A Very Rare 17th Century American Imprint

SEVERAL ACTS AND LAWS PASSED BY THE GREAT AND GENERAL COURT OR ASSEMBLY OF THEIR MAJESTIES PROVINCE OF THE MASSACHUSETTS-BAY, IN NEW ENGLAND. CONVENED AND HELD AT BOSTON, THE EIGHTH DAY OF JUNE. 1692. ANNO REGNI GULIELMI, ET MARIAE, REGIS AND REGINAE ANGLIAE, SCOTIAE, FRANCIAE, ET HIBERNIAE, QUARTO.

([Boston: Printed by Benjamin Harris, 1692]). 288 x 192 mm. (11 1/2 x 7 1/2"). 16 pp. (lacking final blank). With the title page in facsimile on old paper.

Disbound from larger volume, some leaves mounted on tabs. First page with ink library stamp of the New York City Bar Association; three of the acts with "Repeal" or "Repealed" noted in the margin in an 18th century hand. Shipton & Mooney 617; Evans 617; Wing M-1016. Minor marginal foxing and dampstains, mount on one leaf touching a few letters at the beginning of lines, other trivial imperfections, but generally clean and crisp.

This is a rare excerpt from the first substantial printing of laws governing the Massachusetts Bay Colony, passed in the fourth year of the reign of William and Mary. It contains Acts For Continuing the Local Laws, to Stand in Force, until November the 10th, 1692; For Enforcing the Collecting and Paying in the Arrears of Publick Assessments, &c.; For Collecting the Arrears, of Town and County Rates; For the Granting to Their Majesties an Assessment upon Polls and Estates; For Impost, Excise, and Tonnage of Shipping; For the Erecting of a Naval-Office; For Making the Former Bills of Credit, to Pass Currant [sic], in Future Payments; For Transporting of part of the Militia, of the Province, Or Obliging Them to March to the Relief of the Neighbouring Provinces, or Colonies; and For the Holding of Courts of Justice. A neat 18th century hand has noted in the margins that the acts on continuing local laws, erecting a naval office, and holding courts of justice have been repealed. Benjamin Harris was notable as the first colonial printer to produce a newspaper, though it was as short-lived as a publication could be, being issued on 25 September 1690 but never thereafter. Like other session laws passed in the colony, this is a rare item, with OCLC and ESTC finding just seven copies total, and no other copies listed at auction in the past 40 years.
(ST12843a)

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PJP Catalog: BOS19BF.003

SEVERAL ACTS AND LAWS PASSED BY THE GREAT AND GENERAL COURT OR ASSEMBLY OF THEIR MAJESTIES PROVINCE OF THE MASSACHUSETTS-BAY, IN NEW ENGLAND. CONVENED AND HELD AT BOSTON, THE EIGHTH DAY OF JUNE. 1692. ANNO REGNI GULIELMI, ET MARIAE, REGIS AND REGINAE ANGLIAE, SCOTIAE, FRANCIAE, ET HIBERNIAE, QUARTO. 17TH CENTURY - ACTS AND LAWS AMERICAN IMPRINTS.

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