Primary Resource

"An act prohibiting servants to goe abroad without a lycence" (1663)

In "An act prohibiting servants to goe abroad without a lycense," passed by the General Assembly in the session of September 1663, Virginia's colonial government responds to the problem of runaway indentured servants and slaves.

Transcription from Original

— page 195 —

FOR better suppressing the unlawful meetings of servants, it is thought fitt and enacted by this present grand assembly and the authority thereof that all masters of ffamilies be enjoyned and take especiall care that their servants doe not depart from their houses on Sundayes or any other dayes without perticuler lycence from them, and that the severall respective counties (as they find cause) to take espetiall care to make such laws within themselves, as by the act dated the third of December 1662, they are impowred as may cause a further restraint of all unlawfull meetings of servants and punish the offenders.