Penalty for concealing pregnancy, &c.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General
Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, That if any woman
shall conceal her pregnancy, and shall willingly be delivered in secret
by herself of any issue of her body, male or female, which shall by law
be a bastard, every such woman so offending shall pay a fine not exceeding
the sum of fifty pounds, to the use of this Commonwealth, to be recovered
by information or indictment in any Court proper to try the said offence,
or imprisoned, not exceeding three months, at the discretion of the Court.
Penalty for concealing the death of a bastard.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any woman
shall endeavor privately, either by herself or the procurement of others,
to conceal the death of any such issue of her body, which if it were born
alive would by law be a bastard, so that it may not come to light whether
it were born alive or not, or whether it was murdered or not, in every such
case, the mother so offending shall be set upon the gallows, with a rope
about her neck, for the space of one hour, and be further punished by being
bound to the good behaviour, at the discretion of the Court.
charged with murder, directions in this case.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if the
Grand Jury shall in the same indictment, charge any woman with the wilful
murder or her infant bastard child, as well as with either or both the offences
aforesaid, and it appear to the Jury of trials, that she is guilty of the
murder charged, she shall be thereupon convicted of murder, and suffer the
pains of death as in case of murder; but if it doth not appear to the same
Jury that she is guilty of the murder charged in the indictment, but only
of either or both the offences first herein mentioned, then the same Jury
may acquit her of the charge of murder, and find her guilty of the said
first mentioned offences, or either of them, as the case may be.
passed February 26, 1785]
Act against Arson, and other malicious Burning.
Burning dwelling-houses by night, deemed felony.
BE it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General
Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, That if any person
between sun-setting and sun-rising, wilfully and maliciously shall burn
the dwelling-house of another, or any out-building adjoining thereto,
or any other building by means of which a dwelling-house shall be burnt,
and be thereof convicted, such offender shall be adjudged guilty of felony,
and shall suffer the pains of death.
where the same is done between sun-rising and sun-setting.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any
person shall wilfully and maliciously, between sun-rising and sun-setting,
burn the dwelling-house of another, or any out-builiding adjoining thereto,
or any other building by means of which a dwelling-house shall be burnt;
or that shall wilfully and maliciously, by night or by day, burn any barn,
warehouse, shop, mill, malthouse, out-house, any public builiding, or other
builiding whatsoever, or any ship or other vessel laying within the body
of the county, and