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In the 1658 revision of the laws a more specific punishment for adultery was stipulated.

It is enacted by the court and the authoritie therof that whosoeuer shall comitt Adultery shalbee seuerly punished by Whiping two seuerall times; namely once whiles the Court is in being att which they are convicted of the fact and the 2cond time as the Court shall order and likewise to weare two Capitall letters namely A D cut out in cloth and sowed on theire vpermost Garments on theire arme or backe; and if att any time they shalbee taken without the said letters whiles they are in the Gouernment soe worn to bee forth with taken and publickly whipt.

If a couple was in the period of contract, or engagement, at the time of fornication, then the fine was reduced to five pounds per person (PCR ).

Every person who committed fornication "before or without lawfull contract" was to be imprisoned for up to three days and either whipped or fined ten pounds.

In June of 1645, the General Court passed an act that outlined the punishment for fornication.

I base this interpretation on the court records that include convictions for fornication before and during the period of contract.

Criminal offences include "ffornication and other uncleane carriages to be punished at the discretion of the Majestrates according to the nature thereof" and "ffornication before contract or marriage" (PCR ).

"Sodomy, rapes, and buggery" were declared "capital offences lyable to death" (PCR ). Jones, Alexei Krindatch, Richie Stanley and Richard H. Source: Clifford Grammich, Kirk Hadaway, Richard Houseal, Dale E. The confusion reflected in the records played out in adultery cases throughout the colony's history.While adultery was never punished as a capital offence, it was handled as a very serious criminal offence. Prior to this date, three cases of sexual misconduct were presented and ruled in the Court, two for fornication before marriage and one for "attempting uncleanes" (PCR , 15).

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