Monday, November 2, 2015
Puritan New England - Buggery - 1642-1681 in the Plymouth Colony Court Records
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.
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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).