Found and copied - word for word - from CO 5/1380: Acts passed by the Virginia Legislature 1662-1715
23 March 1662: [Act] XCI
Divulgers of False News
Whereas many idle and busy-headed people do forge and divulge false rumours and reports, to the great disturbance of the peace of His Majesty’s liege people in this colony [Virginia]: be it enacted, that what person or persons soever shall forge or divulge any such false reports, tending to the trouble of the country, he shall be, by the next Justice of the Peace, sent for, and bound over to the next County Court; where, if he produce not his author, he shall be fined two thousand pounds of tobacco, or less, (if the Court think fit to lessen it) and besides, give bond for his behaviour, if it appear to the Court, that he did maliciously publish, or invent it.
I would not have believed this had I not read it, and would have dismissed it as fake news about fake news...