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Subject: Excerpt Of History
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2004 07:20:26 EST


" Besides the constant threat of falling victim of the cruel instruments of
Pilgrim and Puritan justice, the first citizens of New England were burdened
with a multitude of silly laws and ridiculous ordinances that were strictly
enforced by the combined force of church and state. One could not wear fancy or
colourful clothing without being subject to a fine or a few hours in the
pillory. The Pilgrims were less strict than the Puritans on the subject of
proper dress, and required that black only be worn on Sundays. The Puritans,
however, demanded that their followers wear only black and dull colours all the
time, without frills such as ribbons, bows, silk or laces. In just one month,
Nov 1652, no less than 15, cases came before the Salem court concerning the
wearing of excess clothing. Strangely enough, eight of them were charges
brought against men for dressing too colourfully. One of those dapper young
Puritans, brought to trial by his neighbours, was Henry Bullocke. He wore, boots,
ribbons, lace, gold and silver. For his fanciness, he was found guilty and
fined twenty pounds, a heavy price to pay in those days, but apparently Henry
could afford it. At Haverhill, Massachusetts, the two daughters of Nathaniel
Bosworth, in 1675, were fined ten shillings apiece for wearing silk. Elizabeth
Eddy of Boston, was fined only ten shillings for her clothes, but not for
wearing them. She was brought to court and found guilty of hanging her wet
clothes outside to dry. Only a month later, Elizabeth's mother was brought to trial
and found guilty of fishing for and catching eels. She was fined five
shillings."


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