Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Sep 23 23:44:16 UTC 2009

At 4:32 PM -0400 9/23/09, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>The earliest law in Massachusetts against "nightwalking" that I've
>found is from 1652, an addition to an act governing the
>watch.  Records of the Governor and Company, vol. 3 (I believe!), page 282:
>The constables are ordered to direct their watches that "they duely
>examine all nightwalkers after ten of the clocke in the night, unles
>they be knowne to be peaceable inhabitants, to inquire whither they
>are goeinge,& what theire busines is; & in case of not giving
>rationall satisfaction to the watchmen or constable, then the
>constable forthwith to secure them till the morninge, & then the
>constable to carry such person or persons before the next magistrate
>or commissionere, or three men, who shall in this case have power, as
>the commissionors have, to give satisfaction for theire being abroade
>at that tyme of night; & if the said watchmen shall find any
>inhabitant or straunger after ten of the clocke at night behaveing
>themselves in any way *deboyst, or that giveth not a reasonable
>ground to the cunstable or watchmen, or shalbe in drinke, to secure
>them by committment, or otherwise, till the law be
>satisfyed."  [Abbreviations expanded and u -> v.]
>[* "deboyst" from "deboise, v." = "2. trans. To corrupt morally; to
>deprave by sensuality; = DEBAUCH v."]
Whence "Where De Boys Are" (1960).


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