Minutes of the Court of Fort Orange and Beverwyck 1657-1660
translated and edited by A.J.F. Van Laer, Vol.2, Albany, 1923: Page 209-210:
"Extraordinary Session held in Fort Orange,
August 8 Anno 1659
"Instructions issued by the honorable commissary and magistrates of Fort Orange and the village of Beverwyck for the rattle watch, appointed at the request of the burghers to relieve them of night-watch duty; to the rattle watch of which place Lambert van Valckenborgh and Pieter Winnen were appointed the 6th of July of this year 1659, on condition that they together are to receive for the term of one year one thousand and one hundred guilders in seawan and one hundred guilders in beavers.
"First, the said rattle watch shall be held to appear at the burghers' guard house after the ringing of the nine o'clock bell and together at ten o'clock shall begin making their rounds, giving notice of their presence in all the streets of the village of Beverwyck by sounding their rattle and calling [out the hour], and this every hour of the night, until 4 o'clock in the morning.
"Secondly, they shall pay especial attention to fire and upon the first sign of smoke, extraordinary light or otherwise warn the people by knocking at their houses. And if they see any liklihood of fire, they shall give warning by rattling and calling, and run to the church, of which they are to have a key, and ring the bell.
"Thirdly, in case they find any thieves breaking into any houses or gardens, they shall to the best of their ability try to prevent it, arrest the thieves and bring them into the fort. And in case they are not strong enough to do so, they are to call the burghers of the vicinity to their aid, who are in duty bound to lend the helping hand, as this is tending to the common welfare.
"Fourthly, in case of opposition, they are hereby authorized to offer resistance, the honorable commissary and magistrates declaring that they release them from all liability for any accident which may happen or result from such resistance if offered in the rightful performance of their official duties.
"Which instructions the aforesaid rattle watch shall swear to observe. Actum in Fort Orange, the 3d of September Anno 1659."
Thanks to Ron Hinckley for his generousity in sending this data on ancestor Lambert Jochemse Van Valkenburg!