Biddeford was a tiny town back in the 1700s and on the edge of the wilderness. How did our forefathers and foremothers settle disputes? Were disputes adjudicated in courts or were our early taverns the site of adjudications? Who were the judges? Where were these legal happenings held? What did the judges wear? How were the judges elected? Were women allowed in the court proceedings?
On Friday, October 13th at 7pm, the Biddeford Historical Society will give you a peek into the legal past of our beautiful city during our third Fireside Chat. It is fitting that this discussion is held at the historic Biddeford Meetinghouse—the earliest meetinghouse in Maine and the very place that one of our Biddeford greats, Jeremiah Hill, was tried for heresy. Although not a legal trial, it would be a religious trial that shook the foundations of religiosity in Biddeford.
Judge Michael Cantara will lead us three hundred years back in time to explore how the early court system worked, not only in Biddeford, but also in York County. He will give us invaluable insight on the court structure and the venue. He will provide a window into court cases that were significant and their implications for even today’s litigation.