In 1656, 1657 and 1658 laws were passed to prevent the introduction of Quakers into Massachusetts, and it was enacted that on the first conviction one ear should be cut off, on the second the remaining ear, and that on the third conviction the tongue should be bored with a hot iron.
The Poetelian law (326 B.C.) restricted the creditor's lien (by virtue of a nexum) to the goods of his debtor, and enacted that for the future no debtor should be put in chains; but we hear of debtors addicti to their creditors by the tribunals long after - even in the time of the Punic Wars.
The law under which the slaves of Pedanius were put to death, probably introduced under Augustus and more fully enacted under Nero, is sufficient proof of this anxiety, which indeed is strongly stated by Tacitus in his narrative of the facts.
The bill enacted that no vessel should clear out for slaves from any port within the British dominions after the 1st of May 1807, and that no slave should be landed in the colonies after the 1st of March 1808.
In 1858 it was enacted that every slave belonging to a Portuguese subject should be free in twenty years from that date, a system of tutelage being established in the meantime.