|John Wintrop, 1st Governor|
I, A.B., being by God's providence an inhabitant and freeman within the jurisdiction of this Commonwealth, do freely acknowledge myself to be subject to the government thereof, and therefore do here swear by the great and dreadful name of the everlasting God, that I will be true and faithful to the same, and will accordingly yield assistance and support thereunto, with my person and estate, as in equity I am bound; and I will also truly endeavour to maintain and preserve all the liberties and privileges thereof, submitting myself to the wholesome laws and orders, made and established by the same. And further, that I will not plot nor practise any evil against it, nor consent to any, that shall so do, but will truly discover and reveal the same to lawful authority now here established, for the speedy preventing thereof. Moreover, I do solemnly bind myself in the sight of God, that when I shall be called to give my voice, touching any such matter of this state, wherein freemen are to deal, I will give my vote and suffrage, as I shall judge in mine own conscience may best conduce and tend to the public weal of the body, without respect of persons or favor of any man; so help me God in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Prudential Men were chosen by each town to enact the towns business.
As early as 1641, the Prudential men of theTown (Ipswich) ordered that no dog should come into the meeting house on Sabbath days or lecture days between twelve and three o'clock. Why they were so obnoxious during the afternoon service, and not in the morning, we are left to our wits to discover. Certain it is, that from very early times, the dog had been legislated against as an undesirable attendant.
The Selectmen were the Executive branch of the town government, these men had charge of the day-to-day operations; selectmen were important in legislating policies central to a community's police force, highway supervisors, poundkeepers, field drivers, and other officials. They were also the town busybodies. Reporting those who wore clothing above their station, did not go to church, fell asleep in church, etc.