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two months but if he stayed longer to giue bond to secure the towne.
In 1678 one John Brown was warned out of town, and appeared before the selectmen and said he thought that he might Come into town to be inhabetant becaus born in the town and that he might be an help to his father and mother, the Select men did Respit the full determination at that time to know the towns mind therin and in the meane time his warning out of towne to continue in force.
On the ninth day of December, 1679, the record shows that a warrant was sent to the Constables to take a fine of John Jackson for fower weeks entertainement of Op’tunetie Lane Lane his daughter in law Contrary to towne order, and also to warne the said Opertunitie to dep the towne or giue in securitie to secur the towne from damedg and also that if the said Jackson entertaine her longer he must expect to pay 39. 40. p weeke for euery weeke after the date heerof: Shortly after the said Jackson came and he and William Cheney entered into 30ls bond to secuer the towne. the bond is on file.
In 1681 the record shows that one Joseph Weeks
Came to the Select men and desiered libertie to take a nurst Child of one M Steuens of Boston, Answer was returned that though the man may be sufficcient, yet becaus it may not be a p'sedent vnto others he was ordered to appoint the man to giue something vnder his hand to some one of the Select men to secure the towne.
In April, 1682, the record shows that it was agreed by the select men that a warrant should be sent to the Constable to require a penalty according to the towne order of those that did entertaine inmates without giueing bonds for the townes security.
In Duxbury it was voted May 16, 1774, that the treasurer should prosecute all persons that might take in any persons or families belonging to any other town “as tenants, or servants, or friendship, or any straggling persons whatsoever into their houses or shelters," without giving the selectmen written notice of the names of such persons, and the places from whence they last came, within twenty days after they took them in.*
In Plymouth none could come to inhabit without leave, and, if he did, was to be warned to go away under a penalty of five shillings a week.
Inhabitants were forbidden to sell or to let houses or lands to persons not admitted as inhabitants. And no one was allowed to depart from his own town without leave of the governor and two magistrates under penalty of forfeiting all his personal property.
For instance, in one case it was ordered as follows:
Whereas Mr. Thacher, Mr. Crowe, & Mr. Howes, the committees of Yarmouth, were complayned of to haue made vnequall diusions of lands there, wherevpon the said comittees haue exhibited a very formall diusion of the said lands vnto the Court, wch is well approoued of, and the Court doth further order, that the said comittees shall receiue no more inhabitante into the said towne, except they bring certificate from the places whence they come, vnder sufficient mens hande of the sd place, of their religious and honest carriage, wch certifycate shall first be allowed by the goûn' and assistante before such psons be admitted there. I
The following order from the records of the town of Plymouth is a sample of their orders with regard to strangers :
It is enacted by the Towne that noe houskeeper or other in this Towne Resideing in the Towne shall entertaine any stranger into theire houses above a fortnight without giveing Information to the Celect men or some one of them thereof upon the forfeiture of ten shillings a weeke for all such time as any such stranger shalbe
* Winsor, History of Duxbury, p. 87.
soe entertained and stay without the said Information: To be levied on the estate of such house keepers or others that shall neglect to Informe as aforsaid:
And incase the Celect men upon Information as aforsaid shall see cause to either take bonds for every such stranger either; to keep and save the Towne harmles from any damage that may acrew unto the Towne by the stay of such stranger or strangers in the Towne or expell them out of the Towne; The Celect men are heerby Impowered to doe either as they shall see Reason and cause.*
To the Constables of the Town of Plimouth in the County of Plymouth, or Either of them Greeting.
These are in his Majesty's Name to Will and Require you Forthwith To Warn & Give Notice to Zepheniah Doten and his Familly Who Came Into this Town the latter End of April Last or the beginning of May, From the Town of Plimton That They Immediately Depart This Town or else they may expect to be proceeded Against According to Law, Also you are Alike Required to Warn & Give Notice to Reginald Mackreth a Stranger Who came From Liverpool In Nova Scotia into this Town in the Month of October Last that he Depart This Town Immediately or that otherwise be will be preceeded against according to Law. And you are alike Required to Warn & Give Notice to Abigail Waite Who came into this Town in the month of February Last from the Town of Hardwick In the County of Worcester that she Depart This Town Immediately otherwise She may Expect to be proceeded Against according to Law. Hereof fail Not and make Return of this Warrant and your Doings Therein To the Selectmen of Plymouth as Soon as May be. Plymouth April ye 11, 1764.†
* Records of the Town of Plymouth, 1636–1705, Vol. I, p. 169.
MASSACHUSETTS COLONY AND STATE Laws. — PLYMOUTH COL
ONY Laws.-FURTHER ILLUSTRATIONS OF Town ACTION
These proceedings of the Massachusetts and Plymouth towns with regard to inhabitancy of newcomers were not only regarded as within the power of towns, as such, independent of any colony statute or order, but were recognized and required by colony laws prior to 1692.
May 17, 1637, the General Court of the Massachusetts Colony passed the following order:
It is ordered, that no towne or pson shall receive any stranger, resorting hither wth intent to reside in this iurisdiction, nor shall alow any lot or habitation to any, or intertaine any such above three weekes, except such pson shall have alowance vnder the hands of some one of the counsell, or of two other of the magistrates, vpon paine that ev'y towne that shall give or sell any lot or habitation to any such, not so alowed, shall forfet 100s for every offence, & ev'y pson receiving any such, for longer time than is heare expressed, (or then shalbe alowed in some speciall cases, as before, or in case of intertainement of freinds resorting from some other parts of this country for a convenient time,) shall forfet for ev'y offence 40s; and for ev'y month after such pson shall there continew 20s; provided, that if any inhabitant shall not consent to the intertainment of any such person, & shall give notice thereof to any of the magistrates wthin one month after, such inhabitant shall not bee lyable to any part of this penulty.*
In 1638 it was provided by the General Court that the constables of the several towns should informe of newe comers, if any bee admited wthout license; & to that end warrant to bee sent out to the cunstable
* Massachusetts Colony Records, Vol. I, pp. 196, 241.
of each towne, to informe the Court of Assistants, wch is to consider of the fines, whether to take them or to mitigate them.
In June, 1650, another law to prevent strangers coming into the colony was passed as follows:
Whereas wee are credibly informed that great mischeifes and outrages have binn wrought in other plantacons in America by comanders, and souldjers of seuerall qualitjes, and other straingers issuing out of other parts, vsurping power of goûnement ouer them, plundering of their estates, taking vp armes, and making great divisions amongst the inhabitants where they have come, to prevent the like mischeife in this jurisdiccon, this Court doth order, and it is heereby enacted, that henceforward all straingers, of what qualitje soeuer, above the age of sixteene yeeres, ariving heere in any portes or parts of this jurisdiccon in any shipp or vessell, shall imediately be brought before the Goûno', Dept Goûno', or two other magistrates, by the master or mate of the sajd shipps or vessells, vpon the poenalty of twenty pounds; for default thereof, there to give an accompt of their occasions and busines in this countrje, whereby satisfaccon may be given to this comonwealth, and order taken wth such straingers as the sajd Goûn", Depu Goûno', two Assistants, or the next Countje Court shall see meete; and that the lawe for intertajning of straingers be strictly putt in execution, and this order to be posted vp vpon the seuerall meetinghouses doores, or postes, or other publicke places in the port tounes of this jurisdiccon. And it is ordered, that the capt of the Castle shall make knoune this order to euery shippe or vessell as it passeth by, and the constables of euery port toune shall indeavor to doe the like to such shipps or vessells before they land their passengers; and that a true record be kept of all the names of such straingers, and their qualities, by the clarks of the writts, who shall have the names given them by the sajd Goûn' or Magistrates, to be retourned to the next jmediate sessions of the Generall Court. This to continew and be in force till the next session.*
It is said that this order, although general in its terms, was passed specially with reference to the fact that it was known that many of the friends of Wheel
* Records of Massachusetts Bay, 1650, 22 June (20), pp. 23, 24.