Have you ever sat in church on Sunday (or whatever day you go) and listened to a really bad sermon. I admit that I have, and I admit to daydreaming, checking out my fellow suffers and frequent checks of my watch. Imagine if you have to sit through a really bad, really long sermon every Sunday and complaining about it got you brought into court. Ditching the Sunday service was not an option, neither was sleeping through the sermon, someone was there watching you, ready to wake you up.
This comes from the Records and Files of the Quarterly Court of Essex County
Mrs. Holgrave presented for reproachful and unbecoming speeches against Mr. William Perkins, an officer of the church, viz:
if it were not for the law, shee would never com to the meetinge, the teacher was soe dead, and accordingly shee did seldom com and withall pswaded goodwife vincett to com to her house, on the Saboth daye, and reade good bookes, affirminge that the teacher was fitter to be a Ladyes chamberman, then to be in the pulpitt
Witnesses were: Sarah Vincent, Grace Duch and William Vincent
Punishment: fined and made to confess in public
You know your a Puritan if....you call you minister a bore and you land in court.