America and West Indies: December 1736, 1-5

Pages 354-365

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 42, 1735-1736. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1953.

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December 1736, 1-5

Dec. 1. 473. Col. Thomas to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reasons offered against the Act of Montserrat, for preventing trade between H.M. subjects and the French. Abstract: (i) Being of an extraordinary nature, it should have had a suspensory clause. It may affect British trade and shipping, should the French make reprisals, and so cut off from the Leeward Islands the supply of negroes and provisions which are usually carried first to Barbados. (ii) The Governor being forbidden by his 74th Instruction to grant commissions of marque or reprisals against any prince or state or their subjects in amity with us etc. without H.M. especial command, Governor Mathew ought not to have granted any such in consequence of the said act, or rather of the French Edict, that act, it is conceived, being calculated chiefly to colour his disobedience to this Instruction. (iii) The 5th and 6th Articles of the Treaty of 1686 relating to vessels in distress, ought to have restrained him from passing this act, etc., as seizures of French ships under this act may affect planters and traders in the Leeward Islands in general, Governor Mathew should have called a General Council and Assembly of the four Islands, to judge of its necessity and reasonableness etc. There is no real need of such an act, the laws in force being sufficient to prevent illegal trading etc. Endorsed, Recd. (from Col. Thomas), Read 1st Dec. 1736. 3 pp. [C.O. 152, 22. ff. 249–250 v.].
474. Memorial of Merchants trading to and interested in H.M. Plantations in the West Indies, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract. By his Edict of Oct. 1727, the French King has altered, in a very material and important point, the terms of the Treaty of Peace and Neutrality (confirmed by the Treaty of Utrecht) etc., for the Edict forbids strangers to touch at, or sail within a league of, any of his islands etc. The regulations in the Edict affecting vessels in distress are contrary to humanity and the practice of all civilised nations etc. Under colour of these Letters patent, the lawful trade of H.M. subjects has been molested, and their vessels and goods arbitrarily seized in the high and open seas. Such vessels have been carried into French ports, and there confiscated, and their commanders and crews shut up in dungeons where they could hardly breath, and subject to great pecuniary penalties, though they do not appear to have done any act which is criminal by the law of nations, or prohibited by any treaties made between the two Crowns. On remonstrances made to the French Governors and the Court of France, such seizures and treatment have been justified as lawful, etc. The open seas whch bound the territories of the French King are, memorialists conceive, like other open seas free to all nations etc. Acquiescence in such confiscations will be tacitly owning a right of dominion in those seas in the French King, which may in time be of fatal consequence to the English nation etc., for by the same rule that the French King can forbid the subject of any foreign nation to approach within one league of his shore, he may forbid them to approach within ten. The British subjects in America, finding by an experience of many years that applications for redress were vain, the Legislature of Montserrat have lately passed a law, by which the vessels of any foreign nation, coming within a league of their shore, is likewise subject to confiscation etc. Refer to the cases of the Fleuron and Fortune seized and confiscated under that act etc., whereupon memorials complaining of these proceedings have been presented on behalf of the French Court. Continue:—The French Ministers found themselves under a necessity of asserting in these memorials not only that the said Letters Patents did not injoyn the seizure of forreign ships, which (compelled by force) come to the French islands, but likewise that no forreign ships, that are forced by contrary winds, or driven by currents to approach the French islands, are ordered by those Letters patents to be seized, without a design not only of trafficking there, but even to anchor there, and that no instance can be given of any English vessells, being confiscated at Martinique, or any other of the French islands, without clear and convincing proofs of a fraudulent commerce, rightly foreseeing, as Memorialists apprehend, that they could not without any appearance of justice, demand restitution of the Fortune or the Fleuron, if either the French King had made any law to this effect, or his Governors in fact had confiscated any English vessells, for coming within a league of his shore, and no other cause. Memorialists apprehend by the 3rd Article in those Letters patent, all strangers are forbid to touch with their vessels at any ports in the French islands, or to sail within a league of those islands, upon pain of confiscation, in as plain, positive, and express terms, as can be conceived, and altho' by the 11th Article permission is given to vessells in distress, to enter the ports there mentioned, in cases of necessity, yet any strange vessell found within a league of their shore is lyable to confiscation, by the third article (notwithstanding anything in the 11th Article where that necessity does not appear) altho' no proof is given of a fraudulent commerce, the bare coming within that distance of the shore, being the single tiling denounced an offence etc., and 'tis to this alone, that the penalty of confiscation, with a heavy fine, is annexed, without making illicit trade any ingredient in it. And your Memorialists further beg leave to observe, that the imposing fines upon H.M. subjects, after the French have stripp'd them of their vessels, and cargoes, is assuming and actually exercising a sovereign authority over them etc. Memorialists will be able to make it appear by the evidence of sufferers, that the French King's Governors and Officers have put this sense upon the plain words of the Edict. Memorialists believe the French Ministers will never be able to shew that the vessells mentioned in the paper hereunto annex'd (besides many others that might be named) were guilty of carrying on any illicit trade, although they have been seized and confiscated etc. ; and therefore, if any ill construction has been put upon those Letters Patent, 'tis not His Britannic Majesty's Governours, as the French Ministers alledge, but the Governors of his most Christian Majesty, that have ill construed them, and by such construction brought ruin upon many of the British subjects. The French cannot with any colour of justice demand restitution of the Fleuron or other seizures mentioned in their memorials, till they have first made satisfaction for all the vessells taken by them without any proof of illicit trade under pretence of the said Letters patent etc. ; and therefore, as it is of the utmost consequence to the trade of H.M. subjects and the security of their persons, and properties that these Letters Patent should be revoked, and the genuine sence of the Treaty of 1686 adhered to, and restored etc., Memorialists do humbly hope that the Board will not advise H.M. immediately to repeal the Act of Montserrat, nor, until His most Christian Majesty has revoked the said Letters Patent, and full satisfaction is made, etc., and full provision is made for settling all matters relating to the trade in the West Indies, in such manner for the future, as that the subjects of His Britannic Majesty there, may stand upon an equal and reciprocal foot, with the subjects of the most Christian King. 66 signatures. Endorsed, Recd. Read 1st Dec. 1736. 5½ large pp. Enclosed,
474. i. List of vessels taken by the French from the English referred to in the foregoing Memorial. One sloop belonging to St. Christopher taken, and two burned at Sta. Cruz, Sept. 1729; the sloop Amity of Anguilla, taken in July, 1732, on the high seas near Martinique; sloop Margarett taken, in June 1734, at Round Key, 5 leagues from any French island ; sloop Humility taken 5 leagues from Martinique in Dec, 1732 ; the Dolphin taken at Louisbourgh, Cape Breton, Aug. 1729. Endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 22. ff. 245– 248 v.].
Dec. 1.
475. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen, Guardian of the Kingdom etc. Recommend confirmation of Act of Virginia to vest lands in C. Tomkies etc. [C.O. 5, 1366. pp. 140, 141].
Dec. 3.
New York.
476. Lt. Governor Clarke to the Duke of Newcastle. Encloses following, to which he refers his Grace. Concludes: I have the satisfaction to see that every day adds to the quiet and content of the Province, and I make no doubt of fixing both upon a lasting foundation if H.M. will be graciously pleased to continue me in the administration of the Government, for which I presume humbly to recommend myself to your Grace's protection etc. Signed, Geo. Clarke. Endorsed, R. Jan. 19th. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
476. i. Duplicate of Clarke to Council of Trade, Nov. 27. [C.O. 5, 1093. ff. 456, 457 v., 458–460 v.].
Dec. 3.
477. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Committee of the Privy Council. We have had under our consideration a petition from the Trustees for establishing the Colony of Georgia in America, referr'd to us 8th Dec. 1735 etc. We have discoursed with the said Trustees etc. We take leave to acquaint your Lordships that we know of no settlements made on any part of the land between the River Alatamaha, and the northern bounds of the Spanish Florida. Nor have we receivd any other intimation that endeavours are useing to obtain grants of land there. That should the Governor make any grants of land within that district to any persons, previous to their having purchased the same from the Indians who now make use of the said district for their hunting land ; those Indians might look upon any grant of land made thereon, as an incroachment on them and as it might occasion at least a jealousy between the English and them, we can not think it adviseable for the Governor of South Carolina to make any grants within that district to any persons whatsoever without particular leave first had from H.M. for that purpose etc. Propose following Instruction. Annexed,
477. i. H.M. Additional Instruction to Lt. Governor Broughton. Whereas it has been represented to Us that endeavours are using to obtain from you, Our Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief of South Carolina, grants of land to the South of the River Alatamaha ; and whereas We have reason to think that any grants to be made between that river and the northern bounds of the Spanish Florida might be look'd upon by those Indians Our allies, who make use of that district for the hunting land, as an encroachment upon them and thereby interrupt the good harmony now subsisting between the English and them ; It is Our will and pleasure, that you do not upon any pretence give any grant or warrant of survey for land within the district before described, to any person whatsoever without Our leave first obtained for that purpose. [C.O. 5, 401. pp. 189–193].
Dec. 4. 478. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Gives opinion of Acts of St. Christophers referred to his consideration :—I think it would have been very proper in the Legislature to have mentioned the Act intended to be amended in the body of the last Act. It is very inaccurate not to do it. But tho' it has not been done, I can't think that the whole Act, since it is actually amended in some parts, will remain in full force. It must be considered in my humble opinion in Courts of Justice (the amending Act being subsequent to the other) as explanatory to such parts of the Act only, as it relates too, and the remaining unamended part will be taken to be in full force. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 6th, Read 8th Dec. 1736. 1½ pp. [C.O. 152, 22. ff. 251–251 v., 252 v.].
Dec. 4. 479. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon Act of Barbados concerning the surveying of lands. States Mr. Edlington's objections. The preamble of the act shows that his insisting upon being the sole surveyor of lands in the island was the motive of passing the law, and not from any complaint of neglect or corruption in the execution of his office. Concludes:—This being the case I think the act seems only calculated to deprive H.M. Officer of his just and legal profitts without the least pretence or foundation for it, there being no charge as I observe against him, unless it is a crime to be sole Surveyor under His Majesty. I think the business of his office, if he has not misinformed me, is of great use in that island, where disputes about boundaries as there are no fences must often arise. I think he has been very properly appointed by the Governor, and I presume there is no occasion for more Surveyors, as the only complaint against him, as appears by the act, is engrossing the whole business to himself. I am therefore humbly of opinion that the act is unnecessary, as well as an encroachment upon the Prerogative of the Crown, and ought to be repealed. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 6th, Read 7th Dec., 1736. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
479. i. Commission by Governor Lord Howe appointing Mr. Edlington Surveyor eneral of the lands. 31st July, 1733. Copy. 2 pp.
479. ii. Commission by Col. Kendall, Governor of Barbados, appointing Joseph Woodroofe Surveyor General of the lands, 19th March, 1690. Copy. 2 pp.
479. iii. Certificate that John Edlington took the oathe appointed and was sworn to the due execution of his office etc. 31st July, 1733. Signed, James Mytton., D. Secty. ½ p. [C.O. 28, 24. ff. 182–184 v., 186 v., 187 v.].
Dec. 5. 480. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Council of Trade and Plantations. By the conveyance of the ship Micajah & Phillip, I send your Lordships the journals and Acts of the last Session of Assembly, and according to the method directed, shall give an account of the reasons which induced the Assembly to prepare them, and myself to pass them. No. 1 is an Act for laying a duty upon liquors imported by land, and for better securing the duty upon slaves, and for other purposes therein mentioned. The occasion of passing this Act appears in the Preamble of it to be thus : that since the laying a duty on liquors, which extended only to such as were imported by sea, great numbers, as well of H.M. natural born subjects as foreigners, coming into Pensilvania, and finding themselves disapointed of lands there, have removed into this Colony on the west side of our mountains, and near the confines of that Province, and by their industry have cleared roads for many miles through the woods for all manner of carriages, by which means the people of Pensilvania and Maryland, have an equal conveniency with the inhabitants of Virginia of transporting liquors by land to supply that part of our frontiers, but with this advantage to our neighbours, that theirs paid no duty, and ours was liable on its first importation. And there being nothing more just than that all who receive a benefit, should bear an equal share of the burden, which the necessary support of the Government requires, I, for this reason at our first meeting, recomended this expedient to the Assembly, and they readily came into the measures now enacted, which I hope your Lordships will allow to be equitable. The other part of this act is founded upon the experience of the ill use that has been made of the indulgence the purchasers of slaves had of paying the duty to any collectors they pleased, whereby great part of that easie duty hath been concealed. But by this Act the duty on all slaves is to be paid only to the Collector of the District where they are imported, who having the account of sales, will know best of whom to demand the duty. Some few other directions, contained herein, are meant only to enforce an honest payment of the duty, to which I presume, no objection can be made. The last observation on this Act is, that it exempts from the payment of the duty, what Madeira wine shall be imported by the Governour for his own use ; a compliment never made to any former Governour, and I value the more their kindness, because, my Lords, it was done without any desire, and is what I did not expect. No. 2. An Act declaring who shall have a right to vote in the election of Burgesses, and for preventing fraudulent conveyances in order to multiply votes at such elections. This Act settles the quantity of freehold necessary to give a title to vote for a member of the House of Burgesses, and is indeed too inconsiderable a qualification : Yet as the former laws had allowed any kind of freehold to give that right, and all attempts made heretofore to exclude the mobb of the populace, and to establish the qualification of the electors had proved vain, it is much better to have that point fixed on some certain basis, than to leave all persons indefinitely at liberty to have a vote, especially since this Act makes void all collusive conveyances to create voters, and inflicts a penalty both on the giver and receiver of them. After such a beginning it may be hoped a further regulation will follow, to remove from the House such members as have little to recommend them to the people's choice, besides the art of stirring up discontents against former laws that restrain the male practices of men, who in most countrys are not the least numerous. No. 3. An Act for further amending the Act for amending the staple of tobacco, and for preventing frauds in H.M. Customs. The chief intent in this Act is to remove some inconveniences found in the former laws on this subject; particularly to take off the restraint on buying tobacco before it is inspected, which was complained of by the Merchants as detrimental to their trade; the allowing some warehouses suppressed the last Assembly, and establishing new ones for the ease of the people. Increasing the rents of others found to be sett too low, and in fine, the preventing some abuses committed by the inspectors, which were not before provided for. All which 'tis hoped will have a good effect on the trade and prove satisfactory to the people. And there is a clause added to prevent the Inspectors meddling in any manner with the election of Burgesses on penalty of paying tenn pounds, and necessary prohibition and no hardship on them to comply with. No. 4. An Act for obliging apprentices to serve the time they shall be bound for, notwithstanding their infancy. The title of this act sufficiently express the reasonableness of it: and the unhappy consequences of a contrary practice, which has too long prevailed here, to the apprentices themselves (who as soon as they come of age withdraw from their service before they had learnt their trades, to the loss of their masters, and to the injury of the country by being served by unskilful artists) will sufficiently justifie the necessity of it. No. 5. An Act altering the laws now in force for the sale of goods taken in execution or distrained for rent, and for better preventing the fraudulent practices of tenants. It was no longer ago than the last Sessions that the Act was passed which was designed for the ease of debtors, but the provision made therein being found exposed to sundry abuses to the damage of creditors, it has been thought fitt to alter the same, or to allow the debtor only month's respite on giving security, instead of twelve he had before had. And instead of obliging the creditor to bring a new suit, he has a summary remedy to take out an execution immediately on the expiration of the time of payment, and for preventing the clandestine removal of tenants within their term, provision is made in this Act, that where a landlord suspects his tenant will remove his effects, before his rent becomes due, he may have an attachment against the tenants' goods, and compel him to give security for the payment. No. 6. An Act for preventing persons contracting small debts to remove their effects out of the county where they reside, and for allowing a lawyer's fee in some cases upon petitions. By a Law made some years since, no man can be arrested except the cause of action exceeds the value of five pounds, the remedy the creditor had was by petition and summons ; this favour to debtors having given opportunity to some men of base principles as soon as they were summoned to run out of the country, and leave their creditors in the lurch ; this Act now gives an attachment against the debtor, by which his goods may be followed and seized in any county, and judgment and execution obtained in the most speedy manner. And whereas upon petition for small debts no lawyer's fee was formerly allowed, which was hard upon creditors who could not attend the prosecution of such petitions in person, there is now allowed to an attorney 7s. 6d. No. 7. An Act for the greater ease and encouragement of Sherifs. This Act is occasioned by the difficulty of getting gentlemen to undertake the office, which in many countys is a place of small profit : but the great discouragement was the hazard they run of being subjected to considerable losses by the escape of debtors out of the prisons, which being generally remote from the Plantations and dwellings of men, who might otherwise have an eye over them, may easily make a passage from within, or by assistance from without: to relieve the Sherifs in some measure from this hardship, it is provided by this law, that no recovery shall be had against the Sherif for an escape, unless the jury who try the cause shall expresly find the escape was with the consent, or through the wilful negligence of the Sherif, or that he neglected to make fresh pursuit. The method of turning over the prisoners from the old to the new sherif, is also made more easy, and a method provided for retaking prisoners that may escape, and for obtaining writts of habeas corpus to remove prisoners in civil actions to the general court. Power is also given to the Sherifs to impress a guard for securing capital offenders and lastly, as the Sherif's power is enlarged in respect of receiving all publick dues, so an encrease of his allowance for collecting them, renders the execution of the office less troublesome and more profitable, and remove those apprehensions which hitherto occasioned a backwardness to accept of it. No. 8. An Act for better regulating and collecting certain officers' fees and other purposes therein mentioned. This Act needs little to be said of it, being almost the same with former laws enacted on that subject, with a very inconsiderable addition of some new fees for services lately created, and only to continue for two years, and thence to the end of the next Session of Assembly. No. 9. An Act to prevent the cutting up tobacco suckers. This is in effect little less than the repeal of a Clause in an Act made in 1730 whereby it was directed that the constables in every Precinct, should take care that all tobacco stalks, from which any plant had been cutt, .should be destroyed to prevent the curing of the suckers which usually sprout from them : But this being found to impoverish the ground, is therefore discontinued ; tho the same care is taken as formerly to oblige the constable to visit all tobacco grounds, and to prevent every planter, from the richest to the poorest, tending any of those suckers, in order to pack up with other tobacco, and is a restraint as effectual as the other. No. 10. An Act for regulating the fees and accompts of the practitioners in Physick. All I shall say on this is, that the Burgesses were very fond of it, alledging that many of those persons in this profession had exacted greater fees and prices than either their skill or their medecines deserved: But as a regular Phisician has it in his power to make his own terms with his patients, and is under no penalty, if he takes more than the rates prescribed, I do not apprehend it can be any injury to a man of character. And as the ignorant do more hurt than good, I think the allowance is too much. However as the Council took care to amend it by limiting its continuance to two years and thence to the end of the next Session of Assembly, I hope your Lordships will be of opinion to suffer it to abide its appointed time, that the usefulness or inconveniency of it may be discovered. No. 11. An Act for the better regulation of the office of Surveyors of lands, and directing them in their duty. That there were some irregular practices among these officers which gave birth to this act is not to be denied; and that one was attempted the last Session and passed the House of Burgesses, but was rejected by the Council as laying very unreasonable hardships upon the Surveyors must also be owned; However, the Burgesses this Session parting with the exceptionable clauses it was agreed to ; and as it is now passed, I do not apprehend it liable to any just objection. As to the particulars of it, I presume it needless to trouble your Lordships with any special animadversions on them. No. 12. An Act for raising a publick levy, and for other purposes therein mentioned. This, my Lords, is an usual Bill brought in every Session for discharging all the publick services payable in tobacco: And by this it appears that the whole charge of two years amount to no more than seven pounds and an half of tobacco p. pole ; a very moderate tax, considering the encrease of malefactors who have received their tryals in that time, and chiefly of those who have been transported hither for former crimes. In this Bill there is nothing extraordinary or different from others of the like nature, except a direction to the Countys of Spotsilvania, Hanover and Orange to raise 16,000 pounds of tobacco for the widow of a late Surveyor for running the dividing line of those Countys, a debt which ought to have been discharged long ago. No. 13. An Act for confirming and better securing the titles to lands in the Northern Neck, held under the Right Honourable Thomas, Lord Fairfax, Baron of Cameron, in that part of reat Britain called Scotland. As the estates and titles of a great many of the people of this Colony depend on grants of lands made by the Agents or Attorneys of the Proprietors of the Northern Neck, there is nothing more agreeable to natural justice, than that those lands which they have honestly purchased and paid for, should be enjoyed by them, according to the intent of their grants, whatever legal defect there may be in the powers of the Proprietors' Agents, who in their names passed those grants, or misrecital of the names of their constituents, occasioned by the distance between G. Britain and this place. To obviate all doubts therefore touching the validity of those grants, and to quiet the possessions of those purchasers under the Proprietors, is the scope and design of this Bill; and being passed with Lord Fairfax's consent, who was with me when it made its progress, I doubt not your Lordships will have the goodness to make such a favourable report upon it, that it may have H.M. Royal Approbation for the future content of His subjects. No. 14. An Act for lessening the allowances to witnesses in the County Courts, and altering the method of providing for the passage of the Eastern Shore Burgesses to and from the General Assembly. This Act reduces the charge of witnesses in the County Courts, which was in truth very extravagant, to a moderate rate: and also lessens the expence of transporting the Eastern Shore Burgesses cross the Bay, sixty pounds of tobacco formerly settled for the daily attendance of a sloop and man during the Session, is now fixed, to five hundred weight, or fifty shillings, and no more. And in both these cases the allowance settled is sufficient for the services. No. 15. An Act for paying the wages of the Burgesses in money, for this present Session of Assembly. The Burgesses being desirous of easing the people in their poll-tax, which must have been greatly encreased by the charge of a long Session, have prepared this Bill whereby they accept of tenn shillings instead of one hundred and thirty pounds of tobacco p. diem, worth near twice the money: And as the dutys out of which they are paid are first paid by the country, and are appropriated for easing the levy by the poll, it passed very unanimously in both Houses. I hope there will be no objection to it with your Lordships. No. 16. An Act for the relief of divers of the inhabitants of the parishes of Raleigh and Dale. These two parishes being erected last session of Assembly, and taken out of other adjacent parishes, the Vestry of one of these last mentioned, took the oppertunity of laying a tax, before the seperation had taken place, on all the inhabitants, as it then stood, for building a new church ; which tho' it could be of no benefit to either of the new parishes, they compelled those to pay who were going from them ; and justice to those people so taxed, is the sole purport of this Act, there being no other way to force a reimbursement to the injured. No. 17. An Act for relief of certain persons who were sufferers in the loss of the Records of the County of Nansemond. This is only a continuation of the time given by an Act of the last Session of Assembly, for proving people's deeds and titles recorded in that County and consumed by fire, and hath nothing else remarkable in it. No. 18. An Act for building a bridge over Nottoway River. This contains only a necessary provision to oblige the Justices of the two neighbouring Countys to levy a tax for building a Bridge equally useful to both Countys, but unreasonably obstructed by one. No. 19. An Act for appointing certain new publick Ferries, settling the rates of several old ones and altering several Court days. The encrease of people necessarily requiring an encrease of conveniencies has occasioned the erecting of the ferries herein mentioned: and the settling the rates of ferriage for tobacco over those rivers which are above the navigable part of the country, is likewise necessary for the dispatch of business; and altering Court Days found to be inconvenient, is all that is in the Act. No. 20. An Act for making reperation for tobacco lately burnt in Gray's Creekware house. This Act is calculated for repairing the losses of a considerable number of persons whose tobacco was lost by the accidental burning of that warehouse without which some had been great sufferers, and others entirely ruined. No. 21. An Act to dock the entail of certain lands whereof Lewis Burwell, Esq., is seised, and for settling other lands and slaves of greater value to the same use. This being a private Act which I am sensible your Lordships will have fully under your consideration, in order to its being presented for H.M. approbation; I shall add that I know no exception to it, the lands to be settled with the negros, being of much more value than the lands whereof the entail is to be docked, and that I have sent the proper certificates. No. 22. An Act to impower the Vestry of St. John's Parish, in the County of King William, and the Parish of Warwick in the County of Warwick to sell several parcels of glebe land therein mentioned, and to purchase more convenient glebes in lieu thereof. This Act needs no comment, the title fully setting forth the meaning of it to be for the benefit of the Church, and the advantage of the Ministers. No. 23. An Act for selling certain lands, with water-mill, and slaves, of the estate of Joseph Allen, Gentm. deceased, for the payment of his debts. The occasion of applying to the Assembly for this Bill being an honest intent in the first place to satisfie the debts of the defunct, and in the next to preserve to a widow and orphan the benefit of the labour of the slaves which otherwise would be swept away by the creditors, I cannot but recommend it to your Lordships as worthy H.M. approbation, since this, as well as the other Act, have the saving clause directed by the Instruction. No. 24. An Act to confirm the Charter of the Borough of Norfolk and for enlarging the jurisdiction of the Court of Hustings in the City of Williamsburgh. The town of Norfolk situated at the confluence of two branches of Elizabeth River being of late greatly encreased in trade and inhabitants, I did on their petition grant them a Charter of Incorporation, and this Act is only to confirm that Charter ; wherein there are no unusual clauses, nor new and extraordinary priviledges : Here is also in this Act a clause which gives the Court of Hustings in the City of Williamsburgh the same jurisdiction the County Courts enjoy by virtue of the Acts of Assembly, whereas before, the Court was limited to hold plea of actions under twenty pounds: And as I am in hopes the encouraging these two towns will prove useful and be of service to the country, so I flatter myself your Lordships will be pleased to approve of my assent thereto. No. 25. An Act to prevent the retailing of strong liquors in the town of York, in small quantities. This Act is intended to remedy a growing mischief occasioned by many idle and evil disposed people, who by selling rum in private places debauch sailors and servants to loyter away their time, and often fall into theft and other bad courses to support their extravagancies. And since no restraint is hereby laid on any merchant, or licensed Inn or ordinary Keeper, I need not offer to your Lordships any further arguments on its behalf. Having finished the Laws, I have only to inform your Lordships, that I have sent in the box, the accot. of the Revenue of two shilings pr. hogshead with the Naval Officer's lists, etc. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd May, Read 3rd June, 1737. 8¾ pp. Enclosed,
480. i. Account of H.M. revenue of 2s. per hhd. in Virginia, 25th April—25th Oct., 1736. Receipts, including £4992 4s. 7d. brought forward, £8251 6s. 10¾d. Expenditure, £2792 10s. 4¾d. Signed, John Grymes, Recr. Genl. ; John Blair Depty. Aud., and William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd May, 1737. 2 pp.
480. ii. Three Proclamations by Lt. Gov. Gooch, Williamsburgh. 1st Nov., 10th Dec., 1736, and 22nd April, 1737, proroguing Assembly to 5th Feb., 29th May, and 5th Aug. next. Copy. ¾ p.
480. iii. Proclamation by Lt. Governor Gooch. Williamsburgh. 29th Oct. 1736—for the more effectual putting in execution the laws concerning the Militia, and for preventing the unlawful concourse of negroes and other slaves. The County Lieutenants are to hold private musters for the listing and training of all liable to serve in the Militia, and at the same times and places to hold a Court-Martial for fining all absentees or persons who appeared not armed and accoutred as the act directs. To prevent dangers arising from the unlawful concourse of negroes, the County Lieutenants or other Commanding Officers of the Militia are charged, at such times as they shall judge necessary, to appoint, direct and relieve patrols of Militia at convenient places, to prevent such concourse of negroes, especially during the Holy Days, wherein they are exempted from labour etc. All persons serving in the Militia, who shall, during the said Holy Days, repair to their parish Churches or Chappels, are strictly charged to take with them their arms, ammunition and accoutrements etc. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd May, 1737. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1324. ff. 40–46, 47, 47 v., 48 v., and (duplicates of enclosures ii and iii), 5, 1344. ff. 33, 34].