Visitors please exercise caution. English law was different from our laws today.
Crime and Punishment as seen through the laws and discipline of Colonial America will be the centerpiece of an informing and intriguing one-day-only exhibit at Josiah Dennis Manse.
Visitors will learn about some of the most common crimes under English law in pre-Revolutionary colonial Massachusetts, including public drunkenness, slandering, counterfeiting, gossiping, lying, and not attending church. Manse goers that day will also become well versed in many of the most common punishments of the time, including stocks, pillories, whipping posts, ducking stools, and bilboes (17th-century wrought-iron stocks for the feet).
In addition to this special event, guests will be able to tour the 1736 homestead of Josiah Dennis, the 18th century minister for whom the town was named in 1793. The house tour is hosted by costumed docents and includes period furniture as seen in the front parlor, the keeping room, the birthing room, and multiple bedrooms. An ongoing maritime exhibit in the back ell provides a marvelous narrative that highlights Dennis’ rich history of daring seacaptains and commercial shipbuilding.