Code of 1650 or Ludlow’s Code
of 1650" is the first codification of Connecticut laws.
Compiled by Roger Ludlow, the Code begins with a bill of rights
"…that no mans life shall bee taken away, no mans honor or good name
shall bee stained, no mans person shall be arrested, ...unless it
bee by the vertue or equity
some express Law of the Country…." The laws that follow this
declaration reflect the legal concerns of Connecticut residents some
350 years ago. The Code contains laws that not only prohibit murder,
forgery and theft, but also prohibit heresy, idleness and
was educated at Oxford and a member of the Inner Temple, an
association of lawyers dedicated to the study and instruction of the
law in London. Ludlow arrived in America in 1630 as an assistant to
the Massachusetts Bay Company. In 1636, dissatisfied with the
political issues developing in Massachusetts, Ludlow joined other
settlers in Connecticut and helped establish the town of Windsor.
Since he was the only lawyer in the colony, it is believed he
drafted the "Fundamental Orders of Connecticut", considered
to be the first constitution in America.
founded the town of Fairfield and continued his work as a magistrate
until politics again called him back to England. He left a legacy
that became the foundation for other constitutions and laws that
have endured to the present time. His "Code of 1650" may
still be purchased through rare or used book dealers.
articles in the Connecticut Bar Journal and the
Connecticut Law Review provide enlightening narratives of
Bar J. 110, 13 Conn. Bar J. 52, 64 Conn. Bar J. 330, and 1 Conn.
L. R. 386.
of Connecticut Legal History