|Pages 453-479||Pages 505-525|
|How Comissioners are to be made.*|
|BEE it enacted, by this present Grand Assembly that no person or persons for the future, bee admitted to be a com'r. for any county court whatsoever, but such as shall be desired by the court, approved by the Governour and councill and confirmed by the Assembly.||Magistrates to be recommended by co'ty court, approved by gov. & council, & confirmed by assembly.|
|Against Shooteing at Drinkeings.|
|[This act substantially agrees with act XII of March, 1655-6, (ante pa. 401,) there being a few variations only, which do not affect the sense.]|
|Concerning Orphans' Estates.|
|CONCERNING orphants estates be it henceforth enacted, That all wills and testaments be firme & inviolable, but in case the exe'rs. or overseers do refuse to execute their trust, then the court is to appoint others to act according to the will of the testator if it may be, otherwise to bee ffor the management of estates of persons intestate bee settled for the present and future as followeth −−− [The rest of this act agrees almost verbatim, and entirely in substance with the remaining sections of act II of Dec. 1656, and therefore need not be reprinted.]||If ex'rs refuse to qualify, administration with the will annexed to be granted.|
|Virginia Owners Priviledged.|
|[This act is taken verbatim from act XIV. of March 1655-6, ante pa. 402.]|
|* This act was taken from act XIII of March, 1655-6, ante pa. 402; but goes further, in requiring that the appointment of commissioners shall be confirmed by the assembly.|
|Encouragement for Ministers and their Transporters.|
|[This is nearly a literal transcript act V. of Dec. 1656, ante pa. 418.]|
|Euerie Titheable to Plant and tend two acres of Corne.|
|[This act agrees substantially with act VII of Dec. 1656, (ante pa. 419,) there being a few verbal variations only, which do not affect the sense.]|
|Concerning Mulberrie Trees.|
|[The only essential difference between this act and act VIII of Dec. 1656, (ante pa. 420,) is, that orphans are allowed five years after their attaining full age, by this act, to comply with the conditions of it: and only two years, by the act of 1656.]|
|Concerning straie Horses, Cattell and boates.|
|[This act agrees with act IX of Dec. 1656, (ante pa. 420,) with the transposition of a few words, which does not vary the sense.]|
|Against Stealing of Indians.|
|WHEREAS divers information have been given into Assemblies of sundry persons who by their indirect practices have corrupted some of the Indians to steale and conveigh away some of the children of other Indians, and of others who pretending to have bought or purchased Indians of their parents, or some of their great men, have violently and fraudulently forced them||Preamble.|
|awaie, to the greate scandall of Christianitie and of the English nation, by such their perfideous dealing, rendring religion contemptible, and the name of Englishmen odious, and may be of very important and dangerous consequence to the collony if not timely prevented, It is therefore enacted, that noe person or persons whatsoever shall dare or presume to buy any Indian or Indians (vizt.) from or of the English, and in case of complaint made, that any person hath transgressed this act the truth thereof being proved such person shall returne such Indian or Indians, within ten days to the place from whence he was taken, And be it further enacted, That whosoever shall informe against any person for breach of this act, and the information being found against the party accused, The offender shall pay vnto the informer ffive hundred pounds of tobacco to be recovered within any courte of justice in this collony.|
Person purchasing an Indian to return him within 10 days.
|Against Mercenarie Attorneys.*|
|WHEREAS there doth much charge and trouble arise by the admittance of attorneys and lawyers through pleading of causes thereby to maintain suites in lawe, to the greate prejudice and charge of the inhabitants of this collony for prevention thereof be it enacted by the authoritie of this present Grand Assembly that noe person or persons whatsoever within this collony either lawyers or any other shall pleade in any courte or judicature within this colloney or give councill in any cause or controversie whatsoever, for any kind of reward or profitt whatsoever, either directly or indirectly vpon the penalty of ffive thousand pounds of tobacco||Preamble.|
No person to plead or give advice for fees.
|* The laws concerning attornies have, within a few years, undergone various alterations; In March, 1642-3, (ante page 275,) an act passed for licensing them, and limitting their fees; in November 1645, (ante page 302,) all mercenary attornies were expelled from office; in March, 1645-6, (ante page 313.) the act of 1642-3, was repealed, and the act of 1645 made perpetual: in November, 1647, (ante page 349.) the last mentioned act was amended by declaring that no attorney should, directly or indirectly, take any fee, and that it should be the duty of the court, either to open the cause, for a weak party, or appoint some fit man "out of the people" to do it, and that no other attornies should be allowed; in Dec. 1656, (ante page 419,) all acts against mercenary attornies were repealed: the Governor was authorised to license hem for the quarter courts, and the magistrates for the county courts. The present act revives the expulsion of attornies.|
|vpon every breach thereof: And because the breakers thereof through their subtillity cannot easily be discerned: Bee it therefore further enacted, That every one pleading as an attorney to another person or persons, If either plt. or defend't desire it shall make oath, That he neither directly or indirectly is a breaker of the act aforesaid.||Attornies compellable to disclose, on oath, whether they have violated this act.|
|Concerning Huie and Cries.|
|WHEREAS huy and cries after runnaway servants hath been much neglected to the great damage and loss of the inhabitants of this colloney Bee it therefore enacted and confirmed by the authority of this present Grand Assembly, that all such huy and cries shall be signed either by the Governour or some of the Councill, or vnder the hand of some com'r. nameing the countie where the said com'r. lives, and the same shall be conveyed from house to house with all convenient speed according as the direction thereof expresseth: And every com'r. of each county vnto whose house by this meanes the said huy and cry shall come shall then date and subscribe the same, And the master of everie house that shall make default in the speedy conveyance of any such huies and cries shall for everie such default forfeite and pay vnto the owners of any such runnawaie servant is found he shall be apprehended and sent from constable to constable vntill such runnawaie or runnawayes shall be delivered to his or their master or mistresse and if any neglect can be proved against the constable hee to be fined three hundred and fiftie pounds of tobacco.||Hue and cry how issued against runaway servants.|
Duty of commissioners.
Penalty on masters of houses for neglect in the execution of the precept.
Runaway, if apprehended to be sent back by constable.
Penalty for neglect.
|How long Bills and Judgments are Pleadable.*|
|WHEREAS the nature of our trade of Virginia in respect of our present comodities and the||Preamble.|
|* From act I of November, 1654, ante page 390, with amendments.|
|great distance of our habitations enforceth vs to engage by bills, bonds and judgements, and other writeing vpon payment and discharge whereof either in part or in whole the debtor is often constrained to accept of receipts and employ other men therein, whereby manie times the said bills, bonds, judgments, and writeings remaine and lie out, and are not taken vp or delivered in, or the receipt lost, or the parties or wittnesses dead, soe, that those debts are againe demanded or recovered often times which were before justly paid and acquitted; for remedie whereof Bee it enacted and confirmed by the authoritie aforesaid, That no bills, bonds or judgments or any other engagement of debt be of anie force or recoverable ffive yeares after the date thereof, And that no execution be taken out vpon anie judgment after a yeare and one daie from the date of anie such judgment without a scire facias to warne the party to the court against whom the said judgment shall att any time happen to be granted, and this act to begin and bee of force the ffirst daie of June 1658, Provided if the debtor absent himselfe, and departe the country, That then dureing such his departure it shall not bee reckoned nor accompted anie part of the said ffive yeares, and all debts haveing been three yeares due or more to be still pleadable vntill the ffirst of June, 1659 and not after.|| No bills, bonds, judgm'ts or other
engagements recoverable after 5 years from the date.|
Execution not to issue on a judgm't after a year and a day, without a scire facias.
Commencement of act.
Debtor being absent, limitation not to run.
Further time for prosecuting debts 3 years due.
|How long ffees and Levies are recoverable.|
|BEE it enacted and confirmed by the authoritie aforesaid, That no clerkes or sherriffes fees, nor county nor country levies after two yeeres time due, be recoverable in this collony, except bill be taken for the same, or suite commenced, and the defendant arrested or in case of absence out of this countrey.||Limitation of recovery of clerks and sherriffs' fees, and of
public and county levies.|
|WHEREAS by the second act of Assembly A'o. 1645, It was ordered and established for the reformeing the greate abuse of millers in exacting excessive and illegall toll that no person or persons vseing or occupieing any mill should take or receive for the grindeing of any graine or exchangeing it for meale 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 thereon vpon the offender, nor the execution thereof was given in direction to any particular officer, It is therefore thought fitt to enlarge the said act and by vertue thereof to require all millers or owners of mills to provide by the ffive and twentieth day of June next, stilliards or statue weights and scales by which they are to receive in and deliver out all graine, and that they do sufficiently grinde or exchange the said graine soe brought vppon the pennaltie in case they do exact beyond the said proportion for grinding or exchangeing or in case of default of such weights or scales, or for not sufficient grinding, the sume of one thousand pounds of tobaccoe.||Preamble.|
Millers to provide steelyards or statute weights and scales.
Penalty for not grinding or exchanging grain for meal, or taking more than legal toll or not providing weights, &c.
|Accompts, how pleadable.|
| BEE it enacted by authoritie of this present Grand Assembly,
That no booke debts or accompts shall bee henceforth pleadable in any court of justice
within this collonie without specialtie or writeing vnder the hand or hands of such person or
persons that shall be impleaded about the same, Provided that this act shall
|| No book debts or accounts
Not to extend to debts contracted within the colony.
|* See ante page 301, act IV of November, 1645; and act XI of November 1647, ante page 347, from which this is taken, with amendments.|
| Act IV of this collection, ante page 301.|
| See act VI of November, 1645; act VII of March, 1645-6|
| extend onely to such debts as shall be made within this collony, Provided also
that in case the debter bee living, It shall be lawfull to putt the debtor to his oath, and in
case he shall refuse to swear that he oweth not the debt sued for, nor anie part thereof, then it
shall be sufficient evidence against him for the court to pass judgment against him for so much
of the said debt as hee shall confess or not denie due vpon his oath, Provided alsoe
that his act in noe wise extend to dead mens' estates.
||If the debtor will not deny the debt on oath, court may give
This act not to extend to dec. persons' estates.
| BEE it alsoe further enacted and confirmed by the authoritie
aforesaid, That all aliens and strangers who have inhabited the countrey the space of ffower
yeeres, and have a firme residence shall be free denisons of this collony, Provided they
and everie of them take the oath of ffidelite to be true to the government of this countrey, And
the said oath is to be adminstred by the severall courts respectively in the counties where anie
such aliens do dwell: And it is also further enacted that their children also shall be
ffree denisons of this countrey they and everie of them, Also takeing the said oath of ffidelity
when they shall attain to lawfull age, which said oath is to be administered by the severall
countie courts where they shall happen to live as aforesaid.
||Denization, how acquired.|
By whom adminst'd.
Their children to be free denizens on taking the oath of fidelity when they arrive at full age.
|Want of Forme no barr to a Plea.|
|WHEREAS there is and daily doth arise excessive charges and greate delaies and hinderances of justice betwixt the subjects of this collony by reason of small mistakes in writts and formes of pleading, It is therefore for the prevention thereof, enacted by this present Grand Assembly, That all courtes of judicature within this collony shall proceed and give judgement according as the right of the cause and the matter in||Jeoffails, act of.|
Courts to give judgm't. according to the right of the cause & matter in law, without
| lawe shall appeare vnto them, without regard of any imperfection, default or want of
forme in any writ, returne plaint or process or any other cause whatsoever.
||regard to form, in writ, return plaint, process or other cause|
|WHEREAS the writt of supersedeas is frequently obtained vpon slight matters and pretences to the great injurie and prejudice of manie of the inhabitants of this colloney by the stopp and delaie of justice thereby, Bee it therefore enacted and confirmed by the authoritie aforesaid that what person or persons soever shall obtaine a supersedeas to remove, stopp or staie any proceedings in lawe, either in quarter or county courts, and notwithstanding after be cast in the suite shall pay vnto the party grieved tenn pounds in the hundred damage for so much as shall be recovered either in money or tobacco, besides ordinarie costs.||Preamble.|
Damages on affirmance of judgm't. after supersedeas, 10 per cent. & costs.
|Encouragement to make Silke.|
|WHEREAS it is generally supposed, That the makeing of silk will much conduce to the good of this collony, Bee it therefore enacted by the authoritie aforesaid, that what person soever shall first make one hundred pounds of wound silke in one yeare within this colloney shall for his so doeing be paid ffive thousand pounds of tobacco out of the publique levie.||Premium for making 100 lbs. of silk.|
|What Tobacco is Merchantible.|
|BEE it enacted and confirmed by the authoritie of this present Grand Assembly, that noe tobacco whatsoever hereafter made within this collonie shall be held or accompted merchantable tobacco, which shall have therein anie ground leaves, And be it also enacted by the authoritie aforesaid, for the payment of old debts, that three hundred pounds of tobaccoe without ground||Tobacco mixed with ground leaves, no longer merchantable.|
In paying old debts, 300 lbs of tobacco,
|leaves shall pay ffower hundred pounds of tobaccoe, formerly called merchantable tobaccoe, haveing the ground leaves therein and so proportionably: And if the creditor shall not accept of the payment of the said proportion without ground leaves then the residue of the debt shall bee paied him with ground leaves, being packt and putt by themselves, And be it also enacted that all publique levies, clerkes and sherriffs' ffees, ministers' dues and all other payments whatsoever touching the publique, shall be henceforth paid in good tobacco without ground leaves; And in case anie person or persons whatsoever shall false pack anie tobacco, that is, pack anie ground leaves to the quantity of ffive pounds in a hogshead, among his topp tobacco, if it shall be proved by the testimony of two or three viewers, who are to be appointed by each partie concerned one and the third by a com'r. vpon whose verdict given vnder their hands, It shall be lawfull for the said com'r. to give order for the burning it.||without ground leaves, equal to 400 with them.|
Proceeding where the creditor will not accept.
Public levies, clerks' fees, &c. to be paid in good tobac.
|None to plant Tobaccoe after 10th Julie.|
|BEE it alsoe enacted by the authority aforesaid, That what person or sons soever within this colloney shall plant or replant any tobacco after the tenth day of July, yearly, shall pay and forfeit tenne thousand pounds of tobaccoe, the one halfe thereof for the informer and the other halfe for the vse of the county where the offence is comitted.|
Penalty for planting or re-planting tobacco after 10th July.
|Hides, iron and Wooll not to bee exported.|
|WHEREAS the exportation of hides, wool and iron is gennerallie conceived to be much prejudiciall to the commonwealth and good of this collony, Bee it therefore enacted by the authoritie of this present Grand Assembly that what person or persons soever, shall export out of this collony either wool, hides or iron, shall, for their and everie of their offences in soe doeing paie as followeth, vizt. ffor everie hide, soe exported||Penalty for exporting hides, Iron or wool.|
|the sume of one thousand pound of tobacco and for everie pound of iron tenne pounds of tobaccoe, and for everie pound of wooll fiftie pound of tobaccoe, the one halfe of which said payments and forfeitures shall be paid to the informer, and the other halfe to the publique.|
|Debts, when to be demanded.|
|WHEREAS manie creditors for severall by respects neglect demanding the tobacco due to them in due time, by that meanes enforcing the debtors to the inconveniencies both of not disposing of their tob'o nor paying their debts, to the greate damage and prejudice of the said debtors, Bee it therefore enacted that everie person or persons not demanding their debts between the tenth of October and the last of January shall not sue or implead any person or persons indebted to them for present payment, But it shall be lawfull for anie person oweing tobaccoe after the said last of January, to dispose of his tobacco at his pleasure, Provided allwaies that it shall be lawfull for the creditor to sue or implead his debtor for securitie for his debt, against next yeare, any thing in this act to the contrary notwithstanding.||Preamble.|
Creditors not demanding their tobacco debts betw'n the 1st October and the last of Jan'y, not to sue for them; but may demand and sue for security for the next y'r.
|Ordinarie Keepers rated.|
|BEE it enacted by the authoritie of this present Grand Assembly for the payment of debts made in the ordinaries at James Cittie this present Grand Assembly, that what bills have been formerly taken, or hereafter shall be taken, for any thing expended dureing this sessions of Assembly shall be reduced and abated in such sort that the debtor shall pay for their drink at the rates followinge, (vizt.) ffor case waters and the like, ffiftie pounds of tobacco per bottle, or quart; ffor Spanish wines, vizt. Sack, or the like, thirty pounds of tobacco per bottle or quarte, ffrench wines burnt twentie pounds of tobaccoe per bottle or quarte, and beer||Tavern keepers rated during the present session of
|twentie pounds of tobaccoe per gallon, and for dietts ffifteen pounds of tob'o. per meale for masters and tenne pound of tobacco for servants, and for lodgeing ffive pounds of tobacco per night, And bee it also further enacted, That in case any person or persons whatsoever, have passed or shall pass their bills for any sume or sumes of tobacco touching the premises dureing the continuance of this session of Assembly they shall have remedie for the same accordinge to the rates abovesaid in any court or judicature within this collonie. And if need be to proceed in chancery against all person or persons who have or shall infringe this act, and the said person or persons offending to be examined vpon interrogatories how much hee or they have exceeded in his or their accompts, bill or bills the rates abovesaid, which sume or sumes exceeding the said rates shall be abated vnto the debtor or debtors out of the said bills or acco'ts. Nor have wee hereby prejudiced the said ordinarie keepers att all in their rates because wee hereby exceed the rates of a former act of Assembly sett vppon ordinarie keepers, for sale of wines, strong waters and dyetts: And it is also ffurther enacted that for the future the said ordinarie keepers are to proceed in their rates and accompts according to act of Assembly in such case, for regulation of them made and provided.||Diet for masters and servants.|
If any bills passed for the above, to be reduced to those rates.
Tavern Keeper to disclose an oath.
Justification of these measures.
Ordinary keepers to be hereafter governed by the law.
|The Clerk of the Assemblys Fees.|
|BEE it enacted by this present Grand Assembly, That the clerke of the Assemblies fees shall be as followeth, vizt.||Clerk of Assembly, his fees.|
|Imposition of two shillings per Hogshead.|
|This present Grand Assembly of Virginia takeing into serious consideration the burthensom and vnequall waie of layinge taxes by the pole and how just and proportionable it will be to impose the same on our commoditie made and also how they may with most honour & ease support the government in well paying of its officers and as meanes perhaps of introduceing money, & an encouragement to men, to produce other vsefull and beneficiall comodities, have thought fitt to impose two shillings vpon everie hogshead of tobaccoe that shall from and after the first of July next be shipped on board anie shipp or other vessell within Virginia to be exported, And the collectors of the said imposition, to dispose of no part thereof but by order of the Grand Assemblie only.||Preamble. |
Duty of two shillings on every hogshead of tobacco shipped from Virginia.
|Bee it therfore ordained and enacted by this present Grand Assembly and by the authoritie thereof, And it is hereby enacted that the master and masters of all and everie shipp or vessell comeing to trade in Virginia after the first day of July next comeing, shall, vppon demand made by the collector or collectors who shall by order of Assembly be impowered to receive the said imposition from everie shipp or vessell enter into securitie to pay such collector or collectors two shillings for everie hogshead of tobacco, that shall, vpon any accompt whatsoever be shipped on board his shipp or vessell to be exported, The said payment to be made either in money bills of exc'a. or goods att thirty per cent. advance vpon the price of such goods at the first pennie; And all ffreightors to be accountable to the said masters for the tobacco by them shipped.|| Masters of vessels to give security for
payment of duties.|
How paym't. may be made.
Freighters accountable to masters.
|Bee it also ordained and enacted by the authority aforesaid, for the discovery of the number of hogsheads each shipp or vessell contained that the master of such shipp or vessell shall deliver his boatswaines booke to||How the number of hhds. ascertained.|
|* So marked in the MS. but the sense seems to be complete.|
|the perusall of the collector, and make oath of the truth of the same, so far as he knoweth, And that the mates, boatswaines or any other seamen be sworne, if the collector see cause, to discover the truth of the said freight.|
|And if any master of shipp or vessell shall wittingly or willingly conceale any part of his ffreight, from the collector, and shall thereof be lawfully convicted, then the said master shall forfeit for ev'ry such offence the sume of one hundred pounds sterling, one moietie thereof to goe to the informer and the other to the publique to be recovered by action of debt, bill or plaint, in quarter court or countie courte by vertue of this act against which no essoigne, wager of lawe or protection to be allowed to any person soe offendinge.||Penalty on master for concealing quantity of tobacco.|
|Bee it further enacted and ordained, that if any master shall pass bills of exchange for the said imposition, that then the collectors are hereby required to take sufficient caution of the said master for the true and good payment of the same.||If duty to be paid in bills of exchange, collector to take security.|
|It is hereby ordained and enacted, That the collectors of the severall rivers and places in Virginia for the receiveing of the said two shillings per hogshead be appointed and confirmed by this present Grand Assembly and give sufficient security and caution for the due execution of the trust hereby reposed in them; And to be accomptable to the next Assembly according to the tenor of this act, And the said collectors to be allowed tenne per cent. sallarie for collecting the said imposition, Provided allwaies and it is hereby ordained and enacted by the authoritie aforesaid, That this present act of Assembly be and remaine in force for one whole yeare and noe longer.||Collectors to be appointed by the assembly −−−
and to give security.|
Limitation of this act.
|It is also desired by this present Grand Assembly that the hon'ble Samuell Mathewes, Esq'r. Governour, do grant out comissions to the severall collectors, nominated with full authoritie to execute their offices and to take sufficient caution of them, for their true and faithful execution of their offices according to the abovesaid trusts and in case of the non-acceptance of the place of collector by any person here nominated or in case of any of their mortality, the Governour is hereby impowered to putt another in their place takeing caution as aforesaid.|| Sam'l Mathews, present governor, request to
appoint collectors & take security.|
Vacancies, how supplied.
|Burgesses Charges, how to be raised.|
|BEE it hereby enacted that in regard the money levied at two shillings per hogshead by reason of the disbursment for agencie and other publique debts, cannot this yeare defray the Burgesses charges, That the severall counties respectively shall by a county levie as formerly, pay the charge of their severall respective Burgesses for this Assembly.||Counties to pay their burgesses as formerly.|
|Peices of Eight, to pass at Five Shilings.*|
| BEE it hereby enacted by this Grand Assembly. That noe
false money shall pass for currant in this countrey, but peices of eight that are good and of
silver shall pass for five shillings currant money vpon pennaltie of twenty shillings to be paid
by the refusers of them, And that none shall exporte money out of this countrey above the sume of
fortie shillings, if any shall exceed the said sume to forfeite double the value thereof.
||No money of bad metal to pass −−− but pieces of
eight, of silver, to pass at five shillings.|
Penalty for refusing them.
For exporting above 40s. in money.
|For the Adjournment of the Assembly.|
| BEE it enacted That this present session of Assembly bee
adjourned vntill the second Monday in March next, and in case of the death, departure out of the
countrey or any of the present members being made sherriffes, and so incapable of serving as a
Burgesse the next sessions, then the respective sherriffs to give timely notice to the people in
the severall counties to make a new election, And if anie emergent occasions requires the
conveneing the Assembly before the day before limitted, the Governour is hereby desired and
impowered to send out his sumons for the speedy convention
||Adjournment of Assembly to second Monday in March 1658-9.|
Vacancies in representation, how supplied.
Governor authorized and requested to convene Assembly in case of emergency.
|* From act IV of March, 1655-6 (ante page 397) which repealed act IV of March, 1654-5, (ante page 410;) with amendments.|
|of the severall Burgesses of the Assembly, Provided also that if a new Burgesse should be chosen for any place in stead of any of the present Burgesses now bound out of the country, if the present Burgesse returne before the next session, then the new election to be void.||Burgess chosen in room of one absent; if absentee returns, election void.|
THE acts of the preceding session contain not only those of the Revisal of March,
1657-8, for which provision was made at the December session, 1656, (ante pa. 421, 427,) but several other
laws originally passed; as appears by the journal of the House of Burgesses of March,
1657-8, in which the subjects comprehended in those laws are discused. In the MS. the journals of
the March session, 1657-8, are intermixed with those of the March session, 1658-9. This arose
from the careless and variable manner in which the date of the year was, at that period, written.
Sometimes the new year was annexed to the old, between the 1st of January and 25thof March, (as
1657-8), 1658-9) and sometimes not; Most frequently, it was written singly; as 1657, or 1658; and
the dates were so confounded, that the one was often inserted for the other. Thus we have seen
that the acts of March, 1654-5, and those of March, 1655-6, were all dated simply 1655. The
clerk, in transcribing them, inserted those of March, 1655-6. first; and it was only by the
subject matter, that the error could be discovered; two acts of March, 1655-6, having repealed
preceding acts of 1654-5. (see ante pa. 404; 410, note; 412, note.) So the journals of March, 1657-8, and March
1658-9, are all inserted after the meeting of a new Assembly in March, 1658-9; and with one
exception, are simply dated March, 1658. But by having reference to the acts of those sessions,
we discover to which the journals respectively belong. (See note to page 393, on the subject of the old and new style.)|
Such parts of the journal as tend to elucidate the history of the period to which they relate, will alone be inserted.]
|The Revised Laws of March, 1657-8, were thus adopted, under date of March 31st, 1658: (See Rand. MS. pa. 238.)|
|THIS day all the former acts haveing been perused by the committee for viewing and regulateing them were by the said committee presented to the house, where being read and seriously discussed they were approved of in the House and a committee appointed to present them to the Governour and Councill, and to advise with them and his councill about the explanation or alteration of any seeming difficulties or inconveniencyes, Yet with this lymitation not to assent to any thing of consequence without the approbation of the House.||Revised laws reported, & how adopted.|
|MARCH 26th, 1658.|
|PROPOSED, Whether a regulation or totall ejection of lawyers?|
|Resolved, By the first vote. An ejection.*|
|* See ante act CXII, page 482 the act which grew out of this proposition. The act for expelling lawyers from the bar met with serious opposition from the Governor and council, if we may judge from the following proceedings:|
|The answer of the Governour and Council to the Houses's Message about the lawyers.|
|The Governor and Council will consent to this proposition so farr as it shall be agreeable to Magna Charta.|
|23 Martii, 1657.|
|MARCH 25th, 1658.|
Proposed, Whether the committee should draw vp a reply to the answer of the
Governour and Council of the 23d instant, concerning the proposition about lawyers.|
Resolved, an answer should be drawn vpp by the committee.
[This note concludes on the next page.]
| PROPOSED whether ground leaves or seconds are merchantable
Resolved they are not merchantable tobacco. N. 31.
Proposed whether old debts made without excluding ground leaves may not be satisfied after the rate of three hundred cleer, to pay four hundred with them, And in case of the creditor's refusall the debtor to pay one hundred in 400 in ground leaves and so proportionably.
Resolved 300 shall pay 400, or the residue to be paid in ground leaves.
| PROPOSED whether any tobacco to be planted after the 10th of
Resolved none shall plant tobacco after the tenth of July.
Proposed what pennalty to be imposed vpon the person or persons planting after the said tenth of July.
Resolved: To be fined tenn thousand pounds of tobacco.
|Period for planting tob.|
| PROPOSED whether this Assembly to be adjourned or dissolved.
||Adjournm't or dissolution of Assembly.|
|[This note began on the previous page and concludes
The humble reply of the Burgesses to the Governour and Councill.
|1. Concerning Lawyers. 2.
Concerning the manner of proceedings in law.|
To the first wee have considered Magna Charta and wee cannot discerne any prohibition conteined therein but that these propositions may pass into lawes.
It was resolved in two former Assemblyes that it was not onely necessary but that they had power to make lawes for that purpose, as appears by two acts of Assembly now vpon record.
The first whereof stood in force above ten yeares and the later addition was added in 1647, which acts stood in force vntill the last Assembly, And soe we humbly conceive that wee have no less power nor cause to make the like lawes.
|* See ante act CXXII, page 487.|
| See ante act CXXIII, page 488.|
|Resolved to be adjourned to the first of November.|
| PROPOSED, whether hides, raw or tannd, wool or old iron should be
Resolved they shall not be exported.
Proposed what penalty to be imposed on the infringers of that lawe prohibitting exportation as in the last quære.
Resolved. Confiscation of the vessell and goods taken, and this act to be in force after the tenth of June next.
|Exportation of hides, wool, &c.|
| PROPOSED, Whether all propositions and lawes exhibitted by the
committee shall be first treated on in the House by the Burgesses in private or in presence of
the Governour and Councill.
Resolved by a generall consent that they shall be first discussed among the Burgesses only.
|Subjects to be first discussed in the house of burgesses.|
|MARCH the 30th.|
|VPON returne of the petition of the inhabitants of the north side of the river in Charles Cittie county from the committee to the house −−− It is ordered, That the county of Charles Citty shall not be divided, but that it remaine one entire county and for the ease of the people that there shall be 2 courts kept one on the South side where it is, and the other on the North side by turnes. the com'rs. of both sides to assist at both courts indifferently: And each side of the river to beare the charge of building their own court house & prison.||Cha's. City county not to be divided; but 2 courts to be held in it, one on the N. and the other on the S. side of the river.|
| See ante act CXXIV, page 488.|
|THIS Grand Assembly taking into their consideration the inequality of raiseing taxes per poll, And the small encouragement given to any publique endeavors by reason of the inconsiderable value of levy tobacco, It is therefore ordered that two shillings per hhd. be laid vpon every hhd. of tobacco exported out of this country.* out of which money so to be raised sixe hundred pounds sterling to be paid to the honourable Samuel Mathewes, Esquire, Governour.||Reasons for laying a duty on tobacco exported.|
Salary of the governour.
|MARCH 31st, 1658.|
| WHEREAS in the proportion of the publique charge there is specified
an allowance of two hundred pounds, for accomodation of the councellors at quarter courts and
Assemblyes it is.
Proposed, Whether any thing shall be allowed the councellors for their acomodation or not.
Resolved by the first vote nothing to be allowed them.
|Allowance for accommodation of councillors at q'r courts & assemblies rescinded.|
| PROPOSED, If the Burgesses charge is paid out of the publique levy
on the tobacco exported, whether it be not necessary to restraine the countyes to the election of
onely two out of a county.
Resolved by the ffirst vote, that there shall be allowed to each county the ffreedom to elect as many Burgesses as formerly.
|Proposition to reduce the number of burgesses to two for each county negatived.|
|APRIL the first, 1658.|
|VPON the petition of the inhabitants of Middle Plantation and Harrop parishes, It is ordered, That both of them be henceforth incorporated into one parish which is to be called the parish of Middletowne and the bounds of the same to be those already includeing both the aforesaid former parishes.||Middletown parish established.|
|* See act CXXVIII of last session, which grew out of this resolution.|
|[Pursuant to the CXVIIIth act of the last session, commissions of denization issued to William Westerhouse, George Hacke, Lambert Grooten, Minor Dowdas and John Abraham, all Dutchmen; and a commission of naturalization to William and John Curtis, born of English parents. See Rand. MS. pa. 240.]|
|JAMES CITTY, APRIL the 1st. 1658.*|
|THE Governour and Councill for many important causes do think fitt hereby to declare, That they do now disolve this present Assembly, And that the Speaker accordingly do dismiss the Burgesses.||A dissolution of the Assembly ordered.|
|The Answer of the Burgesses to the declaration of the Honourable Governour and Council.|
| THE House humbly presenteth, That the said disolution as the case
now standeth is not presidentall neither legall according to the lawes, now in force, Therefore
wee humbly desire a revocation of the said declaration, especially seeing wee doubt not but
||Answer of the burgesses denying the power of the gov. and council to dissolve them.|
|* These proceedings commence in page 242, of the Rand Ms. after the names of the burgesses returned to serve in the session of March 1658-9, which may be found in page 226. But there is no difficulty in referring this contest to the session of March, 1657-8: for it will be seen that "John Smith," who signed the answer of the House of Burgesses, was Speaker in the session of 1657-8. −−− Besides, on comparing the names of the Burgesses, it will be found, that the two assemblies were composed of very different members.|
| to finish the present affaires to the satisfaction of your honour and the whole country.
|JOHN SMITH, Speaker.|
| VPON which transactions
being but three monthes absent, It was
voted vnanimously, That no Burgesse
and if any shall depart, That he shall be censured as a person betraying the trust reposed in him by his country, And the remaining to act in all things and to all intents and purposes as a whole and entire house, And ffurther, That Mr. Speaker signe nothing without the consent of the major part of the house.
Voted further, That an oath of secresy be administred to the Burgesses which was done as followeth.
|Votes of the house thereupon.|
| You shall sweare that as a Burgesse of this House you shall not
either directly or indirectly repeate nor discover the present or future transactions, debates or
discourses that are now or hereafter shall be transacted or debated on in the House to any person
or persons whatsoever except to a Burgesse of this Assembly now present dureing the time of this
present session. So help you God and the contents of this Book.
This oath taken by all the Burgesses present.
|Oath of secrecy.|
|The reply of the honourable the Governour and Councill.|
| VPON your assurance of a speedy issue to conclude the acts so near
brought a confirmation in this Assembly, wee are willing to come to a speedy conclusion, And to
referre the dispute of the power of disolving and the legality thereof to his Highnesse the Lord
|Reply of the governor and council.|
|Ja: Cittie, April 2d, 1658.|
|* So marked, in the MS.|
|The Answer of the Burgesses.|
| THE House is vnanimously of opinion that the answer returned is
vnsatisfactory, and desire with as much earnestnes as the honourable Governours and Councill have
expressed a speedy dispatch, and propose That the Governour and Councill please to
The house remaines vndisolved that a speedy period may be putt to the publique affaires.
|Answer of the burgesses declaring the reply of the governor and council unsatisfactory.|
|JOHN SMITH, Speaker,|
|James, Ap: the 2d, 1658.|
|The Reply of the Governour and Councill.|
| VPON your promise received of the speedy and happy conclusion, Wee
revoke the declaration for the dissolution of the Assembly, And referre the dispute of the power
of dissolving and the legality thereof to his Highnesse the Lord Protector.
|Further reply of the gov'r. and council.|
| THE House, vnsatisfied with these answers, appointed a committee to
draw vp a report for manifestation and vindication of the Assembly's power which after
presentation to the House to be sent to the Governour and Councill, These vnderwritten being
appointed the committee:
Coll. John Carter, Mr. Warham Horsmenden, Coll. John Sidney, Lev't. Coll. Thomas Swann, Major Richard Webster, Mr. Jerom Ham, Capt. Wm. Michell.
The same committee is by the House impowered to draw vp all such propositions as any way tend to or concerne the settling the present affaires of the country and government.
|The burgesses, still unsatisfied, appoint a committee to draw up a resolution asserting their power.|
|The Report of the Committee nominated for vindication and manifestation of the Assemblyes Power.||Report of the committee.|
| WEE have considered the present constitution of the government of
Virginia and do propose, That wee find by the records, The present power of government to reside
in such persons as shall be impowered by the Burgesses (the representatives of the people) who
are not dissolvable by any power now extant in Virginia, but the House of Burgesses.
They humbly thinke fitt that the House do propose,
|House of burgesses not dissolvable by any power in Virginia.|
|Samuel Mathewes, Esquire, to remaine Governour and Capt. Gen'll. of Virginia. with the full powers of that trust, And that a Councill be nominated, appointed and confirmed by the present Burgesses convened, with the asistance of the Governour for his advice.||Proposition for appoint'g. governor and council.|
|Vpon which Report was drawne vp this Declaration.|
|THE Burgesses takeing into consideration the many letts and obstructions in the affaires of this Assembly and conceiveing that some persons of the present councell endeavour by setting vp their own power to destroy the apparent power resident only in the burgesses, representatives of the people, as is manifest by the records of the Assembly:||Declaration of the house, that they have in themselves the full power of the election of all officers.|
|Wee the said Burgesses do declare, That we have in our selves the full power of the election and appointment of all officers in this country vntill such time as wee shall have order to the contrary from the supreme power in England, All which is evident vpon the Assembly records.|
|And for the better manifestation thereof and the present dispatch of the affaires of this countrey we declare as followeth:|
|That wee are not dissolvable by any power yet extant in Virginia but our owne, That all former election of Governour and Councill be void and null; That the power of governour for the future shall be conferred on Coll. Samuel Mathewes, Esq. who by vs shall be invested with all the just rights and priviledges belongeing||Not dissolvable by any power in Virginia but their own.|
Samuel Mathewes appointed gov.
|to the Governour and Capt. Generall of Virginia, and that a councill shall be nominated, appointed and confirmed, by the present burgesses convened (with the advice of the Governour, for his assistance,) And that for the future none bee admitted a councellor but such who shall be nominated, appointed and confirmed by the house of Burgesses as aforesaid, vntill further order from the supreame power in England.|
Council how appointed.
|JOHN SMITH Speaker|
|By the Grand Assembly.|
|THESE are in the name of his Highnesse the Lord Protector to will and require you not to act or execute any warrant, precept or command directed to you from any other power or person then the Speaker of this hon'ble. House, whose commands you are hereby required to obey and not to decline therefrom vntill further order from vs the Burgesses of this present Grand Assembly, hereof faile not as you will answer the contrary at your perill. given 2d Apr. 58.||Order to the high sheriff of Jas. City & serg't at arms, to obey no warrant but those signed by the speaker.|
|JOHN SMITH, Speak'r.|
| Directed to Capt. Robert Ellison, High |
Sheriff of James Citty County and
Serjeant at Armes for this present
| IT is ordered, That whereas the supreame power of this
country of Virginia is by this Grand Assembly declared to be resident in the Burgesses, the
representatives of the people, That in referrence and obedience thereto Coll. William Claiborne
late secretarie of state forthwith surrender and deliver the records of the country into the
hands of the Speaker of this present Grand Assembly.
Coll Claiborne being sent for by the sergeant at armes there was drawen vp the next ensueing order.
|The secretary of state directed to deliver the public records to the speaker.|
|Whereas it hath been ordered by this present Grand Assembly, That Coll. William Claiborne late secretarie of state should deliver, vppon oath, all the records concerning this country of Virginia or any perticular member thereof vnto this present Grand Assembly, These are to impower and authorize Coll. John Carter and Mr. Warham Horsmenden to receive the same in the name and behalfe of the aforesaid Grand Assembly, and for such records as they shall receive to give the said Coll. Claiborne an full receipt and discharge.||Committee appointed to receive them.|
|APRIL the 3d, 1658.|
|THE committee appointed for manifestation of the countreys power did this day by order of the house present to the Governor the forme of the oath to be taken by him and the Councill, which by him was approved and a list of those he desired to be of his councill presented by him to the house.|
|I doe sweare that as Governour and Capt. Gen'll. of Virginia, I will, from time to time to the best of my vnderstanding and conscience deliver my opinion in all cases for the good and wellfare of this plantation of Virginia, And I do also swear that as a minister of justice in Virginia, I will, to the best of my judgment and conscience, do equall right and justice vnto all persons in all causes when I shall bee therevnto called, according to the knowne laws of England or acts of Assembly which are or shall be in force for the time being without favour, affection, partiality or malice or any by respect whatsoever, Neither will I, directly or indirectly give councell or advice in any cause depending before me, So help me God.||Oath of governor.|
|The names of the Councellors nominated by the Governour and approved by the House.|
|S: Coll: Samuell Matthewes, Esq'r. Governour and Capt. Gen'll of Virginia.||Governor & council appointed.|
| These 3 last not to be sworne vntill the dissolution of the
These marked in the margent with the letter S: where then sworne in the forme expressed, their titles onely changed.
|Pages 453-479||Pages 505-525|