Massachusetts General Court’s 1692 Act Against Conjuration, Witchcraft, and Dealing with Evil and Wicked Spirits

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BE it Enacted by the Governour, Council, and Representatives in General Court Assembled, And by the Authority of the same.

That if any person or persons shall use, practise or Exercise any In|vocation or Conjuration of any Evil and wicked Spirit, or shall Consult, Covenant with, Entertain, Employ, Feed or Reward any Evil and Wicked Spirit to or for any intent or purpose, or take up any Dead Man, Woman or Child, out of his, her, or their Grave, or any other Place where the Dead Body Resteth, or the Skin, Bone, or any other part of any Dead Person to be Employed or used in any manner of Witchcraft, Sorcery, Charm or Inchantment, or shall Use, Practice or Exercise any Witchcraft, Inchantment, Charm or Sorcery, whereby any person shall be Killed, Destroyed, Wasted, Consumed, Pined or Lamed in his or her Body, or any part thereof: That then every such Offender or Offenders, their Aiders, Abetters, and Counsellors, being of any of the said Offences duly and lawfully Convicted and Attainted, shall suffer pains of Death, as a Felon or Felons.

And Further to the intent that all manner of Practice, Use or Exercise of Witchcraft, Inchantment, Charm or Sorcery, should be henceforth utterly avoided, abolished and taken away.

Be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid

That if any person or persons shall take upon him or them by Witchcraft, Inchantment, Charm or Sorcery to tell or declare in what place any Treasure of Gold or Silver should or might be found or had in the Earth, or other places; Or where Goods or Things Lost or Stoln should be found or become; Or to threatent to provoke any person to unlawful Love; Or whereby any Catte or Goods of any person shall be Destroyed, W••shed or Impaired; Or to hurt or destroy any person in his or her Body, although the same be not effected and done: That then all and every such person and persons so offending, and being thereof lawfully Convicted, shall for the said Offence suffer Imprisonment by the space of 〈◊〉〈◊〉 year, without Bail or Mainprize, and once in every Quarter of the said Year, shall in some Shire Town, stand openly upon the Pillory by the space of six hours, and there shall openly confess his or her Error and Offence, which said Offence shall be written in Capital Letters, and placed upon the Breast of said Offender.

And if any person or persons being once Convicted of the same Offence, and shall again Commit the like Offence, and being of any of the said Offences the second time lawfully and duly Convicted and Attainted as aforesaid, shall suffer pains of Death, as a Felon or Felons.

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