This foot note contained in document LJA02d042
62. In England such proceedings were by information, although at common law. 4 Blackstone, Commentaries
*303; Hoon, English Customs
279–280. In his opinion in the case of the Lydia,
note 3 above, however, Sewall had expressed a great reluctance to proceed by information in the Superior Court, noting that this method had “seldom been used [in Massachusetts] without the consent of the Judges, except in cases where the offense has been clearly against Law and the public Good has evidently required it.” 4
(3d ser.) 504. The implication is clear that if the Commissioners had wished to proceed at common law in the Liberty
case, they would have had to obtain an indictment.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2007.