OLD AND NEW STYLE.
ACCORDING to "Old Style" the year began on the 25th of March, and 1751 was the last year of "Old Style." In recording events which occurred from the 1st of January to the 25th of March before 1751, double dating has been practised in Hingham, as elsewhere. According to "New Style" the year begins on the 1st of January, and 1752 was the first year of "New Style." The day following the 2d of September, 1752, was called the 14th, omitting eleven intermediate nominal days.
To be a freeman in the early history of the Colony was to be a member of the Church; and none but freemen could vote for rulers or be elected to office. The freeman's oath bound him to be a true and faithful subject of the government, and if called upon he was to yield assistance and support thereto with his person and estate.
Among the many laws enacted by the Colonists relating to freemen were the following:
"1641. Every Court within this Jurisdiction where two Magistrates are present, may admit any Church Members, that are fit to be freemen, giving them the Oath, and the Clerk of each Court shall certifie their Names to the Secretary at the next General Court."
"Oct. 15, 1673. As an addition to the Law Title Freeman (sec. iii). It is ordered by this Court, and the Authority thereof; That henceforth, the Names of such as desire to be admitted to the Freedome of this Commonwealth, not being Members of Churches in full Communion, shall be entered with the Secretary from time to time at the Court of Election, and Read over before the whole Court, sometime that Sessions, and shall not be put to Vote in the Court till the Court of Election, next following."
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