At the Essex Quarterly Court in 1672, the following edict was issued: Information and complaint being made to this court of a disorderly and dangerous practice of running horses near to houses and taverns to the hazard of themselves, children, and other persons, contrary to the rules of modesty and sobriety, also of an uncomely, offensive and rude manner of riding very fast to and from meetings on the Lord's day and other public church meetings, it was therefore ordered and declared that no person within this county under penalty of 40s. for every such offence and whosoever shall offend in riding or running their horses fast to and from the meetings shall forfeit 20s., unless it be upon some extraordinary occasion or necessity. This order was to remain in force until the General Court take further order concerning the same, and was to be published at the courts of Ipswich and Salem and a copy set upon the meeting houses of said towns.
I have a number of relatives living in Ipswich and Salem at this time. I'd love to know if any of them were racing to and from the meetings.