the age of one and twenty years: But any Orphan may cho [...]e their Guardians to act for them, at the age of fourteen years, to secure or defend their Estate as may be requisite.

18. It is Ordered, &c. That no mans person shall be restrained or [Page 14] imprisoned by any Authority whatsoever, before the Law hath sen­tenced him thereunto, if he can put in sufficient Security, Baile or Main-prize, for his appearance and good Behaviour in the mean time, unless it be in Crimes Capital,Who B [...]ilable and Contempt in open Court, or in such case where some express Act of Court doth allow it.

No levy on lands where goods to be found not surety to be distrained where principle suffici­ent and found19. It is Ordered, &c. That no Debt be leavied on Lands or Rents, so long as the Debtor hath Goods and Chattels to be found to satisf [...]e; neither shall the Pledges or Sureties be distrained, so long as the Principle is sufficient and can be found.

nor beast of the plow or draught20. That Beast of the Plough or Draught shall not be distrained for Debt, so long as others may be found to satisfie the Debt except for da­mage feasant.

21. It is Ordered, That every man shall have liberty to Replevy his Chattel or Goods impounded,Replevi [...] distrained or seized, unless it be upon Exe­cution after Judgement, or for payment of Rates, or Fines, provided he put in good security to prosecute the Replevin, and to satisfie such damage and charge as his Adversary shall recover against him in Law.

Debts to be paid in specie.22. That all Debts be paid in specie, according to Contract.

Fines to be forth with paid or [...]e­cuted23. That when any Delinquents are fined to the Country, they shall forthwith pay their fine or give security to the Treasurer for the same, or their persons secured till they do.

and paid in mo­ney it exceed not 10. [...].And that all fines not exceeding ten shillings shall be paid in money.


THat the Affaires of this Jurisdiction may be the better carried on;

It is Agreed and Declared, that there be several Courts, for several purposes, and of different constitutions and power.

And first of the General Court.

The General Courts constitu­tionTHe General Court shall consist of the Governour, and Assistants, and Deputies for each Town ship in this Jurisdiction, which Deputies shall be Annually chosen, according to order of Court in that case pro­vided, and shall be sent to each General Court, with full power of all the Freemen deputed to them, and as the Countries Representatives, to­gether with the Magistrates,Power. to consult of, and determine all such matters, and to make and establish all such Laws and Orders as concerne the pub­lick welfare of this Colony, the matter of Election of Magistrates and [Page 15] other Officers only excepted, wherein every Freeman is to give in his vote, according to the accustomed usage of this Court.

2. It is Enacted, that this General Court, [...] and all the Members there­of, shall meet and sit at Plimouth, on the first tuesday in [...] Annually, (nothing extraordinary preventing) and that then there shall be the Ele­ction of all our Magistrates, viz. a Governour and seven Assistants, [...] and likewise the Election of two Commissioners for the United Colonies, [...] and our Treasurer, who shall be all chosen out of the Freemen, and by the free Votes of the Freemen of this Corporation, and not otherwise.

And that at this Court also, the Deputies, Select men, Grand jury-men, Constables, and Supervizors of the High-wayes, be presented to be establi­shed in their respective places, all which being first dispatched, [...] then the Magistrates and Deputies shall continue together, to Consider and Order all such other affaires of this Jurisdiction as fall within their Cognizance, Trust and Power, until they shall see cause to dissolve or adjourn the said Court unto another time.

3. It is also Ordered, That beside the said fixed Courts, [...] special occasions the Gover­nour or in his absence, the Deputy Governour, and in their absence, the greater part of the Magistrates of this Jurisdiction, shall have power to Summon a General Court, either the whole body of Freemen, or their Representatives at any time, as the urgent and extraordinary occasions of the Jurisdiction, or any part thereof may require.

And if any of the said Magistrates, or Deputies shall without just cause, either be absent at the first sitting of any of the [...]aid General Courts, [...] without [...] whether ordinary or extraordinary, or without leave depart, or disorde [...]ly absent him or themselves from the service thereof, before the Court be finished, he or they shall each of them pay twenty shillings, for a fine to the Jurisdiction, for such absence or departure, [...] but if the absence or de­parture be mingled with Contempt, or wilful neglect, the fine shall be increased, as the Court upon due consideration of the offence, with the aggravations, shall judge meet.

4. And in regard that through Age, Inability of B [...]dy, or Vrgency of Occasions, many of the Freemen cannot attend the Courts of [...]lection;

Liberty is h [...]by granted to such of the Freemen as will not be there in person, to send their Votes by Proxy, [...] viz. by the Deputies of their re­spective Towns; provided that such Votes be given to the said Deputies in open Town-meeting, and shall by the Deputies, be there sealed up se­verally (that is to say) Votes for Governour by themselves, Assistants [...] themselves, &c. And that the Deputies also take a List of the names of such as sent Votes by them, that they may answer for them when they are called:

And that whosoever of the Freemen, do not appear at Election, in Person, or by Proxy, he shall be for such neglect,Penalty of neg­lect. amerced to the Trea­sury ten shillings.

5. Forasmuch as the Freemen of this Corporation, have been declared to be the Associates of this Government, Freemens power and have the priviledge and power of chosing Officers, and by themselves or their Representativ [...]s, together with the Magistrates, of making and Repealing Laws, and managem [...]nt of [...]he greatest concernes of this Common-Weal.

[Page 16]It is therefore Enacted by this Court and the Authority thereof, That none shall be admitted a Freeman of this Corporation, but such as are one and twenty years of age at the least, and have the testimony of their neighbours,Who to be ad­mitted that they are of sober and peaceable conversation, Orthodox in the Fundamentals of Religion, and such as have also twenty pounds rateable Estate [...] the least in the Government. And that the Court may be well informed, that such as are to to be admitted Freemen are so quali­fied; [...] they shall stand propounded a compleat year, before they take up their Freedome, [...] it be some person that is generally known and ap­proved,and wh [...] or of whom the Court may make present improvement: And all Freemen to be taken in at Election Courts only and in open Court.

6. And forasmuch as some corrupt Members may creep into the best and purest Societies;

In what case to be [...]If any Freeman of this Corporation, shall be discovered to be notori­ously vitious or scandalous, as common Lyars, Drunkards, Swearers, A­postates from the Fundamentals of Religion, or the like, or doth mani­festly appear to be disaffected to this Government; upon legal and due conviction of all or any of these, it shall be in the power of the General Court to Disfranchize him if they see cause from the priviledge of a Freeman.

And because it greatly concerns the good and Weal of the whole Colony, to have a good choice made in the several Towns, of Select men, Deputies, Grand-jury-men, Constables, &c. and it appears that some do abuse their li­berty in Voting for choice of such Officers, and are either [...] in their choice;

Who to Vote in Town meetings for choice of O [...]ficersIt is therefore Enacted, That henceforth none shall have power to Vote on such accounts in Town-meetings, but such as are Freemen of the Cor­poration, or Free-holders of twenty pounds Rateable Estate, Orthodox in the Fundamentals of Religion, of good Conversation, and having taken the Oath of Fidelity.

7. It is Enacted, That each Township in this Jurisdiction, do Annu­ally Elect and Chose one or two fit men out of the Freemen,Deputies to be annually elected for their De­puties, with full power as aforesaid, to attend the service of the General Court,and their Names presented to the Court per Con­stable and the Adjournments thereof, or for the whole year, in pain of f [...]ty shillings, and the respective Constable, to return the Names of those so chosen to the Court, in pain of twenty shillings to the Colonies use.

8. And if the Court to whom such Deputy or Deputies be presented, do upon the taking notice of their Members, adjudge any of them to be unfit for such a trust,In what case to [...] re­turne [...] to the Town then shall the Court return them with the reason thereof, unto the Town from whence they were sent, that they may make choice of fitter persons to send in their stead, as the opportunity will permit.

9. It is Ordered, &c. That nothing shall be concluded, and pass as an Act of the General Court, [...] but by the consent and vote of the major part of the Court.

[...]And the Governour, or in his absence the Deputy Governour, shall have a casting Vote, whensoever there shall be an Equi vote, either in the General Court, or Court of Assistants.

[Page 17]10▪ That in case either of the Commissioners chosen, shall by Gods [...] to attend the service thereof,The next Commissioner [...] in c [...]se then the next in [...] for that choice shall attend that service in his stead.

11. And it is Ordered, That until the Court see cause for the Free­mens annual Electing of a Deputy Governour,The eldest Assistant to be Deputy Governour the eldest Assistant shall supply that place i [...] the Governours necessary or unavoidable absence.

Secondly, Courts of Assistants or Magistrates.

FOr the better Administration of Justice;

It is Ordered and Enacted by this Court and the Authority thereof; That there be and shall be a Court called the Court of Assistants or Ma­gistrates▪ Courts of Assist. wherein all the Magistrates for this Jurisdiction shall meet and sit at Plimouth, at least three times a year, namely the first tuesday in March, the first tuesday in July, and the last tuesday in October, to hear,where and when to sit examine, and determine all Capital, Criminal, and Civil causes according to Law,their power and to receive and try all Appeals duely brought unto them from any Inferiour Court, or Sentence passed: And to call all the Inhabitants, Freemen, Planters, or others to accompt, for the breach of any Laws or Orders established, or for other misdemeanours, and to Censure them ac­cording to the quality of the offence and Law in such case provided, and to Summons Juries of Inquests, and Tryals out of the Town-ships in this Jurisdiction, and to make and constitute Clerks or other needful Officers, &c. in which meetings of the Magistrates, less then four Magistrates shall not be accounted a Court.

2. And that Justice be not deferred, nor the Country needlesly charged;

It shall be lawful for the Governour or in his absence the Deputy Go­vernour to call a Court of Assistants,Liberty to call a Cou [...]t of [...] on special occa­s [...]on for the Tryal of any Malefactor in Capital causes, or upon any other weighty occasion, as he shall see cause.

3. That it shall be lawful for the Governour, Deputy Governour, or any two Magistrates,Liberty to call a [...] to call a special Court at the Request of any Stran­ger, or Forreigner for Tryal, in a case of considerable value; provided such Stranger put in Security to defray the charge thereof, at which Court there shall not be less then three Magistrates.

4. And that it shall be lawful for any Stranger,Liberty for [...] strang [...]r to [...] anot [...]r upon Legal Sum­mons, to enter any Action in any of these Courts, against any person that is not an Inhabitant amongst us.

5. That the Bench shall have power to determine all such matters of Equity, as cannot be Relieved by the Common Law▪ The Bench [...] power to determine matters of [...] as the forfeiture of an Obligation, breach of Covenants without great damage or the like matters of apparent Equity.

[Page 18]6. It is also Ordered; That in all Laws which are or shall be made, where no fine or penalty is expressed and limited,Laws without penalty ar [...] liable to reasonable penalties by the Court all Transgressors are and shall be liable to such reasonable penalties or punishments as the Court of Magistrates duely weighing the nature of the offence, with the circum­stances, shall judge meet.

Thirdly, The Court of Select-men.

FOr Prevention of unnecessary charge and travail to the Country, and in­cumbrance to other Courts, by small causes;

It is Ordered, &c. That three or five fit men be Annually chosen by papers,Select mens E­lection, Appro­bation out of the Freemen in each Town-ship in this Government, and presented at Election Court, who being approved by the Magistrates as Select-men and sworn,and power to the faithful discharge of their trust; shall have power to hear and determine, by their best discretion, according to the Law here established, all causes wherein either party is an Inhabitant of their Town, and the Debt, Trespass or Damage, doth not exceed forty shillings, and have hereby power to send for Parties and Witnesses by Summons, which may be served by the party, or Attachments directed to the Constable, as the case may require; as also to administer Oathes to Witnesses, and also to grant Execution for the Leavying of such Debts, or Damages for the use of the person damnified.

2. And if the party being legally Summoned, do not appear to An­swer, the Plaintiffe shall notwithstanding have his Action proceed, &c. as is in that case for other Courts before provided:Process of Action see tit. Actions.

But where the party shall be Attached, and refuse to give Bond for his appearance, or being Sentenced, refuse to give satisfaction, and no Goods appear in the same Town where the party dwells, the Select men may then charge the Constable with the party, to carry him before a Magi­strate, to be forthwith proceeded with according to Law, and not by the Select men, to be committed to Prison in any case.

In wha [...] case two of them may issue3. And where any of the three Select men may be party in the case, or absent, by an unavoidable act of Gods providence, then the other two are impowred to issue the case, or the other Select men where there is no Magistrate; and the Select men to have three shillings of the Plaintiffe for every case they or any two of them where there is but three agree to give verdict upon.Their [...]

And that henceforth no Debt or Action proper to their cognizance be received (except in cases of Defamation or Battery) into any other Court but by Appeal.

Liberty of Appeal to the next Court of Assistants, being hereby granted to the grieved party, either before or after one review of his case; pro­vided he tender his Appeal,Libert [...] of Appeal and put in Security before the Select men or one of them, to prosecute his Appeal to effect, and to satisfie all damages before Execution as granted, which shall not be till twelve hours after Judgement.

4. It is further Ordered, That all Appeals with the Security as afore­said, [Page 19] shall be Recorded at the charge of the party Appealing, and cer­tified unto the Court to which they are made,With the [...] together with all the Testi­monies according to which they gave in their Verdict, and the Court Ap­pealed to, shall judge according to those Testimonies and no other; and if they finde matter of Fact and Judgement according to Law with the other Court, they shall not revoke the Sentence or Judgement, but abate or increase damages as shall be judged right.

And that any of the Magistrates or Select men where no Magistrate is, at the Appealants request, grant a Precept for the Defendants appearance at the Court Appealed to; And if such Appealant do not prosecute his Appeal to effect according to Law, shall besides his Bond to the party forfeit forty shillings fine to the Country for such neglect.

It is further Ordered, That the Select men shall also hear and deter­mine any Difference, Debt or Damage whatsoever arising between any of the English in their Town, and any of the Indians, except matters of a Capital or Criminal Nature, and title of Land:Select men [...] power in reference to India [...] Liberty also being gran­ted to any of them grieved at the Sentence there passed, to Appeal to the next Court of Assistants, and to be directed therein by the Select men.

CHAP. VI. Presentments, Inditements, Jurors and Juries.

IT is Ordered by this Court, That no person shall be Indited,Presentments and Complaints to be made with in a year Presented or Informed ag [...]inst to any Court or Magistrate within this Jurisdiction for the breach of any penal Law, or any other misdemeanour, the forfei­ture whereof belongs to the Country, unless the said Inditement or Infor­mation, &c. be made and exhibited within one year after the offence be committed or else to be void and of none effect; provided alwayes this Law shall not extend to any Capital Offences, or any Crimes that may concern loss of Member or Banishment, or to any Treasonable Plottings or Conspiracies against this Government, or to any Felonies above twenty shillings.

Nor shall it hinder any persons grieved for any wrong done to him, his Wife, Children or Servants, or Estate, real or personal, but that every such person shall have such remedies as formerly he might or ought to have.

2. It is Ordered; That if any person shall be Indited of, or legally Charged with any Capital Crime (who is not then in durance) and shall withdraw or refuse to render his person to some Magistrate or Officer in this Jurisdiction,Persons [...] must not withdr [...]w but surren­der themselves within one month after three Proclamations made publickly in the Town where he did formerly usually abide, their being a full Moneth betwixt Proclamation and Proclamation; his Lands and Goods shall be seized to the use of the Jurisdiction (and Ordered with due respect [Page 20] to his family, as the Court of Magistrates shall judge meet) till he make his lawful appearance; and such withdrawing of himself shall be and stand in stead of one Witness to prove the Crime charged, unless he can make it appear to the Court, that he was necessarily hindred.


IT is Enacted by the Court and the Authority thereof; That a Grand Inquest of able and discreet men be Impannelled by the Governour and Ass [...]stants,Grand jury to be Impannelled and Chosen which are to be chosen out of the several Townships of this Government, as by Warrant shall be directed to them, to serve His Ma­jesty by inquiring into, and presenting the breach of such wholesome Laws and Ordinances as are or sh [...]l be here established, and all such Misde­meanours as manifestly tend to the [...] and detriment of Religion,Their duty Ci­vility, Peace, Society or Neighbourhood they shall know or be informed of, upon the Testimony of any one or more Witnesses upon Oath, to be committed by any person or persons within this Jurisdiction, and to do any other service which shall on His Majesties behalf be required of them at such Courts and times as shall by Warrant from the Governour or Magistrates be required of them▪ Provided no person whatsoever, shall be bound to Inform, Present, or Reveal any private Crime or Offence, wherein there is no peril or danger to this Colony, or any Member thereof, when any necessary tye of Conscience binds him to secresie; unless it be in Testimonies lawfully required of them.

And every Grand-juror shall be allowed by their respective Towns two shillings sixpence a day, for their time and charge whilest they attend any of the several Courts,Fees except the Courts of Election whereat they are pre­sented to be sworn.

Penalty for not servingAnd that such as refuse to serve on the Grand Inquest, being orderly Chosen, shall be fined forty shillings to the Colonies use, [...] such as shall ab­sent themselves from attending their service at any of the Courts, they shall be warned unto, shall be fined ten shillings unless they give sufficient rea­son for such their absence.

Petty Jurors im­pannelled and sworn to finde according to their evidence2. That Petty Juries be Summoned by the Governour, or some other of the Magistrates at such Courts as there may be occas [...]on, and be im­pannelled and sworn truely to try between party and party, and shall f [...]nde the matter of [...]ct with the damages and cost, according to their evidence, or truely to try between our Soveraign Lord the King, and any Prisoner brought to the Bar, and the Judges shall declare the Sentence, or direct the Jury to finde according to Law; and in all cases wherein the Law is obscure, so as the Jury cannot be satisfied therein, they have li­berty to present a special Verdict, viz. If the Law be so in such a point we finde for the Plaintiffe, but if the Law be otherwise, we finde for the Defendant, in which case the determination doth properly belong to the Court.Liberty to g [...]e a special Verd [...]ct And all Jurors shall have liberty in matter of sect, if they cannot finde the main issue, yet to f [...]nde and present in their Verdict so much as they can; the Foremans allowance being one shilling, and s [...]x pence a piece to the rest of the Jurors for every Action that stands entred after they are sworn.

[Page 21]


IT is Enacted by the Court, &c.Constables An­nually chosen That in every Town in this Govern­ment, shall be Annually chosen one or more fit men for Constables; whose Names shall by the Deputies of the Towns,and to take oath be returned to the E­lection Court, and shall there, or within a week after the Court present himself to a Magistrate to take Oath.

2. That whosoever being chosen to the office of a Constable, doth refuse to serve therein,Penalty f [...]r refu­sing to serve or will not take the Oath appertaining to that Office, he shall be amerced the sum of four pounds, the one half to the Colony, and the other half to the publick use of the Town where he dwells; and the Town forthwith to chuse another.

3. And because a Constables place, though a place of trust, is also burthensome;

It is Ordered; That if any man have borne the Office of a Constable, he shall not be compelled to serve in the same Office, in the same Town,None to be made consta [...]le twice in [...] And [...] from [...] Military [...] nor any other in this Government to which he may remove, in seaven years after; and that all Constables shall be freed from Training, and Mi­litary Watches.

4. That if any Constable within this Government, have occasion to go out of the Town [...]ship wherein he is Constable, for some time,Constable shall mak [...] his deputy he shall have power to depute, and by due satisfaction procure another meet per­son in his stead, as his Deputy, who shall execute the Constables place during his absence, a [...] effectually as he himself might do; provided that the person whom he so deputeth, be not one that hath served in the place within two [...]ears before, except he be willing; And in case any Constable shall neglect to provide and depute one in his stead, as aforesaid, to for­feit ten shillings for every default.

5. That the gathering of Country Rates, Town Rates, Ministers Rates, also the leavying of fines in the respective Towns, [...] and serving of Executions, by Warrant from any Lawful Authority here established, shall belong unto the Office of a Constable, together with the serving of such other Warrants and Summons, as shall be by the said Authority di­rected to him; and shall have twelve pence for serving a Summons,Serve Summons two shillings sixp [...]nce for serving an Attachment, in [...]and to be paid by the Plaintiffe, and returned again unto him by the Constable in case he fail in serving thereof.

[Page 22]

Marshals and Constables Directions.

6. THat Justice may be the better Executed, the Jurisdictions occasions carried on, and that the Marshal and other Off [...]cers may know how to demean themselves in their places;

It is Ordered; That in case of Rates, and Fines to be leavied, and in case of Debts and Executions in Civil Actions, [...] the Officer shall first demand the Sum due of the party or at his house or place of usual abode, but upon refusal or non-payment, he shall have power to leavie the same upon any Goods liable to such Leavie or Execution wheresoever it shall be; and if he be to take the person he may do the like, if upon demand he shall refuse to render himself: And whatsoever charges the Officer in any such case shall necessarily be put unto, in leavying or transporting the Goods or Matters leavied unto the Treasurer or party concerned, who is to receive the same,and leavy neces­sary charge he shall leavie the said Charges also, as he doth the Debt, Assessment or Fine; Provided it shall not be lawful for any such Officer to leavie any mans necessary Bedding,Good [...] exempt from execution. Apparel, Tools, Arms, or such Implements of House-hold-stuffe as serve for his necessity, without express direction from the Court or some one of the Magis [...]rates: But in such case he shall leavie his Land or Person according to Law; and in no case shall the Officer be put to seek out any mans Estate further then his place of abode, but if the party will not, or doth not discover his Goods, or Lands to a sufficient value, the Officer may take his person, who shall be kept in durance at his own charge till he make discovery of his Estate to satisfie the same, if he be solvent, but if he be in [...]olvent then at the Creditors charge.

Officer doing wrong to make satisfactionAnd it is also Ordered; That if any Officer shall do injury to any by colour of his Office, in these or any other cases, he shall be liable to make restitution, upon complaint by Action or Information.

And it is further Ordered, That the Constabl [...] or other Officer, that shall not faithfully Collect such Rates, Assessments, Fines, or Debts and Dues, as shall from time to time be committed to him, or required of him by order of any lawful Authority here established, or that shall not attend his Order, to pay or deliver the same so Collected unto the Treasurer, or any other person or persons concerned therein, he shall be liable to make good all the damages that comes thereby unto the party or parties wronged, and to suffer such punishment by fine to the Country according to the trespass.

7. It is Ordered by this Court and Authority thereof; That the Con­stable shall whip or punish any to be punished by Order of Authority,Constables to whip (where there is not another Officer appointed to do it) in their own Towns, unless they can get another to do it.

8. It is further Ordered; That any and every person tendred to any Constable of this Jurisdiction,To receive and convey offenders by any Constable or other Officer of our own, or belonging to any forreign Jurisdiction in this Country or by Warrant from any such Authority, shall be presently received and con­veyed forthwith from Constable to Constable till they be brought to the [Page 23] place to which they are sent, or before some Magistrate of this Jurisdi­ction, who shall dispose of them as the justice of the cause shall require; And all Hues and cries shall be duely received and diligently pursued to full effect: and where no Magistrate is near,To [...] and cries every Constable shall have full power to make, signe, and put forth Pursuits or Hues and cries after Murtherers, Man slayers, Peace-breakers, Theeves, Robbers, Burgla [...]ers,and in case [...] put the [...] forth and other Capital Offenders; as also to Apprehend without Warrant,to ap [...]reh [...]nd of­fenders such as are overtaken with Drink, Swearing, Sabbath-breaking, Vagrant Persons, Night-walkers, provided they be taken in the manner, either by the sight of the Constable, or by present information by others: As also to make search for all such persons, either on the Sabbath day or other, when there shall be occasion, in all Houses Licensed to sell either Beer or Wine, or in any other suspected or disordered places, and those to Apprehend and keep▪ in safe Custody till opportunity serve to b [...]ing them before one of the next Magistrates to further Examination, provided, when any Con­stable is imployed by any of the Magistrates for Apprehending of any per­son, he shall not do it without Warrant in Writeing: And if any per­son shall refuse to Assist any Constable or Marshal,All to [...] the Common [...] Mar­shal in pain of 10. [...], in the Execution of his Office, in any of the things aforementioned, or otherwise as occasion shall require, being by him required thereto, they shall pay for neglect thereof ten shillings to the use of the Country, to be leavied by Warrant from any Magistrate, before whom any such Offender shall be brought; and if it appear by Good Testimony, that any shall wilfully, obstinately, and contemptuously refuse or neglect to Assist any Constable,Wilful negle [...]t 40. [...] as is before ex­pressed, he shall pay to the use of the Country forty shillings.

And that no man may plead Ignorance for such neglect or re­fusal;

It is Ordered,Constables Staffe That every Constable shall have a Black Staffe tipped with Brasse, as a Badge of his Office, which as he hath opportunity, he shall take with him when he goeth to discharge any part of his Office, yet notwithstanding, the want of his Staffe shall not hinder him from Exe­cuting his Office in any kinde, if occasionally he be without it, nor exempt any from assisting him therein, that may know him to be the Constable.

And if any Magistrate, Constable, or other, upon urgent occasion, shall refuse to do their best endeavour,Not raising Hues and cries in Ca­pital cases fined in raising and prosecuting Hues and cries by foot, and if need b [...] by Horse, after such as have committed Capital Crimes, they shall forfeit for every such offence to the use afore­said forty shillings.

9. It is Ordered, &c. That the Constables in their respective Town-ships, shall warn Town meetings of their Inhabitants,Constab. to warn Town-meetings as they shall receive Order from any of the Magistrates, Select-men or Deputies of their Towns upon any due occasion to them seeming for such Town meetings, in pain of twenty shillings for his neglect.

It is Ordered that three or five men be chosen in each Town-ship of this Jurisdiction, by papers,The Towns to chose Raters to make Assessments or Rates upon all the Inhabitants of their Town, as there shall be need or occasion, for defray­ing of the publick charge of the Country, or the particular charges arising in their Town-ships according to Order of Court in such case provided, or for leavying any fine laid upon the Town, and if the Inhabitants of the Town do not come together upon the Constables warning, and chose Raters, the Town shall forfeit five pounds to the Countries use.In pain of 5 [...].

[Page 24]And if the Raters so Elected, do not make such Rates committed and or­dered to them to be made,The Raters neglect and transcribe and deliver or cause to be de­livered a fair copy thereof to their Constable, within fourteen dayes or sooner if the occasion shall require, shall forfeit twenty shillings a piece, and if their neglect be mingled with Contempt,and penalty forty shillings a piece to the Country.

And it is further Ordered, That the Court or any two of the Magistrates may,in case the Court to ch [...]se Raters as need shall require, upon defect of any Towns choosing Raters, or the Raters neglect to make such Rates, as by Order of Court are committed to them, make choice of three men to make such Rate.

Fees for distress10 It is also Ordered &c. That the Constable is impowred to make distress on the Goods of such as neglect to pay their part of any such Rates as aforesaid, in unto him or his Order in the Town ship, and to have one shilling for such distress. And if he cannot get in all the Rates, Assessments,Liberty to ga­t [...]r [...] after his [...] committed to him during the time of his Office, he shall not­withstanding the expiration of his Office, have power with the Assi­stance of the next Constable to leavie by distress all such Rates and leavies.

11. And in case the Constable neglect together in any of the said Rates,Penalty [...] collecting of Rates within forty dayes next after he hath the said Rate, or sooner upon special occasion, he shall be liable to pay it himself, and to be Re­covered by Suit or distraint on his goods, especially for such Rates as are not gathered and brought in to the Treasurers Order, according to the time mentioned in his Warrant; which if the Treasurer neglect, he shall be answerable to the Country for the same; And if the Constable be not able to make payment, it shall be Lawfull for the Treasurer to distreyne for all Arrearages of Rates and Leavyes any man or men of that Town where the Constables are unable, and that man or men upon request to the Court, shall have Order to collect the same again equally of the Town with his just damage for the same.

12. And for the more [...]ual and ready way of raising means for de­fraying [...] publick charges of all sorts;

Rules for ma­king ratesIt is Ordered that all Rates and Assessments, shall be equally propor­tioned by the Raters, according to each mans different personal Abilities, Faculties and [...] personal and real, being or reputed to be the Estate of each person in the same Town, or otherwise under their Custody or managing, according to the just valuation as near as may be, viz. Lands improved by Plough or Hough, or by cutting and taking of Timber from it, or Renting it, and all Meadow Lands, and Cattel of all sorts, Mills, Ships, Barques, Ketches, and other Vessels, Merchantable Goods and other known Estate whatsoever, (Houshold-stuffe and Goods of that kinde, provided and kept for that use and not for Trade, onely ex­cepted.)

And for incouraging of Traffick;

It is Ordered, That Barques, Ketches and other Vessels, with what Stock is imployed in Traffick at home and abroad, shall be Rated but at the one half of their value.

13. It is Enacted by the Court; That the Select men and the Con­stable or his Deputy in each respective Town in this Government, shall [Page 25] diligently look after such as sleep or play about the Meeting house, in times of the publick Worship of God on the Lords-day,Constabl [...] and Select [...] after such as sleep or play about the meeting house [...] Lords-day and take notice of their Names, and return such of them to the Court, who do not after warning given to them reform; as also such as practise unnecessary vio­lent Riding on the Lords day.

CHAP. VIII. Minister [...] Maintenance.

WHereas this General Court taking into their serious consideration, the great defect that either is or would be in any Town-ships of this Ju­risdiction, where there is wanting an Able, Godly, Teaching Ministry, and the great prejudice to the souls of many like to ensue, and being desirous ac­cording to our duties, that such defects should not be, for want of due in­couragement to such as either are or shall be imployed in so good a work of the Lord; And in consideration of the several Town-ships granted by the Court were so accommodated, as that they might receive such a number of families as might comfortably maintain the publick worship of God there▪ do therefore judge, that the whole, [...] Church and Town are mutually ingaged to support the same;

And do therefore Order and Decree, That in whatsoever Town-ship there is or shall be an Able, Godly, Teaching Ministry, which is appro­ved by this Government, that there three or four men be chosen by the Inhabitants, or in case of their neglect, by any three or more of the Ma­gistrates, to make an equal and just Proportion or Rate upon the Inha­bitants, according to their Estates and Abilities, to make such convenient maintenance for his comfortable attendance on his work, as shall be agreed upon by the Church in each Town-ship where any is, with the concur­rance of the rest of the Inhabitants, if it may be had, or by the Magi­strates aforesaid, in case of their apparent neglect; And that distress be made by the Constable as in other just cases, upon such as refuse or neg­lect to pay such their due proportions: But in case any Town either by a free Contribution, or other good and honourable way, do effect the end aforementioned, this Law not to be binding to them.

And forasmuch as it appeareth to be greatly inconvenient, that the Mi­nisters should be troubled to gather in the Rates for their maintenance, and it may be an occasion to prejudice some persons against them or their Mi­nistry;

It is Ordered, by this Court, That at June Court yearly, two meet persons in each Town be appointed by the said Court, unless the Towns have provided, and do present them, who shall take care of gathering in their Ministers maintenance for that year, by in [...]ting the people to their duty in that respect, demanding it when due, and if need be by procuring distraint upon the Estate of any that shall neglect or refuse to pay their Rates or Proportions towards his support; and in case any Minister ma [...]e [Page 26] scruple to receive what is so raised, it shall nevertheless be gathered as abovesaid, and be disposed as the Court shall Order or advise for the good of the place.

Whereas it hath been and is the pious care, and true intent of this Court, that all such Plantations and Town-ships as are by them granted, should maintain the publick Sabbath Worship of God, and the Preaching of the Word, and do to that [...]nd afford them such proportions of Land as may ac­commodate such a society as may be able to maintain the some, and yet through the corruption or sinful negligence of many, or most of the Inhabitants of some Plantations, they do or may content themselves to live without the Ministry of the Word, to the great dishonour of God, and danger of their Souls; and there being great reason to fear that many may be acted therein by worldly and covetous Principles;

It is therefore Enacted by this Court, &c. That in such Plantations and Town-ships, where no Minister is residing, especially if it appear that the generallity of the Inhabitants are remiss in the obtaining one; The General Court may and shall henceforth yearly impose a certain sum to be raised by Rate, upon the Inhabitants of such Plantations or Town ships, which shall be kept as a Stock for building a Meeting house, and for in­couragement of a Minister to labour amongst them, or other such pious use as the Court may improve it in for their good.

2. And it is Enacted by this Court and Authority thereof, That no publick meeting be set up within this Government but such as the Court shall approve of;No publick meeting to be set up without approbation wherein they shall have special care, that they allow such only as are Orthodox in the Fundamentals of Religion, and in such places as it may not be destructive, nor too much prejudicial to any al­ready approved.

Education of Children.

FOrasmuch as the good Education of Children and Youth, is of singular use and benefit to any Common-wealth; and whereas many Parents and Masters either through an over-respect to their own occasions and business, or not duely considering the good of their Children and Servants, have too much neglected their duty in their Education, whilest they are young and capable of Learning;

It is Ordered, That the Deputies and Select men of every Town, shall have a vigilant eye from time to time over their Brethren and Neigh­bours, to see that all Parents and Masters do duely endeavour, by them­selves or others, to teach their Children and Servants as they grow ca­pable, so much learning as through the blessing of God they may attain, at least to be able duely to read the Scriptures, and other good profitable Books printed in the English Tongue (being their Native Language) and the knowledge of the Capital Laws, and in some competent measure to un­derstand the main Grounds and Principles of Christian Religion, necessary to Salvation, by causing them to learn some short Orthodox Catechisme without Book, or otherwise instructing them as they may be able to give a due answer to such plain and ordinary Questions, as may by them or others [Page 27] be propounded to them concerning the same: And further that all Parents and Masters do breed and bring up their Children and Apprentises in some honest lawful calling, labour or imployment, that may be profitable for themselves, or the Country; and if after warning and admonition given by any of the Deputies, or Select men, unto such Parents or Masters, they shall still remain negligent in their duty, in any the particulars afore­mentioned, whereby Children or Servants may be in danger to grow Bar­barous, Rude and Stubborn, and so prove Pests instead of Blessings to the Country; That then a fine of ten shillings shall be leavied on the Goods of such negligent Parent or Master, to the Towns use, except extream poverty call for mitigation of the said fine.

And if in three Months after that, there be no due care taken and con­tinued, for the Education of such Children and Apprentises as aforesaid, then a fine of twenty shillings to be leavied on such Delinquents Goods, to the Towns use, except as aforesaid.

And Lastly, if in three Months after that, there be no due Reformation of the said neglect, then the said Select men, with the help of two Ma­gistrates, shall take such Children or Servants from them, and place them with some Masters for years, (boyes till they come to twenty one, and Girls eighteen years of age) which will more strictly educate and govern them according to the rules of this Order.

2. For maintaining a Free School, vide The profits of Fishing at Cape Cod. Chap. 11. Numb. 6.

Mispending of Time.

IT is Enacted by this Court, &c. That no Person, House-holder or other, shall spend his time idly and unprofitably, under pain of such punish­ment as the Court or Assistants shall think meet to inflict:The Select men [...] inform the Court of them that lives id [...]ly And the Se [...]lect Men of the several Towns are hereby required to give in a List of the Names of such as mispend their time, whether House-holders or others; and of all single persons that live from under Family Govern­ment,Will not be Governed or will not be Governed by their Parents or Masters where they live, that so the Court may proceed with them as the case may require.

Marriages, Births and Burials, to be Registred.

IT is also Enacted, &c.R [...]gister to be kep [...] o [...] all mar­riages, births & burials That the Town Clerk in every Town in this Government, shall keep a Register of the day and year of the Mar­riage, Birth and Burial of every Man Woman and Childe in that Town-ship, and shall have for the Registring three pence a piece; And if any Father, or Mother, or per [...]on next in Relation, do neglect to give an ac­count to the Town Clerk, of the Name, and Birth day of their Childe within one Month after it is born, he or they shall be amerced for such neglect three shillings, one half to the Colony, and the other half to the Town Clerk that complaineth of it:

And whosoever shall neglect to give in their Names, and the day of [Page 28] their Marriage to the said Town Clerk, within one Month after they were Married,Exhibited at March Court yearly shall forfeit for their neglect three shillings as abovesaid: in like manner shall any Head of a Family, that neglects to give an account of any that are Buried out of their Family within a Month. And the Town Clerk or Register keeper of every Town, shall exhibit a true and perfect copy unto March Court Annually, of all the Marriages, Births and Bu­rials of the year past:Town Clerk to publish Marria­ges And lastly, That the Town Clerk, shall publish all Contracts of Marriages in the Town, and shall have twelve pence as his Fee, for every such Orderly Publication.

2. And for prevention of unlawful Marriages;

It is Ordered, That no person shall be joyned in Marriage, before the intention of the parties proceeding therein hath been published three times at some publick meeting,How to be pub­lished in the Towns where the parties or either of them do ordinarily reside, or by setting up in Writeing, upon some Post of their Meeting house door in publick view, there to stand as it may be easily read, by the space of fourteen dayes.

3. That none shall be allowed to Marry that are under the Covert of Parents, Guardians, Masters, or Overseers, without their consent and approbation.

None shall in­veagle or steal the Affections of any maid under Covert without consent of &c.And Whosoever shall inveagle or endeavour to steal the Affections of any mans Daughter, Pupil or Maid-servant without his consent or leave, he shall be punished by fine, so it extend not five pounds, or by Corporal punishment at discretion of the Bench and according to the nature of the Offence. But if a meet Marriage be orderly proposed, and any Master or Guardian, out of any sinistre end, or covetous desire, will not upon reasonable tearms suffer it to be; it shall be in the power of the two next Magistrates, upon complaint, to hear and determine the case, as they judge equal between both parties.

4. And as the Ordinance of Marriage is honourable amongst all, so should it be accordingly solemnized;

It is therefore Ordered, &c. That no person in this Jurisdiction, shall joyn any Persons together in Marriage but the Magistrate,Who may solem­nize Marriage or such other as the Court shall Authorize in such place where no Magistrate is near, nor shall any joyn themselves in Marriage, but before some Magistrate, or person Authorized as aforesaid; nor shall any Magistrate, or other per­son to be Authorized,Nor without publication joyn or suffer any persons to joyn together in Mar­riage in their presence, before such persons Publication according to Law.

5. And that no man shall strike his Wife or any Woman her Hus­band,No man to strike his wife or wo­man her hu [...]band on penalty of such fine, not exceeding ten pounds for one offence, or such suitable Corporal Punishment as the Court shall determine.

[Page 29]

CHAP. IX. Town-Affaires.

IT is Enacted, &c. That every Town-ship in this Government, shall have liberty and power to meet together, and make such Town Orders in prudential matters as they shall finde needful; and also to make such Rates and Assessments as they have occasion for; Provided, that no Town Order do infringe or be repugnant unto any Order of this Court.

2. That none be allowed to be House-keepers, or build any Cottage or dwelling House, until they have allowance of the Governour, some Magistrate, or the Select men of that Town;Who shall be al­lowed to be House-keepers And that a speceal care be taken, that no single person that is of evil conversation, or hath not Arms to serve the Country, be suffered to keep such house or live alone; And if upon due warning, such person do not put himself into some well Go­verned Family, it shall be in the power of the next Magistrate, or the Select men of the Town where he lives, to put him to service.

3. That if any person, whether Master of any Vessel or other, do bring in any into any Town or Plantation in this Government,He that bring [...] in any like to be a charge [...] se­cure the To [...]n without the approbation of the said Town or Towns-men, or do entertain or re­ceive any that come in, and are not so allowed, but are at the time of their comeing, or within a Month after excepted against by the Constable or some one of the Select men of the Town, he or they that so bring in, or entertain any such persons likely to be burthensome or chargeable, shall either carry them away again, so as to free the Town of them, or give Security to free the said Town from charge concerning him, whilest he is there resident.

But if any man bring [...] Apprentise, or Covenant Servant for years,But if a [...] only [...] time that is at present sound and well, Bonds shall not be required of such Master, but if his Servant fall sick or lame, he shall be maintained by his Masters particular charge, during the date of his Indentures or Covenant, but shall afterwards be relieved by the Town.

4. That every Town in this Government shall maintain their own poor; And if any that have relief from any Town,Poor mens chil­dren to be pro­vided for do not imploy their Children as they ought towards the getting of a livelihood; or if there be any other Family that cannot or doth not provide competently for their Children, whereby they are exposed to want and extremity, It shall be in the power of the Select men of each Town, to place out such Children into good Families where they may be better brought up and provided for.

5. That if any person come to live in any Town in this Government, [...] and be there received and entertained three Months, if by sickness, lame­ness or the like, he comes to want relief, he shall be provided for by [Page 30] that Town wherein he was so long entertained, and shall be reputed their proper charge, unless such person have within the said three Months been warned by the Constable, or some one or more of the Select men of that Town, not there to abide without leave first obtained of the Town, and certifie the same to the next Court of Assistants, who shall otherwise Or­der the person or charge arising about him, according to justice.

6. But if any Children or elder persons shall be sent, or come from one Town to another, to be Nursed, Schooled, or otherwise Educated, or to a Physitian or Chyrurgeon to be cured of any disease or wound, [...] &c. if such come to stand in need of Relief, they shall be Relieved and main­tained by the Town ship whence they came, and not by that Town ship where they are so Nursed, Educated or at Cure; And in case they come or be sent from any place out of this Colony; then if the Nurse, Educa­tor, Physition or Chyrurgeon do not take good security to discharge the Town wherein he lives from all cost and charge, which shall or may be­fal concerning them, he that so received them shall be the Towns Securi­ty in their behalf.

None shall come in to [...] without leave7. That no person shall come into any Town or Peculiar in this Go­vernment to live and inhabit, without the leave and approbation of the Governour and two of the Assistants at the least.

8. That whosoever being resident within this Government, shall re­fuse to take the Oath of Fidelity,Penalty of refu­sing the Oath of Fidelity being orderly called thereunto, either by the Constable or any Magistrate; or the Select men where he dwels, he shall be amersed to the Colonies use, in the sum of five pounds, which if he cannot or will not pay he shall be punished by Imprison­ment or otherwise as the court shall order:

9. It is ordered &c. That in every Town-ship of this Government there shall be a good sufficient Pound from time to time, for Impounding of such Horses,In every Town a Pound Cattle or Swine; as trespass any mans Corn field, or other inclosure. And whosoever impounds any such, shall give present notice to the owner if he be known, or otherwise they shall be cryed on the two next Lecture dayes or publick meetings, and if any of them escape out of the Pound, the owner if known shall pay all damages according to Law. And every person or persons having notice given, or otherwise left in Writeing at their house,Cattle to be Re­pleved or da­mage satisfied or place of their usual abode, of any of their Cattle impounded or otherwise restrained, shall forthwith give satis­faction to the party so wronged, or otherwise Replevie their Cattle, and prosecute the same according to Law, upon peril of suffering all the loss and damage that shall come to their Cattle, by standing in the Pound or other lawful place of restraint: But if the owners be not known or found, after such Beast be cryed as aforesaid, or inquiry made through the gene­rality of the Town, with notice given to some of the Neighbours of the next Towns, for their occasional inquiry likewise, that the owner may take notice, make his claim, and pay the damage and charge, and if yet no owner be found, then after due apprisement by indifferent men chosen by a Magistrate, or any two of the Select men of the place, and the same Recorded in the Town book, sale to be so far made that the charges be fully paid, and the remainder kept till the owner be known, and the rest of the Cattle first mark't to distinguish them, to be again turned into Woods.

[Page 31]10. That if any shall Heard Cattle, on Lands that are another mans in propriety, though not inclosed, and will not forbear so to do,Trespass to Heard on any mans propriety being warned by the owner or present possessor of such Lands, it shall be ac­counted a Trespass Action.

11. Whereas complaint is made, that much Timber is fall'd and let lye and rot on the ground, and not timely improved by such as falled it, to the great waste of Timber, and spoile of the Commons;

It is therefore Enacted by this Court, &c. That whosoever shall fall any Timber on the Common,Timber filled and not impro­ved forfeit and doth not either Square or Rive it with­in six Months after it is falled, it shall be lawful for any other of that Town to improve it as they see meet.

12. It is Ordered, &c. That every Town in this Government,Woolf traps in every Town shall have and keep B [...]ited and well tended two Woolf Traps in six seasons, on penalty of five pounds.

That if any Indian do kill a Woolf and bring his Head to the Constable in whose Town-ship he killed it, he shall have a Coat of Duffils,Indian [...] [...], for killing Woolfes or fifteen shillings in other pay, by the Town in whose Bounds it was killed; and if killed in this Jurisdiction, and not within any Town Bounds, then to be paid by the Treasurer.

And if any English kill any Wolves in any Town ship,English paid by the Town and bring their Heads to the Constable, they shall be paid thirty shillings for every such Woolf by the Town wherein they were killed.

13. It is Ordered, &c. That every Town within this Government,Every Town to [...]a [...]e a Standard for Corn shall have a Standard for Measures of Corn, made and sealed by the Ge­neral Standard at Plimouth, and that round measures only shall be al­lowed.

Miller and Mills.

IT is Ordered, &c.Millers free from Training That all Millers (that is such as are then engaged to the Tendance of a Grist-mill) shall be free from Trainings and or­dinary Watchings.

That no Miller shall take above the sixteenth part of the Corn he grindes for Toll,Toll, Weights & Schoals and that every Miller shall have alwayes ready in his Mill Weights and Schoals, provided at his own charge, to weigh Corn to and from the Mill if men desire it.

That every Miller in this Government, shall keep in his Mill,Toll Dishes two Toll Dishes, so made and sealed that one will hold a just Pottle upheaped, and the other a Quart upheaped,; and shall pay ten shillings a Month, for what time they use unsealed Toll Dishes, if complained of.

Cask and Coopers.

THat all Cask made or to be made in this Government, for Beef,Gage of Cask Pork, Fish, Oyle or any sort of Liquor, be made according to the Assize and Gage of London; And that they be made of sound and well [Page 32] seasoned Timber; And that every Cooper do Brand-mark his Cask with a distinguishing Brand-mark, [...]oopers Bran [...] on penalty of the forfeiture of all Cask that are not so made and marked, the one half to the Informer, and the other half to the Colony.

Leather and Shoomakers.

UPon consideration of the damage or injury which many sustain by the ill Tanning of Leather, and by the Shoo-makers ill making it up into Shoos and Boots;

It is by this Court Ordered, That in every Plantation within this Ju­risdiction, where either Tanner or Shoo-maker, is imployed in their Trades, one or two Sealers shall be chosen and appointed as the occasions require, who shall be under Oath faithfully (according to their best ability) to discharge their trust, and shall seal no Leather but such as they judge suf­ficiently Tanned, and fit to be wrought out, and sold in Shoos and Boots. And that every such Plantation shall have two Seals, to distinguish between good Leather well and sufficiently Tanned, and such as though Tanned enough, is in some other respect defective, either by over-liming, or for want of being well wrought upon the Beam, or by frost, or hath received some damage in drying, so that though it may serve for inward or middle Soles, yet not for other uses without damage to the buyer; all which Leather so defective, shall be sealed with a different Seal, that it may be known to be faulty.

But that which is not sufficiently Tanned, shall neither be sealed nor used in Boots or Shoos, till it be duely Tanned; And that no Tanner within this Jurisdiction, shall upon any pretence sell, deliver cause or suf­fer to be delivered, or pass out of his hands or custody, any Hide or Hides till being fully dry, they be first sealed by the Officer or Off [...]cers thereunto appointed, under the penalty of forfeiting the said Leather or the value of it to the Plantation where the offence is committed.

And it is further Ordered, That if any Shoo maker shall use, or put any unsealed Leather either into Boots or Shoos, or put any of the forementioned faulty Leather (though sealed as such) in any outward Seals, or upper Leather, or in any other place which may be hurtful to the buyer or wearer, or shall use any other way of deceit, in making up his ware, he shall make due and full recompence to the person or persons wronged, and complaining, and shall suffer such further punishment as his offence, considered with the circumstances shall require.

And whosoever shall bring Hides from any other parts, and shall sell, or use any of them for Boots or Shoos within this Jurisdiction, before they be sealed by some Officer here, according to the import of this Order, or shall use them in Boots or Shoos contrary to the intent thereof; the Hides so sold or used, or the value of them shall be forfeited to the [...]ntation where the offence is committed, or such recompence or [...] shall be made or paid (if it be only of ignorance) as the case may require; provided that if both buyer and seller be faulty, they shall pay the forfeit betwixt them. The choosing and appointing of which aforesaid Sealer or Sealers, the Print or Mark, which each Plantation shall set upon their Seals, for good or faulty Leather, with the rate to be allowed for sealing, being left to the several Plan­tations.

[Page 33]


IT is Ordered, &c. That if any High-way be wanting in any Town-ship of this Government, upon complaint,High-wayes [...] Jury that then the Governour or any of the Assistants Impannel a Jury, and upon Oath charge them to lay out such High-wayes, both for Horse and Foot, as in the best of their Judgements they shall finde most beneficial for the Common wealth, and as little prejudicial to particulars as may be: And that all old Foot paths shall be still allowed, except other provision be orderly made; And that where there are allowed Foot paths over any mans ground, which is fenced up, the Owners of such Fences shall make sufficient Stiles or Gates.

And where there is necessary use of a particular way to any mans particular ground, for Carting or otherwise, through his neighbours Land, where no other way is conveniently to be had, a Jury Impannelled as aforesaid, shall lay it out, as may be convenient for the complainer, and least prejudicial to the Owner of the Land through which it leads; Pro­vided still, that the Town or party concerned, satisfie such particular men damnified thereby, as two or three men indifferently chosen by them shall determine, if it be not otherwise provided for.

And that care be used to shut up such Gates or Bars allowed to such wayes, that damage may be prevented.

And that Common High-wayes be forty foot broad, especially in Wet, Low, Dirty Grounds.

2. It is also Ordered, &c. That the Surveyors of High wayes, shall give three dayes warning to particular persons, [...] for themselves or their Teams when they are to amend the High-wayes, as often as need shall require; And if any be warned as aforesaid, and shall neglect his duty therein, he shall pay two shillings six pence a day for himself, and five shillings a day for his Team for every such neglect to the Towns use, to be leavied by distress on his Goods by Warrant to the Constable, from any of the Magistrates, or Select men where there is no Magistrate near; to whom the Names of such Delinquents shall be returned by any of the Surveyors.

3. And that the Surveyor if he see cause, shall hire either Man or Team, as occasion requires for the said work, [...] and to be paid out of the fines aforesaid; And that the Surveyors warn not any Man or Team twice to work on the High-wayes, before they have first gone over all the Persons and Teams in the said Town-ship as aforesaid.

And that every Surveyor that shall neglect his duty in repairing the High-wayes, shall forfeit five pounds to the Colonies use.

4. And that those warned to work on the High wayes as aforesaid, shall appear at the place appointed or places by the Surveyo [...]s, [...] with their Carts and themselves, fitted with Tools and Implements suitable to the work▪ by the hour of nine in the morning, and work till four at evening, allo­wing the space of one hour at Noon for Refreshment.

[Page 34]5. And that the Surveyors do at the end of their year, give an ac­count of their actings, [...] and what monies of the Towns may be in their hands, unto the Select men of their respective Towns, or such other as the Towns shall appoint for that affair.

CHAP. X. Lands, Inheritances, and Wills.

[...]IT is Enacted by the Court, &c. That whatsoever Lands have or shall be granted by the Court to the respective Town ships, or to any par­ticular persons, either by the Court or particular Town-ships, shall be held to them, their Heirs, Successors and Assignes for ever, according to the most free tenor of East Greenwich, in the County of Kent, in the Realm of England, granted unto us in our Charter or Patent, and our in­heritances to descend according to the tenor thereof.

2. That all Sales, Exchanges, Gifts, Mortgages or other Convey­ances of Houses and Lands, shall be acknowledged before some Magi­strate, [...] before they be committed to publick Record; Provided that all former Conveyances, that were before this Order, shall be accounted good, notwithstanding they be not, nor cannot be so acknowledged, being otherwise duely proved.

[...]3. That where Lands and Tenements fall in joynt partnership, either by a Gift, Grant or Purchase, or otherwise, if a partner dye be­fore it be divided, the Heirs or Assignes of the Deceased, shall not be de­prived of their right, but sha [...]l have his or their proportion with the Sur­vivors, as if division thereof had been formerly made; any Provision, Custome or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.

It is also hereby Provided, That any Partner may sue out a division, as he or they may see reason.

4. It is Ordered, That where no Heir, or Owner of Houses, Lands, Tenements, [...] Goods or Chattels can be found, upon the decease of the late [...]estator or Proprietor, a true Inventory of every such Estate, in all the parts and parcels thereof, shall with the first conveniency, be duely taken, and a just apprizement made upon Oath, by fit men thereunto ap­pointed by a Magistrate, or in his absence by the Select-men of such Plantation where the said Estate is, and the whole Estate to be seized to the publick Treasury, till the true Heirs or Owners shall make due claim thereunto, unto whom the same shall be restored upon just and reasonable [...]

[Page 35]5. An act made July 10th. 1669. for quieting mens Estates and a­voiding suits in Law;

It is Enacted by the Court and the Authority thereof; That no person or person having had for the space or tearm of ten years full past and expnce,In what case [...] is barred any Right or Title of entry into or cause of Action for any Lands, Tene­ments or Hereditaments whatsoever, now detained from him or them, shall thereinto Enter or Commence Suit for, but within five years next af­ter the end of this pre [...]ent Session of Court, and at no time after.

And that no person or persons having had for the space or tearm of eighteen years fully past and expired, any Right or Title of Entry into, or Cause of Action, for any Lands, Tenements or Hereditaments what­soever, now detained from him or them, shall thereinto Enter or Com­mence for, but within two years next after the end of this present Session of Court, and at no time after.

And that no person or persons, shall at any time hereafter, make any Entry into, or Commence Suit for any Lands, Tenements, or Heredita­ments, but within f [...]fteen years next after his or their Right, Title or cause of Action, or Suit, which shall hereafter first descend, fall or accrue to the same, otherwise such Title shall be for ever after barred, and the party or parties claiming, and his and their Heirs utterly excluded from Entry into the same; Provided nevertheless, that if any person or persons which hath or shall have such Right, Title or Cause of Action, be or shall be at the time of the said Right, Title or Cause of Action first descended, accrued or fallen, within the age of twenty one years, Feme Covert, non compes mentis, imprisoned or beyond the Seas, then such person or persons, his or their Heirs shall or may, notwith­standing the said fifteen ye [...]rs expired, bring his Action or make his En­try at any time within five y [...]ars next after his or their full age, discover­ture, coming of sound minde, enlargement out of Prison, or coming into this Country, take benefit of, and rue forth the same, and at no time after the said five years.

It is further Enacted by the Court, &c. That such person or persons as have had Right or Title of entry into or Cause of Action, for any Lands, Tene­ments or Hereditaments, hitherto detained from him or them, for the space or tearm of twenty years fully past and compleat, and neglected hitherto, to make his or their Entry, or to Commence suit for the same, shall be for ever barred excluded and utterly disabled from such Entry or Suit to be made, excepting as in the abovesaid proviso, according as is provided by the Statute of England, made Anno 2 [...]. Jacobi Regis Cap. 16. Entituled An Act for Limitation of Actions and avoiding Suits in Law.

It having been the usual manner and custome of this Court, as much as may be to have recourse to the commendable Laws of England in such case wherein there is no other Law by this Court provided more suitable to our condition.

[Page 36]


WHereas it hath been formerly Ordered by this Court, That all persons having Estate, Real or Personal, being of competent Age, Vnder­standing and Memory, may by Will dispose thereof as he sees c [...]use:

Wills and Testa­ments [...] be [...]It is also Enacted; That all such Disposals by Will and Testament, shall be Signed and Sealed by the Testator, before one or two substantial Witnesses, that may be able to Testifie that it was his Will, and that he was when he made it in such capacity as is above expressed.

and proved at Court2. And that such Wills and Testaments be Exhibited and Proved by such as are to Administer, at the next Court after the death of the Te­stator if it may be, and that a true Inventory of the Estate duely valued, be then also presented and left in Record with the Will, before Letters of Administration be granted.

and he W [...]ll [...] Re­cordedAnd if any man dyes without Will, his Widow, or such as would Administer, shall present an Inventory of the Estate as above, at the next Court: And if it be a single person, and one that hath no Relations in the Country, or near the place, that then the Governour or next Magi­strate, appoint some meet person there to make an Inventory, and present it to the next Court.

3. And inasmuch as some persons may be so suddenly surprized, that they may not have opportunity to make a written Will;

It is Ordered by this Court, &c. That in such case, if any person do make a Will Nuncupative, or a Verbal disposure of his Lands and Estate before two good substantial Witnesses,Nu [...]pative Wil [...]s that are neitheir Heirs nor Legatees, and they shall within three dayes commit it to Writing, and at the next Court make Oath unto it, it shall be Recorded and accepted as a Will.

Widows [...]4. And if any Married man dieth Intestate, his Widow shall have one third part of the Rents and Profits of his Lands during her life, and a third of Goods and Chattels, Debts being first paid, at her dispose.

[...]5. And it is further Enacted, That if any man do make an irrational and unrighteous will, whereby he deprives his Wife of her reasonable allowance for her subsistency, upon the Womans complaint it shall be in the power of the Court to relieve her out of the estate, notwithstanding by Will it were otherwise disposed; especially in such ca [...]e where the Wife brought with her good part of the Estate in Marriage, or hath by her d [...]ligence and industry done her part in the getting the Estate, and was otherwise well deserving.

6. And it is further Enacted, That when any man dyeth Intestate, and leaves divers Children; [...] the Eldest Son shall have a double Portion with what he hath already received from him of his Estate, both real and pers [...]nal, [...] but shall not be instated in all the Lands, unless the Court see [...] the rest of the Children shall inherit as Copartners, unless the [Page 37] Court upon good ground shall otherwise dispose.

7. And if any person dye more indebted then their Estate of Goods and Chattels can satisfie; if he have bought Lands in his life time,What case [...] to pay debts to the impairing of his Estate, otherwise such Lands shall be sold to pay the Debts but not other, further then the Court may see cause.

CHAP. XI. Fishing and Fish.

THat Fishing and Fowling shall be free to all Inhabitants of this Go­vernment,Fishing and Fowling Provided that all Orders from time to time made by this General Court,Provided that Orders reg [...]la­ting the same be obse [...]v [...]d for the due Regulating of Fishing and Fowling be observed in place or places, wherein special interest and propriety is justly claimed by the Court or any particular person.

2. Whereas by providence, Whales and other great Fish are found a drift upon the stream, and sometimes cast a sh [...]re in this [...]urisdiction;

It is Ordered, That all such Whales as are cast up within the Bounds of any particular Town-ship, or floating upon the stream, within a Mile of the shoar, against the said Bounds of any Town-ship,Wha [...]es. shall be ac­counted the respective Towns falling within their Bounds as aforesaid▪ allowing one full Barrel of Merchantable Oyle to the Country for every such Whale, and but half a Barrel if it be wasted or torn away after parted, to be delivered to the Treasurers order at Boston.

And whosoever taketh any Whale on drift at Sea, without those Bounds and limits abovesaid, and bring them on shoar, he shall have the one half, and the Country the other half of the Oyl, and the Country to allow case for their part of the Oyl.

And whosoever shall finde any Whale a shore on the Cape or elsewhere, that is out of any Towns Bounds, and is on the Countries Bounds or Li­mits, shall allow the Country two Hogsheads of Oyl clear and paid to the Country.

3. Whereas there hath been great inconvenience as [...] converted by taking of Mack [...]el at unseasonable times, whereby their in [...]rc [...]se is greatly dimi­nished;

This Court doth therefore Order, That henceforth no Mackrel shall be caught, except for spending whilest fresh, [...] before the first of [...]uly Annually on penalty of lo [...]s of the same, the one half to the Informer, and the other half to the use of the Colony, and this Order to take place from the twentieth of this instant [...].

[Page 38]

Fishing at the Cape Cod.

4. FOr the better improving of Fishing for Mackrel at the Cape with Saynes or Nets; that the Fish be not wholly des [...]royed or [...] off the Shoar, with constant Beating and Shooting at them with their Nets and Saynes;

It is Ordered by this Court &c. That none shall Set, Shoot or hall Sayne on shore with Mackrel at the Cape,Time of Sayning for Mackrel before the f [...]fteenth day of October yearly, nor after the twentieth of November, on pena [...]ty of for­feiting for any Mackrel so taken without the Compass of this time, eight shillings a Barrel to the Colonies use.

And that so good a Commodity be not spoiled, nor impaired by gripple Persons, that only minde their present benefit; but that it may be [...]pt sweat and well preserved for a Market, and so kept a Commod [...]ty;

It is further Ordered, That all such Mackrel taken by Saynes or Nets at the Cape, [...]ow to be O [...]dered shall be there salted up in good sufficient Cask, and not in Lumber, neither on Shoar nor on Board of any boat, Ba [...]que or other Vessel, on penalty of forfeiting to the Colonies use, the one half of what is so salted in Lumber and not in tight Cask.

And forasmuch as the Lands where such benefit is made by Fishing with Saynes or Nets, hath been purchased by the Colony and are truely theirs;

It is also Ordered, That no Stranger, or such as are no Inhabitants of this Government, shall make use of our Lands or Shoar, for Sayning or halling of Fish, but such as this Court give License to, on penalty of forfeiting all the Fish of any kinde so taken by any without leave.

And all Strangers that shall be allowed there to Fish as abovesaid, whether taken in as partners with any of ours or otherwise, shall pay unto our Water Baily, or such as the Court shall appoint to receive it, for the use of this Colony, two shillings for every Barrel, or quantity of a Barrel of Mackrel there caught in such a way; and such of our own Inhabitants as do so Fish there, shall pay one shilling a Barrel, and all such payments, whether by our own or Strangers, shall be made in money to the said Baily, or who is appointed.

And that peace and good order may be k [...]pt by all that Fish there, and that the Colony may not be a [...]fraua [...]d of their a [...]e by any;

It is further Ordered; That the Master of any Vessel, that shall come there to Fish, or some known person of their company, shall pre­sently upon their arrival there before they take any Fish, give under his hand to the Baily or his Deputy, for their peaceable carriage there, and their due observance of the Orders of Court concerning their Fishing, [Page 39] who shall thereupon give them a Ticket under his hand for their impro­ving the season as abovesaid; And if any man do refuse so to do, he or they shall be discharged from making use of our Land on shoar there, at their peril; And if any prove troublesome, or disturb their peace, sell [...]iquor to the Indians, prophane the Sabbath, or be otherwise disorderly, the Baily or his Deputy is hereby impowred to carry such before the next Magistrate, who may issue the case, send the Offenders to Prison, or take Bond for their appearance as Court, as he shall see cause, and the whole charge thereof to be born by him or them that do so offend.

And that the Water Baily be under Oath, as other publick Officers, as for the faithful discharge of his trust, so for his due and seasonable ordering, and giving an account to the Treasurer for what is the Colonies upon Fishing account, within one Month after the said Voyage is ended, or sooner if it may be.

And for every Barrel of Herring at any time caught by Nets, on the said Cape Cod Shoar,Herring. six pence per Barrel be paid by any Inhabitant that shall so take them, and twelve pence per Barrel by Strangers.

And whosoever shall take any Basse on the aforesaid Shoar with Nets,Basse. shall pay to the Colonies use six pence per Quintal, according to a former Order, and to be paid also in money.

5. And it is Ordered, &c. That if any Swine, belonging to either English or Indians, do there annoy or trespass such as there Fish as a­bovesaid, in the Mackrel seasons;Trespass by Swine it shall be lawful for any to make seizure of such Swine, paying the one half of the value of such Swine to the said Baily or his Deputy for the Colonies use.

6. It is also Ordered, That the profit arising to the Colony by the abovesaid Fishing at the Cape, shall be imployed and improved for the erecting and maintaining of a Free School in this Government▪ [...] The Or­dering and Management of which affaire is committed to the Governour and Assistants, or any four of them as they shall judge meet; Provided there be some entrance made in order thereunto before June Court next; otherwise the said profits to be Ordered as that Court shall see cause.

[Page 40]

CHAP. XII. Military Affairs.

IN regard of the many appearances of danger towards the Country by Ene­mies from abroad, or that may arise within us, Gods providence having disposed us in this Corner of the Western World, so far from our Native Prince and People, The grounds of putting the Co­lony into a po­sture of War that we cannot expect that constant speedy protection and relief that they might otherwise afford us; That we may be therefore in the better capacity according to our power, to defend the interest of God, our Princes interest, and our own;

It is Determined by this Court and the Authority thereof; That there shall be at all times a standing Council of War in this Colony,A standing Council of War consisting of the Governour and Assistants, as Annually chosen, and the like number of other trusty and able men, chosen also by the General Court, and from year to year filled up, if by death removed, or otherwise any of them may be wanting, or incapacitated to perform their trust.

And the Governour or President is hereby impowred by his Sum­mons, to convene the said Council; who being assembled, or the major part of them, they or any seaven of them concurring, shall have full po­wer to act as a Council of War; In Establishing and Commissionating of Military Officers, in Pressing of Men, Horses, Ships, Barques or other Vessels,their power Arms, Amunition, Provision, Carrages, or whatsoever else they may judge needfull, for the present Expedition; And al [...]o to raise Moneys by Rate, upon the several Townes, or Plantations of this Government, according to their several proportions, to defray the Charge thereof, and their Actings in such a concern to be valid as if done by the General Court of this Colony, Provided they cross not the Articles of confedera­tion between the Confederate Colonies.

2. And it is Enacted by this Court, &c. That there shall be alwayes kept and maintained at Plimouth, A general stock of arms and Amunition or where else the Court or Council of War shall order it, a General or Publick Stock of Arms and Amunition, to be improved as the Council of War shall order for the common safe­ty: besides which every Town in this Government shall at all times have in readiness in their Town, such a Stock of Arms and Amunition as the Court have or shall particularly proportion them,T [...]wn st [...]ck on such penalty as in our Court Records is expressed.

[...]And every man fr [...]m the age of s [...]xteen years and upwards, shall also be provided with such Arms and Amunition as the Court have determined, upon penalty expressed in our said book of Records.

3. And for the better Disciplining and Training up of our men in the use of Arms;

It is Enacted by this Court, &c. That there be at all times a General Off [...]cer, [...] under the Title of a Major, or other, who shall h [...]ve command of all the Horse and Foot of this Government, according to his Com­mission [Page 41] and Instruction in our Book of Records.

4. And that in every Town within this Government, there be particu­lar Commanders so chosen and Commissioned,Particular Com­manders as is by Order of this Court provided, to exercise their respective Companies, six dayes in the year at least, besides General Musters.

5. Concerning the raising of a Troop of Horse,Concerning rai­sing of a Troop of Horse The number to be raised in the severall Towns, their Priviledge, Duty, and Orders, The fines of Commanders, and private Souldiers, Horse, or Foot, and also what are to be accounted serviceable Arms; Concerning Military Watches, Ala [...]ms &c. See the Old Book of Orders.

6. And it is further Enacted by this Court, &c. That if any man be sent forth as a Souldier, and be so maimed in the service,Maimed Soul­diers that he is disabled from following his occasions, he shall be maintained by the Co­lony whilest he lives, according to his quality, and the capacity in which he served; and when dead, shall have the burial of a Souldier.

7. Be it also Enacted, That no Smith in this Government,Smith [...] to [...] Arms who is able to do it, shall refuse or neglect to amend any Arms brought unto him for such purpose, he being tendred such currant pay as for other work; as he will answer it to the Court.


FForasmuch as there is necessary use of Houses of Common Entertain­ment, and of such as Retail Wine, Beer, and Victuals; yet because there is so much abuse of that lawful liberty, both by persons that entertain, and by such as are entertained;

It is Ordered by this Court, &c. That none shall keep a Victualling house or Ordinary, or shall Retail Wine, Beer, Ale, Cyder,None to keep o [...] victualling house or ordinary but with License or Strong-waters, &c. but such as are Licensed thereunto by the Court of Magi­strates, on penalty of five pounds forfeiture to the Colonies use, except it be for relief of some sick person, and the Ordinary Keeper hath none.

2. And that whosoever is Licensed to keep such publick house of Entertainment, shall be well provided of Bedding to entertain Strangers and Travellers, and shall also have convenient Pasturing for Horses,Ordinanses [...] to be provided and Hay and Provender for their entertainment in the Winter, and shall not be without good Beer; and if any Ordinary keeper do frequently fail in any or all of these, upon complaint, he shall lose his License.

[Page 42] Price of Beer3. It is further Enacted; That no In-keeper or Ordinary in this Govern­ment, shall sell Beer for more then two pence the Ale quart, upon penalty of three shil [...]ings and four pence for every such offence; Nor sha [...]l any Vintner or Tavern gain more then eight pence upon the quart, in any Wine or Strong waters that they retail,Wine and Strong waters more then it cost them by the Butte or Cask as they bought, on penalty of twenty shil [...]ings forfeiture for such offence duely proved.

4. Neither shall any Vintner or Ordinary keeper suffer any disorder, by excessive drinking, in or at their House;

It is therefore Ordered, That he that suffers any person to drink Drunk or to excess in his house, [...] suf [...]er [...]ng any to be drunk [...] shall be fined for every such offence duely proved five shillings; And he that suffers any Town dweller, unless it be upon any extraordinary occasion, or publick imployment, to stay drinking in his House above the space of one hour, the Ordinary keeper shall be fined two shillings six pence, [...] and the Inhabitant so offending one shilling.

5. And it is further Enacted, That no single person, Labourer or other, shall be Dieted in any Inne or Ordinary in the Town to which he belongeth.None to be dia­ted in O [...]di [...]ries

And that no Ordinary keeper suffer any Wine or Liquor to be drawn in his House on the Lords day to any, except in case of necessity, for the moderate relief of those that are sick or faint for their necessary refresh­ment, and not to young persons, or such as need it not, in pain of ten shillings to the Colony.

6. And for the preventing of the great abuse, by the excessive drinking of Liquors and other Drink in Ordinaries, &c.

[...]This Court Ordereth, That every Ordinary keeper in this Government, shall be hereby impowred and required that in case any person or persons do not attend Order, but carry themselves uncivi [...]ly, by being importu­nately desirous of Drink when denied; and do not leave the House when required; such Ordinary keeper shall return their Names to the next Court, that so they may be proceeded withal according to the nature of the offence: and in case any Ordinary keeper shall neglect so to do, he shall be fined five shillings for every default.

7. It is further Ordered by this Court; That two or three men, be­sides the Constable and Grand-jury-men, be appointed and impowred, in each Town of this Jurisdiction, to have the inspection of the Ordinaries, or in any other places suspected, [...] to take notice of such abuses as may a­rise in reference to the premises or otherwise, and make return thereof to the Court.

[Page 43]8. That no Ordinary keeper suffer any Servants or Children,Servants nor Children may not buy [...] in Ordinaries with out consent of Masters or Pa­rents under the Government of their Masters or Parents to buy or [...]it drinking any Strong-liquors or Wine in their Houses, or where they have to do with­out liberty from their Parents or Masters, except in case of necessity for their relief, in pain of five shillings forfeit to the Colonies use.


IT is Enacted by the Court, &c.Indians not suf­fered to profane the Lords day That the Indians especially such as live amongst or near the English Plantations, be not suffered to pro­phane the Lords day, by Hunting, Fishing, Fowling, Travailing with bur­thens, or by doing any servile work thereupon: And if any being fore­warned do, and will contemptuously offend in that kinde, the Constable of that Town, shall bring him before the next Magistrate, or Select men where a Magistrate is not, who upon proof of the Fact, may punish him by fine or otherwise, as the matter may be circumstanced; and the like course to be taken with such Indians as shall on the Lords day resort to English Houses, unless upon extraordinary occasion.

2. And whereas it is found by experience, that the Indians who are naturally perfideous, [...] abundantly more Insolent and Proud, when they are furnished with English Arms;

It is therefore Enacted by this Court, &c. That whosoever shall Give, Lend, Trade, Truck, or exchange with the Indians, so as to furnish them directly or indi [...]tly with any kinde of Arms, as Guns, Pistols, Swords,Prohibition of trading Guns & amu [...]ition to the Indians Rapiers, or the like, or Powder, Shot, or Lead, or Amunition of any kinde, he or they upon due conviction thereof, shall forfeit to the Colo­nies use twenty times the value thereof, which if he cannot pay, he shall other [...]ise be severely punished, by Imprisonment or otherwise: And if any Indians that have Arms have or shall at any time manifestly appear to be unfaithful and treacherous to us, they shall forfeit such their Arms, and not be suffered for time to come, to keep any unless particularly Licensed by the Court or Governour.

3. It is also Enacted, &c. That whosoever shall sell unto, or upon any consideration, furnish any Indians with any kinde of Boats, Barques,Prohibition of Ba [...]ques & Boats or such like Vessels, or Sails, or Tackling to fit up any Vessel, he or they shall forfeit to the Colonies use, ten times the value of such pro­hibited Goods, or be otherwise punished as the Court shall determine.

[Page 44]4. Whereas Complaint is made of Indians stealing of live Hogs from the Eng [...]sh, and selling them, and concealing it by cutting of the ears.

To prevent [...]It is Enacted by the Court, That henceforth no Indians shall give any ear mark to their Swine, upon the penalty of the forfeiture of such Swine, one half to the Country, and the other half to him that shall make seizure on them; neither shall any Indian bring any Swine to sell, with their ears cut off, or ear marked, on the same penalty as above, except be bring good Testimonies that be honestly obtained such Swine so marked, of some English.

And to prevent controversie about Swine;

It is Enacted, That no English shall claim any Swine in custody of the Indians, but by their ear mark.

5. Be it also Enacted, &c. That no person, whether Inhabitant of this Government or other, shall Purchase, Hire, or receive of Gift of the In­dians, any Lands that lie within the Line of this Government, without the allowance and order of this Court, on pain of forfeiting for every Acre so bought, hired or any way obtained of them five pounds to the Colonies use. And if the fine or forfeiture cannot at present be ob­tained, the Lands so procured shall be forthwith seized for the Colonies use.

Nor Timber or HerbageNeither shall any Buy or Hire, or receive of Gift, any Wood, Timber, or Herbage of the Indians, without the Courts allowance on pain of forfeiting five times the value thereof to the Colonies use.

Horses may be sold to [...]he In­dians on condi­tion6. It is Enacted by the Court, &c. That liberty be hereby granted to the English in this Government, to sell Horses to the Indians, Pro­vided every Horse so sold is brought to the Town-Clerk of that Town where he is sold, and ten shillings in money, and delivered to the said Clerk for the Colonies use, who shall Record his Mark or Marks, and have twelve pence of the said Money for his pains; and in case any shall sell any Horses or Horse Colt to the Indians, and neglect so to do, he shall forfeit every such Horse, or the value thereof to the Colonies use.

But no Mares sold nor kept by [...]But no person within this Government, shall sell or give any Mare to the Indians, in pain of the forfeiture of every such Mare, or the value thereof to the use of the Colony: And that no Indian shall be suffered to keep any Mare in this Colony, on like penalty of the forfeiture of evere such Mare to the Colonies use.

And that the Country may not be defeated of the abovesaid ten shil­lings, under pretence of lending Horses to the Indians, although sold to them:

It is therefore Ordered; That none shall give, lend or hire any Horse or Horse Colt to any Indian or Indians in pain of ten shillings forfeit to the Colonies use.

7. Whereas notwithstanding many Orders have been made for the pre­vention of Drunkenness amongst the Indians, yet it doth abound amongst them to the dishonour of God, and occasion of many Outrages done amongst them, and other inconveniences like more and more to ensue, if no stop be put thereto;

It is therefore Ordered by this Court, That whatsoever person or persons, doth directly or indirectly Give, Sell, Truck or Barte [...], or any [Page 45] wayes procure to or for any Indian or Indians, any Wine, Cyder or Strong-liquors, by whatsoever name the said Liquor may be called, shall for every such offence forfeit, five p [...]unds fine to the Colonies use; Pro­vided this Order shall not extend to restrain any charitable act, in re­lieving any Indian Bona fide, in any suddain exigent of s [...]ckness, faintness, &c. not exceeding one drain or two, or by the prescription and di­rection of some Physitian, under the hand of a Magistrate first ob­tained.

And it is Ordered, That the Accusation, Information or Testimony of any Indian or other probable circumstance, shall be accounted sufficient con­viction of any English person or persons suspected to Sell, Trade or Pro­cure any Wine, Cyder or Liquors as abovesaid, to any Indian or In­dians, unless such English shall upon their Oath clear them [...]elves from any such act of direct or indirect Selling, Trucking or Lending of Wine, Cyder or Liquors to any such Indian or Indians, and the same counted to be taken for conviction of any that Trade any Arms or Amunition to the Indians.

And in case any such offender be not able to pay his or their fine as abovesaid, every such offender shall be publickly w [...]ipt

And it shall and may be lawful for any man to seize any Liquor, Cyder or Wine found in the custom of any Indian or Indians, and have it for his pains, Provided he bring the [...] Indian or Indians before a Magistrate, or the Select M [...]n of the Town, to be further examined about it.


WHereas many Qu [...]sti [...]ns, and sometimes troubl [...]s [...]me S [...]s and [...], grow between persons about Horses running tog [...]ther in the Woods unmarked, &c.

It is Ordered, That each Plantation within this Government, have a particular Brand mark, [...] to distinguish the Horses of one Plantation from another, as by Order of Court hath been in that case provided and in use amongst us: bes [...]des which, every Owner shall mark every of his Hor [...]e [...], Mares or Colts with some distinguishing mark, and that before [...], whereby one mans Horse kinde may be known from another, [...] and that in each Plantation there be an Officer appointed, either the Town Clerk, or some other fit person, to Record each particular mans Horse kinde, [...] with the Marks, Natural or A [...]t [...]cial, with the Colour and Age thereof, as near as may be known, with the year and day of the month, and to re­quire as satisfying evidence of his right, who presents any such Hor [...]e kinde to be Recorded as [...] to Record any defect of due [Page 46] evidence, that a way may be open to other claims, and such Officer to have six pence for every Horse-kinde so Recorded of the Owner thereof.Fees for entry

And that whatsoever Owner of such Horse-kinde, shall neglect to present them,Forfeiture for Non-entry or the Mark and Age thereof to such Officer, to be Re­corded, being above one ye [...]r old, from t [...]me to time, at or before the first of March Annually, shall forfeit fi [...]e shillings, the one half to the Town, and the other half to the Informer, excepting such Horses as any Owner keeps on his own ground.

And that no per [...]on take up any Horse kinde running in the Woods, to carry out of the Town-ship where they go, without f [...]st bringing them to the Officer aforesaid,and carrying a­way without en­try to be Recorded, and to receive a Note from un­der his hand of the Marks, with the Date thereof, on pain of forty shil­lings to the Colonies use; Paying like Fees to the Officer as afore­said.

Strayes to be [...]2. If any man shall take up any Stray-horse, Mare, or Horse-kinde, he shall within one Month give notice of it, with the Age (as near as he can) and his colour and marks, that so the Treasurer may cause them to be cryed at three Courts next following; and if any Owner be found, paying all due charges for his taking up and keeping, he shall have his Horse or Beast:a [...]d no Owner [...] shall [...] to the Colony, a [...]d the other to him that findes them But if after he hath been to publick­ly cryed, no Owner appear in a year after he was first cryed; such Hor [...]e, Mare or other Beast, shall be one half to the Country, and the other ha [...]f to him that took him up.

It is also Ordered, &c. That whosoever takes up any such Stray-Horse,Strayes how used Mare, &c. shall keep them well, and not wrong them by Draw­ing, Riding or otherwise, whilest he is upon such enquiry as abovesaid; and that during the time, he shall alwayes keep a Wyth about the neck of the Stray, by which it may be commonly known.

3. It is Enacted by the Court, That none shall suffer to go at large to feed, in any Commons within this Government, any Stoned Horse, being above two years old, Stature of stone H [...]ses to go at large and not thirteen hands high at least from the lower part of the Hoof to the upper part of the Wither, every hand containing four Inches Standard measure, in pain to forfeit the same Horse or the value thereof,on penalty the one half to the Country, and the other half to him or them which sha [...]l seize such Horse of lower stature; So that first by the Ass [...]stance of the Constable, or Select-men of any Town-ship where such seizure is made, or seizor dwelleth; Such Horse being by the seizor first brought to the next Pound, shall there by such an Of­f [...]cer, in the presence of three sufficient men, be measured and found lo­wer then the Stature above mentioned: This Order to take place from and after the first of October, 1670.

4. That such Fences as are adjudged sufficient against ordinary Neat Cattle, shall be allowed sufficient against Horses and Mares; And if Horses [...] so wilde that they cannot be impounded, [...] the Owner shall nevertheless satisfie the damage proved to be done by them, as if impounded; and if the Horse kinde which so trepasseth be not marked according to Order, [...] Owner for such shall pay double damage.

[Page 47]5. And whereas there hath been great Complaint of much Damage done by Horse-kinde, and that many of them are and belong to For­reigners, either hither brought, here bought, or known to the Owners there­of to be strayed into this Colony, and here let run with their Increase year after year, to the great Damage and Annoyance both of English and In­dians;

It is therefore Ordered, That all such Forreigners Horse-kinde (other then accidentally strayed, without the knowledge of the Owner) shall be taken out of this Colony by the last of December next, in pain of the forfeiture of every such Horse-kinde, the one half to the Colony, and the other half to him or them that shall take every such Horse-kinde, found within this Colony after the said time, other then such strayes as aforesaid, which shall be dealt with as by Order in that Case pro­vided.

And this Court Willeth, That all such as are Inhabitants, as have any Inspection over any the said Horses, to give timely notice thereof to the Owner of such Horses as aforesaid.


PAge 1 Line 4 Sect. 1 for in Act read Enact. page 3, 5, 7. in the Title, read New-Plimouth Colony. page 4 line 26. Sect. 10 for surely read severely.



CHAP. I. Folio 1. Touching Fundamentals.

  • LAws to be made by the Freemen or their Representatives.
  • 2 Annual Elections by the Freemen.
  • 3 Justice Equally and speedily to be Administred.
  • 4 None so suffer but according to Law, &c.
  • 5 Tryals to be by a Jury, and liberty to challenge any of them.
  • 6 What Testimonies in cases Capital.
  • 7 Power and liberty for any to Will away their Estate, except such as are Censured for Treason.
  • 8 The great end of coming into this Wilderness, was to enjoy the pure Worship of God, &c. therefore the Churches of Christ here to be protected in their peaceable orderly walking in the Ministry of the Gospel provided for.
  • 9 All the foregoing Fundamentals to be inviolably preserved.

CHAP. II. Folo 3. Touching Capitals.

  • 1 Idolatry.
  • 2 Blasphemy.
  • 3 Treason
  • 4 Conspiring against this Jurisdiction, &c.
  • 5 Wilful Murther premeditate.
  • 6 Suddain Murther in Passion.
  • 7 Murther by guile or poysoning.
  • 8 Witchcraft.
  • 9 Bestiality.
  • 10 Sodomy.
  • 11 A False Witness.
  • 12 Man-stealing.
  • [Page]13 Cursing or smiting Father or Mother.
  • 14 The Rebellious Son.
  • 15 Rape.
  • 16 Wilful Burning of Ships, Goods, &c.

CHAP III. Folo [...]. Criminals.

  • 1 All Criminal Offences are to be heard and determined at the next Court that hath proper cognizance thereof.
  • 2 Adultery how punished.
  • 3 Fornication
    • Without Contract.
    • If they be or will be married.
    • After Contract.
  • 4 Burglary.
    • First time,
    • Second time,
    • Third time.
  • 5 Stealing of Vessels or Amunition.
  • 6 Stealing or Purloining.
  • 7 Smaller Thefts or Pilfering.
  • 8 Prophane Swearing.
  • 9 Prophanation of the Sabbath with the aggravations.
  • 10 Neglect of publick Worship.
  • 11 Vilifying the Scriptures and holy Pen men thereof, or the Word Preached and the Ministry thereof, or the Wayes, Churches or Ordi­nances of Christ.
  • 12 Heresie.
  • 13 Forceable Detainer, Entry and Possession.
  • 14 Disturbance of the peace
    • Defamation of Court or Judge.
    • Beating or hurting any person.
  • 15 Forging of Deeds, Bills, Bonds.
  • 16 Falsifying of Records.
  • 17 He that corrupteth Officers to such intent.
  • 18 Against Lying.
  • 19 Against wilful burning of Fences.
  • 20 Breaking of Fences, Gate or Bridge.
  • 21 Removing of Land marks.
  • 22 Gaming at Publick Houses.
  • 23 Playing at unlawful Games.
  • 24 Wearing of Vizards.
  • 25 Penalty of Drunkenness; and Drunkenness defined.
  • 26 That the names of notorious Drunkards be inrolled.
  • 27 Untimely firing of the Woods.
  • 28 Careless smoaking of Tobacco.

CHAP. IV. Folio 11. Actions.

  • 1 Ground of Non-suit.
  • 2 Time of Entry of Actions, and no further plea after the Case is com­mitted to the Jury.
  • 3 Non-attendance upon Actions.
    • Plaintiffs Damage.
    • Defendants Damage.
    • A way for Re entry.
  • 4 Non attendance on Presentments.
  • 5 Charge of Tryals.
  • 6 Plaintiffs liberty to withdraw.
  • 7 Vexatious Suits.
  • 8 Reviews.
  • 9 Judgement granted.
    • When Verdict rejected.
    • A new Jury Impannelled.
  • 10 Forreigners shall not Attach Inhabitants without giving Cautions for Costs, Respect of Judgement and Execution.
  • 11 Liberty to Attach Person or Estate.
  • 12 Summon suff [...]cient Warrant.
  • 13 Wa [...]rants when to be served:
  • 14 Goods Attached shall not be released until Judgement be satisfied, nor Sureties Bonds.
  • 15 Atornies allowed.
  • 16 Barratry pun [...]shed.
  • 17 Age of di [...]cretion.
  • 18 Who Bailable.
  • 19 No Leavie on Lands where goods to be found, nor Surety to be distrained where principals sufficient and found.
  • 20 Nor Beast of the P [...]ough or Draught.
  • 21 Replevin.
  • 22 Debts to be paid in Spec [...]e.
  • 23 Fines to be forthwith paid or secured, and paid in money if exceed not ten shilling.

CHAX. V. Folio 14. Courts.

  • 1 The General Courts Constitution and power.
  • 2 Place and time of s [...]tting, Election or Governour, &c. Establishing of Officers, Desolving or Adjou [...]nments of Courts.
  • 3 Power to Summon a General Court of the body of Freemen, or their Repre [...]entatives on special occasions.
  • Fine for Non appearance, or Departure without License, Increased or cirCumstanced with Contempt.
  • 4 Liberty to send votes by Proxy, penalty of neglect.
  • 5 Freemens power, who to be admitted, how and when.
  • 6 In what ca [...]e to be Disfranch [...]z [...]d; who to vote in T [...]wn meetings for choice of Of [...]ce [...]s.
  • [Page]7 Deputies to be Annually Elected, and their names presented to the Court by the Constable.
  • 8 In what case to be refused with the Reasons returned to the Town.
  • 9 No Act to pass without consent and vote of the major part, who and when to have a casting vote.
  • 10 The next Commissioner in Nomination to attend in case.
  • 11 The eldest Assistant to be Deputy Governour.
Secondly, Courts of Assistants or Magistrates Folio 17.
  • 1 Courts of Assistants, where and when to sit, their power.
  • 2 Liberty to call a Court of Assistants.
  • 3 Liberty to call a special Court at request of strangers.
  • 4 Liberty for one stranger to sue another.
  • 5 The Benches power to determine matters of equity.
  • 6 Laws without penalty are liable to reasonable penalties by the Court·
Thirdly, The Courts of Select-men. Folio 18.
  • 1 Select-mens Election, Approbation and Power.
  • 2 Process of Actions.
  • 3 In what case two of them may issue, their Fees, liberty of Appeal.
  • 4 VVith the process thereof, Select-mens power in reference to Indians.
CHAP. VI. Folio 19. Presentments.
  • 1 Presentments and Complaints to be made within a year.
  • 2 Persons Indited of Capital crimes must not withdraw, but surrender themselves.
Juror and Juries. Folio 20.
  • 1 The Grand-jury to be impannelled & chosen.
    • Their Duty.
    • Fees.
    • Penalty for non-serving.
  • 3 Petty-Juries Impannelled, and sworn to finde according to Evidence, liberty to give a special verdict.

CHAP. VII. Folio 21 Constables.

  • 1 Constables Annually chosen, and to take Oath.
  • 2 Penalty for refusing to serve.
  • 3 None to be made Constable twice in seaven years, and to be freed from Training.
  • 4 Constable shall make his Deputy.
  • [Page]5 To gather Rates and Fines, and serve Summons.
  • 6 Marshalls and Constables Directons.
    • To demand dues.
    • To leavie it on goods liable to leavie; and to leavie neces­sary charge and execution.
    • Goods exempted from exe­cution.
    • Officers doing wrong to make satisfaction.
  • 7 Constables to Whip.
  • 8 To receive and convey offenders
    • To pursue Hues and Cries,
    • And in case to put them forth
    • To Apprehend Offenders.
    • All to assist the Constable or Marshal in pain of ten shillings.
    • Wilful neglect forty shillings.
    • Not raising Hues and Cries in Capi­tal cases fined.
  • 9 Constables to warn Town-meetings
    • The Towns to choose Raters, on pain of five pounds.
    • The Raters Neglect and Pe­nalty.
    • In case the Court do choose Ra­ters.
  • 10 Fees for distress, liberty to gather Rates after his year.
  • 11 Penalty for non-collecting of Rates.
  • 12 Rules for making of Rates.
  • 13 Constable and Select men to look after such as sleep or play about the Meeting Houses on the Lords day.

CHAP. VIII. Folio 25.

Ministers Maintenance.
  • 1 Ministers Maintenance
  • 2 No publick Meeting to be set up without approbation.
Education of Children. Folio 26.
  • For maintenance of a Free School. vide chap. [...]1. numb. 6.
  • The profits of Fishing at Cape Cod. vide chap. [...]1. numb. 6.
Mispending of time. Folio 27.
  • The Select-men to inform the Court of any that live idely, and will not be governed.
Marriages, Births and Burials. Folio 27.
  • 1 Register to be kept of all Marriages, Births and Burials, exhibited at March Court.
  • 2 Town Clerk to publish Marriages, how to be published.
  • 3 That none shall inveagle or steal the affections of any Maid under covert, without consent of the Parents.
  • [Page]4 VVho may solemnize Marriage; Marriage not to be solemnized with out orderly publication.
  • 5 No man to strike his VVife.

CHAP. IX. Folio 29. Of Town-Affaires.

  • 1 Towns liberties to meet together.
  • 2 VVho shall be allowed to be House-keepers.
  • 3 He who brings in any to be chargeable shall secure the Town, but if an Apprentise during his time.
  • 4 Poor mens Children to be provided for.
  • 5 He that hath been three months in a Town shall be there charged.
  • 6 Such as are sent to Nurse, School, &c. shall be relieved by the place whence they came.
  • 7 None shall come in to Inhabit without leave.
  • 8 Penalty of refusing the Oath of Fidelity.
  • 9 In every Town a Pound, Cattle to be Replevied or damage satisfied.
  • 10 Trespass to herd on any mans propriety.
  • 11 Timber fell'd and not improved forfeit.
  • 12 VVoolf traps in every Town
    • Indians paid for killing VVoolves.
    • English by the Town.
  • 13 Every Town to have a Standa [...]d for Corn.
Mills and Millers. Folio 31
  • Millers free from Training.
  • Toll, VVeights and Scoals.
  • Toll-dishes.
Cask and Coopers. Folio 31.
  • Gage of Cask.
  • Coopers Brand-mark their Cask.
Leather and Shoomakers Folio 32. High-wayes. 33.
  • 1 High wayes to be laid out by a Jury.
  • 2 Surveighors of High wayes to give three dayes warning.
  • 3 Penalty of non appearance to mend High-wayes.
  • 4 Penalty for Surveighors neglect to warn men.
  • 5 Surveighors of High-wayes, at the years end to give account.

CHAP. X. Folio 34. Lands Inheritances and Wills.

  • 1 The tenor of our Lands.
  • 2 Conveyances to be acknowledged before a Magistrate.
  • [Page]3 Lands in partnership.
  • 4 Escheats.
  • 5 In what case entry into Land is barred.
Wills. Folio 36.
  • 1 Wills and Testaments must be witnessed.
  • 2 And proved at Court, and the Will and Inventory Recorded.
  • 3 Nuncupative Wills.
  • 4 Widows thirds.
  • 5 Unjust Wills.
  • 6 Double portion to the eldest; Daughters co-partners.
  • 7 In what case Lands to pay Debts.

CHAX. XI. Folio 37. Fishing and Fish.

  • 1 Fishing and Fowling free, provided that Orders regulating the same be observed.
  • 2 Whales.
  • 3 Caching Mackrel at unseasonable times.
  • 4 Time of Sayning for Mackrel, Herring and Basse at Cape Cod and elsewhere, how to be Ordered.
  • 5 Trespass by Swine.
  • 6 The Profits arising by the said Fishing, how to be improved.

CHAP. XII. Folio 40. Military Affaires.

  • 1 The Grounds of putting the Colony into a posture of VVar; a standing Council of VVar, their power.
  • 2 A general stock of Arms and Amunition.
  • Town-stock.
  • Every mans particular.
  • 3 A general Military Officer.
  • 4 Particular Commanders.
  • 5 Concerning raising of a Troop of Horse.
  • 6 Maimed Souldiers.
  • 7 Smiths to mend Arms.

CHAP. XIII. Folio 41. Ordinaries.

  • 1 None to keep Victualling Houses or Ordinary without License.
  • 2 Ordinaries how to be provided.
  • 3 Price of Beer, VVine, Strong-waters, &c.
  • [Page]4 Penalty of suffering any to be Drunk, or stay Tipling at their Houses.
  • 5 None to be diated in Ordinaries.
  • 6 Uncivil carrying at Ordinaries.
  • 7 Men in each Town to have inspection of Ordinaries.
  • 8 Servants nor Children may not buy Drink in Ordinaries without con­sent of Parents or Masters.

CHAP. XIV. Folio 43. Indians.

  • 1 Indians not suffered to prophane the Lords day
  • 2 Prohibition of trading Guns and Amunition to Indians.
  • 3 Prohibition of Barques and Boats.
  • 4 To prevent Indians from stealing Swine.
  • 5 Nor Timber nor Herbage.
  • 6 Horses may be sold to the Indians on condition; But not Mares to be sold.
  • 7 To prevent Drunkenness amongst the Indians.

CHAP. XV. Folio 45. Horses.

  • 1 Horses to be Branded, Marked, Entred; Fees for Entry, forfeiture for non-entry, and carrying away without Entry.
  • 2 Strayes to be Cryed, and no Owner appearing, shall be one half to the Country, and the other half to him that finde them.
  • 3 Strayes how used;
  • 4 Stature of Stone-Horses on penalty
  • 5 What Fence sufficient against Horses.
  • 6 Forreigners Horses

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