Definition of Terms Probably Unfamiliar in the 21st Century
Fulling Mill: After a piece of cloth had been woven it was taken to a water-powered fulling mill, where wooden hammers would pound it with fuller's earth in order to cleanse and scour it. The cloth was then hung on tenter frames to be stretched back to it's original size.
Yoeman - a farmer who owned his own land and often farmed it himself, or a man holding a small landed estate, a minor land owner
The Saybrook Platform refers to conservative religious proposals adopted at Saybrook, Connecticut in September 1708. The document attempted to stem the tide of disunity among the established Congregational churches and restore discipline among both the clergy and their congregations. In its "Fifteen Articles" the platform provided for "associations" of pastors and elders and "consociations" of churches, each with broad powers to rule in disputes between churches, to proceed against erring churches and pastors, and to license the latter. The Platform was but a brief conservative victory against a non-conformist tide which had begun with the Halfway Covenant and would culminate in the Great Awakening.
The Magna Charta resulted from the peace made between King John of England and about sixty of his rebelling barons in 1215. After preliminary negotiations with the barons through the Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton, as go-between, the King and his party met the barons on 15 June in a meadow known as Runnemede next to the Thames River. After several days of face-off discussions on the 19th the document language was agreed upon and the barons elected 25 of their number to be "Sureties", holding title to a few of the King's properties, including the Tower of London, to guarantee the King's compliance with the laws and liberties of the Magna Charta. Thus began the long legal process of putting limits on kingly (and hence, by later extension, governmental) authority and of granting explicit rights to the ruled. From the time of its issue, the Magna Charta became a symbol of freedom to the barons and people alike, and kings during succeeding centuries were expected to affirm it. This compact, originally just between the king and his discontented barons, has been invested by time and later interpretation with real and mythological power far beyond its original intent and far beyond any other single document in English law. The Magna Charta led to the English and later the United States Constitutions. More precisely it gave protection to the rights of the nobles and common citizens alike to be free of arbitrary actions against their persons or property by their sovereign. It has come to be recognized as the first cornerstone of liberty and justice in the western world. It is the well-spring of modern concepts of free speech, free association, the right to petition the government for redress of grievances, the right of due process according to the law of the land, to the public and impartial trial at the hands of our peers, the right to travel freely in the time of peace, and perhaps most important of all, the recognition that even the sovereign is subject to the law of the land. The Constitution of the United States of America refers specifically to the Magna Charta in section nine, amendments one, five, six, and eight, and implication is made in both documents to "No taxation without representation". The Barons were required to ensure the king's compliance with the terms of the document. The Bishops were the witnesses.
Trainband: Trainband was used in connection with colonial times. They were a local militia formed for the protection of the local town, frequently used as a defense from Indian Attacks