It was scanned by Monica Banas in August, 1996, and it was last modified March 8, 2012. Provided they do it in a Christian way, with due observation of the rules of Christ revealed in his word. Wee allowe private meetings for edification in religion amongst Christians of all sortes of people. Provided that this law shall not prejudice any person of his just cost or damage in any civil action. Every Inhabitant that is an howse holder shall have free fishing and fowling in any great ponds and Bayes, Coves and Rivers, so farre as the sea ebbes and flowes within the presincts of the towne where they dwell, unlesse the freemen of the same Towne or the Generall Court have otherwise appropriated them, provided that this shall not be extended to give leave to any man to come upon other proprietie without there leave. The age of discretion for passing away of lands or such kind of herediments, or for giving votes, verdicts or sentence in any civil Courts or causes, shall be one and twenty years. Provided they doe it in a Christian way, with due observation of the rules of Christ revealed in his word.
And these shall have all the liberties and Christian usages which the law of god established in Israel concerning such persons doeth morally require. If any which are to sit as Judges in any other Court shall demean themselves offensively in the Court, the rest of the Judges present shall have the power to censure him for it. Provided due notice thereof be speedily given to their masters from whom they fled. Every person within Jurisdiction, whether Inhabitant or forreiner shall enjoy the same justice and law, that is generall for the plantation, which we constitute and execute one towards another, without partialitie or delay. Every man that findeth himselfe unfit to plead his owne cause in any Court, shall have Libertie to imploy any man against whom the Court doth not except, to helpe him, Provided he give him noe fee, or reward for his paines. So it be done Christianlie and respectively for the manner. The Court met, but the question was kept out of notice.
The Generall Court hath libertie and Authoritie to send out any member of the Commanwealth of what qualitie, condition or office whatsoever into forreine parts about any publique message or Negotiation. We hould it therefore our dutie and safetie whilst we are about the further establishing of this Government to collect and expresse all such freedomes as for present we foresee may concerne us, and our posteritie after us, And to ratify them with our sollemne consent. Provided they doe it in a Christian way, with due observation of the rules of Christ revealed in his word. The early English law was developed by judges. In all actions both reall and personall betweene partie and partie, the Court shall have power to respite execution for a convenient time, when in their prudence they see just cause so to doe. This shall not exempt the partie him selfe from Answering such Questions in person as the Court shall thinke meete to demand of him. Every Church hath free libertie of Admission, Recommendation, Dismission, and Expulsion, or deposall of their officers, and members, upon due cause, with free exercise of the Discipline and Censures of Christ according to the rules of his word.
Children, idiots, distracted persons, and all that are strangers or new-comers to our Plantation shall have such allowances and dispensations in any cause, whether criminal or other as religion and reason require. At most, seven of these rights can be traced to Magna Carta, the English Petition of Right 1628 , or the English Bill of Rights 1689. Liberties The Massachusetts Body of Liberties 1641 This digital version of a leaflet in Old South Leaflets is part of the. Every Church hath free libertie of Election and ordination of all their officers from time to time, provided they be able, pious and orthodox. Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again. Children, Idiots, Distracted persons, and all that are strangers, or new commers to our plantation, shall have such allowances and dispensations in any cause whether Criminall or other as religion and reason require. Provided that this law shall not prejudice any person of his just cost or damage in any civill action.
So it be done Christianly and respectively for the manner. When parents die intestate having no heirs males of their bodies, their daughters shall inherit as copartners, unless the General Court upon just reason shall judge otherwise. And when so ever there shall arise any question in any Court amonge the Assistants and Associates thereof about the explanation of these Rites and liberties, The Generall Court onely shall have power to interprett them. In this it echoes the Magna Charta, and foreshadows our Bill of Rights. The plaintife in all Actions brought in any Court shall have libertie to withdraw his Action, or to be nonsuited before the Jurie hath given in their verdict, in which case he shall alwaies pay full cost and chardges to the defendant, and may afterwards renew his suite at an other Court if he please. To the intent after the preaching of the word by such a minister as shall be requested thereto by the Elders of the church where the Assembly is held, The rest of the day may be spent in publique Christian Conference about the discussing and resolveing of any such doubts and cases of conscience concerning matter of doctrine or worship or government of the church as shall be propounded by any of the Breetheren of that church, with leave also to any other Brother to propound his objections or answeres for further satisfaction according to the word of god.
Civill Authoritie hath power and libertie to see the peace, ordinances and Rules of Christ observed in every church according to his word, so it be done in a Civill and not in an Ecclesiastical way. If there be any just cause of correction complaint shall be made to Authoritie assembled in some Court, from which onely she shall receive it. All our lands and heritages shall be free from all fines and licenses upon Alienations, and from all hariotts, wardships, Liveries, Primer-seisins, year day and wast, Escheates, and forfeitures, upon the deaths of parents or Ancestors, be they natural, casual or Judicial. A How do these verses inform interpretation of Passage 91? They also had a practical necessity for a clear, fast-moving legal process because they were constantly embroiled in lawsuits over land. If any servants shall flee from the Tiranny and crueltie of their masters to the howse of any freeman of the same Towne, they shall be there protected and susteyned till due order be taken for their relife.
If any man smite out the eye or tooth of his manservant, or maid servants otherwise, mime or much disfigure him, unless it be by mere casualty, he shall let them go free from his service. Every Action between party and party, and proceedings against delinquents in Criminal causes shall be briefly and distinctly entered on the Roles of every Court by the Recorder thereof. No mans life shall be taken away, no mans honour or good name shall be stained, no mans person shall be arrested, restrained, banished, dismembered, nor any ways punished, no man shall be deprived of his wife or children, no mans goods or estate shall be taken away from him, nor any way indamaged under colour of law or Countenance of Authority, unless it be by vertue or equity of some express law of the Country warranting the same, established by a general Court and sufficiently published, or in case of the defect of a law in any particular case by the word of God. No Governor, Deputy-Governor, Assistant, Associate, or Grand-Juryman at any Court, nor any Deputy for the General Court shall at any time bear his own charges at any Court, but their necessary expenses shall be defrayed either by the town or shire on whose service they are sent, or by the Country in general. Whitmore, Bibliographical Sketch of the Laws of Massachusetts Colony 1889 , 32—60.
It is the libertie of the freemen to choose such deputies for the Generall Court out of themselves, either in their owne Townes or elsewhere as they judge fittest, And because we cannot foresee what varietie and weight of occasions may fall into future consideration, And what counsels we may stand in need of, we dedcree. So it be without just offence both for number, time, place, and other cercumstances. If any man shall behave himself offensively at any town-meeting, the rest of the Freemen then present shall have power to sentence him for his offense, sobeit the mulct or penalty exceed not 20 shillings. If the bench and the jurors shall so disagree at any time that either of them cannot proceed at peace of conscience the case shall be referred to the General Court, who shall take the case from both and determine it. No Summons pleading Judgement, or any kinde of proceeding in Court or course of Justice shall be abated, arested, or reversed, upon any kinde of cercumstantiall errors or mistakes, If the person and cause be rightly understood and intended by the Court. If any person shall Blaspheme the name of god, the father, Sonne or Holie Ghost, with direct, expresse, presumptuous or high handed blasphemie, or shall curse god in the like manner, he shall be put to death. We hould it therefore our dutie and safetie whilst we are about the further establishing of this Government to collect and expresse all such freedomes as for present we foresee may concerne us, and our posteritie after us, And to ratify them with our sollemne consent.