The Laws of Williams College, 1795

Chap. II. - Of Devotional Exercises, and the Observation of the Lord's Day.

I. Every member of this institution, whether belonging to the College or the Grammar School, shall constantly and seasonably attend prayers in the Hall, morning and evening; and, if any student comes to prayers after the exercises are begun, he shall be fined one penny; and if he shall be absent or egress from prayers, without sufficient reason, he shall be fined two pence for every such offence. And if any Student shall be remarkable for frequent tardiness or absence from prayers, the President or one of the Tutors, after particular enquiry into the reasons of this neglect, shall, if he judges them insufficient, give him a private admonition; if he persist in his neglect, he shall be admonished before the President and Tutors. And if he shall not reform, he shall make a public confession, be publicly admonished in the Hall, or be dismissed with disgrace, according to the degree and aggravation of the offence.

II. If any Student shall be guilty of indecent or irreverent behaviour at prayers, or of any disorderly conduct immediately before or after prayers, in the Hall, he shall be fined a sum not exceeding three shillings, or be liable to admonition, rustication, or dishonorable dismission, according to the aggravation of the offence.

III. All the students shall on the evenings next preceding and succeeding the Lord's Day, abstain from all such diversions as may tend to disturb those who religiously observe either of said evenings. And it is enjoined upon every Scholar carefully to apply himself to the duties of religion on the Lord's Day, and on one of the said evenings. Whoever shall profane the day by unnecessary business, or visiting, or walking in the streets or fields, or shall use any diversion, or otherwise behave himself disorderly, or in a manner unbecoming the said day, shall be fined, not exceeding three shillings, or be admonished, make a public confession, or be rusticated, according to the nature and aggravation of the offence.

IV. If any Scholar shall be absent from the public worship on either part of the Lord's Day, or upon public Fasts and Thanksgivings, without offering a sufficient reason, before the ringing of the second Bell, to the President or one of the Tutors, he shall be fined not exceeding one shilling. And if any Scholar shall come to public worship after the first singing, he shall be fined not exceeding six pence. Yet if any Scholar in the Grammar School has Parents or Guardians living near College, and is at home with them on the Lord's Day, or on public Fasts and Thanksgivings, he shall be exempted from the foregoing part of this Law. And if any Scholar shall be guilty of irreverent or indecent behaviour at public worship, he shall be fined not exceeding three shillings; or be punished by admonition, a public confession, or rustication, according to the aggravation of the offence.

V. That proper care may be taken, that all the Students duly attend the public worship of God; It is ordered, that every member of College, and also every member of the Grammar School, above twenty one years of age, not exempted by the fourth section in this Chapter, who shall propose to attend statedly on the service of any other regular Christian society in Williamstown, than that on which the members of College and the Grammar School usually attend, shall signify, in writing, his desire to the President and Tutors; and that every Student under the age of one and twenty years, who shall propose to attend the said service, shall bring to the President a written request from his Parent or Guardian, that he may attend said service, and all Students, but those excepted above, who shall not produce such writing, shall be required to attend at the usual place of worship.

VI. If any Student admits a Barber or Hair-dresser into his Chamber to shave or dress him on the Lord's Day, or if he goes into any other Chamber in College, or into any shop or house in town, and is there shaved or dressed by a Barber or Hair-dresser on the Lord's Day, he may be fined for the first offence not more than two shillings; and if, after private admonition, he persists in the practice, he may be publicly admonished, suspended, or rusticated, according to the circumstances of the offence.