The basis for modern Massachusetts marriage and social-relations law is the colonial versions. In 1642, fornication could lead to forced marriage. The Bay Colony law included:
It is ordered by this Court and Authoritie therof, That if any man shall commit Fornication with any single woman, they shall be punished either by enjoyning to Marriage, or Fine, or corporall punishment, or all or any of these as the Judges in the courts of Assistants shall appoint most agreeable to the word of God. And this Order to continue till the Court take further order.