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To the end the body of Commons may be preserved of honest and good men, it is likewise ordered and agreed, that for the time to come no man shall be admitted to the freedom of this body politic but such as are members of some of the churches within the limits of the same.

“ A freeman must be orthodox, a member of the church, twenty years old, and worth £ 200.” At a later period, March 4, 1645, the General Court “ordered that the freeman's oath shall be given to every man of or above the age of sixteen years; the clause for the election of magistrates excepted.” All the male inhabitants of Medford complied with this law.

To know what oath our fathers took, we subjoin the form, as ordained by the General Court, May 14, 1634:--

Freeman's oath.

I,----, being by God's providence an inhabitant and freeman within the jurisdiction of this Commonweal, do freely acknowledge myself to be subject to the government thereof, and therefore do here swear, by the great and dreadful name of the ever-living God, that I will be true and faithful to the same, and will accordingly yield assistance and support thereunto, with my person and estate, as in equity I am bound, and will also truly endeavor to maintain and preserve all the liberties and privileges thereof, submitting myself to the wholesome laws and orders made and established by the same; and further, that I will not plot nor practise any evil against it, nor consent to any that shall so do, but will timely discover and reveal the same to lawful authority, now here established, for the speedy preventing thereof. Moreover, I do solemnly bind myself, in the sight of God, that, when I shall be called to give my voice touching any such matter of this state wherein freemen are to deal, I will give my vote and suffrage as I shall judge in mine own conscience may best conduce and tend to the public weal of the body, without respect of persons or favor of any man. So help me God, in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In 1643, the Court “ordered, that if any freeman shall put in more than one paper or corn for the choice of any officer, he shall forfeit £ 10 for every offence; and any man, that is not free, casting in any vote, shall forfeit the like sum of £ 10.”

The ballots used at elections were corns and beans: corns, yeas; beans, nays.

The conditions of voting in towns was fixed by the General Court as early as April 17, 1729. “Voted that no ”

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