Buggery law: New Hampshire, 1718

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Death for buggery

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New Hampshire legislators revised its "buggery" law of 1680, adopting the Massachusetts law of 1697 with only minor changes. However, the New Hampshire law, unlike that of Massachusetts, used the term "buggery" to refer to both sodomy and bestiality.[1]

The statute read:

for avoiding of the Detestable and Abominable Sin of Buggery with Mankind or Beast, which is contrary to the very light of Nature: Be it Enacted ... that the same offense be adjudged Felony. . . . And that every Man being duly convicted of Lying with Man-kind as he lyeth with a Woman; And every Man or Woman that shall have Carnal Copulation with any Beast or brute Creature, the offender and offenders in either the cases before mentioned, shall suffer the pains of Death, and the Beast shall be slain and burned.

This law was next revised in 1812, when New Hampshire legislators revoked the death penalty for this crime.[2]

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  1. Jonathan Ned Katz, Gay/Lesbian Almanac (NY: Harper & Row, 1983), p. 131, citing Batchellor, vol. 2, p. 314.
  2. Batchellor, vol. 8, p. 130.

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