Test Your Own Work
No matter how comical or absurd the early Puritan laws may seem, it must be remembered that the motive was to make the people better and more equal. To produce a moral and a pure Christian life was the chief aim of the Puritans.
In 1635 each meetinghouse had the appendages of stocks and whipping-post. As a practical example of the lawmakers’ and lawkeepers’ rare ability, it is recorded that the first victim of the stocks was the carpenter that built them. For charging more than the authorities thought proper, he was put in durance till he put a satisfactory price on his work. He was hoisted on his own petard.
The stocks were used as a punishment for lying besides adding a fine. This may seem a little harsh for lying, but it was an improvement over the old law of having the tongue pulled out.
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