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A Massachusetts Colonial fine imposed for removing stones from the beach.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  I read my ancestor was fined for taking rocks from the beach in the 17th century in Massachusetts.  Why would this be the case if they were merely stones?


Answer:  According to The Book of the General Lauues [Laws] and Libertyes published in Cambridge, Masss in 1648 it was illegal.  Specifically it was
illegal to remove any "Ballast" stones " ballast shall be taken from any towne shore by any person whatsoever without alllowance under the hands of the select men upon
the penalty of six pence for every shovel-full so taken."

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