Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: COURT OF QUARTER SESSIONS -- HOGREEVES

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By an act of the General Court in December, 1730, three of the terms of the courts of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, and Inferior court of Common Pleas were removed from Portsmouth to Exeter, Hampton and Dover, where they were to be held in March, June and September respectively.

The next year, in June, a pillory was built in this town by order of His Majesty's Court of Sessions then sitting here. The whole charge was forty shillings, which was allowed by the General Court, and paid out of the treasury. By the laws of the province, several offences were at that time punishable by sitting in the pillory; and as a term of the courts was now held at Hampton, this instrument of punishment was needed to facilitate the execution of such sentence.

The town "voted that ye Corte may beheld in ye meeting-house."


March 9, 1731, among town officers chosen, were "Timothy Dalton and Ezekiel Moulton, to see ye Law executed Concerning yoking and ringing Hogs;" --hogreeves, in fact -- an office continued year after year, from early times down into the present century, as long as swine were suffered to run at large. The ring in the snout prevented the animal from rooting, and the yoke, of specified dimensions, secured gardens and other enclosures from mischievous intrusion. Woe to the hapless wight whose swine were found at large by the vigilant hogreeve, unyoked or unringed! A fine for each offence was rigidly exacted.

A few years later: -- Voted, "that for the futter if any person shall have any stray sheep in his or their costidy, and do not cry the same in the space of fifteen days on the meeting House door shall pay a fine of ten shillings, one half to him or they that do inform or come plain of such concealing of sheep, the other half to ye select men for ye use of the Town."

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