Colonial House Picture of the colony
Meet the Colonists Behind the Scenes Interactive History Media Gallery
About the Project
Introduction The Laws About the Series About the Experts Plimoth Plantation Credits

The Rules
General Background
The Offices
Matters of the Council
For the Ordering of Society
Worship and the Sabbath
Trade and Indians
Of Masters and Servants
Other Matters
The Punishments

General Background
Woman working in kitchen

The governor and the other colonists received a book of laws of the colony. In reality, colonists would not have received such paperwork, but all colonists back then would have understood the laws of England, and would have known they were in effect. The law book served as a reminder to them of how they were expected to behave, and what the penalty could be for transgressors. The laws were not comprehensive, but provided a range of offenses that gave the governor a framework for running the colony. The governor also had a facsimile of an an early 17th-century book of English common law, Michael Dalton's COUNTREY JUSTICE (1619), to help him, particularly for those many incidents not covered in our book of laws.

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