Thursday, November 23, 2017

1565 Thanksgiving in Colonial St Augustine

Bry Theodor De Bry (528-1598), The Natives of Florida Worshiping the Column Erected by the Commander on his First Voyage 1564

There are actually several events claiming to be the 1st Thanksgiving in the colonial United States. The 1st, & probably the earliest, colonial Thanksgiving took place on September 8, 1565. An explorer, Pedro Menéndez de Avilé, along with 800 Spanish settlers celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving to commemorate the successful sea voyage & founding of the town of St. Augustine, which would go on to be the 1st & longest-lasting port within the present-day United States. St. Augustine is the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement on  the Atlantic Coast of the United States.  Occurring as it did so soon after trans-Atlantic landfall, this was a maritime Thanksgiving, with sailor's fare making up the bulk of the feast, probably along with local native food, which would likely have included oysters & fish. It is said he invited members of the Timucua tribe to dine along with them. The local St. Augustine Timucua were known by the Spanish as the "Agua Salada," or Salt Water, Timucua, a testament to the maritime culture that existed in St. Augustine even prior to European colonization. This 1st Thanksgiving took place 55 years before the Pilgrims landed.  Following the sacrafice of the Holy Mass, Menindez ordered a communal meal to be shared by the Spaniards & the Indians who occupied the landing site. 
Pedro Menéndez de Avilé

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the colonization of North America. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

1619 Virginia's British American colonial Thanksgiving

"First Thanksgiving" by Sidney King
The First British American Colonial
Thanksgiving Took Place in Virginia, not Massachusetts

Years of elementary school history lessons taught us that Plymouth, Massachusetts, was the site of the first Thanksgiving. Those lessons were false. A year and 17 days before those Pilgrims ever stepped foot upon New England soil, a group of English settlers led by Captain John Woodlief landed at today’s Berkeley Plantation, 24 miles southwest of Richmond. After they arrived on the shores of the James River, the settlers got on their knees and gave thanks for their safe passage. There was no traditional meal, no lovefest with Native Americans, no turkey. America’s first Thanksgiving was about prayer, not food.

On September 16th, 1619, the Margaret departed Bristol, England, bound for the New World. Aboard the 35-foot-long ship were 35 settlers, a crew, five “captain’s assistant”, a pilot, and Woodlief, a much-experienced survivor of the 1609/1610 Jamestown’s “Starving Time.” The mission of those aboard Margaret was to settle 8,000 acres of land along the James River that had been granted to them by the London-based Berkeley Company. They were allowed to build farms, storehouses, homes, and a community on company land. In exchange, they were contracted as employees, working the land and handing over crops and profits to the company.


After a rough two-and-a-half months on the Atlantic, the ship entered the Chesapeake Bay on November 28, 1619. It took another week to navigate the stormy bay, but they arrived at their destination, Berkeley Hundred, later called Berkeley Plantation, on December 4. They disembarked and prayed. Historians think there was nothing but old ship rations to eat, so the settlers may have concocted a meal of oysters and ham out of necessity rather than celebration. At the behest of written orders given by the Berkeley Company to Captain Woodlief, it was declared that their arrival must “be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.” And that’s exactly what they did–for two years. On March 22, 1622, the Powhatan, who’d realized the settlers intended to expand their territory and continue their attempts to convert and “civilize” them, attacked Berkeley and other settlements, killing 347. Woodlief survived, but soon after, Berkeley Hundred was abandoned. For three centuries, Virginia’s first Thanksgiving was lost to history.


Graham Woodlief is a direct descendant of Captain Woodlief. While he’s known his family’s history since being a teenager, he’s devoted a considerable amount of energy to research since he retired in 2009. Today, Woodlief is president of the Virginia Thanksgiving Festival, which has been held annually since 1958. Woodlief says he thinks the major reason that Plymouth, and not Berkley, is universally thought to be the site of the first Thanksgiving is that “they had better PR than we did.” He also said the emphasis on prayer, instead of Plymouth’s festive harvest meal, also made Virginia’s Thanksgiving a bit less appealing, though more accurate. “In fact, most Thanksgivings in the early days were religious services, not meals,” Woodlief says.


Nearly 309 years after the 1622 battle with the Powhatans, Berkeley Plantation’s missing history was rediscovered. In 1931, retired William & Mary President (and son of President John Tyler) Dr. Lyon G. Tyler was working on a book about early Virginia history. While doing research, he stumbled upon the Nibley Papers, documents and records taken by John Smyth of Nibley, Gloucestershire, about the 1619 settlement of Berkeley. Originally published by the New York State Library in 1899, the papers’ historical significance had gone undetected. According to Virginia historians, the papers are concrete proof that the New World’s “day of Thanksgiving” originated in their region. Upon his discovery, Tyler told Malcolm Jamieson, who had inherited Berkeley plantation in the 1920s. The plantation was already considered one of the more historic homes in the state, once a residence to a signer of the Declaration of Independence, as well as the birthplace of a US President. Now, it had another feather in its historic hat. Jamieson, with the help of descendants of Captain Woodlief, instituted the first Virginia Thanksgiving Festival in 1958. Its been celebrated ever since...


In Kennedy’s 1963 Thanksgiving Proclamation (made 17 days before his assassination), the president acknowledged Virginia’s claim, saying “Over three centuries ago, our forefathers in Virginia and in Massachusetts, far from home in a lonely wilderness, set aside a time of thanksgiving.” In 2007, President George W. Bush also noted the history while visiting Berkeley Plantation, commenting that, “The good folks here say that the founders of Berkeley held their celebration before the Pilgrims had even left port. As you can imagine, this version of events is not very popular up north.”

The Berkeley Company, in England, had been given a grant of 8,000 acres, by King James I in Virginia, along the James River. England was going through a severe recession, especially in the woolen industry, & Englishmen were flocking to America to escape religious persecution & for a better life. The English town of Berkeley, a center for the woolen industry, was especially hard-hit by the recession.  The four adventurers who made up the Berkeley Company were William Throckmorton, John Smythe, George Thorpe, & Richard Berkeley, who owned Berkeley castle. They needed a leader for an expedition to Virginia & chose Capt. John Woodlief. He had been to the New World several times & had survived the starving time at Jamestown.  With a passenger list of 35 able-bodied craftsmen & a ship’s crew of 19, Woodlief headed to the New World. They sailed on the Margaret, a small ship that was only 35 feet long & weighed 47 tons, loaded with cargo. It was a perilous journey across the Atlantic, for two & a half months. They were plagued by storms, the men were homesick, conditions were claustrophobic, there was vermin infestation. They prayed constantly.

The Margaret landed at Berkeley Hundred on Dec. 4, 1619. The men rowed ashore & surveyed the wintery landscape that surrounded them. As they were instructed by the Berkeley Company, the men knelt & gave thanks for their safe voyage across the ocean.

They were given a proclamation, by the Berkeley Company, when they departed England, with 10 specific instructions.  The first instruction was that they pray & give thanks for their safe voyage when they landed. And they were to do so perpetually & annually. It is thought the Englishmen gave thanks the next 2 years, as they were instructed, until the settlement was destroyed in 1622. It was the 1st Thanksgiving by Englishmen in the New World, a year & 17 days before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts. It was considered “official,” as they were ordered by England to give thanks — & it was planned, not spontaneous, as many Thanksgivings in the New World were. It was also not a one-time celebration, but repeated annually, as the Englishmen were instructed.

President John F. Kennedy acknowledged Virginia’s claim in his 1963 Thanksgiving Proclamation. President George W. Bush did the same on a visit to Berkeley. Over the years, Virginia’s governors & legislators have recognized the Berkeley Thanksgiving. Presently, the state, through the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, has commissioned a group to celebrate the 400th anniversary of 4 significant historical events that occurred in 1619.  The 1st Thanksgiving was one of those events, as well as the 1st legislative body meeting in Virginia, the 1st Africans who came to the New World, landing in Norfolk, & the 1st groups of women who arrived in Virginia in 1619. This commemoration commission, known as American Evolution 1619-2019, plans to build monuments & plan events & activities over the next 2 years to celebrate these historic milestones.

Monday, November 20, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the colonization of North America. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Women & Crime in the Plymouth Colony

Women were accused of a wide range of crimes in the early Plymouth Colony: including abuse, living disorderly, selling alcohol to an Indian, squatting, being at a Quaker meeting, stealing a boat, slander, stopping a highway, failure to appear in court, murder, dancing, lying, stealing, being a witch, not attending church, working on a Sunday, being drunk, exchanging a gun with an Indian, & paying someone underage. Punishments, when mentioned, varied with the type of crime. Cases of stealing, lying, being at a Quaker meeting, & selling alcohol to an Indian were punished with a monetary fine. Slander & stealing were punished with time in the stocks, & slander & disturbance of worship were punished with whipping. There was only one instance where the death penalty was imposed, in the case of a mother murdering her 4 year-old daughter. Widows were not punished differently than single or married women.

According to court records, women did accuse others of crimes including blasphemous speech, abuse, lewd behavior, stealing a pig, beating, molesting, unapproved marriage, cutting a colt, not solemnizing marriage, & stealing a cow. In most of these cases, the accusations made by women were taken seriously, & the accused person, male or female, was brought to trial & if found guilty, punished. Widows, married women, & single women all made accusations equally. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677)


Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677) Portrait of a Woman 1642.  We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the prints by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn on the other side of the Atlantic during the early years of the English colonization of America. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Marriage & Divorce + a few Housekeeping Rules in the Plymouth Colony

The Plymouth Colony created an innovative form of civil marriage. This form of marriage replaced reliance on church authorities for handling the approval & administration of marriages. Parental consent was required for a civil marriage. If consent of the parents could not be obtained, the prospective spouses could seek consent from the Governor or an Assistant to whom they were known & who would be responsible for ensuring that the marriage was a proper & wise undertaking. The process for this civil marriage included public notice, either by announcement at public meetings, or by a written notice by the Magistrate which would be posted for 15 days before the marriage could be finalized (or "solemnized").

Few divorces were granted in the Plymouth Colony as there were few reasons adequate to end a marriage. There were 3 possible grounds for divorce: bigamy, impotence, & adultery. Of these reasons, only one, impotence, faults the husband for the divorce. Therefore, if divorces were granted on grounds of bigamy or adultery, most likely the wife was blamed.  One case in the records involves William Tubbs & his wife Marcye. William solicited the court for divorce, claiming she "sequestered herselfe from him & will not be pswaded to returne to him." Since Marcye's actions violated regular cohabitation, one of the 3 obligations of married couples, the court granted him a divorce a month after his original request. Divorce placed women in an ambiguous situation. They were neither married, nor single, nor widowed, & therefore did not fit into any of societies conventional roles for women. Because divorce gave women an uncertain social status, in addition to violating the sacred institution of marriage, divorces were uncommon & generally not desirable within the Plymouth Colony.

A variety of laws were passed requiring that each family household be maintained in certain ways. For example, specific rules on house construction were issued in 1627, stating that "no dwelling house was to be couered with any kind of thatche, as straw, reed, [etc.] but with either bord, or pale [&] the like; to wit: of all that were to be new built in the towne." Similarly, each household was required by law to maintain a ladder on the property, to be readily available for use in fighting house fires. Each household was also required to participate in the defense of the Colony, & would have certain allotments of arms & munitions assigned to it.

Edited from The Plymouth Colony Archive Project. Created by James Deetz (1930–2000), Patricia Scott Deetz, & maintained by Christopher Fennell at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the colonization of North America.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Married Women, Quakers, & Servants could NOT own land, vote or hold office in the Plymouth Colony

The adult men in the 1st settlement of Plymouth all held the status of "stockholders" in the joint-stock company that financed the Plymouth Colony or "plantation." They shared in the ownership of the plantation's assets & its liabilities. They participated in the economic venture & the colonial government. The colonists also began use of the separate term "freemen" early in the settlement, which indicated a citizen of the Colony, who possessed the right to vote for the Governor & Assistants & the right to hold office (thus, all stockholders were freemen, but not all freemen would be stockholders). Women & servants were not eligible for freeman status.

Sometime in the period from 1636 to 1671, the Plymouth colonists formulated a declaration called The General Fundamentals, which further emphasized their desire for self-governance as "freemen" or "associates": "Wee the Associates of New-Plimouth, comeing hither as Freeborn Subjects of the State of England, endowed with all & singular; the Priviledges belonging to such being; Assembled; Do in Act [enact], Ordain & Constitute; That no Act, Imposition, Law or Ordinance, be made or imposed upon us, at present 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." Some view this as one of the earliest forms of a demand for "representative" government & individual rights in the American colonies.

Early on, becoming a freeman was fairly simple, with a candidate being approved for status as a freeman by the existing freemen in his town, & then the name was submitted & accepted by the General Court. Laws passed in 1658 denied the grant of freeman status to those persons who were "opposers of the good & [wholesome] lawes of the Collonie or manifest opposers of the true worship of God or such as refuse to doe the Countrey seruice." The Colony's General Court placed further restrictions on freemen status in 1658. The procedure for becoming a freemen now required that a candidate would have to wait a year after his name was presented to the General Court, before he would be approved as a freemen. Restrictions focusing on Quakers were added as well. No Quaker could be a freemen, & a freemen who became a Quaker would lose his status, as would any freemen who aided Quakers 

The duties of being a freeman may have become more than some persons cared to possess. Towns often threatened fines for freemen failing to attend town meetings.  Even heavier fines were levied against freemen who failed to attend the General Court or to serve on the Grand Enquest when selected to do so. As a result, by 1638 the freemen had prompted legislation which permitted them to elect representatives, called "deputies," who would then attend the sessions of the General Court for each town. Those elected deputies tended to be re-elected year after year. While only freemen could be elected to be deputies, non-freemen who paid taxes & swore fidelity to the Colony were permitted to vote for candidates for deputy. By 1652, the General Court instituted a process for freemen to vote by proxy at the General Court sessions, to prevent them from having to travel to Plymouth Town where the Court was convened.

The declaration of "The Generall Fundamentals" set forth in the 1672 Book of Laws listed an array of rights & privileges possessed by freemen. No freeman was to be punished "but by virtue or equity of some express Law of the General Court of this Colony, the known law of God, or the good & equitable laws of our Nation." From 1623 onward, the law required that all criminal charges & charges of trespass or debts were to be tried to a jury of 12 freemen. A defendant could challenge the appropriateness of particular freemen sitting on their jury, including the use of "peremptory" challenges of 6 or 8 of the jurors in capital cases (a peremptory challenge is one for which the defendant need not give a reason). For a capital case to proceed against a freeman, there had to be at least 2 witnesses, "or that which is the equivalent thereunto," providing evidence against the defendant. Freemen 21 years or older also had the right to make wills & dispose of their property. Freemen were required to take an oath of allegiance to the Colony & to England. There were several charges brought to the Court over the years of freemen failing or refusing to take the loyalty oath. In 1659, for example, 12 men were convicted for refusing to take the oath, & were fined 5 pounds sterling each, although not they were not banished or imprisoned.

Edited from The Plymouth Colony Archive Project. Created by James Deetz (1930–2000), Patricia Scott Deetz, & maintained & enlarged by Christopher Fennell at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the colonization of North America. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

"Tribal" Disagreements over the 17C Calendar "Over Here" & "Over There"

Julian Calendar - Julius Caesar, Roman General, Statesman, & Consul

British American colonial records conformed to the old style Julian dates in the 17C.  The Julian Calendar, introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC, was the method of computing time followed by Britain.  In England from the 12C, the ecclesiastical year had commenced on March 25 (Conception Day), & from the 14C civilians had also adopted March 25 as the start of each new legal year.  There were 365 days to the year, every 4th having 366 days.  This mode of expressing dates is known as the Old Style, as opposed to the New Style.

The New Style calendar seemed necessary due to errors in computation, in which one day extra every 128 years had been accumulated.  In March 1582, Pope Gregory XIII had the Julian calendar corrected, adding 10 days to it, changing October 5, 1582 to be October 15, & introducing in a new system which became known as the Gregorian Calendar, which is used today by western countries. The New Style calendar was adopted by most Catholic countries, & some Protestant governments on 1 January 1583; but England & her dependencies, including the British American colonies, did not adopt the new calendar until 1 January 1752, 169 years later! 

Elizabeth (1533-1603) was the daughter of Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn, his 2nd wife, who was executed 2 1/2 years after Elizabeth's birth. Anne's marriage to Henry VIII was annulled, & Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Her half-brother, Edward VI, ruled until his death in 1553, bequeathing the crown to Lady Jane Grey ignoring the claims of his 2 half-sisters, Elizabeth & the Roman Catholic Mary, in spite of statute law to the contrary. Edward's will was set aside; & Mary became queen, deposing Lady Jane Grey. During Mary's reign, Elizabeth was imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels. In 1558, Elizabeth succeeded her half-sister to the throne & set out to rule by good counsel relying heavily on a group of trusted advisers. One of her 1st actions as queen was the establishment of an English Protestant church would evolve into the Church of England. 

Although Queen Elizabeth I initially expressed some interest in changing the calendar in 1582, the Church of England effectively tabled the idea.  Based on Henry VIII's desire for an annulment of one of his marriages, 1st requested of Pope Clement VII in 1527, the English Reformation was at the outset more of a political affair than a theological dispute. The reality of political differences between Rome & England allowed growing theological disputes to come to the fore.  Until the Church of England broke away from Rome, it was the Pope & general councils of the Church who decided doctrine. Church law in England was governed by canon law with final jurisdiction in Rome. Church taxes were paid straight to Rome, & the Pope had the final word in the appointment of bishops in England.

The proposal to change to the new Gregorian Calendar was not taken up again in England for nearly 170 years. By that time, passions had sufficiently cooled.  When the idea was introduced as an act of Parliament in 1752, it passed with hardly a murmur. The English colonies in America changed at the same time. By that time, 11 days now had to be added, which the English & her British American colonies did by skipping from September 2 to September 14, 1752.
Gregorian Calendar - Pope Gregory XIII 1502-1585

Sunday, November 12, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn on the other side of the Atlantic during the early years of the colonization of North America. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Women Had NO Role in Organization of the Government in Plymouth Colony

Governor William Bradford 1590-1657

The legal & governmental structure for Plymouth Colony was not set forth in a royal charter from the Monarchy in England. The males of the Colony produced 4 sets of written codifications of their laws over time, the 1st in 1636, followed by collections of laws published in 1658, 1672, & 1685. The colonists did possess "land patents," which conferred title in the new "plantation" land to Governor William Bradford & his "associates." The Plymouth colonists initiated their organization of a government & legal structure by formulating a self-declared "combination" in which the necessity of forming a "civill body politick" was set forth: In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwriten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign, Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, & Ireland, King, Defender of the faith, etc. Having undertaken for the glory of God, & the advancement of the Christian faith, & the honor of our King & country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents solemnly & mutually, in the presence of God & one another, covenant & combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering & preservation, & furtherance of the ends aforesaid; & by virtue hereof, do enact, constitute, & frame such just & equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, & officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet & convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which promise all due submission & obedience. 

Plymouth Colony applied a combination of English common law & religious law in regulating the daily affairs of the settlers. This invocation of religious authority was also useful in establishing the Colony's own authority to govern. What they lacked by royal charter was often obtained by invocation of the Colony's service of the greater "glory of God," just as the Monarchy invoked this service of God as a source of legitimacy for its own claim of power & authority. When Plymouth Colony's General Court later directed that towns should establish their own regulations for managing the local, day-to-day affairs of the townspeople, the General Court required that such local regulations be made with fidelity to the laws of the "Govern[ment]" of the General Court, & not to England itself. Governor William Bradford & other prominent officers of the Colony realized the riskiness of proceeding without a royal charter for their venture. They instead possessed only a land patent issued by the New England Council, a private corporation which did not possess the authority to grant the colonists any right to self-governance. 

As a 1st step in organizing the government in 1620, those original settlers who concerned themselves with this effort convened & elected several "Assistants" & John Carver as the first "Governor." Carver died the next year, & William Bradford was elected as the next Governor & remained in that office for decades. These officers were elected again in each year by the General Court, which was convened on a fairly informal basis in the earliest years of the Colony.

The Governor & Assistants operated, through the Court of Assistants (also called the "Counsell"), to handle all matters on a subject-by-subject & case-by-case basis. They did not have the authority to enact comprehensive laws & ordinances, & rather issued orders on a limited array of subjects through the Court of Assistants. Only the General Court, attended by voting freemen, had the authority to enact such legislation, & it did not do so in a comprehensive manner until the codification of laws in 1636. The structure of the Plymouth government was described in detail in the 1636 code which outlined the rights, duties & powers of Freemen, the General Court, the Governor & Court of Assistants, & an array of additional officers involved in administration of the Colony. The Code contains a rudimentary bill of rights, probably the 1st in America, ante-dating by 5 years that adopted by Massachusetts Bay in the Body of Liberties of 1641. Governor William Bradford & others attempted repeatedly over the years of the Colony to obtain a charter from the Crown. They failed to do so, & Plymouth Colony ultimately lost its self-governance & was annexed as just a part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691.

Edited from The Plymouth Colony Archive Project. Created by James Deetz (1930–2000), Patricia Scott Deetz, & maintained & enlarged by Christopher Fennell at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Friday, November 10, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677) woman, back view. 1645. We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn on the other side of the Atlantic during the early years of the colonization of North America. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Puritan Laws on Sexual Misconduct - Lascivious Conduct - 1637-1686

Lascivious Conduct

August 21, 1637. John Bundy was ex[amined] & found guilty of lude behavior [&] vnciuill carriage towards Elizabeth Haybell, in the house of her m[aster], Mr. William Brewster, & is therefore adjudged to be seuerely whiped, w[hich] was executed vpon him accordingly.

December 7, 1641 The condition, etc, that the said William Kersley shall personally appeare at the next General Court of our said soueraigne lord the King, to be holden for this gouernment, to answere to all such matters as shalbe (on his said master's behalf) objected against him for vncleane carriages towards men that he hath lyen withall, & abide the further order of the Court, & not depart the same without lycence; that then, etc.

March 17, 1641/1642  Tristram Hull, or Yarmouth, for vnclean practises.

Wee present Thomas Tupper, of Sandwich, for midsemeanor in lascivious [&] vncleane carriages towards Lincefors wyfe, late of Yarmouth.

March 3, 1645/1646 Thomas Bonney confession for interaction with Elizabeth Farnyseede.

October 2, 1650 Wheras the wife of Hugh Norman, of Yarmouth, hath stood presented diuers Courts for misdemenior & lude behauior with Mary Hammon vppon a bed, with diuers lasiuious speeches by her allso spoken, but shee could not appeere by reason of somm hinderances vntill this Court, the said Court haue therfore sentanced her, the said wife of Hugh Norman, for her vild behauior in the aforsaid particulars, to make a publick acknowlidgment, so fare as conveniently may bee, of her vnchast beahuior, & haue allso warned her to take heed of such cariages for the future, lest her former cariage come in remembrqance against her to make her punishment the greater.

June 8, 1651 Wee present John Shaw & James Shaw, Samuell Cutbert & Beniamin Eaton, of the towne of Plymouth, & Goodwife Gannett, & Martha Haward, & William Snow, of the towne of Duxburrow, for vaine, light, & laciuius carriage at an vnseasonable time of the night.

October 7, 1651 Wheras, at the Generall Court holden the 8th of June last past, John Shaw & James Shaw, Samuell Cutbert, & Beniamine Eaton, Goodwife Gannett, Martha Haward, & William Snow were presented for vaine, light, & lacivious carriage at an vnseasonable time of the night, the Court, not finding them alike faulty, haue fined James Shaw & Goodwife Gannett thirty shillings apeece, to be payed by the next Court of Assistants, [&] themselues then personally to appeere, or otherwise to receaue corporall punishment by whiping. . . . And Samuell Cutbert, William Snow, Beniamine Eaton, & Martha Haward are released, with admonishion to take heed of such euell carriages for the future. . . . And as for John Shaw, hee is lyable to punishment when oppertunitie serueth.

Wee further present Goodwife Ramsden for lacivius goeing in the companie of young men. Sence cleared with admonition. (Refered to conference & further admonished to labore to walk inofensiuely.)

May 4, 1652 Wheras Edward Holman hath been obserued to frequent the house of Thomas Sherive at vnreasonable times of the night, & at other times, which is feared to bee of ill consequence, -- The Court haue therfore ordered, that the said Edward Holman bee warned by the cunstable of Plymouth, that hee henceforth doe no more frequent or comm at the house of the said Sherive, nor that the wife of the siad Sherive doe frequent the house or companie of the said Holman, as either of them will answare it at theire perills.

June 9, 1653 Edward Holman, & Martha, the wife of Thomas Shriue, warned by the Court to keep out of the companie of each other, on perill of suffering corporall punishment by whiping.

October 4, 1653 Wee present John Marchant, of Yarmouth, for misdemeaning of himselfe in words & carriages with & towards Agnesse, the wife of Thomas Phillips.

June 6, 1655 Item, wee present Hugh Cole, & Mary Foxwell, his now wife, in keeping company each with other in an vndecent manner, att an vnseasonable time & place, before marriage. [Owning the presentment as it lyeth, hee is fined 20s.]

March 5, 1655 Wee present John Gorum for vnseamly carriage towards Blanch Hull att vnseasonable time, being in the night. [Fined 40s.]

Wee present Blanch Hull for not crying out when shee was assaulted by John Corum in vnseemly carriage towards her vpon her owne relation. [Fined fifty shillings.]

March 1, 1658/1659 William Nelson being presented for vnciuell carrages towards seuerall weomen att seuerall times, it being cleared to the Court that hee was guilty by seuerall testimonyes, hee was centanced by the Court to sitt in the stockes during the pleasure of the Court (which accordingly was performed) & likewise to find surties for his good behauior. [The said William Nelson acknowlidgeth to owe vnto his highnes, the Lord Protector, the summe of 40:00:00.]

March 5, 1660/1661 Att this Court, Hester, the wife of John Rickard, for laciuiouse & vnaturall practices proued by a presentment, was sentanced to sit in the stockes during the pleasure of the Court, & to weare a paper on her hate, on which her facte was written in capitall letters, all the time shee was to sit in the stockes; all which was performed.

Josepth Dunham, for diuers laciuiouse carriages, was sentanced by the Court to sitt in the stockes, with a paper on his hatt on which his fact was written in capitall letters, & likewise to find surties for his good behauiour. [Released, paying his fees.] Josepth Dunham, oweth vnto our souern lord the Kinge the summe of 20:00:00.

May 7, 1661 Att this Court, Ann, the wife of Thomas Sauory, was presented fefore the Court to answare for being att home on the Lords day with Thomas Lucas att vnseasonable time, namely, in the time of publicke exercise in the worship of God, & for being found drunke att the same time vnder an hedge, in vnciuell & beastly manor, was sentanced by the Court as followeth, namely: for her accompanying of the said Lucas att an vnseasonable time as aforsaid, she was sentanced to sitt in the stockes during the pleasure of the Court, which accordingly was performed & executed.

June 1, 1663 The Court being enformed that Josepth Rogers, of Namassakeesett, hath frequently & from time kept companie with Mercye, the wife of William Tubbs, in a way & after such manor as hath giuen cause att least to suspect that there hath bine laciuiouse actes committed by them, the Court sees cause & haue required the said Josepth rogers to remoue his dwelling from Namassakeesettt aforsaid by the twentieth day of this instant June, & haue alsoe declared vnto him that if att any time hee shall bee taken att the house of the said Tubbs, or in the companie of the said marcye Tubbs alone in any place, that then hee shall forth with bee taken & seuerly whipt; & the said William Tubbs was by the Court strictly charged not to tollerate him to come to his house or where hee hath to doe att any time, as hee will answare athe same att his pill.

October 5, 1663 The abouesaid Marcye Tubbs & Josepth rogers, for theire absean & laciuious behauior each with other, cleared against them by the trauers of a presentment against them, were centanced by the Court to find sureties for theire good behauior as abouesaid, & fined each fifty shillings for the vse of the collonie. [each pay 20:00:00 for sureties]

March 6, 1665/1666 Wheras John Robinson, of Saconesett, hath bine convicted of some laciuious speeches & actions manifested towards Francis, the wife of Thomas Crippen, the Court saw reason to require bonds of him for good behauior, as followeth: -- John Robinson acknowlidgeth to owe vnto our souern lord the Kinge the summe of 20:00:00.

Wheras Thomas Crippin hath bine convicted before the Court of laciuious speeches tending to the vpholding of & being as a pandor of his wife in lightnes & laciuiousnes, the Court saw reason to require bonds of him for his good behauior; & whereas the said Crippin could not procure surties, hee hath & doth by these presents bind ouer vnto the Court, in the behalfe of his magisteries, the vallue of forth pounds out of his estate, as followeth, namely, two mares, one cow, two yearling hekffers, two twelumonthing steers, & soe much of his other estate as will make vp the said summe.

Wheras Jonathan Hatch hath bine convicted of vnnesesarie frequenting the house of Thomas Crippin, & therby hath giuen occation of suspision of dishonest behauior towards Francis, the wife of the said Crippin, the Court hath admonished him & warned him for the future not to giue such occation of suspision as aforsaid by his soe frequently resorting to the said house or by coming in the companie of the said woman, as hee will anware it att his perill.

October 29, 1669 Thomas Starr, for vseing words & carriages tending very much to vncleanes, was fined twenty shillings.

March 1, 1669/1670 Christopher Blake, for being drunke, fined fiue shillings, & for his vnseemly carriages in his drunkenes with an Indian woman, is centenced by the Court to sitt in the stockes two houres att Yarmouth on theire next training day; & incase hee shall goe aside to escape the execution of the said centance, that then hee shalbe taken by any constable within this jurisdiction, in whose liberties hee shalbe found, & publicly whipt.

Wheras Joseph Turner, Senior, was presented att October Court, 1669, for slaundering, & for horrid inciuillitie in words & actions, & in the presence of seuerall weomen, as by plentifull testimonies appeers, it being pleaded att this Court, to which hee was summoned to answare the said presentment, that the tearmes of the presentment were soe generall, that hee could not be prouided att that time to answare to it, the Court alowed that hee should haue knowlidge of the particular heads of his charge contained in the testimonies giuen him, in order to his answaring itt att June Court next; which accordingly was done.

June 7, 1670 John Dunham, Senior, being bound ouer to this Court to answare for his abusive speeches & carriages towards Sarah, the wife of Benjamine Eaton, & being conuict therof, was centanced to be bound to his good behauior.

June 7, 1670 Wheras Joseph Turner, Senior, was bound ouer to this Court to answare his presentment, which was for most laciuious, abseane, & vild expressions & actions, spoken & acted towards seuerall persons diuers times, wherof hee was legally convicted by cleare & manifest euidence, (which is extent;) & haueing put the said presentment on travice, & the jury bringing in a verdict wherin they say they find him guilty in the whole presentment, vnles it be in the first particular & the first parte of the ninth; this Court doth therefore centance him, the said Joseph Turner, to receiue corporall punishment by whiping, & therby to receiue thirty stripes, fifteen wherof to be inflicted att Plymouth att the publicke post, soone after hee shalbe apprehended; & the other fifteen att Scittuate, on some publicke training day, as soone as it may conveniently be done & performed.

July 5, 1670 Abisha Marchant, for being found to be in bed with Mary, the wife of Morgan Jones, was fined the summe of forty shillings to the vse of the collonie.

August 11, 1670 Abisha Marchant, for being in bed with Mary, the wife of Morgan Jones, fined forty shillings.

March 8, 1670/1671 Nathaniel Tilden, for vnciuell carriages with Elizabeth Doxey, hee was fined forty shillinges.

June 3, 1673 Joseph Roes, of Marshfeild, being groundedly suspected to haue had to much familliaritie with the wife of John Loe, in a dishonest way, the Court saw reason to take his bond for the good behauior, as followeth: -- Joseph Roes, of Marshfeild, acknowlidgeth to owe vnto our souern lord the King the summe of 20:00:00.

March 5, 1677/1678 Joseph Dunham, for laciuiouse carriages vsed toward Elizabeth Ringe, fined twenty shillings, to the vse of the collonie.

July 7, 1681 In reference vnto Hannah Linnett her light behauiour with Joseph Randall att Barnstable, the Court haue ordered, that shee appeer before Mr Barnabas Laythorp, to whom the case is refered, that incase shee pay, or cause to be payed, the summe of twenty fiue shillings, then shee is to be freed, or otherwise to be whipt.

July 9, 1686  The condition, etc, that wheras the aboue bounden John Barlow, having been convict in Court for lacivious carieages towards Mary, the wife of Nehemiah Bessey: now, if the said John Barlow shall be of good behaviour to his said majesty & all his leige people, & espeasially towards the said Mary, & not frequent her company, vntill the next Court of Assistants to be holden at New Plimouth on the first Tuesday in October next, [&] personally appear at said Court to answer such matters [&] things as may then be objected against him; that then, etc.

Said John Barlow, convict for lascivious caariages towards [&] with Mary, the wife of Nehemiah Bessey, fined 40 shillings [&] fees of Court, & bound to his good behaviour.
[&] Mary Bessey fined 20 shillings [&] fees of Court.

July 6, 1686 John Barlow, convict for lacivious cariages towards [&] with Mary, the wife of Nehemiah Bessey, fined forty shillings [&] fees of Court, & stand bound to his good behaviour till the next Court of Assistants.  And the said Mary Bessey for her uncivill cariages to [&] with said John Barlow, being therof convict in Court, fined twenty shillings [&] fees of Court.

October, 1686 Jacobus Loper [&] Lidia Young, having been presented by the grand jury (at June Court last) for uncivill cariages to or with each other, as per the said presentment on file more at large appeareth, at this Court appeared to answer their said presentment, & said Loaper traversed his presentment, [&] put himself upon tryall by a petty jury, who found him not guilty, [&] so he [&] siad Lidia were released.

See:

Bradford, William.  Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647. Ed. by Samuel Eliot Morison. New York: Knopf (1952).

Dayton, Cornelia Hughes.  Women Before the Bar: Gender, Law, [and] Society in Connecticut, 1639-1789. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press (1995).

Demos, John.  A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony. London: Oxford University Press (1970).

Fischer, David Hackett.  Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. London: Oxford University Press (1989).

PCR.  Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England. Ed. by Nathaniel Shurtleff and David Pulsifer. New York: AMS Press. 12 v. in 6.

Stratton, Eugene Aubrey.  Plymouth Colony: Its History [and] People, 1620-1691. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing (1986).

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher.  Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750. New York: Vintage Books (1980).

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677) Woman with with many plaits. 1648. We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn on the other side of the Atlantic during the early years of the colonization of North America. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Puritan Laws on Sexual Misconduct - Same-sex encounters - 1637-1642

Same-sex encounters

August 6, 1637.  John Allexander & Thomas Roberts were both ex ned and found guilty of lude behavior and uncleane carriage one w/ another, by often spendinge their seede one vpon another, w[hich] was proued both by witnesse & their owne confession; the said Allexander found to haue beene formerly notoriously guilty that way, & seeking to allure others therevnto. The said John Allexander was therefore censured by the Court to be seuerely whipped, & burnt in the shoulder w[ith] a hot iron, and to be perpetually banished the gouerment of New Plymouth, and if he be at any tyme found w/ in the same, to bee whipped out againe by the appoyntment of the next justi[ce], etc and so as oft as he shall be found w[ith]in this gouernment. W[hich] penalty was accordingly inflicted.

Thomas Roberts was censured to be severely whipt, and to returne to his m[aster], Mr. atwood, and to serue out his tyme w/ him, but to be disabled hereby to enjoy any lands w[ith]in this gouernment, except hee manefest better desert.

March 1, 1641/1642  Edward Michell, for his lude & sodomiticall practices tending to sodomye with Edward Preston, and other lude carryages with Lydia Hatch, is centured to be presently whipt at Plymouth, at the publike place, and once more at Barnestable, in convenyent tyme, in the presence of Mr. Freeman & the committees of the said towne.

Edward Preston, for his lude practises tending to sodomye with Edward Michell, and pressing John Keene therevnto, (if he ould haue yeilded,) is also centured to be forthwith whipt at Plymouth, & once more at Barnestable, (when Edward Michell is whipt,) in the presence of Mr. Freeman & the committees of the same towne.

See:

Bradford, William.  Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647. Ed. by Samuel Eliot Morison. New York: Knopf (1952).

Dayton, Cornelia Hughes.  Women Before the Bar: Gender, Law, [and] Society in Connecticut, 1639-1789. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press (1995).

Demos, John.  A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony. London: Oxford University Press (1970).

Fischer, David Hackett.  Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. London: Oxford University Press (1989).

PCR.  Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England. Ed. by Nathaniel Shurtleff and David Pulsifer. New York: AMS Press. 12 v. in 6.

Stratton, Eugene Aubrey.  Plymouth Colony: Its History [and] People, 1620-1691. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing (1986).

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher.  Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750. New York: Vintage Books (1980).

Monday, November 6, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677) Woman with white veil and black hat. We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn on the other side of the Atlantic during the early years of the colonization of North America. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Puritan Laws on Sexual Misconduct - Adultery - 1639-1678

Adultery

September 3, 1639 Mary, the wyfe of Robert Mendame, of Duxborrow, for using dallyance diuers tymes with Tinsin, an Indian, & after committing the act of vncleanesse with him, as by his owne confession by seuerall interpreters is made apparent, the Bench doth therefore censure the said Mary to be whipt at a carts tayle through the townes streets, & to weare a badge vpon her left sleeue during her aboad within this gouerment; & if shee shalbe found without it abroad, then to be burned in the face with a hott iron; & the said Tinsin, the Indian, to be well whipt with a halter about his neck at the post, because it arose through the allurement [&] inticement of the said Mary, that hee was drawne therevnto.

December 7, 1641 Forasmuch, as Thomas Bray, of Yarmouth, a single person, & Anne, the wyfe of Francis Linceford, haue committed the act of adultery & vncleanesse, & haue diuers tymes layne in one bed together in the absence of her husband, which hath beene confessed by both parties in the publike Court, the Court doth censure them as followeth: That they be both seuerely whipt immediately at the publik post, [&] that they shall weare (whilst they remayne in the gouernment) two letters, namely, an AD, for Adulterers, daily, vpon the outside of their vppermost garment, in a most emenent place thereof; & if they shalbe found at any tyme in any towne or place within the gouerment without them so worne vpon their vppermost garment as aforesaid, that then the constable of the towne or place shall take them, or wither of them, omitting so to weare the said two letters, & shall forthwith whip them for their negligence, & shall cause them to be immediately put on againe, & so worne by them & either of them; & also that they shalbe both whipt at Yarmouth, publikly, where the offence was committed, in such fitt season as shalbe thought meete by Mr. Edmond Freeman [&] such others as are authorized for the keepeing of the Courts in these partes.

February 3, 1656 Att this Court, the cunstable of Tauton brought a certaine Scote, a single man, & an Irish woman named Katheren Aimes, whome hee had apprehended vpon suspision of commiting adultery each with other; but the Court, haueing examined them, could not proceed to punish them for want of clearer euidence; but haueing intelligence that sundry in Tauton could giue euidence in the case, whoe were not present, the Court commited the said man & woman to the custidy of the marshals vntill the next Court, & summoned in the wittnesses to appeer att the said Court, namely, Alexander Aines, John Muckclay, Daniell Muckeney, Scotsmen, & a certaine Irish woman named Elizabeth; her other name non present doe know.

March 5, 1656 Att this Court, William Paule, Scotchman, for his vnclean & filthy behauiour with the wife of Alexander Aines, is centanced by the Court to bee forthwith Publickly whipt, & to paye the officers the charges of his imprisonment & punishment, which accordingly was performed.

Att this Cour, Katheren Aines, for her vnclean & laciuiouse behauior with the abouesaid William Paule, & for the blasphemos words that shee hath spoken, is centanced by the Court to bee forthwith publickly whipt heer att Plymouth, & afterwards att Taunton, on a publicke training day, & to were a Roman B cutt out of ridd cloth & sowed to her vper garment on her right arme; & if shee shalbee euer found without it soe worne whil shee is in the gouernment, to bee forthwith publickly whipt.

Alexander Anis, for his leaueing his family, & exposing his wife to such temtations, & being as baud to her therin, is centanced by the Court for the present to sitt in the stockes the time the said Paule & Katheren Ainis are whipt, which was performed; & the said Alexander Anis is to pay the charges of his wifes imprisonment & punishment, which said charge, in regard the said Anis is very poor, is to pay it by twelue pence per weeke vntill it is all payed; & James Walker, of Taunton, is appointed to recieue it in the countreyes behalfe.

December 7, 1641 Forasmuch, as Thomas Bray, of Yarmouth, a single person, & Anne, the wyfe of Francis Linceford, haue committed the act of adultery & vncleanesse, & haue diuers tymes layne in one bed together in the absence of her husband, which hath beene confessed by both parties in the publike Court, the Court doth censure them as followeth: That they be both seuerely whipt immediately at the publik post, [&] that they shall weare (whilst they remayne in the gouernment) two letters, namely, an AD, for Adulterers, daily, vpon the outside of their vppermost garment, in a most emenent place thereof; & if they shalbe found at any tyme in any towne or place within the gouerment without them so worne vpon their vppermost garment as aforesaid, that then the constable of the towne or place shall take them, or wither of them, omitting so to weare the said two letters, & shall forthwith whip them for their negligence, & shall cause them to be immediately put on againe, & so worne by them & either of them; & also that they shalbe both whipt at Yarmouth, publikly, where the offence was committed, in such fitt season as shalbe thought meete by Mr. Edmond Freeman [&] such others as are authorized for the keepeing of the Courts in these partes.

June 10, 1662 Att this Court, Thomas Bird, for committing of seuerall adulterouse practices & attempts, soe farr as strength of nature would permitt, with Hannah Bumpas, as hee himselfe did acknowlidge, was sentanced by the Court to bee whipt two seuerall times, namely, the first time att the present Court, & the second time betwixt this & the fifteenth day of July next. [Thomas Bird was whipt the first time att this Court.]

March 1, 1669/1670 Furthermore, in answare vnto the earnest request of the said Samuell Hallowey to be diuorced from his said wife, shee haueing not onely most horribly abused him, as is manifested by the testimonies to the abouesaid presentment, & att other times, as is aboue hinted, but alsoe confessed that shee hath committed adultery with diuers persons; yett notwithstanding, the Court, being not very cleare to such a proceeding att present, refered the full answare thervnto vntill the next June Court, being willing to take mature advice & deliberation about it, as is beehoofull to soe waighty a matter.

June 7, 1670 Att this Court, Samuell Hallowey, of Taunton, importuned the Court for a divorce from his wife, Jane Hallowey, expressing himselfe much agreiued with her continued approbrious & audacious asserting & affeirming that shee had committed adultery with Jonathan Briggs; in consideration wherof the Court passed an order to William Harvey & James Walker, of Taunton aforsaid, authoriseing them to examine her as soon as she can conveniently after her being vp out of child bed, to know of her whether shee will yet stand to & maintaine her said assertion; which if incase shee doe, & that the said Hollowey doe appeer att the Court of his magestie to be holden att Plymouth aforsaid the last Tusday in October next, & produce sufficient testimony, vnder the hand of the said William Harvey & James Walker, that shee still affeirmes that shee hath committed the said acte, the Court will then see cause to graunt him a bill of diuorse.

July 4, 1673 Wheras it doth appeer to this Court by diuers testimonies that Sarah, the wife of John Williams, of Barnstable, hath violated her marriage bond by committing actuall adultery with another man, & hath a child by him, this Court therfore sees cause & doe heerby declare, that the said John Williams is legally cleare from his couenant of marriage formerly plighted & made with the said Sarah, his late wife, & doe heerby free him from those duties relateing thervnto, & that the said Sarah hath by her breach of wedlocke cutt off her selfe from any right henceforth to the person or estate of the said John Williams, her late husband, & doe heerby likewise alow him libertie further to dispose of himselfe in marriage if hee shall see cause for the future soe to doe.

March 5, 1677/1678 In reference to the complaint of Robert Badston against Charles Wills, that hee had lyen w/ his wife, the Court, haueing examined the euidences respecting the case, did not find him guilty of that fact, & therfore cleared him therof, & from keeping the child, & the rather because the said Robert Badston hath frequently companied with his said wife by beding with her, both before & after the child was borne.

See:
Bradford, William.  Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647. Ed. by Samuel Eliot Morison. New York: Knopf (1952).

Dayton, Cornelia Hughes.  Women Before the Bar: Gender, Law, [and] Society in Connecticut, 1639-1789. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press (1995).

Demos, John.  A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony. London: Oxford University Press (1970).

Fischer, David Hackett.  Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. London: Oxford University Press (1989).

PCR.  Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England. Ed. by Nathaniel Shurtleff and David Pulsifer. New York: AMS Press. 12 v. in 6.

Stratton, Eugene Aubrey.  Plymouth Colony: Its History [and] People, 1620-1691. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing (1986).

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher.  Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750. New York: Vintage Books (1980).

Saturday, November 4, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677) Woman with unloosened hair, after Dürer 1647. We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn on the other side of the Atlantic during the early years of the colonization of North America. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Puritan Laws on Sexual Misconduct - Buggery - 1642-1681



Buggery

September 7, 1642  Thomas Graunger, late servant to Loue Brewster, of Duxborrow, was this Court indicted for buggery with a mare, a cowe, two goats, diuers sheepe, two calues, & a turkey, & was found guilty, & receiued sentence of death by hanging vntill he was dead.

June 6, 1643 The condicion, that if John Walker, sonn in law of Arthur Howland, do personally appeare before the Gouernor & Assistants at the next General Court, to be holden for this gouernment, to answere to all such matters as shalbe objected against him on his said magesteries behalf, concerning lying with a bitch, & abide the further order of the Court, [&] not depart the same without lycence; that then, et cetera.

March 6, 1665/1666  William Honywell, haueing bine committed to jayle on suspision of buggery with a beast, att this Court was examined concerning the same, & stifly deneyed it; & wheras noe sufficient euidence appeered to convict him of the said fact, hee was sett att libertie.

October 28, 1681  Thomas Saddeler araingned for bugery with a mare. The forme of his inditement is as followeth: Thomas Saddeler, thou art indited by the name of Thomas Saddeler, of Portsmouth, on Road Iland, in the jurisdiction of Prouidence Plantations, in New England, in America, labourer, for that thou, haueing not the feare of God before, nor carrying with thee the dignity of humaine nature, but being seduced by the instigation of the diuill, on the third of September in this psent year, 1681, by force & armes, att Mount Hope, in the jurisdiction of New Plymouth, a certaine mare of a blackish couller then & therre being in a certaine obscure & woodey place, on Mount Hope aforesaid, neare the ferrey, then & there thou didst tye her head vnto a bush, & then & there, wickedly & most abominably, against thy humaine nature, with the same mare then & there being felloniously & carnally didest attempt, & the the detestable sin of buggery then & there felloniously thou didest comitt & doe, to the great dishonor & contempt of Almighty God & of all mankind, & against the peace of our sou lord the Kinge, his crowne, & dignity, & against the lawes of God, his Matie, & this jurisdiction.

This bill was comitted to the judgment of the grand enquest; & their verdict indorsed theron returned was, Billa verra. And the said Saddeler was required to answare whether guilty or not guilty; vnto which hee answared, Not guilty, & desired to be tryed by his eualls; & soe a jury of 12 men was impanneled, according to law, whose names followeth: John Bourne, Encrease Robinson, John Thacher, Gershom Hall, sworn, Leiftenant Jonathan Alden, sworn, Jabez Lumbert, Ensigne Tho Leanard, John Blackwell, John Hathwey, Joseph Dunham, Thomas Wade.

The verdict of the jury as follweth: Wee find him guilty of vile, abominable, & psumtous attempts to buggery with a mare in the highest nature. And then the Court haue centanced him, the said Thomas Saddeler, to be seuerly whipt att the post, & to sitt on the galloss with a rope about his necke during the pleasure of the Court, & to be branded in the forehead with a Roman P to signify his abominable pollution, & soe to depart this gouerment; all which was pformed in the pticulars.

See:

Bradford, William.  Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647. Ed. by Samuel Eliot Morison. New York: Knopf (1952).

Dayton, Cornelia Hughes.  Women Before the Bar: Gender, Law, [and] Society in Connecticut, 1639-1789. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press (1995).

Demos, John.  A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony. London: Oxford University Press (1970).

Fischer, David Hackett.  Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. London: Oxford University Press (1989).

PCR.  Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England. Ed. by Nathaniel Shurtleff and David Pulsifer. New York: AMS Press. 12 v. in 6.

Stratton, Eugene Aubrey.  Plymouth Colony: Its History [and] People, 1620-1691. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing (1986).

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher.  Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750. New York: Vintage Books (1980).

Thursday, November 2, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

 Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677) Woman with striped shoulder wrap 1648. We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn on the other side of the Atlantic during the early years of the colonization of North America. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Puritan Laws on Sexual Misconduct - Intimacy "without lycence" - 1633-86

Fornication

April 1, 1633 It. John Hews [&] Jone his wife adjudged to sitt in the stocks because the said Jone conceived w[ith] childe by him before they were publickely married, though in the time of contract.

April 1, 1633 It. John Thorp [&] Alice his wife like wise adjudged to sitt in the stocks, [&] amerced in forty shillings fine, because his wife conceived w[ith] childe before marriage, but in regard of their [present] poverty, twelue moneths time given for paym[ent].

August 7, 1638. Whereas Thomas Boardman, liueing incontinently with Luce, his now wyfe, & did begett her with child before they were marryed together, which, vpon examiination, was confessed by them both, the said Thom. Boardman was censured to be seuerely whipt, which was performed accordingly, & to fynd sureties for his good behauior; & that he left the child (so vnlawfully begotten) liueing in England, [&] bring good testymony thereof; & the said Luce, his wyfe, to be censured when shee is deliuered, as the Bench shall think fitt.

August 11, 1638.The condition that the said Thom Boardman shalve of the good behauior towards our soueraigne lord the King, [&] all his leige people, & appeare at the General Court to be holden for this gouerment in January next, [&] not dep[art] the same without lycence, & shall also bring testymony vnder the hand of the alderman of the ward & publish in London, or els some other sufficient testymony, that a man child, begotten vpon the body of Luce his now wyfe, before marriage, was liueing when he put forth the same to nurse, & to whome it was put, etc; that then, etc.

November 8, 1638. The condition, etc, that if the said John Smyth shall personally appeare either at the next General Court to be holden for this gouerment, or the Court of Assistants which shall first happen next after the byrth of a child begotten vpon the body of Bennett Moorecock, whereof the said John is the reputed father, & abide the further order of the Court, [&] not dep[art] the same without lycence; that then, etc. (He marryed the weoman, [&] appeared [&] had his centure to be whiped, which was accordingly done.)

February 8, 1638/1639.  Memorand: That whereas Dorothy Temple, a mayde servant dwelling with Mr. Steephen Hopkins, was begotten with child in his service by Arthur Peach, who was executed for murther & roberry by the heigh way before the said child was borne, the said Steephen Hopkins hath concluded & agreed with Mr. John Holmes, of Plymouth, for three pounds sterl., & other considerations to him in hand payd, to discharge the said Steephen Hopkins & the colony of the said Dorothy Temple & her child foreuer; & the said Dorothy is to serue all the residue of her tyme with the said John Holmes, according to her indenture.

June 4, 1639 Dorothy Temple, for vncleanes & bringing forth a male bastard, is centured to be whipt twice; but shee faynting in the execution of the first, theother was not executed.

September 1, 1640 Thomas Pynson [&] Joane, his wife, for incontenency before their marriage, & censured, the said Thomas to be whipt at the post, & Joane his wife to sit in the stocks.

November 2, 1640  Francis West & Margery, his wyfe, for incontenancy with one another before marriage, were centured to be both set in the stocks; & that Francis shall make a paire of stocks to be set vp in a convenient place in Duxborrow, within the space of two months now next ensueinge.

March 1, 1641/1642  We present John Caseley, of Barnestable, [&] Alis, his wyfe, for fornicacion, in vnlawfull companying before their marriage. John to be whipt, [&] Alis to be set in the stocks. (the weoman stocks during the whiping)

June 7, 1642  John Casley, of Barnestable, [&] Alis, his wyfe, for fornicacion before marriage, is censured, the said John to be whipt, & Alis, his wyfe, to sit in the stocks whilst her husband is in whipping; which was accordingly executed.

June 4, 1645 John Ellis, of Sandwich, for abuseing himself with his now wyfe by committing vncleanesse with her before marryage, is censured to be whipt at publike post, & Elizabeth, his wyfe, to stand by whilst execution of the sentence is performed; wich was accordingly donn. And the said John Ellis, for his long & tedious delayes, occasioning much trouble [&] charge to the countrey, for that he would not confesse the truth vntill this present, is fyned [five pounds].

October 27, 1646  John Tompson, coming into this Court & acknowledging his fault of incontinency with his wife before marriage, but after contract, was fined vli [&] imprisoned according to order, but paying his fees, was released of his imprisonment.

March 2, 1646/1647 Whereas Steven Wing, of Sandwich, [&] Oseah Dillingham, were found to haue had carnall knowledge each of others body before contract of matrimony, which the said Steven Wing, comin into the face of the Court, freely acknowledging, he was, according to order of Court, fined in x li, & so is discharged.

October 4, 1648 Christofer Winter & his wife haueing been presented, the 8th of Jone, 1648, for haueing knowlige each of other before publicke mariage, the said Christofer, deliuering a bill vnder his hand vnto Captain Standish, Treasurer, for the payment of his finne, is cleared of the said presentment.

March 6, 1648/1649 Wee present Peregrin White, & Sara, his wife, both of Marshfeild, for fornication before marriage or contract. Cleared by paying the fine.

March 2, 1651/1652 Wee further present Katheren Winter, of Scittuate, for committing the sinne of fornication with her father in law, James Turner.

March 2, 1651/1652 Wee further present Thomas Launders, of the towne of Sandwich, for haueing a child born within thrity weekes after marriage. See more of this the 36th page of this booke. Not appeering, fined according to order.

June 3, 1652 David Linnet & Hannah Shelley, for vncleane practises eich with other, are sentenced by the Court to bee both publickely whipt at Barnstable, where they liue.

March 7, 1653/1654 Wee present Joseph Rose, & Elizabeth, his wife, of Marshfeild, for fornication. Cleared by paying the fine.

March 6, 1654/1655 wee present James Gleghorne, & Abia Lumbard, his now wife, of Barnstable, for carnall copulation before contraction. [Paied the fine.]

June 6, 1655 Item, wee present John Sprague & Ruth Bassett, of Duxburrow, for fornication before they were married. [Cleared by paing the fine.]

June 6, 1655 Item, wee present Jane, the seruant of William Swift, for an acte of fornication, by her owne confession vpon examination.

October 4, 1655 And att this Court, Jane Powell, seruant to William Swift, of Sandwidge, appeered, haueing been presented for fornication, whoe, being examined, saith that it was committed with one David Ogillior, & Irish man, seruant to Edward Sturgis; shee saith shee was alured thervnto by him goeing for water one euening, hopeing to haue married him, beeing shee was in a sadd & miserable condition by hard seruice, wanting clothes & liuing discontentedly; & expressing great sorrow for her euell, shee was cleared for the present, & ordered to goe home againe.

June 7, 1659 Wheras Richard French is accused by Hepthsibah Andrews to haue committed bodily vncleanes with her, & hath stood engaged to the Court to answare for the same & appeered att this Court; & that like wise the said Hepthsibah Andrews was likewise summoned to appeer att this Court to make out her accusation, but soe it is that shee could not appeer by reason of weaknes or sicknes; the Court, therefore, hath seen reason to take bonds of him to pay a considerable summe towards the keeping of the child, wherwith shee goeth, if it shall appeer to bee his.

October 6, 1659 Att this Court, Richard French appeered to answare to such particulares as should bee objected against him X Hepthsibath Andrew, for committing bodily vncleanes with her; but shee not appeering, hee was for the present cleared, & his bond deliuered, & hee was left to his libertie to procecute against the said Hepthsibath Andrews, if hee pleased.

August 7, 1660 Att this Court, Thomas Attkins, an inhabitant att the Riuer of Kennebecke, appeered before the Court, haueing bine apprehended & committed to jayle for committing insest with his owne daughter, named Mary, whoe accused him that hee had committed the said acte sundry times with her; & beingstrictly examined hee deneyed that hee euer hee had to doe with her in that kind, & was returned to the jayle againe, & there to remaine vntill the next Court for further tryall. The summe of the examination is elsewhere extant in the Court.

October 2, 1660 Att this Court, Thomas Attkins, inhabitant att the Riuer of Kennebecke, & late prisoner att Plymouth, for committing insist with Mary Atkins, his owne daughter, came to his tryall according to law, which accordingly was procequted against him, by a bill of inditement prefered, & a jury of twelue men were impanneled for the tryall of the case, the prisoner examined, & all the euidence that could bee produced was presented.

The said Thomas Atkins put himselfe vpon tryall of God & the countrey. The grand jury found the bill of inditement a true bill, & indorsed on it bella vera. These brought in a verdict, wherin they expressed that they found the said Thomas Atkins not guilty of the said fact, & soe according to the law hee was cleared.

And wheras, in the examination of the said Thomas Atkins, it appeered that on a time hee being in drinke in the night season in his owne house, hee offered some vnclean, insestious attempts to his daughter, Mary Attkins, abouesaid, in his chimney corner, as hee himselfe, in parte, confessed. Hee was sentanced to suffer corporall unishment by whiping, which accordingly was executed, & soe the said Atkins cleared & sett libertie to returne to his owne home.

June 10, 1661 Thomas Burge, Junior, being bound ouer to the Court to answare for an act of vncleanes committed by him with Lydia Gaunt, hee was sentanced, according to the law, to bee seuerly whipt, which accordingly was enflicted whiles this Court was in being, & a second time to bee whipt att Sandwich, att the discretion of Mr Hinckley, on the first Munday in July next after the date heerof; & as conserning the capitall letters to bee worne according to the law, it is for the present respited vntill the Court shall descerne beter of his future walkeing.

March 3, 1662/1663 Nathaniel Church & Elizabeth Soule, for committing fornication with each other, were fined, according to the law, each of them, 05:00:00.

June 1, 1663 Nathaniell Fitsrandall, for committing fornication, fined ten pounds; hee hath liberty vntill the next October Court to pay the fine, or suffer corporall punishment.

October 5, 1663 William Norkett, for committing fornication with his now wife, fined fiue pounds.

June 8, 1664 Dorcas Presberry, for committing fornication, fined fiue pounds. Gorge Barlow stands engaged in her behalfe to see it payed.

October 4, 1664 Ruhamah Turner, for committing fornication, fined 05:00:00.

March 7, 1664/1665 Thomas Cushman, for committing carnall coppulation with his now wife before marriage but after contract, is centanced by the Court to pay fiue pounds, according to the law; & for the latter parte of the law, refereing to imprisonment, is refered to further consideration.

March 7, 1664/1665 Thomas Totman appeered att this Court, to answare his presentment for haueing carnall coppulation with his now wife before marriage, & affeirmed that it was after contract; which being not cleare to the Court, hee was centanced to pay a fine of ten pounds, if not cleared by further testimony; but if soe cleared, to pay but fiue pounds.

March 7, 1664/1665 Ruhamah Turner, of Sandwich, for committing fornication with John Ewen, was fined the summe of fiue pounds to the vse of the collonie.

October 3, 1665 James Cudworth, Junior, for committing carnall complation with his wife before marriage, is fined, according to the law, fiue pounds to the vse of the collonie.

October 3, 1665 Sarah Ensigne, for committing whordome agreuated with diuers cercomstances, was centansed by the Court to bee whipt att the cartstaile; & that it bee left to the descretion of such of the magestrates as shall see the said punishment inflicted for the number of stripes, but not to exceed twenty, which accordingly was inflicted this Court.

March 5, 1666/1667 Joseph Hollett & Elizabeth, his wife, for committing carnall coppulation each with other before marriage or contract, fined ten pounds.

July 2, 1667 In reference vnto Sarah, the daughter of John Smith, of Barnstable, her committing fornication, although the summe of ten pounds fine might be required for her said default, yett on some considerations the Court haue remited the one halfe therof, & doe require the summe of fiue pounds.

July 2, 1667 Elizabeth Soule, for committing fornication the second time, was centanced to suffer corporall punishment by being whipt att the post, which accordingly was executed performed.

July 2, 1667 Dinah Siluester, for committing fornication, fined ten pounds.

Joseph Hallott [&] his wife, for committing carnall coppulation before marriage & before contract, fine [10 pounds].

October 30, 1667 Thomas Delanoy, for haueing carnall coppulation with his now wife beofe marriage, fine the summe of ten pounds.

June 1, 1669 Att this Court, Christopher Winter, allies Grabbam, was indited on suspition of committing insest with his daughter, Martha Hewett; hee putting himselfe on legall tryall, the grand enquest found not the bill, & soe hee was released.

In reference vnto the said Martha Hewett, shee haueing a bastard borne of her body, which was groundedly suspected to be begotten by her said father, though not legally proued, as abouesaid, shee alsoe refusing to confesse the father thereof, for her said whordome was centanced by the Court to suffer corporall punishment by whipping att the post, which according was performed & executed.

And in answare vnto John Hewett, her husband, his earnest petition & request to be divorsed from her, the Court, not being fully satisfyed soe as to proceed therein, haue referred the case to a further hearing att the Court of his magestie, to be holden att Plymouth the first Tusday in July next, & the said parties to appeer & to produce such euidence as may further cleare the case, & soe for present were dismissed.

July 5, 1669 Att this Court, John Hewett & his wife appeered, the said Hewett still earnestly requesting a divorse form his said wife, shee haueing bine detected of whordom; but notwithstanding what euidence was produced by them att this Court, the case appeered very diffucult in reference to some particulars. The Court haue refered it to the next Court of his magestie, to be holden att Plymouth the last Tusday in October next, for a finall determination of the same.

October 29, 1669 John Ewen, for committing fornication with Ruhamah Turner, was fined the summe of three pounds to the vse of the collonie, abated heerof twenty shillings.

March 1, 1669/1670 Att this Court, John Prince, Junior, of Nantaskett, appeered, hauing bine acused by Bethyah Tubbs that hee had begotten her with child; but it soe fell out by the ordering hand of God, that shee being sent for to heare some testimonies that hee said hee could produce, tending to his clearing, shee fell in trauell, an dwas deliuered of a child while the Court was then in being att Plymouth, on which the time being computed that shee acused him to haue done the acte, it was found not to answare to the time of the child's beirth, it being come to full perfection; on which the Court cleared him, soe farr as they could as yett descerne, form being guilty of the said fact.

July 5, 1670 Memorandum: that Jonathan Cudworth & his wife be sent for, to answare for committing fornication with each other; & likewise Elizabeth Adkins, for the same.

July 5, 1670 Elizabeth Doxey, late seruant to Mr Joseph Tilden, deceased, being deliuered of a child, & charging of Nathaniel Tilden to be the father of it, the said Nathaniel Tilden appeered att this Court to answare to it, & being examined, deneyeth it; notwithstanding, the Court saw cause to take cecuritie of him to saue the towne of Scittuate harmles from any damage that might acrew vnto them by the said child vntill another father appeereth; & a warrant was directed to the constables of Scittuate to cause her, the said Doxey, to bee sent as soon as shee is capable to Plymouth, to receiue punishment according to her demeritts.

October 29, 1670 Att this Court, William Rogers, for committing fornication before marriage, was centanced to pay fiue found in mony or be whipt.

October 29, 1670 Att this Court, Edward Jenkens was ordered to pay three pounds for & in the behalfe of his daughter, Mary Adkinson, whoe is fined for haueing carnal coppulation with her husband, Marmeduke Adkinson, before marriage & before contract; & the said summe being payed, shee is then freed from appeerance att the Court to answre for that fact.

October 29, 1670 Att this Court, Jabez Snow & his wife were fined the summe of ten pounds for haueing carnall coppulation with each other before marriage.

January 17, 1671 Mary Churchill & Thomas Dotey carnall coppulation & a child

March 5, 1671/1672 Samuell Arnold, Junior, & his now wife were fined the summe of ten pounds for committing fornication with each other before marriage.

March 5, 1671/1672 Att this Court John Williams, of Barnstable, appeered, being bound ouer to anware the accusation layed against him by Susannah Turner, of Sandwich, of begetting her with child, which hee stifly & peremtorily denied; & the fact not being fully proued against him, the Court saw cause att the present to take bonds of him for to allow a summe towards the keeping of the child; & soe hee was released for present, being to appeer att the Court of his magestie to be holden att Plymouth aforsaid the first Tusday in July next, according to the bonds following: --

John Williams, of Barnstable, standeth bound vnto the Court in the penall summe of 10:00:00.

The condition, that wheras the said John Williams is accused to be the father of the child which was lately borne of Sussanna Turner, of Sandwich, if, therfore, the said John Williams doe alow & suely pay two shillings by the weeke towards the keeping of the said child vntill the Court of his magestie to be holden att Plymouth aforsaid the first Tusday in July next, & that the said John Williams doe appeer att the Court, & not depart the same without lycence; that then, etc.

July 1, 1672 The condition that wheras the said John Williams is accused to be the father of the child which was lately borne of Sussanna Turner, of Sandwich, if therefore the said John Williams doe alow & duely pay two shillings by the weeke towards the keeping of the said child, vntill the Court of his magestie to be holden att Plymouth aforsaid the first Tueday in March next, the one halfe to be payed in Indian corne, & the other halfe in goods, both att prise currant, to be deliuered att James Pursevalls, att Sandwich, quarterly, (if the said child liue soe longe,) & that hee the said John Williams doe appeer att the Court aforsaid, & not depart the said Court without lycence; that then, etc.

Dorcase Billington is centanced to suffer corporall punishment by whipping, for committing fornication; this to be performed on some lecture day, when the Gouernor shall see meet.

March 4, 1672/1673 [letter from Isacke Turner discharging John Williams from the maintenance of his sister, Sussanna Turner's child]

The condition, that if the said Nicholas White doe appeer att the Court of his magestie to be holden att Plymouth in June next, to make further answare to what may be required of him in reference to the charge & accusation of Jaell Smith, wherin shee chargeth him to haue committed vncleanes with her, & that hee, the said White, depart not the said Court without lycence; that then, etc.

The condition, that if the said Thomas Jones doe appeer att the Court of his magestie to be holden att Plymouth in June next, to make further answare to what may be required of him in reference to the charge & accussation of Jaell Smith, wherin she chargeth him to have committed vncleanes with her, & that hee, the said Jones, depart not the said Court without lycence; that then, etc.

Memorandum: that John Smith & Jaell, his wife, be summoned to the said Court in reference to the premises.

Francis Curtice, for committing fornication with his now wife before marriage, fined fifty shillings.

Abisha Marchant & Mary Tayler, for committing fornication with each other, fined each of them fiue pound.

July 4, 1673 Att this Court, William James & his wife were fined the summe of ten pounds for committing carnall coppullation with each other before marriage or contract.

June 3, 1674 Att this Court Josiah Leuitt, of Hingham, appeered, to answare the charge of Deborah Brookes, that hee had committed fornication with her; & the Court haueing heard such testimonies on both parties as haue bin produced for the clearing of the case, & finding noe suffieient proofe of her said accusation, doe see cause to cleare him of his being guilty of the said fact soe farre as wee descerne.

Deborah Brookes, for committing fornication, was centanced by the Court to be publickly whipt, which accordingly was inflicted.

October 27, 1674 The condition, that wheras the aboue bounden Joseph Doten is accused by Elizabeth Warren to haue committed fornication with her, wherby shee is with child, if, therfore, the said Joseph Doten shall & doe appeer att the Court of his magestie to be holden att Plymouth aforsaid the first Tusday in March next, to make further answare respecting the said fact, & not depart the said Court without lycence; that then, etc.

March 1, 1674/1675 Rebeckah Littlefeild & Israell Woodcocke, she with begotten with child.

Nathaniel Soule, for lying with an Indian woman, was centanced to be whipt att the post, which accordingly was inflicted; likewise, the woman was publickly whipt att the post for this fact.  And the said Soule is ordered by the Court to paye ten bushells of Indian corne to the said Indian woman towards the keeping of the child.

June 1, 1675 Samuell Wood, for committing carnall coppulation with his now wife before marriage, fined 5:00:00.

October 27, 1675 Wheras a child is lately borne of Elizabeth Woodward, & that shee accuseth Pobert Stedson, Junior, to be the father therof, of which hee can not cleare himselfe, the Court sees cause to take securitie for the payment of what they judge nessesaary for the keeping of the child, as followeth: -- Robert Stetson, Junior, & Major James Cudworth, doe stand bound vnto our souern lord the Kinge, joyntly & seuerally, in the penall summe of thirty pounds.  The condition, that incase the said Robert Stetson doe pay or cause to be payed, for & towards the keeping of the child lately borne of Elizabeth Woodward, two shillings a weeke, for the first three monthes, to be payed in corn or mony next after the birth of the said child, & one shilling & six pence a weeke, to be payed in mony or corn, vntill it attaine the age of seauen yeers, if it liue soe longe, that then the aboue written obligation to be void & of non effect, or otherwise to remaine in full force, strength, & vertue.

March 7, 1675/1676 Mistris Anne Torry engaged vnto the Court either to procure & deliuer the summe of ten pounds, to answare the law for her daughter committing fornication, by the next June Court, or the present her daughter before the said Court to receiue corporall punishment.
June 5, 1678 Elizabeth Loe for whoredom & illegitimate child with Phillip Leanard.

Richard Siluester, of Milton, for committing fornication with the daughter of old Leanard, of Tauton, is centanced by the Corut to pay a fine of fiue pound; & incase hee be not marryed, or doe not marry the said woman, then hee is to pay other fiue pound, according to the law.

March 8, 1678/1679 The condition of the aboue written obligation is such, that wheras Lydia, the wife of Isacke Hanmore, hath accused Robert Stanford, aboue bounded, to be the father of the child lately borne of her body, wherof hee hath not yett cleared himselfe to the satisvaction of the Court, if, therfore, the said Robert Stanford doe pay or cause to be payed, eighteen pence per week for the tearme of two years form the date heerof, & longer time if the Court shall see reason, to be deliuered to the said Lydia or her order, towards the bringing vp of the said chile, if it liue soe long, to be payed in good Indian corne, att prise currant, or in other good & marchantable pay, vnlesse hee cleare himselfe of the said fact in the interem, or come to other composition with the said Lydia & her husband; that then the said obligation to be void & of non effect, or otherwise to remaine in full force, strength, & vertue.

July 4, 1679 Jonathan Higgens, for committing fornication with his wifes sister after his wifes death, was fined the summe of 20:00:00.

June 7, 1681 Richard Benitt, for telling of sundry lyes, & for his laciuious & light behauiour with Deborah Woodcocke, is centanced by the Court to be publickly whipt att the post, which accordingly was performed; hee, the said benitt, was likewise centanced by the Court to pay one & twenty pence a weeke, for the space of three years from the date heerof, for the towards the keeping of the child borne of the said Deborah, wherof shee, the said Deborah, affeirmeth that the said Richard Benitt is the father therof. [also listed under July 7, 1681 same except payment is only twenty pence per week]  And the said Deborah, for committing fornication with the said Richard Benitt, is centanced by the Court to pay a fine of ten pounds.

November 6, 1683 John Sprague & his wife, for fornication after contract, fined fiue pound.

Richard Man & his wife, for committing fornication, fined seauen poound & ten shillings.

October, 1684 Wee present James Bucker [&] Mary Bucker his wife, of Sciuate, for fornication. Being conuict thereof by his own acknowledgment is fined fiue pounds.

October 29, 1685 The Court then gaue him this judgmentt: John Michell, conuict for fornication with Hannah Bony, for lasciuious carriages & speeches att sundry times, is sentanced to be seuerely whipt, [&] to giue bond with surtyes for for his good behauior till March Court next, to stand committed till sentence be performed.

October 27, 1685 Hannah Bonny conuict for fornication with John Michell, [&] also with Nimrod, negro, [&] haueing a bastard child by said Nimrod, is sentanced to be well whipt.

Nimrod, negrow, conuict for fornication with Hannah Bonny, is sentanced to be seuerely whipt, [&] that said Nimrod pay 18 pence per weeke to said Bonny towards the maintainance of said child for a year, if it liue soe long; [&] if he, or his master in his behalfe, neglect to pay the same, the said negro to be putt out to seruice by the Deputy Gouernor soe long time, or from time to time, soe as to procure the same.

March 2, 1685/1686 Robert Staples, of Sittuate, apered before the Court; being convict of fornication, suffered corporall punishment.

July 6, 1686 Robert Godfrey, & Hannah, his wife, convict in Court for fornication

See:

Bradford, William.  Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647. Ed. by Samuel Eliot Morison. New York: Knopf (1952).

Dayton, Cornelia Hughes.  Women Before the Bar: Gender, Law, [and] Society in Connecticut, 1639-1789. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press (1995).

Demos, John.  A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony. London: Oxford University Press (1970).

Fischer, David Hackett.  Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. London: Oxford University Press (1989).

PCR.  Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England. Ed. by Nathaniel Shurtleff and David Pulsifer. New York: AMS Press. 12 v. in 6.

Stratton, Eugene Aubrey.  Plymouth Colony: Its History [and] People, 1620-1691. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing (1986).

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher.  Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750. New York: Vintage Books (1980).