[FOUND IN] — Full Title: The History of New-England Containing an Impartial Account of the Civil and Ecclesiastical Affairs of the Country To the Year of our Lord, 1700. To which is added, The Present State of New-England, with a New and Accurate Map of the Country. And an Appendix, Containing their Present Charter, their Ecclesiastical Discipline, and their Municipal-Laws. By Daniel Neal. Vol. II. London: Printed for J. Clark, at the Bible & Crown in the Poultry, R. Ford, at the Angel in the Poultry, and R. Cruttenden, at the Bible and Three Crowns in Cheapside, M.DCC.XX.
An Abridgment of the Laws,
and Ordinances of New-England,
to the Year 1700.
ACTIONS. Actions of Debts, Accounts, Slander, Actions of the case concerning Debts or Accounts, the Plaintiff may try where he will within the Juisdiction of the Court, where he or the Defendant lives; by consent, they may be try’d any where else. Other Actions must be try’d where the Cause did arise.
If the Plaintiff in an Action of Trespass pretends Damage above 40 s, and has receiv’d less, he shall be Non-suited, and pay Costs.
No Action to be enter’d after the first Day of the Court’s sitting. Double Fees, for those enter’d after noon not be be recover’d of the Defendants.
Whoever brings an Action without cause, must pay the charges the Court shall judge he occasion’d, and any Fine they impose; as likewise the Defendant, if they find him in Fault; Vexatious Actions, or Suits, to pay treble costs, and to be fin’d 40 s to the Treasury.
ADULTERY. If any Person commit Adultery with a marry’d Woman, Maid, or Woman espoused, both Man and Woman shall be put to Death.
AGE. No Person under 21 Years of Age, shall convery Lands or Hereditaments, or val [sic] in Eleccons [sic] of publick Offices, or give Verdict, or pass Sentence in any civil or criminal Court, or cause.
Orphans may choose their Guardians at 14.
None under the Age of 21, shall plead, or be impleaded in civil cases, but in the names of their Parents, Masters, or Guardians.
But in criminal cases, they must answer for their Misdemeanours, and inform against others in their own Names.
APPAREL. All Persons not worth 200 l. wearing Gold or Silver Lace, or Buttons, or Bone-Lace, above 2 s. per Yard, or Silk Hoods, or Scarfs, may be presented by the Grand-Jury, and shall pay 10 s. for every Offence.
The select Men of every Town may assess those who dress above their Rank, at 200 l. Estate, and make them pay, as those to whom their Dress is suitable, except Magistrates, their Wives, and Children, Officers, civil or military, Soldiers in Time and of Service; or such as have had a high Education, or are sunk from a higher Fortune, Anno 1651.
If any Person’s Dress should be adjudg’d by the Grand Jury, or County-Court above his Rank, they are to be admonish’d for the first Offence, to pay 20 s. for the second, 40 s. for the third, and 40 s. for every Offence afterwards, Anno 1662.
A Taylor who makes Cloaths for Children, or Servants, contrary to the Mind of their Parents or Masters, is for the first Offence, to be admonished, and for the second, to pay double the Value of the Cloaths, half to the Owner, and half to the County, 1662. The Grand-Jury are enjoin’d to present all Offenders in Apparel.
APPEAL. Any Person may appeal from an inferior to a superior Court, provided they tender their Appeal before the Judges of the Court they appeal to, put in Bail to prosecute it, and to pay Damages before Execution, which can’t be ’till 12 Hours after Judgment, unless by Special Order.
Appellants in criminal cases, to give Security for Appearance and good Behavior.
Appeals in Matter of Law, to be determin’d by the Bench; if two in five, or three in seven, or the like Proportion dissent from the Majority, there lyes an Appeal to the next General Court.
Appeals to be recorded at the charge of the Appellant, and certified to the Court to which they are made, the Reasons of them, without any Reflecting Language, to be given in Writing under their Hands, or their Attorney’s Hands, to the Clerk of the Court from whence they are made, six Days before the Court begins to which they are made.
Appellants not prosecuting their Appeals, to pay, beside their bonds to the Party, 40 s. to the County.
No Person who sate as Judge, or voted in the inferior Court, shall have a Vote in that Court to which the Appeal is made in the same case, but it shall be decided by different Persons.
The Court appeal’d to, shall judge the case according to the former Evidence, and no other Court may reverse Judgment, or abate, or increase Damages, Anno 1654.
Appeals from the Association-Courts of Portsmouth and Dover, are to the next County Court, and not to that of the Assistants at Boston, as formerly, Anno 1670.
APPEARANCE. No one to be punish’d for Non-Appearance, if hinder’d by Providence. This Law not to prejudice any Person in his costs or damages in civl Actions, Anno 1641.
ARRESTS. None to be arrested, or put in Prison for Debt, if the Law finds any Means of Satisfaction from his Estate, except in special contracts, Anno 1641.
The Person arrested to be in Prison at his own charge, unless the Court determine otherwise, but not to continue there, unless there is an Appearance of some Estate conceal’d, Anno 1641.
The Prisoner swearing before a proper Magistrate that he has no Estate, is to be releas’d, but is to make Satisfaction by Service, though not to be sold to any besides the English, Anno 1647.
In civil Actions, the Prisoner swearing he is not worth 5 l. the Plaintiff must maintain him in Prison, levying by Execution his Expence, if he can find Effects.
No Prisoner to go at Liberty, without License of the Court, or Creditor, if he does, the Keeper to be fin’d at Descretion, and pay the Debt. . . .
Item of the Day: Beccaria’s Crimes and Punishments (1788)
An Essay on Crimes and Punishments The Marquis Beccaria of Milan. With a Commentary by M. de Voltaire. A New Edition Corrected.
Written by Cesare Beccaria. Printed in Edinburgh by James Donaldson, 1788.
Of the Division of Crimes.
We have proved, then, that crimes are to be estimated by the injury done to society. This is one of those palpable truths, which, though evident to the meanest capacity, yet, by a combination of circumstances, are only known to a few thinking men in every nation, and in every age. But opinions, worthy of the despotism of Asia, and passions armed with power and authority, have, generally by insensible and sometimes violent impressions on the timid credulity of men, effaced those simple ideas which perhaps constituted the first philosophy of infant society. Happily the philosophy of the present enlightened age seems again to conduct us to the same principles, and with that degree of certainty which is obtained by a rational examination and repeated experience.
A scrupulous adherence to order would require, that we should now examine and distinguish the different species of crimes, and the modes of punishment; but they are so variable in their nature, from the different circumstances of ages and countries, that the detail will be tiresome and endless. It will be sufficient for my purpose to point out the more general principles, and the most common and dangerous errors, in order to undeceive, as well those who, from a mistaken zeal for liberty, would introduce anarchy and confusion, as those who pretend to reduce society in general to the regularity of a convent.
Some crimes are immediately destructive of society, or its representative; others attack the private security of the life, property, or honour of individuals; and a third class consists of such actions as are contrary to the laws which relate to the general good of the community.
The first, which are of the highest degree, as they are most destructive to society, are called crimes of Leze-majesty*. Tyranny and ignorance, which have confounded the clearest terms and ideas, have given this appellation to crimes of a different nature, and consequently have established the same punishment for each; and on this occasion, as on a thousand others, men have been sacrificed victims to a word. Every crime, even of the most private nature, injures society; but every crime does not threaten its immediate destruction. Moral, as well as physical actions, have their sphere of activity differently circumscribed, like all the movements of nature, by time and space; it is therefore a sophistical interpretation, the common philosophy of slaves, that would confound the limits of things established by eternal truth.
To these succeed crimes which are destructive to the security of individuals. This security being the principle end of all society, and to which every citizen hath an undoubted right, it becomes indispensibly necessary, that to these crimes the greatest of punishments should be assigned.
The opinion, that every member of society has a right to do anything that is not contrary to the laws, without fearing any other inconveniencies than those which are the natural consequences of the action itself, is a political dogma, which should be defended by the laws, inculcated by the magistrates, and believed by the people; a sacred dogma, without which there can be no lawful society; a just recompence for our sacrifice of that universal liberty of action, common to all sensible beings, and only limited by our natural powers. By this principle, our minds become free, active, and vigorous; by this alone we are inspired with that virtue which knows no fear, so different from that pliant prudence, worthy of those only who can bear a precarious existence.
Attempts, therefore, against the life and liberty of a citizen, are crimes of the highest nature. Under this head we comprehend not only assassinations and robberies committed by the populace, but by grandees and magistrates; whose example acts with more force, and at a greater distance, destroying the ideas of justice and duty among the subjects, and substituting that of the right of the strongest, equally dangerous to those who exercise it, and to those who suffer.
Leave a comment
Filed under 1780's, Legal, Liberty, Political Commentary, Posted by Matthew Williams