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Massholes have always been with us

J.L. Bell reports on a 1775 ordinance on Boston drivers:

Complaints have been made to the Selectmen that numbers of the Inhabitants have been greatly disturbed by the driving of Slays thro’ the Town, with the beat of Drums & other noises, at unseasonable Times of the Night; To prevent such Disorders for the future, Orders have been given the Constables of the Town Watch to stop such offenders and make Report of their Names, that they may be dealt with as the Law directs.

Free tagging: 


They should be perfectly fine with noise in the middle of the night! You want quiet - move out to Braintree with those cantankerous Adamses.

Snowflakes and NIMBYs - sheesh!


People that didn't grow up in a city don't realize that EVERY city in the world has residential sections to them and its been like that since....forever.

Go Titans!

People who are afraid of brown people and would never voluntarily set foot in a city

Fixed that for you.

Did you have to play some kind of totally irrelevant race card?

Seriously - what does this have to do with anything?

Or are you just a Russian troll?

... even back then protecting the rights of residents and prohibiting excessive noise at night.

The overarching legal concept is nuisance, and has been around since time immemorial.

6. It is therefore Voted and Ordered that no Coach Slay Chair Chaise or other Carriage shall at such time be driven at a greater rate than a foot pace, on Penalty of the Sum of ten shillings ...

First speed limits?


You left out the part that says the foot's pace speed limit only applies on the Lord's days.

On other days, you couldn't "Ride or drive a Gallop or other swift Pace within any of the Streets Lanes or Alleys of this Town".

In between those two paragraphs, there are laws against building unstable buildings within 40 feet of a street, keeping pigs within 20 feet of a street unless the "Filth thereof runs directly through the Keepers own Land into the Saltwater", and playing Foot-Ball or throwing Snow Balls or Stones in the Streets. Someone needs to teach them how to organize their laws.

Then come laws against trucks more than 16 feet long (sound like a familiar complaint?), and loads over one ton except if it's one piece of cable.

...a space saver for their sleigh while they were out during “unseasonable times of the night”. Obnoxious.


Back then they didn't plow the roads, just compacted the snow down. Horse-drawn carriages would swap out their wheels for skis.

Cracking down on petty grievances on behalf of busy bodies for as long as they have existed (not as long as you might think).

There used to be what could now be called drag races with sleighs between Medford and Malden, and these were often at relatively high speeds and with drunken drivers. There were numerous injuries.

Not much different from how people will gather at certain places in the wee hours to drag race cars.


Not asking because I doubt you, but rather because I’m honestly curious: how do you know this? I don’t doubt that peoples’ fascination with going as fast as possible is a recent development.

The guy who wrote Jingle Bells was one of the worst offenders, a big fan of consuming the locally-made rum, and frequent high stakes better on these events!


My son also cat sits for the Hamills.


That’s absolutely fascinating!

Adam I love this. What got me belly laughing was the loud drums reference.

And no doubt every bit as lovable.