|Pages 309-338||Pages 369-393|
HOLDEN ATT JAMES CITTY THE THIRD OF NOVEMBER, 1647.
|The MS. from which the acts of this session were printed, is now in the library of Congress, at Washington.|
|The Burgesses names of the severall counties:|
|WHEREAS divers escapes have been made by prisoners, and more likely to be, for want of sufficient prisons in the severall countyes, to which the poverty of the countrey and want of necessaries here will not admitt a possibillitie to erect other then such houses as wee frequently inhabitt, by which meanes much damage hath arisen to the severall sherriffs, comissioners and counties specially for want of interpretation what shall be accompted a sufficient prison and what provision shall be made against prisoners thence escaping; Be it therefore enacted, That such houses provided for that purpose shall be accompted sufficient prisons as are built according to the forme of Virginia houses, from which noe escape can be made without breaking or forcing some part of the prison house, and that all persons so offending whether debtors or others shall be pursued and adjudged and suffer as in case of fellony, and the comissioners and countyes to be freed from any charge or tax to be impose vpon||What deemed sufficient prisons. |
Persons breaking such prisons to be deemed felons; and commissioners, counties and sheriffs exonerated.
|* This should be Nansimum, to which Upper Norfolk was changed by the last act passed in March 1645-6. At the session of October, 1646, Nansimond, and not Upper Norfolk, was represented; as appears to be the case in the sessions succeeding this.|
| them by any such escape or by neglect of the sherriffs, and that the comissioners may
have power to appoint such reasonable bounds and limitts for the conveniencie and accomodation of
prisoners in the day time, as by them shall be thought reasonable, and all prisoners soe
transgressing or exceeding the said bounds to be kept close and secured in the said prison att
the perill of the severall sherriffs.
|| Prison bounds, how
Prisoner breaking them to be kept in close custody.
|WHEREAS certaine occasions of greate and weightie consequence hath been considered by this present Grand Assembly which cannot att present bee fully determined, as alsoe the inconveniencie of manie masters of ffamilies in staying from home at such considerable time of the yeare. Be it enacted by this present Grand Assembly that the Assembly be adjourned vntil the ffirst day of October next, and that all members of both houses do then give their attendance att James Citty without any pretence whatsoever to the contrary, And be it further enjoyned, That the sherriffs of the severall countyes do present vnto the Assembly vpon the sixth day of October, a just & exact list of all taxable goods, land and tithable persons, which lists are to be carefully taken by the comissioners in their severall lymitts or such persons of trust as they shall think fitt to employ, and the last yeares sherriffs to bring in their accompts of their proceedings upon the last yeares levy to the said Assembly vppon the said sixth day of October.|
Adjournment of the assembly to Oct. 1648.
HELD THE THIRD OF NOVEMBER, 1647.
Present vt antea.
|VPON divers informations presented to this Assembly against severall ministers for their neglects and refractory refuseing after warning given them to read common prayer or divine service vpon the Sabboth||Ministers refuseing to read common prayer not entitled to|
|dayes contrary to the cannons of the church and acts of parliament therein established, for future remedie hereof: Be it enacted by the Gov'r. Council and Burgesses of this Grand Assembly, That all ministers in their severall cures throughout the collony doe duely vpon ever Sabboth day read such prayers as are appointed and prescribed vnto them by the said booke of comon prayer, And be it further enacted as a penaltie to such as have neglected or shall neglect their duty herein, That on [no] parishoner shall be compelled either by distresse or otherwise to pay any manner of tythes or dutyes to any unconformist as aforesaid.||any tithes or duties from their parishoners.|
|WHEREAS by often experience late Assemblies have found great defaults and defects in receiving and collecting the publique leavies, whither occasioned by the vast extent of divers counties or the multitude of other employments of the sherriffs, who have hitherto been intrusted therein, or some other cause in neglect or otherwise, all and in each part equallie prejudiciall to the publique, as producing the same or the like effect in bad payments to the great dishonor and impairing of the publique credit. Vpon mature deliberation to remedie and redresse the like mischeife hereafter, It is enacted, That the burden of collection be taken of the sherriffs as to disproportionable for soe few to vndergo, and that collectors be appointed for receiveing and gathering in of all levyes by this present Grand Assembly assessed in such bounds and lymitts and by such persons as are specified in this act, (vizt:)||Collectors of public levies to be appointed, and the sheriffs no longer bound to receive them.|
|ffor James Citty County.|
|Capt. Robert Shepheard from Lawnes Creeke to Sunken Marsh, including Hogg Island.
Mr. Geo. Jorden from Hogg Island to the Vpper Chippoakes.
Capt Bridges ffreeman for Chickahominy and Sandy Poynte.
Mr. Lancelett Elay for the mayne Pohatan and James Citty Island.
|Names of collectors.|
|Mr. Richard fford for Necke of Land to Wareham's Runns.|
Mr. Peter Ridley for Martin's Hundred and this side of Keth's Creeke.
|Which said collectors, in their severall lymitts are authorized to aske and receive the severall sumes of tob'o. by this present Grand Assembly assessed, and in case of non-payment are authorized with the same and the like power of distresse that ever any sheriff had or might have had by any act formerly made, And in case of distresse made by any of the said collectors they are authorized by the oathes of two men to appraise the goods soe distreyned and to deliver the surplusage, if any be, to the owner of the goods, and to be accountable for the other, And it is further enacted that where any person is defective in the payment of any sume assessed in tob'o. for want whereof the collector makeing distresse as aforesaid, in such case the collector shall give notice to one of the creditors of the republique and tender him the distresse, and in case of his refusall, by the oathe of the collector, the republique to be cleered of the debt, And in case after notice given to such creditor, he shall refuse or neglect either by himselfe or his assigne to come at the time or to the place appointed by the collector, that in such cases the said collector making tender before sufficient wittnes of the goods distreyned for the vse of the said creditor, it shall be accompted a good and just payment to the creditor from the country: And further be it enacted, That the said collectors in their severall limitts be authorized to inquire into concealed estates in land, &c. not brought into list, and to leavy payment of the same according to the rate of assessment by this Assembly sett downe and ordered, And it is further enacted, That the collectors of the sev'rall countyes shall give vp theire accompts to the com'rs of the county courts who are to certifie the same to the next Assembly; And this act is to continue in force vntil the next Assembly and no longer.||Their power and duty. |
Right to distrain.
Goods to be appraised.
Collector may tender goods distrained to public creditors.
And if he refuse, such tender deemed a payment.
Collectors to enquire into concealed estates.
To deliver their books to county courts.
Limitation of act.
|WHEREAS it was enacted att a Grand Assembly bearing date the second of March, a'o. d'i. 1642, that there should be two acres of corne planted for every working hand in the ground throughout the collony either in Indian or English grayne, And for the better execution of the said act, It was then ordered, that all constables within theire severall lymits and precincts should take a view of every man's corne, vpon the ground, And where the proportions of two acres should be wanting the constables of the said lymitts were to present their defaults to the com'rs. of the county courts who by the said act were required to make inquiry thereof; and were ffurther authorized to impose a mulct or fyne of five hundred pounds of tob'o. per acre defective, vpon such person or persons whom they should find delinquents in the premisses; One halfe whereof should be and come to the constable or anie other informer and the other halfe to publique vses for the good of the county where the offence should be comitted, which said act and every clause therein conteined is confirmed by this Grand Assembly, And it is further enacted, for the more due execution hereof, by which defect the collonie hath much suffered, that the said constables shall not onely present the defect of acres planted as aforesayd, but shall also present the names of such who shall not sufficiently weed and tend the due proportion enjoyned; And for the neglect of any constables in not presenting both the planting and sufficient tending thereof, that the comissioners of the county courts doe impose a fine of five hundred pounds of tob'o. vpon each constable soe defaulting, to be disposed of as aforesaid, And in case the comissioners do not take a strict care in takeing accompt of the constables in the execution of this act, that then the said comissioners shall be fined at the discretion of the Gov'r. and Council, or in case any information be brought to the Governour of such neglect in the com'rs. out of court time and proved before him, that then the said comissioners are to be fined att the pleasure of the Governour.||Former act directing 2 acres of corn per pol to be planted more
strictly enforced. |
Constables to present defaults, and names of delinquents in tending their corn.
Penalty on constable for neglect.
|BE it enacted by the Governour, Council and Burgesses, that all lawes and acts formerly made and established concerning appeales from county courts to quarter courts and form quarter courts to Assemblyes be repealed and made void, And that no appeales de futuro be admitted but in such cases and in such manner as herein is expressed (vizt.) That noe appeale in any cause of what value soever shall be admitted or allowed to any person either plaintif or defend't. from the court where the said action is commenced but that the judgment of the court shall be binding and concludeing to all intents and purposes, provided that the cause exceed not the value of sixteen hundred pounds of tob'o. or tenne pound sterl. North'ton countie excepted, which in respect of the remoteness from James Citty is not to admit of any appeale in any action vnder the valew of three thousand two hundred pounds of tob'o. or twenty pound sterling: And it is further enacted, That in case of any appeale above the said value as aforesaid to the quarter court, that order or judgment of the quarter court shall be absolutely binding and concludeing without further appeale therein to be had or claimed, The appellant to putt in security for 50 per cent. for dam. according to the valew of the debt, Provided notwithstanding any thing in this act to the contrary, That were the cause in tryall shall be of that nature that noe knowne law or president have over-ruled the same, in such causes the comissioners to have power to referr the same to the hearinge of a Grand Assembly. In which causes they are to certifie the same vnder the teste of their clerke and to cause the parties in tryall to give caution for their appearance at the next ensueing Assembly: This Assembly doth further likewise declare. That all causes shall have admittance to Assemblies where the justice of any courte may seeme questionable, reserveinge to themselves to be the onely judges in cases of so high a nature.||See post pa. 398, 477. |
Appeals from county to quarter courts and from quarter courts to assembly regulated.
No appeals for a smaller sum than 1600 lbs. of tobacco or £20 sterl.
Judgment of quarter court absolutely binding without future appeal.
Security for 50 per cent damages.
Appeals to assembly may be allowed to settle new points of law.
Or where the judgment of the court, in the opinion of the assembly is questionable.
|BE it alsoe enacted for the clearing of all doubts & controversies, and for the better vnderstanding of||Jurisdiction of county & quar. courts|
643 [should read 346]
|the 10th act of the 19th of November, a'o. 1645, concerning the tryall of all causes of what valew soever att county courts, That noe causes are to receive theire tryall att James Citty vnder the valew of 1600 lb. of tob'o. or tenne pound sterl: or if the parties be inhabitants of Northampton, vnder the value of three thousand two hundred pounds of tob'o: or twenty pound sterl. And it is likewise enacted, That the 16th act of the 19th of November, anno d'i. 1645 authorizeing all writts for commencement of suits att the quarter court to issue from the secretary's-office vnder the seale, shall be repealed, and that de futuro all writts and warrants for comencing suits in the quarter courts (which are not to be but in cases above the aforesaid value) are t issue out of the office, and to be signed vnder the hand of the Governour, in which causes noe appeale is to be admitted to the Assembly but with such provisoes as in the former act (vizt.) where there is noe knowne law or president over-rulinge the same, in which case the courte to referr to the Assembly with such cautions and lymitations as aforesaid.|
Nor'ampton county excepted.
Act authorising writs to issue under seal of secretary's office repealed; & writs to issue from that office and be signed by the governor.
|WHEREAS divers informations are presented to this Assembly of the hard vsage of divers poor persons by a long and tedious imprisonment of their bodyes vpon actions of debt which they are vnable to discharge in kind, though very willing and readie to give a valuable satisfaction to theire creditors, who notwithstanding maliciously and perversly refuse such satisfaction to the vtter ruine of such poore indigent persons, theire wives and children: Bee it therefore enacted for the releife of such as are now vnder duresse or destraint or hereafter shall be imprisoned for debt, that where such persons do or shall tender a valuable satisfaction to theire creditors by the appraisement of two honest persons one to be chosen by the creditor and the other by the debtor, such creditor shall be compelled to accept of the same, as satisfaction for theire debt, And where tow apprisors chosen cannot agree, In such cases the two next adjoyning comissioners to determine the value of the goods vnder appraisement, satisfaction to be given to the creditor where the estate of the debtor remaineth.||Poor persons, imprisoned for debt, may be discharged by tendering property to their creditors to be appraised by two men mutually chosen for their umpire.|
|WHEREAS the great scarcity of corne is like to produce much want and misery to divers of the inhabitants, vnles timely prevention be made by prohibiting of exportation of corne, and against hoarding and ingrossing thereof, to the intent to exact vpon theire poore neighbours by extream and vnreasonable rates to the vtter vndoing of whole ffamilies: Bee it therefore enacted by this Grand Assembly that no person for this ensueing yeer shall exporte any manner of English or Indian graine or corne out of the lymitts of the collony, in which act all strangers as well as inhabitants are included; And for preventing of all hoarding and ingrossing of corne, It is alsoe enacted, That noe person or persons whatsoever shall sell, bargaine, barter or exchange any Indian corne either directly or indirectly above the rate or valew of one hundred pounds of tobacco per barrell, vpon the penalty of ffive hundred pounds of tob'o. for every barrell of corne that shall be exported as aforesaid, The moyetie of which fine and forfeiture shall be and come to the King's Majestie and the other halfe to the informer.||Exportation of grain prohibited on account of the great scarcity.
No person to sell Indian corn at a higher rate than 100 lb. of tobacco a barrel.
|VPON the petition of the inhabitants from the colledge to the Vpper Chipoaks, including the said Vpper Chipoakes, that there might be granted vnto them the privilege of a parish which they desire may bee called Southwark parish. It is accordingly assented unto and enacted, provided they pay and satisfie vnto the minister of James Citty all customary tithes and dues and all rates and taxes allready assessed and to be assessed for and toward the finishing and repaireing of the church at Ja: Citty.||Southwark parish established.|
|WHEREAS by the 2d* act of a Grand Assembly a'o. 1645, It was ordered and established||Act IV of Nov. 1645 amended.|
|* Act IV of this collection.|
|for reformeing the greate abuse of Millers in exacting excessive and illegall toll that noe person or persons vseing or occupyinge any mill should take or receive for the grindeing of any graine that should be brought vnto them above the sixth part thereof for tolle, which act hath not taken such effect as was intended thereby in respect (as is conceived) neither penalty was imposed therein vpon the offender not the execution thereof was given in direction to any particular officer, It is therefore thought fitt to enlarge the said act, and by vertue hereof to require all millers or owners of mills to provide by the ffirst of ffebruary next statute weights and scales, by which they are to receive in and deliver out all grayne, And that they do sufficiently grinde the sayd grayne soe brought vpon such penalty in case they do exact beyond the said proportion for grindeing, or in case of default of such weights and scales, or for not sufficient grindeing, as shall be thought fitt according to the discretion of the next adjoyning councellor or com'r.|| Millers to provide statue weights and scales.|
Penalty for not grinding, or exacting more than legal toll or not providing weights, &c. at the discretion of the nearest councillor or commiss'r.
|WHEREAS the great charge of fferryes in many countyes is very burthensome, especially to some poore people scarce att all makeing vse of the said fferryes, It is thought fitt, that the act enjoyning the keeping of fferryes be repealed, And in case any places shall be found necessary to have fferrys kept there, That the county courts shall have power to grant the keeping of the said fferrys for such tyme and terme of yeares, and for such rates and vpon such conditions and to such persons as to them shall seem good and convenient, not charging the county by and leavy for the said fferrys.|| Act establishing ferries at the expense of county repealed.|
Co'ty courts may grant leave to establish ferries at the instance of individuals, and fix the rates.
|IT is thought fitt to condiscend, That Nicotowance or any other Indians comeing vpon messages shall have like leave, as is allreadie by act of Assembly granted for other places, to come in and repair to the houses of Capt. Edward Hill att Westover, and Capt. William Tayler att Chiscake.||Additional places for Indians to repair to when coming on messages.|
|WHEREAS by act of Assembly it was appointed, That such people as were driven off from theire plantations att the massacre should seate the same before December now next ensueing: And forasmuch as the proprietors of the said lands in regard of theire great losses susteyned by the late warr, and the want of servants together with the present scarcity of corne have petitioned for further time before theire said lands may be accompted deserted, It is therefore granted vnto them, that they shall have a further respit of three yeares granted vnto them before their said lands shall be accompted or adjudged soe deserted, and the said act not to be interpreted to extinguish any quitt rents growing due vpon the said lands.||Further time of 3 years granted for seating land on account of the late masacre and present scarcity of corn.|
| IT is thought fitt that there be added to the
40th* act made 1642, concerninge a valuable consideration for buildinge and
clearing to be made to men seating downe vpon the land of other men, These words (vizt.) Provided
they had no lawfull warninge to the contrary, and that in such case of lawfull warneing they
shall not have any valuable consideration.
||Act XXXIII of 1642-3. amended so as to deprive men of compensation for their improvements on other mens' lands if they have notice of a prior title.|
|IT is thought fitt that vnto the act forbidding mercenary attorneys, It be added that they shall not take any recompence either directly or indirectly. And that it be further enacted, That in case the courts shall perceive that in any case either plt. or defendant by his weakeness shall be like to loose his cause, that they themselves may either open the cause in such case of weakness or shall appoint some fitt man out of the people to plead the cause, and allow him satisfaction requisite, and not to allow any other attorneys in private causes betwixt man and man in the country.||Attornies are not directly or indirectly to take any
Court may open the cause or appoint some person out of the people to appear for a weak party.
No other attornies to be admitted.
| * Act XXXIII. of this
Act VII. of Nov. 1645.
|WHEREAS there hath been great neglects in the attendance of many comissioners of the county courts whereby much prejudice and charge have happened to those persons that have had cause to repair thither, Be it therefore enacted, That all comiss'rs. respectively shall duely attend all the said county courts which they are comanded to hold by act of Assembly, And shall not depart or absent themselves from thence without the lycense and consent of the rest of the comissioners there present, and if it shall happen any of them shall have a lawfull cause of absence, It is thought fitt that in such case they do vpon the first day of the court by writeing signifie the said cause to the courte, and do prove the same at the next ensueing court, or else being delinquent in the premises every comissioner soe offendinge to forfeit 300 lb. of tob'o. to be imposed by the said court for every such absence or neglect, and the same to be disposed of by the discretion of the comissioners for the countyes vse.||Commiss'rs. of county courts to be punctual in their
Not to absent themselves without the consent of the rest of the com'rs.
If good cause of absence, must make it in writing and prove it to be true.
Penalty for breach of this act.
|WHEREAS an act formerly made and afterward repealed§ forbidding wine and strong water debt to be pleadable is againe conceived very vsefull and profitable to the wellfare of this collonie, It is now thought fitt to revive the said act and that it be perpetually established, that from and after the publication hereof noe wine or strong water debts shall in any sort att any time or times hereafter be allowed or pleadable in any court of justice in this collonie, Provided this act extend not to wine or strong waters to be sold by whole sale aboard any shipp before the landing thereof, and within three months now next ensueinge.||Former act declaring debts for wine or strong waters not
recoverable, revived and made perpetual.|
|WHEREAS the stealing and killing of hoggs is a generall crime vsually comitted and seldom or never detected or prosecuted in this collony,||Hog stealing punishable by fine of 1000 lb. of|
| Act VIII. Oct 1644.|
§ Act XII. 1644-5.
|Be it therefore enacted for the better prevention thereof, that whosoever shall steale or vnlawfully kill any hogg which is not his owne, and that said fact be proved by sufficient evidence, he or the soe offending shall pay to the owner of the said hogg the sume of one thousand pounds of tob'o and one thousand pounds of tob'o. more to the informer, And in case of inability to pay and satisfie the said sumes the person soe offendinge shall serve two years (vizt.) one yeare to the right owner of the said hogg, and the other year to the informer; and no person being required therevnto, vpon paine of vehement suspition, may at anie time refuse to declare and manifest the markes of any hog or hoggs lately killed by him or otherwise denie to be aydeing and assistinge in the inquiry after any hoggs soe stollen or vnlawfully killed as aforesaid, And be it also enacted that the clause of the *7th act, 1642, makeing hog-stealing felonie bee from henceforth repealed.|| tobacco, one half to the owner, the other to the informer.|
If offender unable to satisfy those sums to serve 2 years, one to owner, the other to informer.
Person suspected to declare the marks of any hog lately killed by him.
Former act making hog-stealing felony repealed.
|WHEREAS there is and hath been great neglect in the payment of the quitt rents vpon the motion of the treasurer, for remedy shereof, Bee it enacted and declared as followeth, That the delinquents in the payment of any quitt rents shall be destrayned vpon the lands, by the treasurers receivers by direction and warrant from him vnder his hand, And that if any will repleavy their goods, then giveing good caution, their allegations shall be heard, either att the countie courts or before the Governour and Council, And the King's suits and debts to be preferred before any other, And that all courts and officers ought to be assistant therein and proceed according to the laws of England.||Quit rents may be distrained for; & replevied on giving security,
& the party heard before the co'ty courts, or gov. and council.|
King's debts to be preferred to all others.
| WHEREAS by act bearing date the
It was enacted, That there should be no dealing
|Act XI. of Oct. 1646 repealed, & merchants|
| * Act IV. of this collection.|
This revers to Act XI. of Oct. 1646.
|for caske with tob'o. This Grand Assembly think fit and accordingly do declare, that the said act be absolutely repealed, and in stead thereof, Bee it enacted, That the merchant or any other dealing for tobacco and caske do in particular allow the planter satisfaction for his caske.||buying tob'o. to pay the planters for their casks.|
BEGINNING THE TWELFTH OF OCTOBER,
|The MS. from which the acts of this session were printed, is now in the library of Congress, at Washington.|
|IT is enacted by the Governour, Council and Burgesses of this Grand Assembly, That the 9th act of Assembly a'o. 1647 for the reduceing of the inhabitants of Chickcoun and other parts of the Neck of land between Rappahanock River and Potomack River be repealed, and that the said tract of land be hereafter called and knowne by the name of the county of Northumberland, And that from henceforth they have||Tract of land between Rappahannock and Potomack rivers called Northumberland county.|
|* See act II. of Nov. 1647, by which the assembly was adjourned to the 1st of October, 1648.|
| This is an erroneous reference, as indeed most of the references in the MS. acts are; no such law as this appearing among the acts of 1647. See act XXIX. of October 1646.|
| The name of Northumberland first occurred in the IXth act of February, 1644-5. In November, 1645, it was represented by one member in the General Assembly, as also in November 1647. See ante pa. 294, 299, 337, 338, 340.|
|power of electing Burgesses for the said county to serve att Assemblies vpon lawful sumons from the Governour, which they are authorized to doe by vertue of this act to the next sessions of this Assembly, And it is further thought fitt patents be granted vnto them for theire lands with such reservations and provisoes & vpon such certificates of right as is vsuall granted to the planters by vertue of his Majesties instructions or otherwise, And it is further enacted, That the said inhabitants de futuro be rated proportionably in all leavyes to the rest of the inhabitants of the collony, And that they make payment of all assessments made by this Assembly and all arrears due from them for which their do doeing Capt. Francis Poythers hath vndertaken to the Assembly who is therefore authorized to collect the same, with power to distreyn in case of refusall either of the said arrears or of the levye ordered at this sessions of Assembly.||inhabitants may elect burgesses.|
Patents to issue.
Inhabitants to be rated proportionably with the rest of the colony in the payment of taxes, &c.
|VPON the humble representation of the Burgesses to the Governour and Council of the great and clamorous necessities of divers of the inhabitants occasioned and brought vpon them through the mean produce of their labours vpon barren and over-wrought grounds and the apparent decay of their cattle and hoggs for want of sufficient range, which after serious consideration they had found and vnanimously agreed to be the state of a very considerable number of the inhabitants, and that therefore leave might be forthwith granted vnto them to remove and seate vpon the north side of Charles River and Rappahannock river; The Governour and Councill vpon debate of the matter did condescend to the substance of their desires but for reasons of state to them appearing importing the safety of the people in their seating, did think fitt to restrain them to a further limitation of time (vizt. ) to the first of September next: And for their better assurance to the intent also that provision might be made by such as intend to remove of arms and amunition & other accomodations for building and clearing, It was thought fitt that an act should pass at this Assembly and accordingly it is enacted by the Governour, Councill||Inhabitants may remove and settle on the north side of Cha's. and Rappahannock river, after the 1st of Sep. 1649.|
|and Burgesses, That at the said prefixed day of the first of September and from that day and not before it shall be free and lawfull for any of the inhabitants to remove themselves and their familys to the aforesaid north side of Charles River and Rappahanock River; And that in the mean time it shall be free and lawfull for all persons haveing right to lands to make survey and take out patents for land vpon the said places: And it is further thought fitt, That the act ordeining it to be ffelony to goe to the north side of Charles River be repealed and made void: Provided that it shall not be lawfull for any person or persons to kill any wild cattle or hoggs vpon the said north side without licence first obteined from the Govrnour for theire so doeing.|| Patents to issue in the mean time.|
Act declaring it felony to go to the north side of Charles river repealed.
Proviso as to killing wild cattle or hogs.
|WHEREAS through the default of some particular counties in payment of leavies, It hath often happened that the burden of taxes hath been augmented to the rest of this collonie who had formerly discharged whatever was due from them ffor prevention of the like grievance hereafter, It is enacted, that every particular county shall be responsible to the publique for all arrers ffor which the sherriffs or collectors have taken bill or have otherwise made debts to the vse of the country; And that the said bill or other assurances of debts aforesaid be delivered vp to the comissioners to the county respectively, who are hereby authorized to distreine vpon the debtors, or as they shall find cause to imprison their persons in case of refusall or non payment, As also what the debtor shall be found insolvent, that then the said commiss'rs. doe rate the county per poll, according to custome for the satisfying of the said arrears, And that no arreres to the publique de preterito be allowed, but the person or counties as aforesaid defaulting be liable thereto.||Each county liable for its proportion of public taxes.
Commiss'rs. may distrain, or take the body of delinquent in execution.
County to be re-assessed to make good insolvencies, but no insolvencies to be allowed against the public.
|VPON consideration had of some treacherous attempts threatened by the salvages toward the person of the Gov'r. wherevnto he is dayly exposed by||A guard of 10 men allowed the|
|reason of their frequent resort to him vpon pretence of publique negotiations, as also being sensible of the many disaffections to the government from a schismaticall party, of whose intentions our native country of England hat had and yet hath too sad experience, and also for many other reasons appearing of weighty regard to this Assembly, It is thought fitt and enacted, That the Govern'r. will please to presse ten able men with arms and amunition competent to attend vpon him as a guard to his person and to employ them in such services, either in publique or private affaires as he shall think fitt, and that for their salary or wages of each person there be leavied two thousand pounds of tobacco, in toto 20000 lb. of tob'o. from the publique the next year (vizt.) 1649.||gov. in consequence of alledged attempts upon his live, by the
Indians, who visit him on pretence of negociation, & also from the disaffection to the government
manifested by a schismatic party, here and in England.|
|THIS Assembly haveing knowledge that divers persons vpon occasion of a presse of souldiers by warrant from the Govern'r. or by order from the Gov'r. and council out of a mistake in opinion do conceive their liberties and the lawes of the collonie thereby infringed and themselves particularly injured, the authority of an Assembly not concurring therein. It is therefore thought fitt not by law to establish, but to declare the judgment of this Assembly vppon pervsall of his Ma'ts. Comission and instructions that by vertue of the said com'on and instructions full and ample power is derived from his Majesty to the Governour and Council to make peace or warr, and as a necessary consequent to levy or presse men or other provisions for the warr vpon any emergent occasion to which power in the comission litterally expressed, we may not presume to conceive that any act of Assembly can add strength or vigor, but that all his Ma'ts. subjects are in loyaltie and indue obedience to his sacred Ma'tie. obliged therevnto: And we ought humbly to acknowledge his Majesties royal care of his subjects in establishing such a power wherein are naturally placed so many concernments to the peace and safety of all good subjects, many accidents not admitting delay of time nor those slow motions of great counsells.|| Recital of the complaints of the people, that the pressing of
soldiers by the gov. & council without act of assembly, is an infringement on their
The assembly declare that such power is derived from the king by virtue of the commission & instructions to the governors and that they ought to acknowledge his majesty's royal care for establishing such a power.
|IT is enacted, That the act of Assembly which ordeined all leavyes hereafter to be made should be raised from lands, horses, mares, sheepe, &c. from tithable persons, be hereby repealed and made void, it being onely intended for the better support of the warr and no longer to continue or bee in force, And in stead thereof it is enacted, according to custome heretofore vsed all leavyes be hereafter raised vpon tithable person by the poll.||Tax on property abolished and taxes on tithable persons only retained.|
|BE it also enacted, That whereas through the great defaults and neglects of sherriffs in the publick collection, the credit and reputation of the collonie hath been much blemished, the last Assembly did think fitt to order that collectors in severall limits by them appointed should for that year be authorized for the gathering in and collecting the leavy, which this Assembly have found, vpon audit of their severall acco'ts. they have performed with great integrity, and to a very small matter duly discharged (some few excepted.) That there be collectors again appointed by the comissioners of the severall counties within such precincts and lymitts as they shall think fitt for the gathering in and receiving of the leavye by this present Grand Assembly assessed, who are authorized with the same & the like power to distreine in case of non-payment as any sherriff or sherriffs by vertue of any act of Assembly might doe or vsually have done in the like cases, Provided that notwithstanding any thing in this act to the contrary, That Mr. Nathaniel Littleton, Esquire and Mr. Edmond Scarbrough have the power of collecting the leavye of Northampton county; and Mr. Anthony Elliot for Elizabeth county, from whom the Gov'r. is pleased to accept of pay and to discharge the country as well of what is due to himselfe, as also of what is due to Mr. Morrison.|| Collectors appointed at the last assembly having performed their
duties with the integrity, collectors again to be appointed.|
Power of distress.
Collectors of Nor'ampton and E. City.
|IT is enacted and vnanimously agreed vpon by this present Grand Assembly; That each clerke of courts shall produce his gene'll. acco'ts. to the said court, and after their approbation, their dues shall be seized on by the collectors by way of distresse in case they deny payment, They paying the collectors for receiving their tobacco at the rate of tenn pounds per cent.||Clerks of co'ty courts to produce their acco'ts. to their respective courts, and being approved by the court, may be distrained for.|
|IT is enacted further by this present Grand Assembly, That the Assembly be adjourned vnto the tenth day of ffebruary next, and the council are all enjoyned to be then present to attend there his majesties service and the affairs of the country.||Adjournment of the assembly to the 10th of Feb. 1649-50.|
HELD AT JAMES CITY THE 10TH DAY OF OCTOBER,
|The MS. from which the acts of this session were printed, is now in the library of Congress, at Washington.|
|The Burgesses names:|
| * CHARLES the 1st was beheaded on the
30th of January, 1649. From that period, the commonwealth, in England, commenced; and it
continued, under different modifications, till the restoration of Charles the 2d in 1660.
−−− Oliver Cromwell was declared Protector, on the 9th of January, 1654, and
died, on the 13th of September, 1658. −−− His son Richard was nominated, by
him, as his successor, and assumed the reins of government accordingly; but resigned them in
1659. −−− On the dissolution of the monarchy, in England, doubts existed, in
this country, whether the powers of the governor and council, and of all the other officers of
government deriving their appointments from them, were not extinct. −−− This,
unquestionably, gave rise to one of the provisions of the first act of this session; which made
it highly penal to maintain such doctrine. The principle was, however, solemnly recognized, by
the first article of the convention entered into between the commissioners of the parliament of
England, and the governor, council and burgesses of Virginia, on the 12th of March, 1651, "That
the former government, by the commission and instructions was void and null."
−−− It is observable, that the names of the governor and members of the
council, are not prefixed to the acts of this session, as had been usual, in all the preceding
ones; and the same rule obtained till the March session 1659-60. During the suspension of the
regal government in England, the governor and council of Virginia were chosen by the house of
burgesses, for short periods, only. Sometimes|
[This not concludes at the bottom of the next page.]
|Henrico −−− Mr. Wm. Hatcher.|
|WHEREAS divers out of ignorance, others out of malice, schisme and faction, in pursuance of some designe of innovation, may be presumed to prepare mens' minds and inclinations to entertaine a good likeing of their contrivement, by casting blemishes of dishonour vpon the late most excellent and now vndoubtedly sainted king, and to those close ends vindicating & attesting the late proceedings against the said blessed King (though by so much as they may seeme to have colour of law, and forme of justice, they may be truly and really said to have the more and greater height of impudence,) And vpon this foundation of asserting||Recital the trial, conviction & death of the late king Charles 1st, and of the treasonable principles and practices of the republicans, in aspersing his memory|
|[The note begun on the previous page concludes
the appointment was made by a resolution of the burgesses; at others, the governor was appointed by an act of assembly; and not unfrequently a collision took place between the governor and house of burgesses, as to the limitation of his power, which always terminated in favor of the rights and privileges of the house. −−minus;−− See resolution of the burgesses of April 30th, 1652 −−− March, 1655 −−− March, 1657 −−− March, 1658 −−− March, 1659. It appears from the proceedings of the assembly of the 1st of April, 1658, that the governor and council undertook to dissolve the house of burgesses; but they peremptorily refused to be dissolved, and passed a number of resolutions declaratory of their own power, and denying the right of the governor and council to dissolve them.
|the cleerness and legality of the said vnparalel'd treasons perpetrated on the said King, doe build hopes and inferrences to the high dishonour of the regall estate, and in truth to the vtter disinherison of his sacred Majesty that now is, and the devesting him of those rights, which the law of nature and nations and the knowne lawes of the kingdom of England have adjudged inherent to his royall line, and the law of God himselfe (if sacred writ may be soe stiled which this age doth loudly call in question) hath consecrated vnto him. And as arguments easily and naturally deduced from the aforesaid cursed and destructive principles, with much indeavor, they press and perswade the power of the comission to be void & null, and all magistracy and office thereon depending to have lost their vigor and efficacy, but [by] such means assuredly expecting advantages for the accomplishment of their lawless and tyrranous intentions,||and denying the divine right of kings; in asserting that the commission and all magistracy depending thereon is null and void.|
|Be it therefore declared and enacted and it is hereby enacted by Governour, Council and Burgesses of this Grand Assembly, and the authority of the same, That what person soever, whether stranger or inhabitant of this collony, after the date of this act, by reasoning, discourse or argument shall go about to defend or maintain the late traiterous proceedings against the aforesaid King of most happy memory, vnder any notion of law and justice, such person vsing reasoning, discourse or argument, or vttering any words or speeches to such purpose or effect, and being proved by competent witnes, shall be adjudged an accessory post factum, to the death of the aforesaid King, and shall be proceeded against for the same, according to the knowne lawes of England: or whoever shall go about by irreverent or scandalous words or language to blast the memory and honour of that late most pious King, (deserving ever altars and monuments in the hearts of all good men,) shall, vpon conviction, suffer such censure and punishment as shall be thought fitt by the Governour and Council. And be it further enacted, That what person soever shall by words or speeches indeavour to insinuate any doubt, scruple or question of or concerning the vndoubted & inherent right of his Majesty that now is to the collony of Virginia, and all other his majesties dominions and countryes as King and Supream Governour, such||To defend the late proceedings against the king, by reasoning,
discourse or argument, makes the person guilty as an accessory after the act, to the death of the
To asperse his memory, punishable at the discretion of the gov. and council.
To doubt the right of succession of Charles 2d, high treason.
|words and speeches shall be adjudged high treason: And it is also enacted, That what person soever, by false reports and malicious rumors shall spread abroad, among the people, any thing tending to change of government, or to the lessening of the power and authority of the Governor or government either in civill or ecclesiasticall causes (which this Assembly hath and doth declare to be full and plenarie to all intents and purposes) such persons not onely the authors of such reports and rumors, but the reporters and divulgers thereof, (vnless it be done by way of legall information before a magistrate) shall be adjudged equally guilty, and shall suffer such punishment even to severity as shall be thought fitt, according to the nature and quality of the offence.|
To propose a change of government, or to doubt the power of the governor and government, equally high treason.
|WHEREAS it appeareth to severall Grand Assemblies that the lists of tithable persons are very imperfect, and that notwithstandinge the yearly importation of people into the collonie, the number of tithables in the said lists is rather diminished then augmented, which is in great part conceived, by this Assembly to happen, in that all vnder the age of sixteen yeeres are exempted from the lists, and that once passing vnder that age they are seldom or never acknowledged to exceed the same, in respect of the impossibillity of, or at least vnlikelyhood of produceing convinceing proofes against them: Bee it therefore enacted, for the preventing of the like abuse hereafter through false & imperfect lists, That all male servants imported hereafter into the colony of what age soever they be, shall be brought into the lists and shall be liable to pay country leavyes, excepting in this act such as are natives of this collony and such as are imported free, either by theire parents or otherwise, who are exempted from leavies, being vnder the said age of sixteen years.|
Who to be listed as tithables.
All male servants of whatever age; but not freemen or natives under 16 years of age.
|And it is further enacted, That the lists be yearly taken by the 25th of June at the furthest, and presented to the county courts, and that the perticular lists be given in vnder the hand of the masters of the severall ffamilies, who are to pay trebble assessments for every||When the lists are to be taken.|
Treble taxes to conceal tithables.
|person they give in short of theire due number, and the ministers are to have tithes of all such as are now adjudged tithable.|
|IT is enacted, That the inhabitants which are or shall be seated on the south side of the Petomecke* River shall be included and are hereafter to be accompted within the county of Northumberland.||What inhabitants included in the county of Northumberland.|
|IT is also enacted and it is hereby granted vnto James Citty the priviledge of a weekly markett, to be holden vpon every Wednesday and Saturday, and that the market place be bounded, (vizt.) from the Sandy Gutt, comonly called and knowne by the name of Peter Knight's storehouse westward, and soe to the gutt next beyond the house of Lancelott Elay eastward, and bounded on the north side with the back river: And that all bonds, bills or other writings vpon any bargaine made within the aforesaid bounds of the markett place for any thing sold in the market and vpon the markett days, between the hours of eight in the forenoon and six in the afternoon, being attested vnder the hand of the clerke of the market, shall have the force and be in quality of judgment, and vpon non-payment of the summe in such bill, bond or writeing, according to the tenor of them being attested by the aforesaid clerke, It shall be lawfull for any comissioner of the quorum, within the county vpon the demand of the creditor forthwith to grant execution as in case of a judgement preceding. The said clerke of the markett to be appointed by the governour, and his ffee or salary to be four pound of tob'o. for every bond, bill or writeing by him attested in case the same be above 300 lb. of tob'o: but in case the summe be under 300 lb. of tobacco then to have 1 lb. of tob'o. for every bill, bond or other writinge by him attested, And the said clerke of the markett to record such writeing in a book for that purpose to be kept.||Weekly markets established in Jas. City.|
Bonds, bills, &c. executed within those bounds, on market days, to have the force of a judgment.
Any com'r. of quorum may issue execution thereon.
Clerk of the market, how appointed. His fees,
|* "Potomack," originally called.|
|[The following important State Papers, being next in order of time to the Acts of 1649, are inserted in this place. In the MS. they are arranged among the Revised Acts of 1657; the two first not numbered, but the last marked as Act 86. See also Jefferson's Notes on Virginia, Query XIII, pa. 119 of 1st Edit. pa. 214 of last edit. where the first and third of these papers may be found.]|
AT THE SURRENDER OF THE COUNTRIE.
|Treaty between the Commonwealth of England, and the colony of Virginia.|
|FIRST, It is agreed and cons'ted that the plantation of Virginia, and all the inhabitants thereof, shall be and remaine in due obedience and subjection to the common wealth of England, according to the lawes there established, And that this submission and subscription bee acknowledged a voluntary at not forced nor constrained by a conquest vpon the countrey, And that they shall ave and enioy such freedomes and priviledges as belong to the free borne people of England, and that the former government by the comissions and instruction be void and null.|
|2dly. Secondly, that the Grand Assembly as formerly shall convene and transact the affairs of Virginia, wherein nothing is to be acted or done contrarie to the government of the common wealth of England and the lawes there established.|
|3dly. That there shall be a full and totall remission and indempnitie of all acts, words or writeings done or spoken against the parliament of England in relation to the same.|
|4thly. That Virginia shall have and enioy the antient bounds and lymitts granted by the charters of the former Kings, And that we shall seek a new charter from the parliament to that purpose against any that have entrencht vpon the rights thereof.|
|5thly. That all the pattents of land granted vnder the collony seale, by any of the precedent Governours shall be and remaine in their full force and strength.|
|6thly. That the priviledge of haveing ffiftie acres of land for every person transported in the collony shall continue as formerly granted.|
|7thly. That the people of Virginia have free trade as the people of England do enjoy to all places and with all nations according to the lawes of that commonwealth, And that Virginia shall enjoy all priviledges equall with any English plantations in America.|
|8thly. That Virginia shall be free from all taxes, customes and impositions whatsoever, and none to be imposed on them without consent of the Grand Assembly, And soe that neither ffortes nor castles bee erected or garrisons maintained without their consent.|
|9thly. That noe charge shall be required from this country in respect of this present ffleet.|
|10thly. That for the future settlement of the countrey in their due obedience, the engagement shall be tendred to all the inhabitants according to act of parliament made to that purpose, that all persons who shall refuse to subscribe the said engagement, shall have a yeares time if they please to remove themselves, and their estates out of Virginia, and in the mean time during the said yeare to have equall justice as formerly.|
|11thly. That the vse of the booke of common prayer shall be permitted for one yeare ensueinge with referrence to the consent of the major part of the parishes, Provided that those things which relate to kingshipp or that government be not vsed publiquely; and the continuance of ministers in their places, they not misdemeaning themselves: And the payment of their accustomed dues and agreements made with them respectively shall be left as they now stand dureing this ensueing yeare.|
|12thly. That no man's cattell shall be questioned as the companies vnles such as have been entrusted with them or have disposed of them without order.|
|13thly. That all amunition, powder and arms, other then for private vse shall be delivered vp, securitie being given to make satisfaction for it.|
|14thly. That all goods allreadie brought hither by the Dutch or others which are now on shoar shall be free from surprizall.|
|15thly. That the quittrents granted vnto vs by the late Kinge for seaven yeares bee confirmed.|
|16thly. That the comissioners for the parliament subscribing these articles engage themselves and the honour of the parliament for the full performance thereof: And that the present Governour and the Councill and the Burgesses do likewise subscribe and engage the whole collony on their parts.|
|RICH: BENNETT, Seale. |
Wm. CLAIBORNE, Seale.
EDMOND CURTIS, Seale.
|Theise articles were signed and sealed by the commisionors of the Councill of State for the Common-wealth of England, the twelveth day of March 1651.|
|Additional treaty, between the Commonwealth of England, and the colony of Virginia.|
FIRST, That neither Governour nor councill shall be obliged to take any oath
or engagement to the Common-wealth of England for one whole yeare, And that neither Governour nor
Councill be censured for praying for or speaking well of the King for one whole yeare in their
private houses or neighbouring conference.|
2dly. That there be one sent home at the present Governour's choice to give an accompt to his Ma'tie of
|the surrender of his countrey, the present Governour bearing his charges, that is Sr. William Berkley.|
|3rdly. That the present Governour, that is Sr. William Berkeley and the Councill shall have leave to sell and dispose of their estates, and to transporte themselves whether they please.|
|4thly. That the Governour and Council though they take not the engagement for one whole yeare shall yet have equall and free justice in all courts of Virginia vntill the expiration of one whole yeare.|
|5thly. That all the Governour's and Councill's land and houses, and whatsoever belongeth to them bee perticularly secured and provided for in these articles.|
|6thly. That all debts of the Governour's by act of Assembly, and all debts due to officers made by the Assembly bee perfectly made good to them, And that the Governour be paid out of the goods remaining in the countrey of the Dutch ship that went away cleer for Holland without paying his customs.|
|7thly. That the Governour may have free leave to hire a shipp for England or Holland to carrie away the Governour's goods, and the Councill's, and what he or they have to transporte for Holland or England without any lett or any molestation of any of the State's shipps att sea or in their rivers or elsewhere by any of the shipps in the common wealth of England whatsoever.|
|8thly. That the Capt. of the fforte be allowed satisfaction for the building of his house in fforte Island.|
|9thly. That all persons that are now in this collonie of what quality or condition soever that have served the King here or in England shall be free from all dangers, punishment or mulkt whatsoever, here or elsewhere, and this art'e. as all other articles bee in as cleer termes as the learned in the law of arms can express.|
|10thly. That the same instant that the comissions are resigned an act of indempnitie and oblivion be issued out vnder the hands and seales of the comissioners for the parliament. And that noe persons in any courte of|
|justice in Virginia be questioned for their opinions given in any causes determined by them.|
|11thly. That the Governour and Councill shall have their passes to go away from hence in anie shipps in any time within a year: And in case they goe for London or other place in England that they or anie of them shall bee free from anie trouble or hindrance of arrests or such like in England, and that they may follow their occasions for the space of six monthes after their arrivall.|
|RICH: BENNETT, Seale. |
Wm. CLAIBORNE, Seale.
EDMOND CURTIS, Seale.
|Theise articles were signed, sealed, sworne vnto by vs the commissioners for the parliament of the common wealth of England, the 12th of March, 1651.|
|*An Act of Indemqnitie made att the Surrender of the Countrey.|
|WHEREAS by the authoritie of the parliament of England, wee the comissioners appointed by the Councill of State authorized thereto having brought a ffleete and force before James Cittie in Virginia to reduce that collonie vnder the obedience of the commonwealth of England, and finding force raised by the Governour and countrey to make opposition against the said ffleet, whereby assured danger appearinge of the ruine and destruction of the plantation, for prevention whereof the Burgesses of all the severall plantations being called to advise and assist therein, vppon long and serious debate, and in sad contemplation of the greate miseries and certaine destruction, which were soe neerly hovering over this whole countrey; Wee the said comissioners have thought fitt and condescended and granted to signe and confirm vnder our hands, seales and by our oath, Articles bearinge date with theise presents, And do further declare, That by the authoritie of the parliament and comonwealth||Act of indemnity on concluding the treaty.|
|* This paper is numbered "Act 86," in the revisal of 1657.|
|of England derived vnto vs theire comissioners, That according to the articles in gennerall, Wee have granted an act of indempnitie and oblivion to all the inhabitants of this colloney, from all words, actions or writings that have been spoken, acted or writt against the parliament or comon wealth of England or an other person from the beginning of the world to this daye, And this we have done, That all the inhabitants of the collonie may live quietly and securely vnder the comon-wealth of England, And wee do promise that the parliament and common-wealth of England shall confirme and make good all those transactions of ours, Wittnes our hands and seales this 12th day of March, 1651.|
|Pages 309-338||Pages 369-393|