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Rankin Family History Project



New Haven Colony Laws

Capitall Lawes

IT is Ordered, &c. That if any person after legall, or other due conviction, shall have, or worship any other God, but the Lord God, he shall be put to death,
Exod. 22. 20. Deut. 13. 6. 10. Deut. 17. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

If any person be a Witch, he or she shall be put to death, according to
Exod. 22. 18. Levit. 20. 27. Deut. 18. 10, 11.

If any person within this Jurisdiction, professing the true God, shall wittingly and willingly presume to blaspheme the holy name of God, Father, Son, or Holy Ghost, with direct, expresse, presumptuous, or high-handed blasphemy, either by willfull or obstinate denying the true God, father, Son, or Holy ghost, or reproach the holy Religion of God, as if it were but a politick device to keep ignorant men in awe; or shall utter any other kind of blasphemy of like nature, and degree, such person shall be put to death.
Lev. 24. 15, 16.

If any person shall commit any wilfull murder, if he shall kill any man, woman or child, upon premeditated malice, hatred, or cruelty (not in a way of necessary and just defence, nor by meer casualty against his will) he shall be put to death.
Exod. 21. 12, 13. Numb. 35. 31.

If any person slayeth another suddenly in anger, or cruelty of passion, he shall be put to death,
Levit. 24. 17. Numb. 35. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21.

If any person come presumptuosly to slay another with guile, whether by any kinde of force, Poyson, or ther wicked practice, every such person shall be put to Death.
Exod. 21. 14. Agreeing with Deut. 19. 19. By parity of Reason.

If any man or woman, shall lye with any beast, or bruite creature by carnall Copulation, he, or she, shall surely be put to death, and the beast shall be slaine, buried, and not eaten.
Levit. 20. 15, 16.

If any man lyeth with mankinde, as a man lyeth with a woman, both of them have Committed abomination, they both shall surely be put to death.
Levit. 20. 13.

And if any woman change the naturall use, into that which is against nature, as
Rom. 1, 26. she shall be liable to the same Sentence, and punishment,

Or if any person, or persons, shall Commit any other kinde of unnaturall and shamefull filthines, called in Scripture the going after strange flesh, or other flesh then God alloweth, by carnall knowledge of another vessel then God in nature hath appointed to become one flesh, whether it by abusing the contrary part of a grown woman, or Child of either sex, or unripe vessel of a Girle, wherein the naturall use of the woman is left, which God hath ordained for the propagation of posterity, and Sodomiticall filthinesse (tending to the destruction of the race of mankind) is committed by a kind of Rape, nature being forced, though the will were inticed, every such person shall be put to death.

Or if any man shall act upon himself, and in the sight of others spill his owne seed, by example, or counsel, or both, corrupting or tempting others to doe the like, which tends to the sin of Sodomy, if it be not one kind of it; or shall defile or corrupt himself and others, by any other kind of sinfull filthinesse, he shall be punished according to the nature of the offence;

Or if the case considered with the aggravating circumstances, shall according to the mind of God revealed in his word require it, he shall be put to death, as the Court of Magistrates shall determine.

Provided that if in any of the former cases, one of the parties were forced, and so abused against his or her will, the innocent person (crying out, or in due season complaining) shall not be punished,

Or if any of the offending parties were under fourteen year old, when the sin was committed, such person shall onely be severely corrected, as the Court of Magistrates considering the age, and other circumstances, shall judge meet.

If any man married, or single, commit Adultery with a marryed or espoused wife, the Adulterer and Adulteresse shall surely be put to death.
Lev. 18. 20. Lev. 20. 10. Deut. 22. 23, 24.

If any person rise up by false witnesse, wittingly and of purpose to take any mans life, that person shall be put to death.
Deut. 19. 16, 18, 19.

If any person shall conspire, and attempt any invasion, insurrection, or publick Rebillion against this Jurisdiction, or shall endeavour to surprize, or seize any Plantation, or Town, any Fortification, Platform, or any great Guns provided for the defence of the Jurisdiction, or any Plantation therein; or shall treacherously and perfidiously attempt the alteration and subversion of the frame of policy, or fundamentall Government laid, and setled for this Jurisdiction, he or they shall be put to death.
Numb. 16. 2 Sam 18. 2 Sam 20.

Or if any person shall consent unto any such mischievous practice, or by the space of foure and twenty houres conceale it, not giving notice thereof to some Magistrate, if there be any Magistrate in the Plantation, or place where he liveth, or if none, to some Deputy for the Jurisdiction, or to the Constable of the place, that the publick safty may be seasonably provided for, he shall be put to death, or severely punished, as the Court of Magistrates weighing all circumstances shall determine.

If any Child, or Children, above sixteen year old, and of competent understanding shall curse, or smite, his, her, or their naturall father, or mother, each such Child shall be put to death.
Exod. 21. 17. Levit. 20. 9. Exod 21. 15.

Unless it be proved, that the Parents have been very unchristianly negligent in the education of such Child, or Children, or so provoked them by extream and cruell correction, or usage, That they have been urged or forced thereunto, to preserve themselves from death or maiming.

If any man have a stubborn Rebellious Son, of sufficient Age and understanding, namely sixteen year old, or upward, which will not obey the voyce of his father, or the voyce of his mother, and that when they have chastned him, will not hearken unto them, then shall his father and his mother (being his naturall Parents) lay hold on him, and bring him to the Magistrates assembled in Court, and testifie unto them, that their Son is stubborn and rebellious, and will not obey their voyce and chastisement, but lives in sundry notorious crimes; such a Son shall be put to death,
Deut. 21 18 19, 20, 21.

If any man shall ravish any maid, or single woman, who is above the age of ten years, committing carnall copulation with her by force, against her own will, he shall be severely and grievously punished, as the Court of Magistrates considering all circumstances shall determine.

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The Rankin Family History Project began in 1997 with a simple 3 generation family chart.  When our grandmother found out we were researching our family tree, she loaned us her copy of Maryland Catholics on the Frontier by Timothy J. O'Rourke which helped us discover our St. Louis & Perry County roots.  We are also doing research in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

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Rankin Family History Project     Sonoma County, California
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Updated February 2000
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