Massachusetts Bicameral Ordinance

March 7, 1644

Forasmuch as, after long experience, wee find divers inconveniences in the manner of our proceeding in Courts by magistrates &amp deputies siting together, & accounting it wisdome to follow the laudable practice of other states who have layd groundworks for government &amp order in the issuing of business of greatest & highest consequence,-

It is therefore ordered, first, that the magistrates may sit & act business by themselves, by drawing up bills & orders which they shall see good in their wisdome, which haveing agreed upon, they may present them to the deputies to bee considered of, how good & wholesome such orders are for the country, & accordingly to give their assent or dissent, the deputies in like manner siting apart by themselves, & consulting about such orders & lawes as they in their discretion & experience shall find meete for common good, which agreed upon by them they may present to the magistrates, who, according to their wisdome, haveing seriously considered of them, may consent unto them or disalow them; & when any orders have passed the approbation of both magistrates & deputies, then such orders to bee ingrossed, & in the last day of the Court to bee read deliberately, & full assent to bee given; provided, also, that all matters of judicature which this Court shall take cognisance of shal bee issued in like manner. is a project of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University

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