|Pages 221-240||Pages 247-271|
| AT A
BEGUN AND HELD AT
|Wm. Gooch, esq. governor.|
|[From edit 1733.]|
|I. WHEREAS, at a general assembly, begun and held at the capitol, the first day of February in the first year of his majesty's reign, an act was made, intituled, An Act for the better and more effectual improving the staple of Tobacco; which act is found by experience to be inconvenient:|
|II. Be it therefore enacted, by the Lieutenant-Governor, Council, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted, by the authority of the same, That the said act, intituled, An Act for the better and more effectual improving the Staple of Tobacco, and every clause, matter, and thing therein contained, shall be and is hereby repealed and made null and void, to all intents and purposes whatsoever.||Former act repealed.|
|III. And for the better execution of the laws now in force, against tending seconds, and for the prevention thereof: Be it enacted, by the authority aforesaid,||Duty of constables, in relation to seconds.|
|That every constable within this colony, shall yearly, between the last day of July, and the tenth day of August, and between the twentieth day of August and the tenth day of September, and at such other times as any constable shall think proper, repair to all the several fields and places whereon tobacco shall be planted or tended, within their respective precincts, and diligently view the same, in order to discover whether any slips or suckers shall be turned out or tended, from the stalks from which any tobacco-plant hath been before cut or taken, above the height of nine inches from the ground. And if any constable shall find or discover any such slips or suckers growing upon any plantation within his precinct, and the owner or overseer of such plantation being thereunto required, shall refuse or fail to cut up and destroy such slips and suckers, such constable is hereby impowered and required to cut up and destroy, or cause the same to be cut up an destroied. And if any owner or overseer shall refuse to shew to such constable all such fields and places on his or her plantation or plantations, where tobacco hath been planted or tended in any year, every owner or overseer so refusing, shall forfeit and pay five hundred pounds tobacco, for every person emploied in making tobacco on his or her plantation or plantations that year. And if any constable shall turn out, or tend any such slips or suckers, upon his plantation or plantations, or shall neglect to cut up or destroy the same, such constable so offending, shall forfeit and pay five huddred pounds of tobacco, for every person emploied in making tobacco on such plantation or plantations that year.|| Slips and suckers to be cut up.
|IV. And all constables shall take an oath before some justice of the peace of the county wherein they respectively reside; which oath the said justice is here by impowered and required to administer, in the words following, viz:|
|I A. B. do swear, That I will diligently and carefully view the several fields and places whereon tobacco shall be planted or tended, within the precincts whereof I am constable; and will cut up and destroy, or cause to be cut up and destroied all stalks from which any tobacco-plant shall be cut or taken, and all slips or suckers growing from or out of the same, which I shall find standing or growing in any of the fields or places|
Form of oath of constable.
|aforesaid, above the height of nine inches from the ground: and that I will make information of all persons within my said precinct, whom I shall know to be guilty of the breach of any law of this colony made against the tending of slips or seconds, to the next court held for my county after the same shall come to my knowledge. So help me God.|
|V. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That if any constable shall refuse or fail to take such oath, or shall knowingly allow any person whatsoever, within his precinct, to tend any seconds, slips, or suckers, each constable so offending, shall forfeit and pay one thousand pounds of tobacco.||Penalty on constables.|
|VI. And for encouraging the constables to perform their duties herein, Be it further enacted, That there shall be levied on every tithable person in each county, one pound of tobacco; to be distributed to the respective constables, in proportion to the number of tithables in their respective precincts: Which said levy of one pound of tobacco per poll, the court of each county within this colony, is hereby impowered and required to make; and the sheriff, or other collector of the county levy, to pay to the several constables to whom the same shall be due; and for every hundred of tobacco stalks which shall have any sucker or slip growing thereon, of the height of nine inches from the ground, which any constable shall cut up and destroy, there shall be paid to such constable, by the owner of such tobacco-stalks, or his or her overseer, twenty pounds of tobacco, and so proportionably for a lesser quantity: To be recovered, with costs, before any justice of the peace of the county wherein the said tobacco stalks shall be so cut up and destroyed.||Their allowance.|
|VII. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the court of every county within this colony, upon the information of any constable, to them made, against any person or persons, for the breach of this act, or of any other act of assembly of this colony, made against the tending of slips or seconds, shall order and direct the attorney appointed to prosecute in such court for his majesty, to bring suit against such person or persons, for the respective forfeitures by them incurred, by the breach of any of the said acts.||Prosecutions to be ordered by court.|
|VIII. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That all fines and forfeitures herein before mentioned, and not otherwise appropriated, shall be one half to our sovereign lord the king, his heirs and successors, for and to the sue of the parish wherein such offence shall be committed, and the other half to the person or persons who shall inform, and sue for the same: And may be recovered with costs, in any court or courts of record within this colony, by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information; except the forfeiture in this act mentioned, cognizable before a justice of the peace.||Fines appropriated.|
|I. FORASMUCH as the act, intituled, An Act for the effectual suppression of Vice, and restraint and punishment of blasphemous, wicked and dissolute Persons, hat not been duly put in execution, according to the intent and design thereof; whereby divers wicked and dissolute persons have been the more encouraged to commit the crimes therein mentioned: For remedy thereof,|
|II. Be it enacted, by the Lieut. Governor, Council and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That the churchwarden or churchwardens of every parish within this colony, shall make presentment of all and every person and persons whatsoever, guilty of any of the offences or crimes in the said act mentioned, committed or done, within the respective times by the said act limited for prosecution thereof, and not otherwise, to the court of the county, wherein such offence or crime shall be committed, at the next court after such offence or crime shall come to his or their knowledge: And thereupon such court are impowered and required forthwith to cause such person or persons||Churchwardens to make presentments.|
|to appear and answer such presentments; and shall proceed to trial, and give judgment upon such presentment in like manner as if such presentment had been made by a grand jury.|
|III. Provided nevertheless, That nothing in this act contained, shall be construed to take away the power of the grand juries of this colony, or of the several counties, to make presentment of any offences in the said act mentioned, in the same manner as they might have done before the making of this act.||Saving to grand juries.|
|IV. Provided also, That all and every the offences of blasphemy and irreligion, enumerated in the said recited act, for which the offenders are to be punished, by incapacity to hold any office or employment, or any other incapacity, or to be punished by imprisonment, shall be tried, heard, and determined only in the general court: And that when any presentment shall be made of any such offence, either by the churchwarden or churchwardens, or the grand juries in the said county courts, the justices before whom such presentment shall be made, shall cause the offender or offenders to enter into recognizance, with one or more sufficient sureties, for his or here personal appearance at the next general court, to answer the said presentment; and shall also cause the record of the said recognizance and presentment, together with the names of the persons on whose information the same was made, to be returned in due time to the secretary's office, to the end, prosecution may be had thereon, according to the true intent and meaning of the aforesaid act. And for preventing incestuous marriages, and copulations,||Offences punishable by incapacity, &c. triable in the general court.|
|V. Be it also enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That if any person whatsoever shall hereafter marry within the levitical degrees prohibited by the laws of England; that is to say, if the son shall marry his mother or step-mother, the brother his sister, the father his son's daughter, or his daughter's daughter; or if the son shall marry the daughter of his father, begotten and born of his step-mother, or the son shall marry his aunt, being his father's or mother's sister, or marry his uncle's wife, or the father shall marry his son's wife, or the brother shall marry his brother's wife, or any man shall marry his wife's daughter, or his wife's son's daughter, or his wife's daughter's daughter, or his wife's sister, ever person or persons so unlawfully married,||Marriages within levitical degrees prohibited.|
|shall be separated by the difinitive sentence or judgment of the general court; and the children proceeding or procreate under such unlawful marriage, shall be accounted illegitimate: And the attorney-general of this colony, upon any information made to him of any such marriage, shall and may exhibit a bill to the judges of the general court, against any persons so unlawfully married; who shall be compelled upon oath to answer the same: And upon such bill and answer, and the depositions of witnesses, where the same shall be necessary, the general court shall and may proceed to give judgment, and to declare the nullity of such marriage; and moreover may punish the parties by fine at their discretion; and if they see fit, may cause the parties so separated, to give bond, with sufficient surety, that they will not thereafter cohabit, under such penalty as the said court shall judge reasonable.|| Such marriages to be dissolved by general court. |
Attorney general to prosecute.
Parties, further punished.
|VI. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That if any persons whatsoever shall hereafter, without marrying, carnally know, or have copulation with, any person within the degrees aforesaid, each and every person so offending, and being thereof convicted, in any court of record within this colony, shall be fined according to the discretion of such court: And if the offender or offenders shall refuse immediately to pay the said fine, or to give surety for the payment thereof at the laying of the next parish levy, every person so refusing, shall, by order of the said court, be publickly whipt on his or her bare back, not exceeding thirty nine lashes: And moreover, it shall and may be lawful to and for the said court, to commit the parties convicted of the offence aforesaid, to the public goal of the said court there to remain, until he, she, or they give bond, with sufficient surety, for their future separation.||Incestuous copulations, how punished.|
|VII. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That all and every the fines imposed, by virtue of this act, shall be to the use of the poor of the parish wherein the offence or offences shall be respectively committed.||Fines appropriated.|
|Pages 221-240||Pages 247-271|