The core of this essential reference volume contains complete transcriptions of two compilations of the seventeenth-century laws of Massachusetts Bay Colony: the Body of Liberties of 1641 and the Laws of 1672, with extensive explanatory introductions and detailed subject and name indexes to each.
The 1641 Body of Liberties, a compilation of colony records which had been enacted up to that point, was not published at the time it was compiled, but a contemporary copy did survive in a collection of other seventeenth-century documents. This volume publishes in parallel a facsimile of the manuscript and a modern printed transcript of the same material.
As the century wore on other compilations of Massachusetts Bay laws were gathered and printed, with a facsimile of the 1672 volume include in this volume. Each year the General Court published a supplemental pamphlet containing the laws enacted during the previous twelve months, and facsimiles of these pamphlets from 1672 through 1686 are printed here.
Aside from the intrinsic historical value of these records, many of the laws will be of great value to the solution of genealogical problems, especially the sections on the law of marriage and divorce, the settling of estates and the registering of deeds.
The volume includes subject indexes to each set of laws and tables cross-referencing the material common to the 1641 and 1672 compilations.
Summary by Robert Charles Anderson, FASG
for Archive CD Books USA
This electronic book includes high-quality images of every page as originally published (not just a transcript) and is fully searchable using Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 4 or later recommended) on any Windows, Macintosh, or Unix computer. The data files are completely self-contained, and require no installation.