all men. It was made a crime to attend a Dissenting place of worship. A single justice of the peace might convict without a jury, and might, for the third offense, pass sentence of transportation beyond the seas for seven years. With refined cruelty it was provided that the offender should not be transported to New England, where he was likely to find sympathizing friends. If he returned to his own country before the expiration of his term of exile, he was liable to capital punishment.
Charles II made Jamaica one of the places of banishment for the Quakers, who would take no oaths either abjuring papacy, acknowledging the supremacy of the king, or swearing allegiance to him, all which omissions were considered to be treasonable offenses, and hundreds of them were sentenced as convicts and sent out. These were soon followed by the conspirators of the Whig and Rye House Plots in 1683, and in 1684 the Jamaica House of Assembly passed by command an act entitled "An act for ascertaining the servitude of the rebels lately sent from England, and to prevent all clandestine releasements and buying out their time, to the end, that after so great a mitigation" (as reprieve from hanging) "their punishment might yet in some measure be answerable to their crime." The author of the Annals of Jamaica informs us that these poor wretches were sentenced to ten years' servitude, and adds that few lived to its expiration, as may be readily believed when we remember that they were employed as "field hands" in a climate that at that time was notoriously unhealthy for Europeans, were insufficiently fed, badly housed, and hard worked.
In the reign of James II this inhuman practice was still continued. More than three hundred persons who took part in, or were suspected of being connected with, the rising in Argyleshire, were transported to the West Indies, many of them having first been subjected to mutilation; and several women were banished, after being branded on the cheek with a hot iron. The prisoners taken at the battle of Sedgemoor in 1685, and persons otherwise implicated in the rebellion of Monmouth, who were all technically liable to suffer death, were granted in batches to the members of the court, who sent them out to the colonies to be sold as slaves. The number of prisoners transported by the notorious Judge Jeffreys was eight hundred and forty-one. They were divided into gangs and granted to court favorites, the conditions of the grant being that the convicts should be carried beyond the sea as slaves, that they should not be emancipated till after ten years, and that the place of their banishment should be the West Indies. This last condition was studiously framed for the purpose of aggravat-