Miscellaneous Court Records and Laws:
[The following is just a brief taste of colonial town records and colony laws regarding illicit sex.]
Capital Lawes of New-England, as they stand now in force in the Common-Wealth. By the Court, in the Years 1641, 1642.
Capital Lawes, Established within the Jurisdiction of Massachusetts.
Source: Broadside. Published in New England, 1643.
Pennsylvania Law, 1706:
. . . if any person or persons shall be convicted of sodomy and buggery, provided he or they be at the age of discretion, and consenting thereunto [he or they] shall suffer imprisonment at hard labor during life, and shall be whipped at the discretion of the magistrates (not exceeding thrity-nine lashes at one time) every three months during the first year after conviction.
Source: James T. Mitchell and Hnery Flanders, eds., The Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania from 1682 to 1801 (Harrisburg, 1896), vol. 2, p. 184.
A Meeting of the Court Extraordinary, March 23th, 1652. (New Haven)
Upon a complaint made to the Governor of sundrie youthes in the Towne that had committed much wickedness in a filthy corrupting way one with another, they were called before the Governor & Magistrates, vizd: Benjamin Bunill, Joshua Bradly, Joseph Benham, William Trobridg, Thomas Tuttill & Thomas Kimberly; they were examined in a private way, and their examinations taken in wrighting, which were of such a filthy nature as is not fitt to be made known in a publique way; after which the Court were called together, and the youthes before them; their examinations were read and upon their severall confessions the Court, being mett at the meeting house upon the day above written, sentenced the youthes above named to bee whipt publicly; and whereas John Clarke, servant to Jeremiah Whitnell, was questioned and charged by one of them. for some filthy carriage, he denyed it, and another of the company in some measure cleared him from that the other charged him with, whereupon he was not sentenced to be corrected publicly, but the Court left it with his master to give him that correction in the family which he should see meete, warning John Clarke that if ever any such carriage came forth against him hereafter, the Court would call these miscarriages charged upon him to minde againe.
Source: Franklin B. Dexter, ed., Ancient Town Records, vol. 1, New Haven Town Records, 1649-1662 (New Haven, 1917), 178-9. *Some spelling has been modernized.
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