28 June 1773
Whereas Richard King Esq. hath released me from Gaol where I have been sometime confined by having my body attached by a writ of Trespass in which the said Richard is Plaintiff, and John Stewart myself and others defendants2 at my request in consideration thereof and of five shillings paid me by said Richard I do hereby release unto the said Richard all cause of action whatsoever I have or may have against the said Richard on account of having my body attached and imprisoned as aforesaid.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this twenty eighth day of June in the eleventh Year of his Majesty’s Reign, An. Dom. 1773.
1. In an unidentified hand; docketed by King: “Burbank’s Release to Richd. King, Esq.”; signed by Burbank. NHi:Rufus King MSS. This document represents a release by Burbank of any rights against King for false imprisonment.
2. Burbank was taken and committed in accordance with King’s writ on 12 March 1773. SF 139590. Although judgment in his favor was handed down atthe Inferior Court, March term 1773, the attachment apparently remained in force pending the appeal. By statute, execution on the Inferior Court judgment was stayed. The process in that court seems to have served also to compel appearance in the Superior Court, the defendant’s protection being the bond which the appellant had to post. The statutory provision that no person imprisoned on mesne process was to remain in jail more than 30 days after the rising of the court to which the process was returnable unless his body had been taken in execution was thus apparently suspended by the stay of execution on appeal. See Act of 12 June 1701, §§8, 9, 11, 1 A&R description begins The Acts and Resolves, Public and Private, of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, ed. Ellis Ames, Abner C. Goodell, et al., Boston, 1869–1922; 21 vols. description ends 465–466.