|Pages 505-525||Pages 553-577|
HELD AT JAMES CITTIE, THE THIRTEENTH OF MARCH 1659-60.*
|The MS. from which the acts of this session were printed, is now in the library of Congress, at Washington.|
|SIR WILLIAM BERKELEY, Knight, Governour and Captaine Generall of Virginia.|
|* This is simply dated 1659 in the MS. but it was the session of 1659-60.|
| No portion of the History of
Virginia has been so palpably misunderstood, as that which related to the re-appointment of Sir
William Berkeley, governor, before the restoration. Robertson (who quotes Beverley, pa. 55, and
Chalmers, pa. 124) thus introduces the subject and accounts for the event:|
"Under governors appointed by the commonwealth, or by Cromwell, when he usurped the supreme power, Virginia remained almost nine years in perfect tranquility. During that period, many adherents to the royal party, and among these some gentlemen of good families, in order to avoid danger and oppression, to which they were exposed in England, or in hopes of repairing their ruined fortunes, resorted hither. Warmly attached to the cause for which they had fought and suffered, and animated with all the passions natural to men recently engaged in a fierce and long-protracted
[This note continues on the following pages, concluding on page 529.]
|The Burgesses for the severall Plantations.|
|[This note began on the previous page.]|
civil war, they, by their intercourse with the colonists, confirmed them in principles of loyalty, and added to their impatience and indignation under the restraints imposed on their commerce by their new masters, On the death of Mathews, the last governor named by Cromwell, the sentiments and inclination of the people, no longer under the control of authority, burst out with violence. They forced Sir William Berkeley to quit his retirement; they unanimously elected him governor of the colony; and as he refused to act under an usurped authority, they boldly erected the royal standard, and acknowledging Charles II. to be their lawful sovereign, proclaimed him with all his titles; and the Virginians long boated, that as they were the last of the king's subjects who renounced their allegiance, they were the first who returned to their duty."
|(Robert. Hist. Amer. vol. 4, pa. 230.)|
Never was there so short an extract more replete with error −−− Not a dictum contained in it, is supported by the public records of the colony; but on the contrary, they directly contradict every assertion of this historian.
From the death of Charles I, in 1649, to the restoration of Charles II, in 1660, not a governor of Virginia had been appointed either by the commonwealth or by Cromwell. In truth, almost every page of the Assembly's records, from the date of the convention with the commissioners of parliament, in 1651-2 (see ante pa. 363, 371,) till the termination of the commonwealth, proves that the government of Virginia was entirely provisional; and it no where appears that the influence of Cromwell's protectorship was extended to this colony. If this idea required any confirmation beyond what is clearly deducible from the face of the records, it would be found in the letter from the president of the council in England, (ante page 509) announcing Cromwell's death; which expressly states, that certain measures had been contemplated by the Protector, towards settling the government of Virginia, "and some resolutions passed in order thereto, which, it was supposed, would have been brought into act, by that time, if the Lord had continued life and health to his highness."
After the death of Cromwell, his son Richard was acknowledged as his successor, by the colony of Virginia, (ante pa. 511) and the same provisional government continued; the house of burgesses
[This note continues on the following page and concludes on page 529.]
|[This note began on page 526.]|
having more and more encroached on the powers of the governor and council, till they left them mere cyphers. (see ante from page 499 to 505.) It was not until after Richard had resigned the reins of government on the 22d of April, 1659, and before the restoration of Charles II, on the 29th of May, 1660, that the assembly passed an act expressly "taking the power into the assemblie's hands," though they had, in effect, exercised all the powers of government long before. The first four acts of this session (1659-60) shew the measures of the assembly to have been the offspring of necessity; to have grown out of that state of suspense produced by the reserved conduct of general Monck, when it was uncertain, even in England, what kind of government would be finally adopted.
Col. Samuel Mathews, late governor, having died in January, 1659, (see list of governors prefixed to this volume) the next assembly which sat on the 13th of March, 1659-60, elected Sir William Berkeley governor, by act of assembly, (see act II, of March, 1659-60) precisely in the same manner as they had elected Mathews governor, at the preceding session (see act I, of March, 1658-9.) The story of Sir William Berkeley's being forced from his retirement, of his refusing to act under an usurped authority, and the erection of the royal standard, &c. is a mere effort of the imagination, about as much founded on fact, as that Mathews was the "last governor named by Cromwell," when we have seen, that he, like Berkeley was elected by act of assembly. The truth is, that the election of Berkeley, was an ordinary act of the Assembly; and the name of king, or of majesty does not occur till the October session 1660, after the restoration of Charles II had been announced.
The idea that the people, on the death of Mathews, were "no longer under the control of authority," is perfectly consistent with that poetic fiction which has given a coloring to the whole piece; but it is totally unsupported by fact. The governors, during the commonwealth, were the mere creatures of the house of burgesses, dependent on their breath for their political existence, and annihilated at their pleasure: −−− The 'Representatives of the People,' as they proudly and justly denominated themselves, were the only sovereigns of Virginia.
Mr. Burk, who, with propriety, rejects the account, given by Robertson and other historians of the election of Sir William Berkeley, has from the want of authentic documents (having never seen the MS from which these acts are printed,) hazarded a conjecture "that Sir William Berkeley received his authority from a tumultuous assemblage of cavaliers and aristocrats, without the agency of the assembly." (See Burk's Hist. Vir. vol. 2, pa. 119, 120.) It appears, however, that he was elected by a full assembly, composed, it is true, of many new members; but the acts passed at that session seem to be such, only, as the exigencies of the country required.
[This note concludes on the next page.]
|[This note began on page 526, and concludes
The period of the death of Mathews, and the succession of Berkeley, may be ascertained with tolerable accuracy by a reference to the records in the office of the register of the land office, formerly the secretary's −−− In a book labelled "Patents from 1655 to 1664," folio 377, will be found, the last patents issued under Samuel Mathews, as governor; which were in September, 1659. −−− the first patent issued by Sir William Berkeley, after his re-election, (same book, folio 391) bears date the 22d of March, 1859-60: several other patents issued in his name, in March, April, &c. 1660 −−− (See Patents from 1655 to 1664, folio 392, 393.)
To prove the fallacy of the position that the governors of Virginia during the commonwealth, received their appointments from England, it will only be necessary to recur to the pages of this volume, where it will be found that they were, in ever instance, elected by the house of burgesses. In April, 1652, Richard Bennett was appointed the first governor, under the provisional government (ante page 371); in March 1655 Edward Digges was elected (ante page 408); in March, 1657-8, Samuel Mathewes was elected (ante 431-2); at the same session, a contest arising between the governor and council and the house of burgesses, as to the constitutional power of dissolving the assembly, the burgesses declared all former elections of governor and council void and null; but immediately after re-elected Mathews, (ante page 502; by the first act of March, 1658-9 (ante page 516;) Mathews was again elected; and by the second act of this session, 1659-60, Sir William Berkeley was elected. It is ridiculous to suppose that this first election of Sir William Berkeley, before the restoration had taken place in England, was produced by a change in sentiments in the people; that they should have anticipated a possible event, when the best informed men in England were held in awful suspense, by the taciturnity and reserve of Monck; doubting whether he would declare for himself, for Charles II, or for any other individual. Let it be remembered that the restoration took place on the 29th of May, 1660, and this assembly was held on the 13th of March preceding. If the people of Virginia had really declared in favour of Charles II, would there not have been some manifestation of it in their public acts? But nothing of that kind appears. The style of the assembly is precisely such as marks the proceedings during the commonwealth, and their acts evidently flow from a state of interregnum. In the next assembly, indeed, held in October, 1660, Sir William Berkeley is called "His Majesty's Governor;" but this was after the restoration was effected; and he had probably received an appointment from the crown.
|An Act for taking the Power into the Assemblies hands.|
|WHEREAS by reason of the late frequent distractions (which God in his mercy putt a suddaine period to) there being in England noe resident absolute and gen'll. confessed power; Be it enacted and confirmed, That the supreame power of the government of this country shall be resident in the Assembly, And that all writts issue in the name of the Grand Assembly of Virginia, vntil such a comand and comission come out of England as shall be by the Assembly adjudged lawfull.||Preamble.|
Supreme power declared in assembly.
All writs to issue in their name.
|An Act for Sir William Berkeley being Governour.|
|BEE it enacted, That the honourable Sir William Berkeley bee Governour and Captain Gen'll. of Virginia, And that he governe according to the auncient lawes of England and the established lawes of this country, And that all writts issue in the name of the Grand Assembly of Virginia, That once in two years at least he call a Grand Assembly or oftener if he see||Sir William Berkeley elected gov'r.|
Writs to issue in the name of the assembly.
To call an assembly once in 2 years.
|cause, that he have liberty to make choice of a Secretarie and Council of State with the
approbation of the Assembly, And that he do not dissolve this Assembly without consent of the
major part of the House.
||Secretary & council, how chosen.|
Restriction as to his right to dissolve the assembly.
|An Act to repeale all Acts disagreeing with the Lawes and Power now established.|
|WHEREAS by the frequent reveiwes and alterations of the lawes of this countrey there may be some contrarieties happen, and some of the precedent lawes be adverse to the lawes enacted this Assembly and especially to the power now established, Bee it therefore enacted, That all precedent lawes and clauses in lawes, contrarie to the lawes, power and fforme of government now established be reversed, repealed, made void and null.||Preamble,|
All laws inconsistent with the present government repealed.
|An Act for the Peace of this Collony vnder the present Government.|
|WHEREAS by reason of the late frequent distractions in England there is no absolute gen'll. confessed power, And necessitie forceth vs (during these distractions) to declare some power, Vnder which this collonie may be settled, It hath been thought necessary and convenient by the present Burgesses of this Assembly, the representatives of the people, during the time of these distractions, to take the government into their owne power with the conduct of the auncient lawes of England, till such lawfull comission or comissions appear to vs as wee may dutifully submit to according as by declaration sett forth by vs doth more amply appeare, Now whereas many disaffected persons may be apt and forward by their idle words and actions to say or do such things as may be prejudiciall to the authority and government for the present setled or established, For preservation whereof, Bee it ordained and enacted by this Assembly and by the authority of the same, That all persons whatsoever that shall after publication hereof say or act any thing in derogation||Preamble.|
Penalty for speaking in derogation of the present government.
|of the present government hereby established shall be proceeded against as enemies of the peace of this collonie and receive punishment accordingly.|
|An Act for Sherriffes makeing due Returnes of Burgesses, And Burgesses meeting on the day.|
|WHEREAS many inconveniencies arise by the negligence of sher's. in makeing the due returnes of the Burgesses, And the Burgesses not appearing by the day by which meanes the charge of those counties whose sherriffes and Burgesses have performed the tenor of the writt is augmented and the publique buisness is retarded; Bee it enacted, That what Sherriff soever shall not before the day expressed in the writt make returne of the election according to act of Assembly shall be fined two thousand pounds of Tobacco. And what Burgesses soever shall (vnless obstructed by some law'll impediment, and that to be adjudged by the House) faile in makeing his appearance shall for ev'ry day he shall be absent after the day appointed in the writt for the sitting of the Assembly be fined three hundred pounds of tobacco to be disposed off by the Assembly||Preamble.|
Penalty on sheriff for not making due return.
On a burgess for not appearing at the day.
|An act for the suppressing the Quakers.|
|WHEREAS there is an vnreasonable and turbulent sort of people, comonly called Quakers, who contrary to the law do dayly gather together vnto them vnlaw'll Assemblies and congregations of people teaching and publishing, lies, miracles, false visions, prophecies and doctrines, which have influence vpon the comunities of men both ecclesiasticall and civil endeavouring and attemping thereby to destroy religion, lawes, comunities and all bonds of civil societie, leaving it arbitrarie to everie vaine and vitious person whether men shall be safe, lawes established, offenders punished, and Governours rule, hereby disturbing the publique peace and just interest, to prevent||Preamble.|
| and restrain which mischiefe, It is enacted, That no master or comander of any
shipp or other vessell do bring into this collonie any person or persons called Quakers, vnder
the penalty of one hundred pounds sterling to be leavied vpon him and his estate by order from
the Governour and Council or the comissioners in the severall counties where such shipps shall
arrive, That all such Quakers as have beene questioned or shall hereafter arrive shall be
apprehended wheresoever thay shall be found and they be imprisoned without baile or mainprize
till they do adjure this country, or putt in security with all speed to depart the collonie and
not to returne again: And if any should dare to presume to returne hither after such departure to
be proceeded against as contemners of the lawes and magistracy and punished accordingly, and
caused again to depart the country, And if they should the third time be so audacious and
impudent as to returne hither to be proceeded against as ffelons. That noe person shall enterain
any of the Quakers that have heretofore been questioned by the Governour and Council, or which
shall hereafter be questioned, nor permit in or near his house any Assemblies of Quakers in the
like penalty of one hundred pound sterling, That comissioners and officers are hereby required
and authorized as they will answer the contrary at their perill to take notice of this act to see
it fully effected and executed, And that no person do presume on their peril to dispose or
publish their bookes, pamphlets or libells bearing the title of their tenents and
||Penalty on masters of vessels for bringing in
All quakers to be apprehended and committed to prison till they give security to leave the colony.
Penalty for returning.
For returning a third time to be treated as felons.
Penalty for entertaining or permitting assemblies of quakers.
Duty of magistrates and officers.
Penalty for publishing books containing the tenets of the quakers.
|An Act for receiving Port-Charges and Castle-Duties in vacancy of a Governour.|
|WHEREAS by former acts of Assemblies the port charges and castle duties have been conferred on the Governour and no order therein taken, for the receiving the same in the vacancy of a governour, It is enacted & confirmed, that during such vacancy the sherriffs of the repective counties in which any shipp soe arriveing shall first beginne to load shall for the vse of the countrey receive of the commander or master of such shipp the port-charges and castle duties due from||Preamble.|
Port charges and castle duties payable to the sheriff during a vacancy of governor.
|the same, and for whatsoever he the said sherriff shall soe receive to become responsible to the next Assembly, And if any such master shall refuse vpon demand of the sherriffe to make payment thereof accordingly, Then the said sherriffe to make his complaint to the next comissioner of the quorum in that county, who by vertue of this act is, without further processe impowered to graunt execution against the person or estate of the said master refusing to pay his duties as aforesaid, And if anie sherriffe shall neglect the performance of his duty in demanding and recovering the said port-charges and Castle-Duties, Then the estate of the sherriffe to be liable to make satisfaction for his neglect to the next Assembly.||Penalty for refusing payment.|
Or the sheriff for neglect.
|An Act where the Port-Charges and Castle-Dueies are to be paid.|
|WHEREAS the charge in hyreing boates and hands to collect the port-charges and Castle-Duties, and the vnconsiderablenesse of the value of the comodities they are paid in, being commonly the refuse of their whole cargo, hath added little to the supply of the Governour to which by severall Assemblies they have been appropriated, Bee it therefore enacted and confirmed, That there be in every river certaine places and persons appointed and authorized by the Governour to receive the same, within whose respective limmitts and precincts what master or commander of shipp or vessel soever shall intend to lade, he the said master or commander shall before he beginns repaire to the said place and person so appointed and authorized, And there shall enter his shipp, And either in kind or in other good valuable commodities att the rate he sells shall make just payment of the said port-charges and Castle-Duties, And vpon payment thereof shall take from the said officer a discharge and license to load, And if the said master shall fraudulently conceale the burthen of the shipp, And thereby defraud the Governour of his due, Then to forfeit his recognizance.||Preamble.|
Collectors of port charges and castle duties to be appointed by the gov'r.
Penalty on master of vessel for concealing the burthen of his ship.
|An Act for Masters of Shipps to give Bond for good abearing.|
|WHEREAS divers masters of shipps have of late yeares obstinately and contemptuously behaved themselves towards the lawes and government of this country, refusing their due obedience and submission to the same and have likewise contrary to the peace of this country, And the priviledges granted vs by our articles of surrender to have free trade with all nations in amity with the people of England, unmolested, troubled and seized diverse shipps, sloops and vessells comeing to trade with vs to the great prejudice of the countreys good and prosperity, ffor prevention whereof for the future, Bee it enacted and confirmed, That every master or commander of shipp or vessell from what place soever comeing hither shall within six dayes after arrivall or sooner, if by the officer authorized therevnto lawfully required give in bond for two thousand pounds sterling, with such security of some inhabitants of this country as by the said officer shall be adjudged responsible not to molest or trouble any shipp or vessell in the jurisdiction of Virginia but to abear himself peaceable towards all the inhabitants of this country and all others tradeing here under the protection thereof, and not to infringe, but to yield all due obedience to the lawes here established, Bee it also further enacted, That if any master or comander of shipp shall refuse to give such bond, he shall be totally debarred from haveing any trade in the country, Common reason prohibiting those to have the profitt of the trade that refuse to submitt to the lawes or endeavour to destroy the priviledges of a country they trade with, Bee it also ffurther enacted, That what person or persons soever shall presume to trade with any master, merchant or mariner of any shipp, barque or vessell before he hath seen the certificate or hath certain notice, That he the said master hath passed bond according to the tenor of this act, Then the person so offending to pay 2000 lb. of tobacco for a fine to the collector fo the said imposition, who is hereby required to make diligent enquiry of such offences for the vse of the countrey.||Preamble.|
Asserting the right of Virginia to a free commerce, under the articles of surrender.
Every master of a vessel to give bond not to molest any person trading under the protection of our laws.
If they refuse, not permitted to trade.
Penalty for trading with them.
|The condition of this obligation is such, That if the above bound shall well and|
|peaceably behave and abears himselfe towards all the inhabitants of this countrey and also towards all shipps and vessells, tradeing hither from any place or places in amity with the people of England and this place without molesting, either the merchants, masters or marryners of the said shipp or vessells, either on land or aboard, also if they shall according to law well and truly pay or cause to be paid the severall port charges and Castle-Duties att the appointed places to the respective officers authorized to receive the same, And also if they shall before their departure out of this country give good caution that in case they discharge not their vessells at some port within the English dominions in Europe, then to pay for each hogshead of tobacco by them exported tenn shillings sterling, and if they shall not carry any passenger out of this collonie but such as shall legally procure a passe out of the secretaries office, And if they shall, before their loading, make entrie of their shipps and when full take out their dispatches for the same, Then this obligation to be void.|
|An Act ffor Tenne Shillings a Hogshead imposed on all shipps that do not discharge in the English Dominions in Europe.|
|WHEREAS the prudence of all nations hath provided for the defraying the publique necessarie charges of the countrey rather by laying an imposition vppon the adventurers for the staple commodities of the country by the exportation of which the greatest advantage accrues, then by taxing the persons of the inhabitants, the present Grand Assembly endeavouring as much as in them lyes to ease the burthen of the people, And takeing into consideration the greate benefit that accrues to other countries by the customes ariseing from our commoditie tobacco, And that Virginia whose peculiar staple it is, hat from it nor from the adventurers hither no publique advantage, Wee have thought it necessary and convenient, And accordingly have enacted and confirmed, That all merchants, masters of shipps and mariners tradeing to Virginia and not bound by charter-party to returne and discharge in any of the English dominions in Europe shall pay for||Preamble.|
Duty of 10s. sterling on everyhogshead of tob. exported which is not bound to a British port.
|everie hogshead of tobacco they shall load aboard any shipp, barque or other vessell arriveing here after the ffirst of August next and not bound as aforesaid the summe of ten shillings sterling, either in money, bills of exchange with good caution, or in good valuable comodities at twenty-five pound per cent. advance: Provided allwaies, That all adventurers, inhabitants of this country, trading in bottomes belonging to Virginia owners shall be free from the said imposition, it tending to the advancement of trade here, The encouragement of the inhabitants to purchase vessells, And of marriners to make this the place of their residence.|
Virginian owners exempted.
|An Act for the anihilation of the Councellors.|
|WHEREAS it was enacted the last Assembly, That Coll. Samuel Mathewes should be Governour for two yeares, And the Councill of State fixt during live, It is thought fitt and enacted, That in regard the then Governour and Council dissolved the said Assembly and expressly declined the said act, That the said act be repealed and the priviledge and power of the Secretarie and Council of State annihilated made void and null.||Act I. of March, 1658-9, repealed.|
|An Act for establishing a Court of Admiralty.|
|WHEREAS by daily experience wee find the inconveniencies that happen to the inhabitants of and traders into this country for want of a court of admiralty, Bee it enacted and ordained by this present Assembly, That the Governour and Councill shall have full power and authority of a court of admiralty to cognoss, determine and administer justice in all things pertaining to seafairing, that shall appertaine, happen or fall out (within the jurisdiction of this collonie) either between mariner and merchant, or mariner and master as likewise all complaints, contracts, offences, pleas, exchanges, covenants and all other writings concerning lading and vnlading of shipps, ffreights, hyres and||Preamble.|
Gov. & council constituted a court of admiralty.
|all other buisiness whatsoever among sea-affairs done on the water, and where within the limitts and the jurisdictions of Virginia or the lawes and cognizance thereof, with the cognition of writts, the causes and actions of reprisalls, of letters of marque to take stipulations, cognitions and insinuations, And to do all other things without which the jurisdictions of the admiralty cannot stand or bear out, To make clerkes, marshalls and other officers, for the exercising of the said jurisdictions to arrest and putt in execution, and to enquire by the oathes of twelve men vpon all offences, (vizt.) Against pyrats, their assistors or abettors, out-traidors or receptors, against breakers of the admirall's arrestments and attachments against goods forbidden, merchandizes not customed and yet shipt and transported, against the resisters of the admirall's officers in executing precepts against all sorts of transgressions comitted by seamen or any others any way touching the jurisdiction of the admiralty court.|
|An Act that no Servant lay violent hands on his Master or Overseer.|
|WHEREAS by the audacious vnruliness of many stubborn and incorrigible servants, who by resisting their masters and overseers have brought many mischeifs and losses to divers perticular persons of this country. Bee it enacted and ordained, That the servant that shall lay violent hands on his or her master or mistresse or overseer and be convicted thereof, before any county court in this country, the same court is hereby required and authorized to order such servant or servants to serve his or their said master or mistress two yeeres after his or their time by indenture, custom or law is expired.||Preamble.|
Penalty for a servant's laying violent hands on his master, mistress or overseer.
|An Act for repealing an Act for Irish Servants.|
|WHEREAS the act for Irish servants comeing in without indentures enjoyning them to serve six yeeres, carried with it both rigour and inconvenience,||Preamble.|
|many by the length of time they have to serve being discouraged from comeing into the country, And by that meanes the peopling of the country retarded, And these inconveniencies augmented by the addition of the last clause in that act, That all aliens should be included, Bee it therefore enacted and confirmed, That the whole act be repealed and made void and null, And that for the future no servant comeing into the country without indentures, of what christian nation soever, shall serve longer then those of our own country, of the like age: And it is further enacted, That what alien soever arrive here before that clause was inserted and that hath been by vertue of that last clause inforced to serve any time longer then the custom of the countrey did oblige them to shall be allowed competent wages by their severall masters for the time they have overserved, Any act, order of court or judgment to the contrary notwithstanding, Provided alwaies that all such aliens as came in servants during the time that the said clause was in force shall serve according to the tenor of that act.||Act 85 of March 1657-8, repealed.|
No distinction as to service, betw'n servants of any christian nation.
Provision for aliens arriving before & after former law.
|An Act for the Pay of Dutch Masters bringing in Runnaway Servants.|
|WHEREAS by the articles of peace with the Dutch it hath been concluded that in case the master of any runnaway servants that shall be brought into this country shall refuse to make payment for his passage and such other reasonable costs and disbursments as shall be made appear due, that then he should receive his pay at the secretaries office. Bee it enacted, That payment shall be accordingly made there by the secretarie or his officer, either in money or [in] tobacco, if to be procured at that time of the yeare or else in such other commodities of the country as can at the time of the demand be produced to make satisfaction, And for the raising the same, Bee it further enacted, That the secretarie or his appointed officer shall have power to dispose of the said servant by outcry or otherwise, for so long time as will raise the value disbursed for him, after the expiration of which time he shall be returned||Preamble.|
Payment for apprehending runaway Dutch serv'ts to be made at the secretary's office.
450 [ should read 540.]
|to his master from whence he ran away, and serve him the remainder of his time by indenture and the additionall time imposed by act.|
|An Act for the Dutch and all other Strangers for Tradeing to this Place.*|
|WHEREAS the restriction of trade hath appeared to be the greatest impediment to the advance of the estimation and value of our present only commodity tobacco, Bee it enacted and confirmed, That the Dutch and all strangers of what Xpian nation soever in amity with the people of England shall have free liberty to trade with vs, for all allowable comodities, And receive protection from vs to our vtmost powers while they are in our jurisdiction, and shall have equall right and justice with our own nation in all courts of judicature, Provided they give bond and pay the impost of tenn shillings per hogshead laid vpon all tobacco exported to any fforreigne dominions and give bond according to act, Allwaies provided, That if the said Dutch or other forreiners shall import any negro slaves, They the said Dutch or others shall, for the tobacco really produced by the sale of the said negro, pay only the impost of two shillings per hogshead, the like being paid by our owne nation.||Dutch & all strangers of any christian nation allowed a free
Assurances of protection.
Duty on tob. produced by sale of negroes.
|An Act for debarring the present Burgesses from takeing any Offices that may take them off from being Members of the House.|
|WHEREAS it hat bin thought fit for manie important reasons to adjourn and not to dissolve this present Assembly, Bee it enacted, That the same be||No burgess of the present assembly to accept any other office.|
|* By the 74th act of March, 1657-8, (ante pa. 469,) a duty of ten shillings a hogshead was laid on all tobacco exported by the Dutch or other foreigners, in any vessel whatever, and bound to any port, excepting only English vessels bound directly to a port in England. This is another conclusive proof that the colonists, during the commonwealth, enjoyed a free trade with all people in amity with England.|
|not dismembred of any present Burgesse by being made Councellors or sherriffs vntil the disolution of the Assembly; And if anie present member shall, contrary to this act, presume to accept of either of the said places whereby he may be rendred incapable of serving as a Burgesse, Bee it further enacted, That he pay tenn thousand pounds tobacco fine for his contempt, The fine to bee disposed of by the Assembly.||Penalty.|
|An Act concerning Appeales.|
|WHEREAS the act restraining appeals is found inconvenient, Bee it therefore enacted, That the said act be made void and appeals from county courts to quarter courts, and from quarter courts to Assemblies for what value soever for the future be laid open, Provided that if the appellant be cast in the court he appeales to he shall pay halfe the value of the debt to the appellee for his damages beside all costs of suites, Provided that this act extend not so [to] the act prohibiting appeales from Northampton county, vnder a certaine value, which is yet in force, Provided also, That no appeale be made vntill judgment be passed, And that juries be empannelled to enquire of the damages in all mixt and reall actions by the court where the appeale is tryed.||Appeals for any amount allowed.|
Damages one half the debt.
Not to extend to appeals from Nor'ampton county.
No appeal till final judgm't.
Juries to assess damages on app'ls.
|An Act concerning the Trusting of Indians.|
|WHEREAS many English tradeing with the Indians out of an inordinate coveteousness, trust the said Indians with more truck then they are able to pay for, And after makeing vse of the benefitt of our lawes with which the Indians are vtterly vnacquainted, imprison the persons and attach their goods, which provocations may in time contract a warr vpon the country: Bee it enacted, That what Englishman soever shall hereafter trust any Indian with any commodities or truck of what value soever he shall do it at his own perill, But shall not have benefitt of any arrest, plaint, suite or processe at lawe to recover the same, And all courts of justice and their officers to take notice hereof and to proceed accordingly.||Preamble.|
No recovery of debts from Indians.
|An Act to record all Marriages, Births and Burialls.|
|WHEREAS many differences arise about the age of orphants, and enquiries are often made for persons imported into the collonie, of whose death no positive certificate can be granted for want of registers, Bee it therefore enacted, That every parish shall well, truly and plainly record and sett downe in a booke provided for that purpose, all marriages, deaths and births that shall happen within the precincts of the parish, and in the month of March in every yeare, the person appointed by the parish so to do, shall make true certificate into the clerke of every county to the intent the same may there remaine on record for ever, And if any master of a ffamily or any other whose duty it is to give notice and information to the partie that is appointed to enter the same on record shall faile to doe the same within one month after such marriage, death or birth shall for every such default forfeit one hundred pounds of tobacco, And if such persons as are appointed by the parish shall faile to make such returnes to the clerke of everie county in the said month of March as aforesaid shall forfeit one thousand pounds of tobacco, The one moety of the said forfeiture to be paid vnto the governour, The other moety to such person or persons as shall discover the same, and make proofe thereof in any court of record within this collony, to bee recovered by the vsuall action of debt in any of the said courts, And the vestry of each parish vpon publication of this act to appoint such an officer in every parish.||Preamble.|
Register of marriages deaths and births to be kept in each parish.
To be certified to the clerk of the co'ty court.
Penalty for failing to give notice.
For failing to certify.
Officer appointed by vestry.
|An Act for the adjourning of the Assemblie.|
|BEE it enacted and confirmed, That this Assembly be adjourned to the twentieth of March, 1660, But if the governour find occasion by the importance of affaires to conveene it sooner, It is further enacted, That he issue forth his sumons to the present Burgesses,||Adjournm't of assembly.|
|who are hereby required to make their appearance at James Citty according to the tenor thereof.|
|THEODE: BLAND, Speaker,|
HELD ATT JAMES CITTIE, MARCH 13TH, 1659-60.
|Sir Wm. BERKELEY, Kn't. Governour and Capt. Generall of Virginia.|
Mr. THEODERICK BLAND, Speaker.
|ORDERED that the port-charges and castle duties of all shipps arriveing and lading in any the ports or rivers within the jurisdiction of Virginia shall be paid to the honourable Sir William Berkeley, Knight, Governour and Captain Generall of of Virginia, att the severall places and to the severall persons by him appointed to receive the same, And it is further ordered, That all such ships as have arrived in any part of this countrey since the decease of the right late honourable the Governour, Coll. Samuell Mathewes, In case they have not alreadie paid the said port-charges and Castle-Duties forthwith make payment of the same to the said honourable Sir Wm. Berkeley, kn't. or his order, And in case any shipps have gone out of the country without payment made aforesaid, It is then ordered, That imediately after their next returne into the countrey payment may be made accordingly for the vse aforesaid, According to act of Assembly in that case provided,||Port charges and Castle-Duties payable to Sir Wm.
Provision in case of ships which arrived after the death of Mathewes.
|* These appear to be Resolutions of the assembly, on private and local subjects, as contra distinguished from Acts, which are of general concern.|
|And all persons that by vertue of any power now or formerly granted them have received the said port-charges and Castle-Duties are hereby ordered to make present payment of what they have soe received vnto the said honourable Sir William Berkeley or his order.|
| ORDERED, That the declaration alreadie drawne vp and read in the
House demonstrating the reasons and grounds of the Assemblies assumeing the power of the
government be forthwith proclaimed and published, And the declaration
||Declaration of the house assigning reasons for assuming the powers of government.|
| WHEREAS, the honourable Sir William Berkeley desired the advice of
the late Councell and their concurrence in his acceptance of the government,
It is ordered, That he have the free liberty of treating with them, And that his letter
and their subscription approving his election be recorded.
||Sir William Berkeley desires the advice and concurrence of the late council on his acceptance of the government.|
| ORDERED, That the declaration of Sir William Berkeley, Kn't. to be
governour and Capt. Generall of Virginia, and to enjoy the obedience of the
||Sir William Berkeley's acceptance of the office of governor.|
|* This declaration has probably been lost with many other public records of the colony. Its import may, however, be discovered in the first act of March, 1659-60; which assignes as a reason for taking the government into the assembly's hands,"that there was no resident, absolute and general confessed power in England −−− This, doubtless had an allusion to the interregnum in that country; it being between the resignation of Richard Cromwell, on the 22d of April, 1659, and the restoration of Charles II. on the 29th of May, 1660.|
| By the first act of March, 1658-9, Samuel Mathewes was elected governor for two years, the existing councillors were declared to be the Council of State, and future councillors were declared to be the Council of State, and future councillors were to hold their office for life, removable only by the Grand Assembly, for high misdemeanors. The governor and council having negatived that act, as appears by the XIth act of March, 1659-60, and Mathewes being moreover dead, it might well be doubted, whether there was, at this time, any executive government in Virginia. This state of things probably gave rise to the above resolution, and the election of Berkeley as governor. If the royal standard had, in truth, been erected, as represented by all the English historians, surely we should have had some intimation of it in some of the proceedings of this assembly.|
|people be forthwith proclaimed by the high sherriff of James Citty County and the declaration to be recorded.|
|ORDERED, That Collonell Manwaring Hamond, according to the desire of Sir William Berkeley, Kn't. Governour and Capt. Generall of Virginia, be constituted, authorized and made Major Generall of Virginia.||Major General appointed.|
|ORDERED, That John Johnson, millright, being a Dutchman be for the encouragment of other artificers of what nation soever admitted to be a denizen of Virginia, he haveing been resident here much longer then the act for denizens requires, And intending according to the tenor thereof to make this the place of his future residence, Therefore vpon oath taken according to act, his letters of denization are ordered to issue forth.||John Johnson admitted a denizen.|
| WHEREAS Richard Bushrod exhibiting a petition against Thomas
Brereton about a parcell of land in Potomack River, which land the said Bushrod pretends the said
Brereton surreptitiously procured order to pattent, he is referred to take his course against the
said Brereton at the comon law, this petition extrajudicially brought into the Assembly.
||Bushrod vs. Brereton, referred to a trial at law, this suit being extrajudicially bro't in the assembly.|
|WHEREAS severall parishes have exhibited to this Assembly their complaints against the sherriffes of the county for refuseing to take notice or make returne of the Burgesses by them elected, Whereby their priviledges graunted them by the law have been infringed, It is therefore ordered that no sherriff for the future vpon the desire of the vestry to have a parochial Burgesse manifested to him shall refuse to convene the people at a certaine time and convenient place, And be there present to take off their election and accordingly to returne their Burgesse.||No sheriff shall refuse to hold an election for a parochial burgess when requested by the vestry.|
|ORDERED, That the committee for auditing the accompts of the collectors of two shilling per hd. be||Power of committee to|
|impowered to examine wittnesses, administer oathes, and all other legall meanes to vse, whereby the truth of the said accompts may be the more certainly manifested.||audit collector's acco'ts.|
| ORDERED, That the honourable Sir Wm. Berkeley may at his pleasure
elect & swear one person to be of the Councell of State, Provided he be no member of
||Gov'r may elect one member of the council who shall not be a member of the house|
|ORDERED, That the honourable Sir William Berkeley, Knight, shall be allowed for his support of the government besides Castle-Duties and lycences, seaven hundred pounds sterling out of the imposition of the two shillings per hogshead and fifty thousand pounds of tobacco out of the levy, And the customes of all Dutch vessells tradeing hither from the Manados if any such come.||Salary of the governor.|
|WHEREAS there are severall actions entred against the executors of the estate of Samuell Mathewes, Esq. deceased to the county court of James Cittie, Which actions the executors have desired might be heard before the Governour and Council, It is accordingly ordered, That all the said suites shall be heard on the sixth day of the next quarter court, Provided the executors give notice to the severall creditors that they may then and not before attend to prosecute.||Suits against executors of Samuel Mathewes removed to q'r. court.|
|ORDERED, That Robert Lawrence according to his petition have a writt of ease granted him from his future officiateing as a comissioner in the county of Nanzemund.||Writ of ease granted to a commis'r. of co'ty court.|
|ORDERED, That John Beauchamp, merchant, be permitted to carry his Indian boy into England, Provided that at the county court in Charles Cittie Countie he make it appeare that he hath the consent of the said Indian boy's parents soe to doe.||Permission to carry an Indian boy into England.|
|WHEREAS the king of Weanoak hath shewed that by reason of many disadvantageous bargaines, made with the English his debts are at present greater then his abilities to pay, soe that he hath by his English creditors bin imprisoned whereby much detriment hath accrewed to the publique, It is according to his petition wherein he offers security ordered that a protection be granted him against all arrests for any action of debt vntill the first of March next, of which all sherriffes and their deputies are required to take notice and commanded not to serve any writt or warrant vpon him, before the said first of March as they will answer the contempt at their perill.||Protection from arrests granted to the king of Weanoak.|
|WHEREAS the many important favours and services rendred to the countrey of Virginia by the noble family of the West, predecessors to Mr. John West, their now only survivor, claim at least that a gratefull remembrance of their former merrits be still continued to their survivor, It is ordered, That the levies of the said master West and his ffamily be remitted, and that he be exempted from payment thereof during life.||John West and family exempted from levies in consideration of the services of his ancestors.|
|IT is agreed vpon in the House, That the nomination and choice of the severall collectors of the imposition of two and tenn shillings per hhd. of tobacco be wholly referred to the consideration of the honourable Sir William Berkeley, Knight.||Governor to appoint collectors of export duties.|
|ORDERED, That according to the desire of the honourable Sir William Berkeley, Coll. William Claiborne bee confirmed in the office of Secretarie of State.||Wm. Claiborne appointed secretary of state.|
|ORDERED, That Coll. Thomas Swann pay thirty four pounds six shillings and nine pence being the ballance of his accompt for the vse of the publique to such person or persons as the Assemblie shall appointe.||Judgm't ag't Thos. Swan for balance due the public.|
|WHEREAS it hath been formerly granted by act of Assemblie in one thousand six hundred fourty and one, And by order of Assembly in one thousand six hundred ffifty and two, ffor encouragement of discoverers to the westward and southward of this countrey, granting all profitts ariseing thereby for fourteen yeeres, It is by this Assembly ordered, That Mr. Francis Hamond and his associates either joyntly or severally may discover, And shall enjoy such benefitts, profitts & trades for fourteen yeeres as he or they have found or shall find out in places where no English ever have been or discovered or have had perticular trade, And to take vp such lands by pattents (proving their rights) as they shall think good, not excluding others after their choice (from takeing vp lands and planting in those now new discovered places as in Virginia now is vsed,) But wholly from the trade during the said fourteen yeeres, that being wholly appropriated to the said Francis Hamond and his associates.||Discoveries authorised & encourages.|
|WHEREAS a suite hath long depended between Mr. Miles Cary and Mr. John Brewer, proprietor of land in Stanley Hundred and Mr. John Harlowe about ffifty acres of land given by order of the Governour and councell in the yeare one thousand six hundred thirty-one, for a com'on vnto the inhabitants of the said Stanly Hundred which grant of the Governour and Councell appearing valid by the Grand Charter exhibitted to the committee, It is therefore ordered, That the said fifty acres be confirmed to the said inhabitants of Stanly Hundred according to the grant, And that the pattent for the same granted to Mr. Harlowe be made void and null.||Cary vs. Brewer.|
Right of common adjudged to inhabitants of Stanley hundred.
|WHEREAS John Hope, lately of New-Kent, died intestate, and at the time of his death, was possessed fo a certain divident of land to which no heire as yet hath appeared to make claime, And John Barber, administrator of the said Hope's estate haveing still assets in his hands, And the county of New-Kent haveing paid above two thousand pounds of tobacco for accompt of the said Hope's debt, It is therefore ordered.||Escheated land, for want of an heir, how disposed of.|
|that the said land remain in the possession of the comissioners of the said county of New-Kent for the vse of the county vntil an heire appeare.|
|WHEREAS Edward Prescott on the third day of December in the year one thousand six hundred fifty and nine obtained an order of the quarter court against William Andrewes for four hundred and seaventie pound sterling. It is ordered, That a supersedeas be granted to the said Andrewes to make stay of execution vpon the said order, Provided the said Andrewes give notice to the said Prescott that the case is to be reheard the sixth day of the next quarter court, And that he give good security for payment of the damages that the said Prescott may sustaine by reason of the said stoppage of proceedings in case the said Andrewes be cast in the suite.||Prescott vs. Andrewes.|
|WHEREAS Mr. Theodorick Bland petitioned this Assembly for damages in a case wherein he had judgment the last Assembly against Mr. William Dromond who was attornie of the Coheires of Basse, It is ordered, That the said Dromond pay vnto the said Bland two thousand five hundred pounds of tobacco damages according to act als. execution.||Bland vs. Dromond damages awarded.|
|ORDERED, That two thousand pounds of tobacco be paid vnto Mr. Phillip Mallary for his officiateing at the two last Assemblies out of the levy in Yorke county.||Wages of a chaplain.|
|ORDERED, That Mr. Peter Lansdale and Mr. Phillip Mallory be desired to preach at James towne the next Assembly.||Preachers at next assembly.|
| ORDERED, That the appointment of the collectors for gathering the
imposition of two shillings per hogshead be wholly referred to the honourable Sir William
||Appointment of collectors referred to Sir W. Berkeley.|
|THE widow Hudson extrajudicially bringing into the Assembly a petition against Collonel William Clayborne is referred to take her course at the comon lawe.||A cause in the assembly dismissed as extrajudicially brought.|
|WHEREAS it appears that there was levied for Sir William Berkeley, vpon the county of Lancaster (which then included the whole river of Rappahannock) twelve thousand six hundred pounds of tobacco, And vpon the county of Northumberland, including then the whole side of river of Potomak in Virginia, twenty-one thousand eight hundred eighty-eight, And that there was more due to the said Sir William Berkeley ten pound per pole for corne to have been paid by the then tithables, It is ordered, That in case the comissioners of the said counties or rivers haveing power by special warrant to cause the then collectors to bring in their accompts, do not by the tenth of October next make it appeare to the Governour and Councell, That the said tobaccoes have been paid to the said Sir William Berkeley or his order, That then the said comissioners take course to levie the same vpon the persons delinquent or else make satisfaction of the premisses als. execution.||Arrearages due to Sir Wm. Berkeley, how collected and paid.|
ORDERED, That none of the transactions of the last Assembly bee at all disputed of this session.
|Proceedings of last assembly not to be discussed at this.|
|ORDERED, That in case Mr. John Harlowe cleare himselfe of the objections now made against him he shall be restored to his former place in the comission, but vntill then he stand suspended.||John Harlowe suspended as a commissioner.|
|ORDERED, that the orders of Assembly permitting the comissioners of the Isle of Wight county to keep two courts, bee reversed, made void and null, and that they keep only one court, and that to be held at the vsual place as before the courts were devided.||But one court to be held in Isle of Wight.|
|IT is vnanimously agreed vpon the Burgesses that they will not claime the priviledge of a Burgesse, Exempting them from arrests, during the time of adjournment of this present session: But that they will be ten dayes after the expiration of this session subject to arrests, Judgments and execution against their estates but the persons to be still free.||Burgesses wave their privileges as to arrests.|
|ORDERED, That vpon an authentique power legally attested from alderman Jackson and alderman Browne of Bristol produced to the committee for proportioning the levy they shall be authorized to make payment to their said attorney of twenty-two thousand sixhundred eighty-one pounds of tobaccoe, He giving them a sufficient discharge to acquit the country from any further claims.||Payment directed to aldermen Jackson and Brown.|
|ORDERED, That seaventy one thousand five hundred pounds of tobacco the same allowance of the souldiers that were carried over to Accomack be also paid to the inhabitants of Accomack for the full charge of all the late warr. Provided that twenty-two thousand six hundred eighty-one pound of tobacco be deducted out of the same, It being paid for a debt long since due from the said county to the publique.||Expenses of the late war in Accomack, how paid.|
| ORDERED, That the Secretarie issue forth all sumons for Assemblies
ex officio, And that sherriffs sumon all person to bring in accompts of orphans estates, And the
clerkes of county courts register the said accompts ex officio.
||Assemblies how summoned.|
Duty of sheriffs & clerks in relation to orphans' estates.
|ORDERED, That the sherriffes of the severall counties returne the list of their severall tithables, into the Secretaries office by the first of September next, And that the Governour and Councell proportion the levy made this session, And enquire what sherriff have been delinquent in returning the writts for the Burgesses and fine each offending sherriffe six hundred pounds of tobacco.||Lists of tithables, when returnable.|
Levy, how appropriated.
Sheriffs to be fined.
|Extracts from the Minutes of the Proceedings of the Governour and Council of Virginia.|
|[From a MS. belonging to Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States, which was purchased by him from the Executor of Richard Bland, dec'd.]|
|Dec. 16th, 1631.|
|BECAUSE Edw. Grymes lay with Alice West he gives security not to marry any woman till further order from the Governor and Council.|
|March 25th, 1630. Tho: Tindall to be pillory'd 2 hours for giving my L'd. Baltimore the lye & threatning to knock him down.|
|6th 8br. 1631. The first informer of any slanderous reports of Governour or Council were to have the fine; this day one was whipt and lost his fine for concealing such a slander.|
|Henceforward a court every Munday 14night to be held at James City, one Councellor to be there, all of 'em to take their turns.|
|1 Feb. 1632 Two maids got with child at sea. ordered to be sent back again.|
|Dec. 1632 The Compa's. Governor used to grant patents here and after the compa. confirmed them, and after their dissolution the K. confirms all patents made in their time agreeable to their laws.|
|When large tracts of land were petitioned for an the Gov'r. and Council were willing to grant it, they used to recommend it to the King's com'rs. for the affairs of this colony for confirmation.|
|1639. The King's letter commanding assistance to Henry L'd. Maltravers in seating Carolina to whome it was granted.|
|1640. A midwife administered an oath to a pregnant woman and the child born in marriage adjudged another man's.|
|Stephen Reekes put in pillory 2 hours with a paper on his head expressing his offence, fined £ 50 sterling and imprisoned during pleasure for saying that his majesty was at confession with the L'd. of Canterbury.|
|Robert Sweet to do penance in church according to the laws of England, for getting a negroe woman with child and the woman whipt.|
|Francis Willis, Clerk of Charles River court turned out of his place and fined for speaking against the laws of last Assembly and the person concerned in making them.|
|END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.|
|Pages 505-525||Pages 553-577|