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"Women servants gott with child by their masters after their time expired to be sold by the Churchwardens for two yeares for the good of the parish" (1662)

In this law, "Women servants gott with child by their masters after their time expired to be sold by the Churchwardens for two yeares for the good of the parish," passed in its December 1662 session, the General Assembly addressed the problem of indentured servants having children by their masters.

Transcription from Original

— page 167 —

WHEREAS by act of Assembly every woman servant haveing a bastard is to serve two yeares, and late experiente shew that some dissolute masters have gotten their maides with child, and yet claime the benefitt of their service, and on the contrary if a woman gott with child by her master should be freed from that service it might probably induce such loose persons to lay all their bastards to their masters; it is therefore thought fitt and accordingly enacted, and be it enacted henceforward that each woman servant gott with child by her master shall after her time by indenture or custome is expired be by the churchwardens of the parish where she lived when she was brought to bed of such bastard, sold for two yeares, and the tobacco to be imployed by the vestry for the use of the parish.