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An Act for punishing and preventing Oppression. Preamble. WHEREAS Oppreffion is a mijebievous Evil, to wbicb Men ari prone in their Irade and Dealings.

Therefore, Persons guil. Be it enacted

by the Governor, Council, and Representatives, in General Court ty of oppref: such as Merchants, Shop. Keepers, Traders, Viduallers,

or Handy-Crafts-Mens fion to forfeit &c. as Smiths, Shoe-Makers, Carpenters, Joiners, Taylors, Weavers ; or other

Trades-Men or Labourers whatsoever, shall oppress any Perlon or. Perlons, by demanding or taking exceflive Wages for Work ; or unreasonable Prices tor such Wares, Merchandizes, or Commodities as shall pass from Man to Mao, he or they lo offending. Ihall torfeit and pay to the Party injured, a Penalty according to the Quality of the Offence, as the Court before whom the conviction Shall be made hall determine ; not exceeding. Three-fold the Damage sustained by such Oppression.

And for a Mode of Trial and Proceeding tberein.

Be furiber enalted by the Authority aforejaid. That when any Person or Per. Mode of trial

fons, Thall make Complaint of Oppreßion done by any other Person or Pere Sons, in any of the Matters aforesaid ; the Authority to whom fuch Complaint hall be made, shall appoint and call before him or them Two or three indif. terent, judicious Freeholders, of the same Town the Person is of, who is complained of; who shall be fworn to give their Judgment and Opinion concerning the Price of such Goods, Wares or Commodities sold, or Labour done ; and return the fame to faid Authority : Which Judgment and Opinion thall be the ground of legal Conviction.

And where the Penalty doch not exceed the Sum triable by an Affitant or Penalty. Juftice of the Peace, such Authority is hereby im powered to hear and determine

the same : But if the Penalty be above that Sum, che Person offending thall be

recognized to appear and answer such Complaint at the next County Court, Cofts. which Court fall hear and determine the fame.

And the Offender on Conviction, Mall pay the Costs of Prosecution, bebdes the Penalty to be awarded, as aforesaid.

An Act against breaking the Peace. Difturbers of

E it enacted by sbe Governor, Council and Representatives in Goveral Court : the peace to afsembled, and by the Aut bority of the same, That whosoever hall difturb, bie punished. or break the Peace, by tumultuous, and offensive Carriages, threarning, traduc

ing, quartelling, challenging, assaulting beating, or striking any other Perlon, foch Person or Persons fo offending, shall be liable to pay to the Party hurt or fricken, juft Damages ; and also Thall pay such Fine, as on Confideration of the Party fmiting, or been fmitten, and with what Inftrument, Danger, more or

less, Time, Place, and Provocation shall be judged just and reasonable, accord. If the offence ing to the Merivof the Offence, as the Judges shall determine. be aggrava And if such Offence be aggravated by some notorious and high-handed Vio: ted, to be

lences, the Offender or Offenders shall be bound over to the next Covory bound Quer Court, to answer for such Offence.

And wbereas Indian, Negro and Molatto Servants and Slaves are very apt se* be Turbulent, and often to be quarrelling with white People, to the great difter.

bancı ofisbe Peace. Negrocs, &c. Be it therefore furtbar malted by the Aatbority aforesaid, That if any Indian, to be whip. Negro or Molacto Servant or Slave, shall disturb the Peace, as aforesaid, os

hall offer to strike any white Person, and be thereof convicted, foch Servant of Slave shall be proished by Whipping, at the Discretion of the Court, Afiftant

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fiftant or Joftice that shall have Cognizance thereof; not exceeding thirty
Stripes for one Offence.
And that effectual Means may be used for the preserving and promoting of the

peaceable Behaviour and good Conversation of the People in this state, and
for preventing and suppreiling what is contrary thereto:

Be ir further endded by the Autbority aforelaid, That the Surety of the Peace or good Behaviour, as the merit of the Cafe shall require, may, and fall be granted by any Afliftant of Justice of the Peace in this State, againt all and e- whomfurevery such Person and Persons as by threatning Words, turbulent Behaviour, or ties of the actual Violence, or by any other unlawful Action shall terrify or disquiet any peace may of the good People of this state ; and also against Common Barrators, who be granted. frequenily ftir up and maintain Suits at Law in Courts, or Quarrels and Parties in the Country; as also against such as invent and low false Reports, whereby Discord ariseth, or may arise among Neighbours ; also against such as are of evil Name or Fame, generally, for maintaining or resorting to Houfes fuspected to be Houses of Bawdry and Incon:inency; also against Night-walkers, that be of evil Nane or Report generally; or 'uch as eve-drop Men's Houses, or caf Men's Carts into Ponds, or commit yther such like Misdemeanors, Outrages or Disorders in the Night Sealon ; also against idle Persons, Drunko ards, Libellers, and against such like Offenders.

And if any such Person or Persons shall refuse to give Security for the Peace, On refufal, ve or good Behaviour, it shall be in the Power of any one Abstant of Justice of be committed the Peace, to commit such Person or Persons to the common Goal, there to semain till delivered according to Order of Law.

Be it further eaded by the Aur bority aforesaid, That if any person shall abule any Magiftrate, or Justice of the Peace, or refift abuse any Sheriff, Conftble or other Oficer in the Execution of his Office, such Person or Perions shall abusing or re

Persons for find Suretics for the Peace and good Behaviour until the next County Court in fisting civil that County; oron Refusal may be committed to the common Goal, there to officers. semain yoril the next County Court ; which Court shall take Cognizance of tbe Wrongs and Abuses done to such Officer or Officers, by such Offender or Offenders; and lay fuch Penalty upon him or them the or they being thereof legally convicted) as the Merit of the Offence thall deserve, appearing by the Circumftances of the same, not exceeding Tan Pounds.


for the detealing and punishing of fecret Alawle ; Be it furtber maded by ibe Aubority, aforejaia, That if any person fhall, break the Peace by fecretly assaulting, beating, maiming, wounding or hurting another, the Person fo affaulted and injured, making Application and Complaint How to pro to the next Afifant or Justice of the Peace, fhewing him what Hurt or Wounds ceed for fuck he has received thereby ; such Aliftant or Justice fall forthwith grant out a assaults, &c. Writ to the Sherif of the County, or his Deputy, or Constable of the Town where fuch Assault shall be made, commanding them, or either of them, to arreft and bring before him such Person lo afaulving, to answer such Complaint; who upon Oath being made against him of such Assault, and of the Wouds or Bruises thereby received by the Person affaulted and beaten, fall be bound in a fufficient Bond with Sureties for bis Appearance at the next Cousty Court in that County, to answer to the Complaint aforesaid : Aud in Cafe of Refusal to become bound as aforelaid, luch Perlen complained of fall be

committed to the common Goal of the County, there to remain till ihe next - Seffions of the said County Court. 3 And if the Person so bound or committed, shall not on Trial of the Case fa.

tisfy the Court that he was at some other place at the Time the said Allaudo was made, and was not the Person who gave it, he dhall be agjudged guiltys

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To pay da and shall be sentenced to pay the Person assaulted and injured, all fach Damamages in care

ges as he shall have faitained by such Affault and Bearing ; or in ca.: said Dathey cannot clear them.

mages cannot then be computed, the Offender shall give Bond with suficient felves. Surety or Sureties to pay all such Damages as shall be afterwards awarded by

said Court at foine other Sessions to which the Case shall be continued ; together with Colts of Profecution: And also to pay the Treasurer of the County fuck Fine as the faid Court hall order; not exceeding the sum of Twenty Pounds, and Itand committed till fuch Sentence is performed.

An Act to suppress Pedlars, Hawkers and Petty. Chapmen.

E it enazed by the Governor, Council and Representatives, in General Cart No person to deal and traffick in this state, as a Pedlar, Hawker' or Petty-Chapman, upon trade as a pedlar, &c. che Penalty of forfeiting all Goods, Wares and Merchandizes so by him carried on fòrfeiture about and offered to sale; one Half to hini who shall inform and prosecute to of his goods. effect, the other Half to the State Treasury.

Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all such Goods or Merchandize offered to Sale, as aforefaid, may and shall be seized by any Person

to whom the same are fo offered, or by any other Person or Perfons within this In what man. State. And fuch Goods and Merchandize so seized, shall forthwith be deliver. ner fuch goods thall ed to next Aliftant or Justice of the Peace, and an Inventory thereof thall be ta. be seized. ken by such Affiftant or Juftice, who shall cause the same to be appraized by

two indifferent judicious Freeholders ander Oath, according to their true and juft Value in Money; and said Goods fo appraized, shall remain in the Hands of said Afiftant or Justice until final Judgment be had thereon. And tre Perfon or Persons seizing, as aforesaid, ihall make Information againit fai? Goods seized as aforesaid, to an Alfiftant or Justice of the Peace in the Town where said Seizure is made, in Case the Value does not exceed forty Shillings; but if it exceed that Sum, then to the next County Court in the Couoty where the Seizure is made : Andfaid Alfitant, or Juftice of the Peace, or County Court where such Information is filed, shall proceed to hear, try and determine faid Caule, and are hereby empowered to decree said Goods forfeit as aforelaid and order the same to be sold at Public Vendue, and the 'Avails thereof paid ir Manner aforesaid. And the State's Accornies in the several Counties, and all

other informing Officers are hereby directed to make Prosecution of this Ad." Provifo. Always provided, That nothing in this A& shall be construed to hinder any

Persons carrying about and selling Deers Skins, Beaver Furrs and all other the
Produce and Manufacturas of this and the Rest of the United States.

An Act for the Punishment of Perjury.

E it enated by the Governor, Council, and Representatives, ir General Cart

affembled, and by the Aut berity of fame, Thac if any Perton or Pa. Penalty for fons, either by the Subornation, unlawful Procurement, Reward, finifter perjury 2ch. Perfuafion, or Means of any other, or by their own Aa, Content, or Agree

ment, shall wilfully and corruptly commit any Manner of wilfal Perjary. ts his or their Deposition in any Court of Record, or upon Examjaation, that then, every person and Persons fo effending and being thereof day convicted or attainted by Law, hall, for bis or their Offence, locke ist forfeit twenty Pounds, the one. Moiety, theicof unto the pubiis Tisdorf

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of this state, and the other Moiety to such Person or Persons as shall be grieved, hindred or molested by Reason of any such Offence, thar fhall sue for the And Six same by Adion of Debt, Bill, Plaint, Informacion, or otherwise in any Court months imof Record ; in the which, no Wages of Law, Elloin, Protection, or Injunction prisonment. to be allowed. And also to have Imprisonment by the Space of fix Months without Bail or Maimprize.

And the Vath of such Person or Persons so offending not to be received in any Disqualified Court of Record, until such Time as the Judgment given against the said Per- from being son or Persons Thall be reversed by atraint or otherwise.

And upon every such Reversal, the Party aggrieved to recover his or their
Damages against all and every such Perfon and Persons as did procure the said Party injured

to recover da-
Judgment lo reversed, to be given against them, or any of them, by Action or
Actions upon his or their Case or Cales, according to the Course of the Common

And if it happen the said Offender or Offenders so offending, have not any Goods or Chattels to the Value of Twenty Pounds, that then he or they shall If any unable

to pay, &c. be set in the Pillory by the Space of one whole Hour, in some County Town

to be set in where the Offence was committed, or next adjoining to the place where the the pillory. Offence was committed ; and to have both his Ears nailed: And from thenceforth to be discredited and disabled forever, to be sworn in any Court of Record, until such Time as the Judgment shall be reversed.

And all and every Perlon or Persons who shall unlawfully and corruptly procure any Witness or Witnesses by Letters, Rewards, Promises, or by any other finister and unlawful Laboor or Means whatsoever, to commit any wilful or cor- Like punishrupt Perjury in any Macter or Cause whatsoever, depending, or that shall be ment for fub

ordination. depending in Suit and Variance, by any Writ, Action, Bill, Complaint or Information in any Court of Record; every such Offender being thereof duly convicted or attainted by Law, shall, for his or their Offence be proceeded again, and suffer the like Pains, Penalties, Forfeitures and Disability in all Respects as above-mentioned. An Act concerning Petitions, and Prayers, or Memorials to

the General Assembly. BE it Enafted

by the Governor, Council and Representatives, in Gexeral Court afsembled, and by the Authority of the fame, That no Petition, Prayer, or Memorial made or preferred by any Person or Persons whatsoever to the Gene- Advet se party ral Assembly, shall be heard or considered by faid Assembly, where any other to be notifieds Person or Persons is, or are concerned in the Estate, Matter, Thing or Things &c. in Controversy, and have Right to be heard in the same, unless he or they lo concerned have been fummoned or notified thereof, at least twelve Days before the first Tuesday which shall be next after the opening of the said Allembly; and also have an attested Copy of such Petition, Prayer or Memorial given or offered to him or them, or left at the Place of his or their usual Abode, at least twelve Days before such Tuesday.

And that all Summonses for the adverse Party to appear and answer to the Time of apsaid Petitions, Prayers, or Memorials hall be for their Appearance on the said pearance. que day.

And that if any person or persons preferring such Petition, Prayer, or Me- To abate for morial in controversal Matters shall not appear on Wednejday next after the faid non-appear: Tuesday to prosecute the same, it shall abate.

ance of peti

tioner, &c. And if upon Trial of the Case in any Petition contained, it doth appear that either the Petitioner or Petitioners, or the Perion or Persons fummoned to answer do, or have given the other Party unjust 'Trouble, the Party or Parties Party wrongo wronged thall be allowed his or their juft Cort and Damages, as in other Cafes.


ed to recover Coils.

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No petion And be it further enated by the Aur berity aforesaid, that no Petition shall be lies yhen sc-prefered to the General Assembly, but in such Case or Caros where no other medy at law may be had.

Court is by Law competent to grant Relief.

And it is further enacted and provided by the Authority aforesaid, That no Per tition shall be preferred to the General Assembly in any Case whatever, where

in the Value of the Debt, Damage, or other Matter or Thing about which the Provilo.

Controversy did arile, does not exceed the Sum of seven Pounds. And that no original Suit for Relief in Equity shall be preferred to faid Assembly, unless the Value of the Matter or Things in Demand exceeds the Sum of fixteen bara

dred Pounds; all Suits of that kind of Matters of less Value, being by Law Petition to

made triable before the County or Superior Courts. be lodged

And it is further enaded, That all Memorials wherein no Person or Party is before the fo concerned or interested as that he need be cited, shall be lodged in the Secre8th day of tary's Office on or before the eighth Day of the Sellions of that Assembly to

which they preferred, otherwise they shall not be heard.

An Act for ordering and regulating Pleas and Pleadings. Preamble. FOR preventing unnecessary Charge and Delays in the several Courts of Come

men Pleas in ibis State; and for the more regular Proceeding in Trials tberein. Pleas in a. batement to

E it enacted by tbe Governor, Council and Representatives, in General Coeri

BE be heard, &c.

alembled, and by the Authority of the fame, That all Pleas made in Abate. and itlue join. ment of Writs or Processes in any of the County Courts in this state, shall be ed before ju- made, heard and determined; and the issue in every Case joined, and an Enry is impan- try thereof made before the Jary is impannelled. pelled.

And upon every Appeal from a Determination of Pleas made in Abatement

of the Writ or Process, the Cause shall be referred with the Appeal to the next Appeal on abaternent,

Superior Court, where the Plea in Abatement shall be finally issued; and if the &c. Case proceed, the Iflue shall there be joined, unless by the Course of the Plead.

ings there fhall be a Demurer in Law only:

And in Cafe any Defendant will not make his Plea or Join Iffue, Judgment Nihil dicit.

shall be given against him upon a nibil dicit.

That the general Issue of, Not Guilty, nil debet, no Wrong or Diffeilin, or any other

general Plea proper to the A&ion, whereby the whole Declaration is General iffue. put upon Proof, according to the Nature of the Casc, may be made by the De

fendant ; under which general Plea the Defendant shall have Liberty upon Trial of the Cafe on such general Issue to give his Title in Evidence, or any other Matter in his Defence or Juftification as the Nature of the A&tion may be ; excepting only a Discharge from the Plaintiff, or his Accord, or some other {pecial Matter, whereby the Defendant by the Act of the plaintiff is saved or acquitted from the Plaintiff's Demand in the Declaration.

And whensoever any Party shall soppose he has mifted his Plea, whether the General Issue or Special Plea, which would have saved him in his juft Cause, he shall have Liberty to alter bis Plea; and the opposite Party hall have a reasonable Time assigned him for making Answer thereunto : and if the new

Plea be found insufficient for the juftifying him that made it, reasonable, SatisWhen pleasfaction shall be awarded by the Court before which the Trial is, to the other may be al.

Party for the greater Delay which is made thereby ; according to the Interett lowed.

of Money, Rent of Land, or Improvement of any other Thing recovered by the Suit,

Prouided nevertheless, That no Defendant shall in the Trial of any Cause,

be admitted to demor to the Declaration after he hath pleaded to Issue, and a. Provilo.

Judgment thereon hath been given by any Court; any Thing to the contrary before in this Act notwithstanding,

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