ABC’s of Crime and Punishment in Puritan New England

The Puritans that established the Massachusetts Bay Colony brought with them a set of laws and practices from the Mother Country.  They thought themselves a bit more civilized than their countrymen in England by using the courts to resolve their issues with neighbors.  Perhaps fewer brawls took place in Essex County, but more lawsuits and civil matters resulted.  That is great news for the historians and genealogists as many of these records were preserved.

This article will also be posted as a blog using an ABC format, an idea that started with the Puritans’ punishments for specific crimes: A for Adultery, B for Burglary, etc. I thought it would be difficult to generate a topic for each letter but instead ended up with several themes for some popular letters.