Rebellion Against Parent A Capital Offense In Puritan Colony

albions-seedThe Puritan colony in Massachusetts passed a law in 1648 permitting a sentence of death for any rebellious son over the age of 16 who refused to obey mom or dad. The same punishment could be meted out for children who struck or cursed their parents.

Although no one was ever executed under the statute, several children were fined and/or whipped by order of the court for being rude or disrespectful to their parents.

“Some of these errant ‘children’ were in their forties, and their parents were of advanced age.”

Fortunately, times have changed.

Source: Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history) by David Hackett Fischer.

Categories: American History, Colonial Period

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