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and thereupon the said tresspassers and offenders being put to answer, they which shall be found guilly, shall be punished by imprisonment and amercement, according to the discretion of a jury, as is before directed; and if the same tresspassers do not appear before the general court at the first precept, then shall another precept be directed to the sheriff of the county, to take the said trespassers and offenders, if they may be found, and to bring them at a certain day before the general court; and if they cannot be found, the sheriff, under sheriff, or serjeani, shall make proclamation in his full connty or corporation, next ensuing the delivery of the second precept, that they shall appear before the general court on a day named; and in case; the same offenders come not as afore is said, and the proclamation made and returned, they shall be convict and attainted of the riot, assembly, or rout aforesaid: And moreover the justices of the peace in every county or corporation, where such riot, assembly, or rout of people shall be made, in case the same be made in their presence, or if none be present, then the justices having notice thereof, together with the sheriff, under sheriff, or serjeant, of the same county or corporation, shall do execution of this act, every one upon pain of twenty pounds, to be paid to the commonwealth, as often as they shall be found in default of the execution of the said act; and on such default of the justices and sheriff, under sheriff

, or serjeant, a commission shall go from the general court ai the instance of the party grieved, to enquire as well of the truth of the case, and of the original matter for the pariy complainant, as of the default or defaults of the said justices, sheriff, under sheriff, or serjeant, in this behall supposed, to be directed to sufficient and indifferent persons at the nomination of the judges; and the said commissioners presently shall return into the general court the inquests and matters before them in this behalf taken and found: But no persons convicted of a riot, rout, and uplawful assembly, shall be imprisoned for such offence by a longer space of time than one year. Persons legally convicted of a riot, rout, or unlawful assembly, otherwise than in the manner directed by this act, shall be punished by imprisonment and amercement, at the discretion of a jury, under the like limitation.


From Rev. Bills of 1779, c. LXXI.

An act forbidding and punishing af:


BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That no Affrays, how pimished.

man, great nor small, of what condition soever he be, except the ministers of justice in executing the precepts of the courts of justice, or in executing of their office, and such as be in their company assisting them, be so hardy to come before the justices of any court, or either of their ministers of justice, doing their office, with force and arms, on pain, to forfeit their armour to the commonwealth, and their bodies to prison, at the pleasure of a court; nor go nor ride armed by night nor by day, in fairs or markets, or in other places, in terror of the county, upon pain of being arrested and committed to prisop by any justice on his own view, or proof by others, there to abide for so long a time as a jury, to be sworn for that purpose by the said justice, shall direct, and in like manner to forfeit his armour to the commonwealth; but no person shall be imprisoned for such offence by a longer space of time than one month.


Froin Rer, Eills of 1779, ch. LXXIII.

An act against Conspirators.

Conspirators BE it declared and enacted by the General Assemdefined and bly, That conspirators be they that do confederate and punished.

bind themselves by oath, covenant, or other alliance, that every of them shall aid and bear the other falsely and maliciously to move or cause to be inoved any enticement or information against another on the part of the commonwealth, and those who are convicted thereof at the suit of the commonwealth, shall be punished by imprisonment and amercement, at the discretion of a jury.


Fron Rev. Büls of 1779,

ch. LXXIV. An act against conveying or taking

pretensed lilles. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That no Penalty for person shall convey or take, or bargain to convey or taking pre. take, any pretensed title to any lands or tenements, tensed titles. unless the person conveying or bargaining to convey, or those under whom he claims shall have been in possession of the same, or of the reversion or remainder thereof one whole year next before; and he who offendeih herein knowingly, shall forfeit the whole value of the lands or tenements; the one moiety to the commonwealth, and the other to him who will sue as well for himself as for the commonwealth: But any person lawfully possessed of lands or tenements, or of the reversion or remainder thereof, may nevertheless take or bargain to take the pretensed title of any other person, so far and so far only as it may confirm his former estate.


From Rev. Bills of 1779, ch: LXXV.

An act to punish bribery and exlor


BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That po Bribery and treasurer, keeper of any public seal, councillor of state, extortion,

how punish. coursel for the commonwealth, judge, or attornies at

ed. law, practising either in the general court, high court of chancery, court of appeals, court of admiralty, or (This aet was inferior courts, clerk of the peace, sheriff, coroner, es

ersoneously cheator, nor any officer of the commonwealth, shall, original. See

printed in the in time to come, take, in any form, any manner of 1788, ch.83.] gift, brokage, or reward for doing his office, other than is, or shall be allowed by some act of general assembly, passed after the institution of the commonwealth, that is to say, after the fifteenth day of May,

in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and seventy six; and he that doth, shall pay unto the party grieved, the treble value of that he hath received, shall be amerced and imprisoned at the discretion of a jury, and shall be discharged from his office forever; and he who will sue in the said matter, shall have suit as well for the commonwealth as for himsell, and the third part of the amercement,


From Rev. Bills of 1779, ch. LXXVI.

An act prescribing the punishment of

those who sell unwholesome meat or drink.

BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That a Punishment butcher or other person that selleth the flesh of any of those who animal dying otherwise than by slaughter, or slaughsell u whole. some meat tered when diseased, or a baker, brewer, distiller, or or drink.

other person, who selleth unwholesome bread or drink,

shall, on conviction by the verdict of a jury, the first · time be amerced; the second time he shall suffer judg

ment of the pillory; and the third time he shall be imprisoned and make fine; and every time after he shall be adjudged to hard labour six months in the public works.


From Rev. Bills of 1779,

ch. LXXXIV. An act for punishing disturbers of

Religious Worship and Sabbaih breakers.

Disturbers of BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That no religious wor officer for ship and sab

any cause shall arrest any minister of bath break, religion licensed according to the rules of his sect, and


who shall have taken the oath or aflirmation of fidelity ers, how pun.

to the commonwealth, while such minister shall be
publicly preaching or performing religious worship in
any church, chapel, meeting house, or other place of
religious worship, on pain of imprisonment and amerce-
ment, at the discretion of a jury, and of making satis-
faction to the party so arrested. And if any person
shall on purpose malicionsly or contemptuously dis-
quiet or disturb any congregation assembled in any
church, chapel, meeting house, or other place of reli-
gious worship, or misuse any such minister being there,
he may be put under restraint during religious wor-
ship, by any justice present, which justice, is present,
or if none present, then any justice, before whom proof
of the offence shall be made, may cau:e the offinder
to find two securities, to be bound by recognizance in
a sufficient penalıy for his good behaviour, and in de-
fault thereof shall cominit him to prison, there to re-
inain sill the next court to be held for the same county;
and upon conviction of the said offence before the said
court, he shall be further punished by imprisonment
and amercement, at the discretion of a jury. If any
person on the sabbath day shall himself, be found la-
bouring at his own, or any other trade or calliny, or
shall employ his apprentices, servants or slaves in la-
bour or other business, except it be in the ordinary
househould offices of daily necessity, or other work of
necessity or charity, he shall forfeit the sum of ten
shillings for every such offence, decming every ap-
prentice, servant, or slave so employed, and every
day he shall be so employed as constituting a distinct

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From Rev, Bills of 1779,

c. LXXXVII. In acl against Usury. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That no

Usury, what. person shall hereafier, upon any contract, iake directly or indirectly, for loan of any money, wares, or inerchandise, or other commodity, above the value of Vol. XII.

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