Three hundred and twenty years ago today . . . on the 5th day of September . . . in the year 1694 . . . "Daniel Merrill & Hester Chase, now Married were fined 40s each for fornacation" . . .
In Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Superior Court of Judicature for the State of New-Hampshire, 1827, it is stated that an "adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death" . . . the same book has the following to say regarding fornication . . .
By an act of the colony of Massachusetts, passed in 1642, it was ordered, "that if any man commit fornication with any single woman, they shall be punished either by enjoining marriage, or fine, or corporal punishment." Col. and Prov. Laws 115.
By an act of the province of Massachusetts, passed in 1692, it was enacted, "that if any man commit fornication with any single woman, upon due conviction thereof, they shall be fined, &c. not exceeding the sum of five pounds, or be corporally punished by whipping, not exceeding ten stripes apiece." Col. and Prov. Laws 239.
As of this date, no record has been found of the date and place of their marriage . . . but the birth of their son, Joseph, was recorded as being the 28th day of May in that same year . . . this Joseph is a 7th great-grandpa to the Keeper of this family history blog . . . bet his parents never thought this tale would still be being repeated three centuries after-the-fact! . . . and don't you have to wonder who had the job of keeping track of dates of marriage as compared to dates of birth?!?