|Pages 24-48||Pages 69-90|
| CHAP. XXIII. |
An Act for prevention of abuses in tobacco shipped on freight.
|I. BE it 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 every master of a ship or vessel in this colony, intending to take tobacco on board, before his obtaining a permit for the same shall give bond, to the king, his heirs and successors, in the sum of two hundred pounds current money, with condition, That he will not crop, cut away the bulge, draw the staves, or otherwise abuse or injure any tobacco cask, freighted in his ship or vessel, nor cause or suffer the same to be done, with his knowledge, privity, or procurement, without the approbation and consent of the freighter or freighters; and shall also make oath and swear, or being a quaker, solemnly affirm and declare, to the same effect; which bond, and oath or affirmation, the naval officer of the district wherein such ship or vessel rides, is hereby authorized and required to take and administer: And if any naval officer shall grant any permit to load tobacco, before such bond given, or oath or affirmation made, he shall forfeit and pay two hundred pounds current money, one moiety to the king, his heirs and successors, for and towards the better support of this government, and the contingent charges thereof, the other moiety to the informer, recoverable with costs, by action of debt or information, in any court of record of this dominion.|
Masters of ships intending to load tobacco, shall give bond, and make oath, not to injure Tobacco cask.
Penalty on officer granting permit, before bond and oath taken.
|II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any officer, mariner, or other person, belonging to or hired on board any ship or vessel taking in tobacco, shall crop, cut away the bulge, draw the staves, or otherwise abuse or injure, any tobacco cask freighted on board, without the approbation and consent aforesaid, or shall be aiding or assisting therein, every such offender shall forfeit and pay five pounds current money to the informer, to be recovered with costs, by action of debt, or information, in any county court, whereupon the defendant||On officers and men on board, injuring tobacco cask.|
|may be held to special bail, and the fact may be laid in any county where the defendant or defendants shall be arrested, without liberty of traverse: And if there be several offenders in the same fact, each person shall pay the whole penalty, and the master of such ship or vessel shall also be liable to the action of the party injured, for his or her damages.||Defendant may be held to bail.|
|III. And that for the better discovery of the truth, every mariner, summoned and appearing as a witness, shall be allowed to give evidence, and thereby discharged of prosecution for the same fact: And if any mariner whatsoever, in such offence, shall be the informer, such information shall indemnify him fro mall accusation or penalty for the same.||Parties in the fact may be evidences or informers, and thereby indemnified.|
|IV. And that it shall be lawful for any collector, naval officer, searcher, or any person having tobacco on board, to go on board such ship or vessel, in the day time, during her loading, to search and discover whether any breach has been made of this act: And if any master, officer, or mariner, shall hinder or oppose such search, he shall for every such offence, forfeit and pay ten pounds current money, one half to the king, his heirs and successors, for the better support of this government, and the contingent charges thereof, the other half to the informer, recoverable with costs, by action of debt or information, in any county court.||Penalty on persons opposing a search.|
|V. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That one act made in the ninth year of Queen Anne, For prevention of abuses in tobacco shipped on freight; and all and every other act and acts, heretofore made, for or concerning any matter or thing within the purview of this act, shall be, and are hereby repealed.||Repealing clause.|
|VI. And be it further enacted, That this act shall commence and be in force, from and immediately after the tenth day of June, which shall be in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-one.||Commencement of this act.|
| CHAP. XXIV. |
An Act to prevent the tending of Seconds.
|I. WHEREAS the tending and curing tobacco slips and suckers, for the making of seconds, is greatly prejudicial to the people of this colony, by debasing the quality and depreciating the value thereof.||Preamble.|
|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 if any person shall weed, top, hill, sucker, house, cure, strip, or pack any seconds, suckers, or slips of tobacco, or shall cause or suffer the same to be done upon any plantation to him or her belonging, or under his or her direction or management, he or she shall forfeit and pay five hundred pounds of tobacco, for every person employed thereon in that year; and if such plantation shall be under the care of an overseer, being a freeman, such overseer shall be liable and pay the whole forfeiture aforesaid; which shall be recovered by action of debt or information, in any county court of this dominion, with costs; one moiety thereof, to his majesty, his heirs and successors, for the use of the county wherein the offence shall be committed, towards lessening the levy thereof, and the other moiety to the person who shall inform or sue for the same.||Penalty for tending seconds.|
|III. Provided nevertheless, That if any plants shall be destroyed by tempest, or otherwise, when growing, and thrown away without being cured, or housed, any person may tend seconds, or slips, upon the same stalks, without being liable to the penalty aforesaid.||But where a plant is destroyed, and not housed, seconds may be tended upon the same stalk.|
|IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, 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 other times as he shall think proper, repair to all the fields and places whereon tobacco shall be planted or tended, within his precinct, and diligently view the same, to discover whether any slips, or suckers, shall be turned out and tended, from the stalks, from which any tobacco plant hath been before cut, or taken; and||Duty of constables in viewing tobacco grounds.|
|if he shall find any such, he shall make information thereof to the next court held for his county: Which court shall, and is hereby required, upon such information to them made, forthwith to direct and order the attorney, appointed to prosecute in such court for his majesty, to bring suit against such offender, for the forfeiture aforesaid: And if any owner, or overseer of a plantation, shall refuse to shew the constable all his tobacco grounds, or shall hinder or obstruct the officer in viewing the same, such owner or overseer, shall be liable for the whole forfeiture aforesaid, to be recovered and divided in the same manner: And if any constable shall turn out, or tend any slips or suckers, contrary to this act, he shall incur the like forfeiture, to be recovered and applied as herein before directed.|| Of county courts, where the constable informs. |
Penalty on hindering a view.
On constables tending seconds.
|V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every constable shall, before some justice of peace of his county, take the following oath, to wit:||Constables shall be sworn.|
|Which oath such justice is hereby impowered and required to administer: And if any constable shall refuse to take upon him the duty directed by this act, or taking the oath herein before directed; shall neglect his duty, or shall knowingly allow any person within his precinct to tend any seconds, slips, or suckers, without making information thereof, he shall forfeit one thousand pounds of tobacco, to be recovered and divided in the same manner as the other forfeitures in this act are directed to be.||Penalty for not taking the oath, or breach of duty.|
|VI. And that for encouraging the constables to perform their duty, one pound of nett tobacco shall be levied on every tithable in each county, and distributed to the several constables, in proportion to the number of tithables in their respective precincts; which the court of every county is hereby required to raise annually, and the county collector to pay, to the constables|| |
|to whom the same shall be due: But the justices shall not levy any tobacco for such constables as shall neglect to do their duty as required by this act.|
|VII. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That all and every other act and acts, clause and clauses, heretofore made for or concerning any matter or thing within the purview of this act, except so much of one act of assembly, made in the fourth year of Queen Anne, intituled, An act for improving the staple of tobacco, and for regulating the size and tare of tobacco hogsheads, as relates to the tending of seconds, shall be, and are hereby repealed.||Repealing clause.|
|VIII. And be it further enacted, That this act shall commence and be in force from and immediately after the tenth day of June, which shall be in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-one.||Commencement of this act.|
An Act prescribing the method of proving book debts.
|I. WHEREAS the trade of merchandize in this colony is chiefly carried on by retail, and the goods and merchandizes are often delivered to the buyer by the retailer himself, and it frequently happens that no body is privy thereto but the buyer and seller, so that in many cases there may be a defect of legal evidence to charge such buyer, and by that means a fair trader may be hindered from recovering a just debt; for preventing disputes and different opinions in the several courts of justice within this dominion, and for determining what shall be lawful evidence in such cases:||Preamble.|
|II. BE it 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 in any action of debt, or upon the case, which hath been or shall be brought, where the plaintiff shall declare or has declared an Emisset, or Indebitatus Assumpsit, for goods, wares, or merchandizes by him sold, and delivered to any other person or persons,||In what cases a store book may be given in evidence.|
|and upon the trial of such action, such plaintiff shall declare upon his corporal oath, or solemn affirmation, as the case may be, That the matter in dispute is a store account, and that he hath no means to prove the delivery of the articles therein contained, or any of them, but by his store book; in that case such book shall and may be given in evidence at the trial, if he shall make out by his own oath or affirmation, That such book doth contain a true account of all the dealings, or the last settlement of accounts between them, and that all the articles therein contained were bona fide delivered, and that he hath given all just credits due to the defendant, in such account; and such book and oath or affirmation, shall be admitted and received as good evidence, for any of the articles, for goods delivered within two years before the same action brought, but not for any article of a longer standing, unless the defendant shall have removed out of the county where he resided at the time of his contracting the debt, and then within three years before action brought: And where the person who delivered such goods, wares, or merchandizes shall die, his executors or administrators may give his store book in evidence, upon his or their making oath, that there are no witnesses to his or their knowledge, capable of proving the delivery of the goods, or merchandizes therein mentioned, and that he or they found the book so stated, and do not know of any credit to be given; and such book and oath shall be admitted and received as evidence, for any of the articles for goods delivered within the time aforesaid.|| Limitation of time. |
Executors or administrators may prove debts in the like manner.
|III. But whereas it has been found inconvenient and hazardous by reason of bad weather and other accidents, to carry books of accounts at great distances to the general or county courts, when a copy of the account, proved in the same manner as by this law the book is to be proved, may satisfy the defendant as fully and effectually as if the book of accounts were produced in court at the trial of the cause, Be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That a copy from the book of accounts, proved in the manner herein before directed, shall and may be given in evidence in any such action as aforesaid, and shall be as available as if such book had been produced; but where the book shall be by the defendant required to be produced at the trial, the defendant or his attorney, shall give|| In what cases a copy may be given in evidence. |
|notice thereof to the plaintiff or his attorney, at the joining of the issue, and in that case no such copy shall be admitted or received as evidence.|
|IV. Provided nevertheless, That the defendant shall be at liberty to contest the plaintiff's evidence, and to oppose the same by other legal evidence; and where the defendant shall be an executor or administrator, his testator's or intestate's book, shall and may be given in evidence, against the plaintiff's book, where the plaintiff is an executor or administrator.||But the defendant may contest such proof.|
|V. Provided also, That no book of accounts, although the same may be proved by witness or witnesses, shall be admitted or received as evidence, in any action for goods, wares, or merchandizes delivered, or for work done, above five years before the same action brought, except in case of merchants residing in Great Britain, or in other parts beyond the seas.||No book of accounts shall be admitted after five years, except for foreign merchants.|
|V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That one act made in the fifth and sixth years of his present majesty's reign, intituled, An act prescribing the method for proving book debts, shall be, and is hereby repealed.||Repealing clause.|
|VII. And be it further enacted, That this act shall commence and be in force from and immediately after the tenth day of June, which shall be in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-one.||Commencement.|
An Act concerning Water Mills.
|I. BE it 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 where any person, intending to build a water mill, on some convenient run, shall have land only on one side thereof, such person shall petition the court of that county wherein the land on the other side such run shall lie, for one acre to be laid off for such use, which court is hereby authorised and required, upon such petition, at the costs and charges of the petitioner,||The method of proceeding upon petition for an acre of land.|
|to issue their order to the sheriff, commanding him to summon a jury of twelve freeholders of the vicinage, to meet upon the land petitioned for, who being met and duly sworn before a magistrate, or the sheriff, shall diligently view and examine the said land, and the lands adjaceut thereto, on both sides the run, in the same or the next county, which may be affected or laid under water by building such mill, together with the timber and other conveniencies thereon, and shall report the same, with the true value of the acre petitioned for and of the damages to the party holding the same, or to any other person or persons, under their hands and seals; which report shall be returned by the sheriff, to the court whence such order issued, and if thereupon it appears reasonable to such court, and if it take not away houses, orchards, or other immediate conveniencies, then they may, and are hereby authorised and impowered, to grant such acre to the petitioner, and order the return to be recorded, which shall be a good and effectual seisin in law, and upon paying down the valuation money of the land and damages, reported by the jury, to the person and persons legally intitled thereto, shall create a fee-simple in the said acre of land, to such petitioner or petitioners, his, her, or their heirs and assigns.|
|II. Provided nevertheless, That the person so put in possession shall, within one year afterwards, begin to build, and within three years finish a water mill, and continue to keep the same in good repair, for public use; otherwise such acre shall revert to the former proprietor, from whom the same was so taken, his or her heirs.||Condition of holding such acre.|
|III. Provided also, That where any water mill shall be built, pursuant to the directions of this act, and any person or persons shall conceive him, her, or themselves to be injured by the building of such mill, it shall and may be lawful for the party injured, to bring his or her action on the case, against the owner or owners of such mill, any thing herein contained to the contrary, or seeming to the contrary, in any wise, notwithstanding.||Parties injured, may sue for damages.|
|IV. Provided also, That where any water mill shall belong to any person being within the age of one and twenty years, feme covert non compos mentis, or imprisoned, and shall be discontinued, burnt, or destroyed||Saving to persons under legal disabilities.|
|by tempest, every such person, his or her heirs, shall have liberty to rebuild or repair within three years after such disabilities removed.|
|V. And whereas some persons may have built water mills on a point of land of their own, in the fork of a swamp. between two runs, and extended their dams each way cross both runs, to lands in which they had only an estate tail, and have sold the same, with an acre at each end of the said dams, and though each of the acres aforesaid are really opposite to the land of such builders, yet it has been doubted, whether the court upon application, could confirm the purchaser, in a fee simple in each of the said acres: And forasmuch as such cases are within the equitable intent, and construction of this act, Be it therefore further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the court of the county where the aid acres lie, shall, and they are hereby required, on the petition of the purchaser, to enquire into the facts, and if it appear to them, that the purchaser hath paid a valuable consideration for the said acres, they shall record the title of the purchaser, confirmed in fee simple thereto; or if in their opinion, a sufficient consideration is not already paid, they shall at the costs and charges of the petitioner, issue their order to the sheriff, to summon a jury as is herein before directed, who being duly qualified, shall view, value, and report under their hands and seals, how much more the petitioner ought to pay, and the court shall record such report, and that the petitioner's title to the said acre, at each end of the dam, is confirmed to him in fee simple, on his paying down to the party or parties entitled thereto, the sum so reported, if any be found due, which proceeding shall be a good and effectual seisin in law, to the petitioner, and shall create a fee simple in the said two acres, to such purchaser, his, her, or their heirs forever, subject nevertheless to the provisos, conditions, and limitations of this act: And if the bounds of the said two acres are not ascertained in the deed of purchase, the jury appointed to value as aforesaid, or any two member of the court, or other persons whom the court shall appoint, shall fix and ascertain the same, by marks on the land, and express the same in writing, under their hands and seals, which shall be recorded in court, and be sufficient to fix and ascertain the bounds thereof.||Provision in special cases where entailed land has been sold.|
|VI. And that if at any time any mill, now built, or hereafter to be erected, shall happen to be burnt, carried away by water, or any way destroyed, the proprietor being under none of the disabilities herein before provided for, shall have the same time allowed to rebuild and repair such mill, as is there allowed for the first building thereof.||Mills burnt, or destroyed, shall be rebuilt within three years.|
|VII. And that no person or persons whatsoever, after passing this act, shall erect any mill, notwithstanding he, or she, has land on both sides a creek or run, and although there be no other mill standing thereon, without petition first exhibited to the county court, who are to consider, whether the adjacent lands of other persons may or will be affected thereby, and in that case to order a jury to value the damages, and make report thereof, in manner herein before directed, and thereupon to grant or reject such petition: But where the petitioner's land extends so far, on both sides, as not to affect or overflow the land of any other person, the court may, if they see cause, grant leave to the petitioner for erecting such mill, without ordering any jury.||No mill shall be hereafter built without leave of the county court.|
|VIII. Provided always, That this act shall not extend to mills heretofore built, nor to mills now begun though not finished, but that the owners thereof shall be and continue possessed of the same, under their respective legal titles, as if this act had never been made: And where any mill has been built, and is now standing, and the owner thereof, through ignorance or mistake, hath not exactly pursued the method prescribed by the law in force when such mill was built, in respect to an acre of land adjoining, the court of the county wherein such acre lies, shall, upon petition of such owner, order and appoint two of their members to value the acre petitioned for, without having regard to any of the adjacent lands affected by such mill, and upon the petitioner's paying down the valuation money, to the party entitled thereto, he shall have a fee-simple estate in such acre of land: but, in both these cases, such estate shall be subject to the conditions and limitations of this act.||Cases not within this act.|
|IX. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That all millers shall well and sufficiently grind the grain brought to their mills, and in due turn as the same shall be brought, and may take for toll, one eighth part of all grain and no more: And every miller,||Miller's duty and toll.|
|or occupier of a mill, who shall not well and sufficiently grind as aforesaid, or not in due turn, or take or exact more toll, shall for every such offence, forfeit and pay fifteen shillings to the party injured, recoverable with costs before a justice of peace, of the county where such offence shall be committed: and where the miller shall be an imported servant, or slave, he shall upon the first conviction, for such offence, receive thirty lashes, and upon a second conviction forty lashes on his bare back, well laid on, in lieu of the forfeiture aforesaid; but upon a third conviction, his master or owner shall be liable to pay fifteen shillings, and so for every such offence, by such servant or slave afterwards committed: Provided always, That every owner or occupier of a mill may grind his, or her own grain at any time.|| Punishment if he offends. |
Where a servant or slave is miller.
Privilege of owners of mills.
|X. And that every owner or occupier of a mill shall keep therein sealed measures, of half bushel, and peck, and a toll dish sealed, and shall measure all grain by strike measure, under penalty of paying fifteen shillings, for every such failure, recoverable with costs, by the informer, before a justice of peace, of the county wherein such mill shall be; and if the miler be a slave, or servant, his master or owner shall be liable to the penalty, or if the owner of such mill shall not live within the same county, nor have any known attorney therein, the appearance of such servant or slave, before the justice to whom such compliant shall be made, shall be sufficient for him to proceed against the master or owner; but if he or she, his or her known attorney, lives in the county, his or her appearance shall be required.||Sealed measures shall be kept in every mill under a penalty.|
|XI. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That no owner or occupier of a mill shall keep any hogs at his or her mill, except in inclosures, unless such owner or occupier shall have fifty acres of land at the least, adjoining to such mill; and if any hogs, belonging to the owner or occupier of such mill, shall be found running at large, it shall and may be lawful for the proprietors of the land adjoining to such mill, to kill, or cause to be killed or destroyed, all such hogs.||Who may not keep hogs at large at his mill.|
|XII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all and every other act and acts, clause and clauses, heretofore made, for or concerning any||Repealing clause.|
|matter or thing within the purview of this act, shall be, and are hereby repealed.|
|XIII. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That this act shall commence and be in force from and immediately after the tenth day of June, which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty one.||Commencement of this act.|
An Act for appointing public store houses, and ascertaining the prices of storage.
|I. BE it 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 respective courts of every county, lying upon any river or creek within this colony, may, upon application to them made, order and appoint such place or places, within their respective jurisdiction, as to them appear necessary and convenient for the landing, shipping off, and transportation of goods and merchandizes, to be hereafter held and accounted public landings, and where a store house or ware houses are not already erected at, or convenient to such landings, the court shall order such house or houses to be forthwith erected and built, by the respective proprietors of the land, at his or their own expence, for the commodious reception, safe keeping, and convenient shipping off, or transportation of all gods and merchandizes whatsoever, brought thither by land or water; and such houses so built, or already erected, shall thereafter be held and accounted public store houses, and all and every other place and places, house and houses, heretofore used for the same purposes shall thereupon be discontinued, and no longer reputed or held as public store houses, or landings; and that a copy of every such order shall be by the sheriff delivered to the respective proprietors of the land, so appointed, his or her attorney, or agent, or left at his or their usual place of abode, and the day||The method of appointing public warehouses and landings.|
|and place of serving the same, shall also, by the said sheriff, be returned to the next succeeding court held for his county, and recorded; and where good and convenient store houses shall not be already built at any place so appointed, the proprietor thereof shall, within twelve months after such order made, cause such house or houses to be erected and kept.||Proprietor of the land shall built, within twelve months.|
|II. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That if any owner or owners of any house now built, and used for a public store house, or the owner or owners of any land, appointed by any of the said county courts for a place whereon to build a public store house, his, her, or their guardian, or guardians, attorney, or attorneys, shall refuse to suffer, or let such house be made use of, for the purpose aforesaid, or to build a good and convenient store house on the place, appointed by such county court, for the same to be built on, within one year after the time of such appointment made, that then and in such case, upon the petition of some freeholder or freeholders, of the county where the said house is, or land lies, it shall be lawful for such county court, and they are hereby required to order and appoint, three or more good and lawful men of their county, upon their oaths, to value and appraise the said house so appointed, together with half an acre of land next adjoining thereto, or to value and appraise half an acre of land, so appointed for a place to build a store house: which valuation shall be returned to the said court, and there recorded, and thereupon it shall and may be lawful for the said court, to give liberty to any person to build or keep a store house thereon, and he, upon his paying down the valuation money, or lawfully tendering the same to the owner, shall be, and is hereby declared to be seised in the said house, and half acre of land, or in the said half acre, to him or his heirs for ever: upon condition, that he, his heirs and assigns, keep and maintain upon the said half acre of land, such a convenient store house as the said county court shall, from tim to time, direct and appoint, or otherwise the said half acre of land to revert to the former proprietor thereof, his heirs and assigns, or to such other person as will build and maintain a sufficient store house thereon: Provided always, that the house so to be appointed, from time to time, by such county court, be not a dwelling house, or any out house,|| Further proceedings where the proprietor refuses to let or
Conditions of holding a public storehouse and land.
|fice, or building, to a dwelling house contiguous and belonging, or appertaining, and that the half acre of land, so appointed for building a store house thereon, be not, at the time of such appointment, the garden, orchard, or court yard, to any dwelling house belonging or appertaining.||Provisos.|
|Provided also, That where any store houses shall be built by such other person as aforesaid, and the first proprietor of the land shall desire to have the same again, such proprietor, on payment of so much money, as shall be sufficient to reimburse the said purchaser, the principal money expended for the purchase of the land, and the building such store houses, with lawful interest, shall be restored to his former estate, in the land whereon such store houses shall be built.|
|Provided also, That the proprietor of such half acre, appointed for building a store house, having no land adjacent, shall keep no hogs or other stock upon the said half acre, but what shall be constantly kept within a sufficient fence, upon the said half acre, on penalty of paying five shillings current money, for every head of horses, mares, cattle, sheep, goats, hogs, shoats, or pigs to him belonging, that shall at any time be found at large upon any of the adjacent lands, to be paid to the owner of such lands, and cognizable by a justice of peace of the county where the trespass shall be committed.|
|III. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That every such public store house so appointed shall be constantly kept, and maintained by the proprietor thereof, for the receiving tobacco, and other goods and merchandizes, ant that there shall be paid and satisfied to such proprietor, by the owner or owners of such goods lodged therein, for the storage thereof, the rates and prices following: For every hogshead of tobacco, brought to any store house above the falls of any river, eight pence; for every cask, containing sixty gallons or upwards, and every bale or parcel of the like or greater bulk, twelve pence for the first day, or three months, and one penny for every month afterwards; and for every cask under sixty gallons, and every bale or parcel of less bulk than a sixty gallon cask, six pence, and one penny respectively, as aforesaid; for salt, or grain, not pack'd in cask, after the rate of one penny per bushel,|| Rates of storage.|
|and so proportionably for a lesser or greater quantity, for the first day or three months, and one farthing for every month afterwards; and for every bar or pig of iron, one half penny; and every parcel of salt, or grain, brought loose and unpacked, shall be kept in separate heaps or parcels, unmixed with any other, and the whole thereof shall be delivered as received: And if it shall have really lost any of its quantity, by melting, or by rats, or other unavoidable accidents, the owner of such goods shall bear the loss, unless it exceed five per cent, if taken out within three months, and if it lie longer, one per cent. per month afterwards, not exceeding ten per cent. in the whole: which said several rates of storage shall be paid, and satisfied, before removal or delivery of the goods; but no storage shall be demandable for goods lodged in any other than a public store house, appointed in pursuance of this act: And if any person not being proprietor or keeper of such public store house shall presume to demand or receive any storage whatsoever, or other reward, for goods landed or lodged within one mile of a public store house, and on the same side of the river or creek, every person so offending, shall forfeit and pay five pounds current money, for every such offence, to the informer, recoverable with costs, by action of debt or information, in any county court of this dominion.|
Allowances for shrinkage.
Penalty upon taking storage for goods except in a public store-house.
|IV. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That every proprietor of a public store house, who shall refuse to take in any tobacco, goods, or merchandizes, brought to such house, shall be liable to satisfy and pay, to the party injured, all damages by him or her sustained thereby, and shall also be liable to the action at the common law, for damages by him or her sustained thereby, and shall also be liable to the action at the common law, for damages happening to goods in his, or her custody, or which shall be lost out of such store house, for want of due care: And that the owner or keeper of every store house shall, at the time of receiving any goods or merchandizes, give a receipt in writing, to the person or persons delivering the same, wherein shall be particularly mentioned, the marks, numbers, and condition, of the several sorts of goods by him, or her received; which receipt shall be fairly entered in a book to be kept for that purpose, by the owner or keeper of every store house: And if he, or she shall fail to make a fair entry as aforesaid, or shall refuse to give|| Store-house keeper answerable for goods lost or damaged.
And shall give receipt of the particulars, and keep a book of entries.
Penalty on failture or refusal.
|a true copy of such receipt, when required, he or she, in either case so offending, shall forfeit and pay twenty shillings, to the informer, for every such failure or refusal, to be recovered, with costs, before any justice of peace of the county wherein such offence shall be committed.|
|V. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That all and every other act and acts, heretofore made, for or concerning any matter or thing within the purview of this act, shall be, and are hereby repealed.||Repealing clause.|
|VI. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That this act shall commence and be in force, from and immediately after the tenth day of June, which shall be in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-one.||Commencement.|
| CHAP. XXVIII. |
An Act concerning Highways, Mill Dams, and Bridges.
|I. BE it 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 several county courts of this dominion have, and shall have power, by their order, from time to time, to direct the alteration of public roads already made, or hereafter to be made, and the making new roads in such places as to them shall seem convenient, for passing to, and from the city of Williamsburg, the court house of every county, the parish churches, and all public mills, and ferries: And that all such roads and highways now made, or hereafter to be made, shall at all times be kept well cleared, from woods, bushes, and other obstructions, and all roots well grubb'd up, thirty feet broad at the least; and that if any person shall fell any tree or trees into such highway, or cause the same to be felled, and not cut and carried away within forty eight hours, or shall kill any tree, or trees, within the distance of sixty feet|| Highways shall be thirty feet wide, at least. |
Well cleared grub'd, and kept.
Penalty on selling or killing frees, near the road, or fencing into it.
|from such highway, or cause the same to be killed, and not felled, or shall make any fence into such highway, such person shall for every such offence, forfeit and pay ten shillings current money, to the informer, recoverable with costs, before a justice of peace, in the county where such offence shall be committed: Provided that when an application shall be made to any county court, to have a new road cleared, or to have any former road altered, such court shall appoint three, or more fit and able persons, to view the lands whereon the said roads are proposed to be cleared, or altered, who, upon oath taken before a justice of the peace, faithfully and impartially to perform the said service, shall make report to the next court, of the conveniencies and inconveniencies of the said intended road, or alteration.||County courts have jurisdiction of making or altering any road.|
|II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That where it shall be necessary and convenient to make and clear a road in one county, to some public place in another county, and a road shall accordingly be made and cleared, by order of the justices of either of the said counties, as far as their county extends, the justices of every such adjacent county shall, and are hereby required, to cause a convenient road to be made and cleared through their county, to such public place: And if the justices of such adjacent county shall fail or refuse so to do, they shall forfeit and pay to the justices of such other county, two thousand pounds of tobacco, for every such failure, or refusal, to be recovered by action of debt, or information, in the general court, and to be by the said justices applied, to the use of their county, towards lessening the levy thereof.|| Where a road is necessary from one county into another, both
Penalty on refusal.
|III. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That every county court shall divide the public roads of their county into precincts, and annually, between the last of April, and first day of August, and at any other time when they shall think it necessary, appoint a surveyor of each precinct, and the tithables who shall attend each surveyor respectively: And if any county court shall fail so to do, the justices thereof shall forfeit and pay two thousand pounds of tobacco, to the informer, recoverable with costs, in the general court as aforesaid: And all male labouring persons, being tithable, shall when required attend such surveyor, and assist him in laying out, clearing,|| How and when surveyors of Highways, and labourers thereon, shall
be appointed. |
Penalty on failure:
|and repairing the roads in his precinct, except such who are masters of two or more tithable male labouring slaves, who are hereby declared exempted from personal service, or attendance: But every other tithable free male labouring person, failing to attend with proper tools, when required by such surveyor, or refusing to work when there, or not providing and sending another person to work in his room, for every such failure or refusal, shall forfeit and pay five shillings; and the master or owner of tithable male labouring servants, or slaves, shall be liable to the like penalty of five shillings, for every such tithable he shall fail to send when required as aforesaid; and if any surveyor shall fail to send his own male labouring tithables, he shall forfeit and pay five shillings, for every tithable he fails to send; which said penalties shall be to the informer, and recoverable with costs, before a justice of peace of the county where such offence shall be committed: But where legal cause of disability to attend shall be shewn, the justice may allow thereof, and dismiss the defendant; and also where any person or persons are or shall be by law exempted from services upon the highways, such exemption shall be allowed: And if any surveyor so appointed shall fail to perform his duty, as by this act required, he shall forfeit and pay fifteen shillings current money, for every such failure, to the informer, recoverable with costs, before a justice as aforesaid.|| On persons not attending, or not assisting the surveyor.
Where legal disability or exemption may be allowed.
Surveyor's forfeiture, if he fails.
|IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That where bridges shall be necessary, every surveyor of the highways, and his assistants, shall and may make the same in his precinct, twelve feet broad, at the least, level and passable, which shall be kept in repair, from time to time, and for that purpose he may cut and take, from off the lands of any person next adjacent to such bridge or place, such, and so much timber only, as shall be necessary for that use: which shall be first viewed and valued by two honest house-keepers, upon oath, appointed and sworn by some justice of the county where such timber shall be cut, and the court of the same county shall, in the next county levy, allow the owner according to such valuation, upon a certificate from the said two house-keepers to them produced: And where a bridge shall be necessary over any place, where the||How bridges shall be made and kept.|
|surveyor with his assistants cannot make it, the court of that county wherein such place shall be, is hereby impowered and required, to contract and agree for the building and repairing thereof, and to levy the charge in their county levy: And where bridges or causeways are or shall be necessary from one county to another, the court of each such county shall join in the agreement for building or repairing the same, and the charge thereof shall be defrayed by both counties in proportion to the number of tithables in each: And if the justices of any county, adjoining to such place over which a bridge or causeway hath been or shall be wanting and necessary, shall refuse to join in such agreement with the justices of the county on the other side of such place, for building, rebuilding, or repairing such bridge, or causeway, and to levy their proportion of the charge thereof in their county levy, the justices of the county so refusing, shall forfeit and pay two thousand pounds of tobacco, to the justices of the county proposing such agreement, to be by them recovered, by action of debt, or information, in the general court, and applied to the use of their county, towards lessening the levy thereof: but such recovery shall not discharge the justices refusing, nor the other justices of that county, from the obligation of levying and paying such proportion afterwards, in their county levy, in the same manner as if such recovery had not been obtained.|| Penalty on justices refusing to join in building a
bridge, where necessary.|
|V. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That all and every contract, agreement, and order, by the justices of any county court of this colony, entered into or made, for or concerning the building or repairing bridges, making causeways, and other necessary charges, in such manner as to them shall seem most proper, shall be good and available against themselves, and their successors.||Contracts of county courts shall bind them and their successors.|
|VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any mill dam, over which any public road leads, or the bridge, passage of the pierhead, floodgates, or waste over the same, shall be of less breadth than twelve feet at the top, for the whole length of the dam, bridge or passage, the owner or owners, occupier or occupiers of such mill, shall forfeit and pay twenty shillings for every such offence, recoverable with costs, before any justice of peace, of the county wherein such mill dam shall be, one moiety to|| Mill dams must be 12 feet wide, at top.
Penalty on failure.
|the use of the informer, and the other moiety to the churchwardens of the parish in which such mill shall be, to the use of their parish: And every owner or occupier of a mill shall cause strong rails to be set up, and kept in repair, on each side of such bridge, passage floodgates, or waste, under the like penalty.||Bridges and passages over mill dams to be railed in.|
|VII. Provided always, That if any mill dam, or the floodgates, or pier-head, shall happen to be destroyed or carried away by tempest, or other accident, the owner or occupier thereof shall not be liable to any of the said penalties, until one month after such mill hath ground one bushel, at least, of Indian corn, or other grain, for toll. And that where any bridge, over the passage, floodgates, or waste, is already built, ten feet wide, with strong rails to the same, such bridge shall be sufficient so long as it shall be in good repair.||Exceptions.|
|VIII. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That where two or more cross roads or highways meet, the surveyor thereof shall cause to be erected, and kept in repair from time to time, in the most convenient place where such roads join, a stone or post, with plain inscriptions thereon, in large letters, directing to the most noted place to which each of the said joining roads leads; and it shall be lawful for the said surveyor to take any trees or wood, not being timber, from any adjacent lands, for setting up such post: And the expence he shall be at in setting up the same, with inscriptions thereon, and keeping them in repair, shall be reimbursed, and paid by the county, at their next levy after such service performed: And if any surveyor shall neglect or refuse to cause such stone, or post to be set up, or shall not cause them and the inscriptions to be repaired, or renewed, from time to time as shall be necessary, he shall forfeit and pay fifteen shillings for every month such stone or post shall be wanting, to be recovered and applied in the same manner as the penalty for not keeping the roads or highways in repair: And if any person shall presume to cut, pull up, destroy, or deface any such stone or post, or the inscriptions thereon, and be thereof convicted, by confession, or the oath of one or more credible witnesses, before a justice of peace of the county where such offence shall be committed, he or she shall forfeit and pay twenty shillings current money, for every such offence, to|| At every cross road, a stone or post with directions, shall be
set up. |
And kept in repair.
Penalty on the surveyor if he fails.
On persons who destroy, or deface such.
|the informer for his own use, recoverable with costs, before the same justice; but where the informer shall be a witness, sworn upon the trial, in that case the penalty shall be to the use of the county, towards lessening their levy; and in default of present payment the offender shall, by order of such justice, receive twenty lashes on his or her bare back, well laid on.|
|IX. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all and every other act and acts, clause and clauses, heretofore made, for or concerning any matter or thing within the purview of this act, shall be, and are hereby repealed.||Repealing clause.|
|X. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That this act shall commence and be in force, from and immediately after the tenth day of June, which shall be in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-one.||Commencement of this act.|
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