Bell Ringers
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By zachlowe1
On July 2, 2019

Bell Ringer: Colonial Courts

Courts in Colonial Times

A guide at Colonial Williamsburg, VA (Virginia) provides an overview of the role of courts during the colonial period.


This bellringer provides an overview of an example from Virginia (VA) of the role of courts in colonial society.

Bell Ringer Assignment

  • What do you think are pros/cons of having judges appointed, rather than elected?
  • Describe the case of Mary Whaley. What did the court rule? Do you think the process was fair and unbiased?
  • What are some presented examples of misdemeanors and related consequences? Do you feel the punishments fit the crimes?
  • Which groups of people were allowed to watch trials and which were not? Why do you think this was the case?

Additional Resources



    • Colonial
    • Court
    • House Of Burgesses
    • Misdemeanors
    • Pillories
    • Trial


    Criminal Law & JusticeState HistoryU.S. History


    Middle SchoolHigh School