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Letter from the Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Seth Sothell
Carolina. Lords Proprietors.
February 14, 1684
Volume 01, Pages 350-352

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[B. P. R. O. Colonial Entry Book. No. 22. P. 26.]1

Whitehall ye 14th February 1603-4

There is Lately come into England from Albemarle in Carolina Mr Timothy Biggs who hath Complained to us of severall Injurys done him there for wch he can have no redresse by men you have Impowered to try causes being as he alleadgeth those very persons who Joined in ye Late disorders & did him ye Injury as you will see more att large by a Copie of his paper wch is here inclosed sent you

When you had blanke deputations given you it was yt you upon the place might fill them up wth such persons as might be most for ye Kings Honnour & service & who by being unconcerned in ye past Differences might be most likely by Just governmt of affairs & equall distribution of Justice to put an end to all Causes of Complaint from any persons for ye future

Wee did also in our Instructions for ye Governmt of Albemarle order & apoint yt ye Governor should wth the consent of the Councill choose three discreet men who were no way concerned in the past Irregularitys & disorders there who together wth ye Governor for the time being should be a Court for ye tryall of all actions yt had Relation to ye aforesaid disorders But Mr Biggs Informes us yt ye persons wth whose names you have filled the Blank Deputations are such as were great actors in them against the Kings Interest & that you have erected no such Court as wee Directed whereby he could have no Justice done him to wch wee know not what to say you not haveing informed us wth whose names you filled the said blanke deputations nor have you written how you have complyed wth our order for erecting a court of Indifferent persons a copie of wch order a copie is here Inclosed sent you.

Wherefore we now Require you to Informe us by the very first opertunity wth whose names you filled the blanke Deputations & if any of them are such as had any hand in the late disorders yt you put them out & fill the blankes now sent wth the advice of Mr Archdale wth such persons as were not concerned in them who by their prudence & peaceablenesse of their tempers may be most likely to contribute best to his Majestys Service & ye peace of the place & that if those who are deputyes & yt yorselfe & Mr Archdale shall think fitt to be continued in shall not have

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been actors in the past disorders that then you send home depositions taken before Mr Archdale & some other magistrate of the place to prove it that wee may be thereby bee the better Inabled to answeare any clamor of Mr Biggs if there bee occasion. And that you doe forthwth choose four able discreet men & who had no hand in the past disorders of either side to bee the Justices of the County Court of Albemarle & a person so quallifyed to be sherrif of that County to set and hold Courts for the tryall of causes as by our fundamental Constitutions is directed which wee thinke a better way then yt formerly ordered it not being so convenient to Interest yrselfe or any other Governor In Cheeff of that County in the Imediate tryall of causes but leave him at liberty wth the Councell to heare the complaints if any shall be made against any of the said Justices or Sherriff for any misdemeanor in their respective offices wch method is agreeable to our Constitutions and as wee Conceive the best way for equall distribution of Justice in said County wth which wee cannot expect to have it thrive or be freed from Clamor our selves wherefore wee Require of you that this our order be Instantly put into execution and that you send us the names of such persons who are Comissioned to bee the said Justices & Sheriff for ye county aforesd & yt you dirict all yr Letters that concernes us in Generall to ye Pallatine the earle of Craven to be comunicated to us.

Wee did by Mr Archdale send a blank Comisn for a Recever to Collect our rents and give us acct thereof wth Directions yt he should fill up the sd blanke wth some convenient or fitting person by yr advice but we have not a word from either of you what is done therein nor what the annuall amount of the said quit rents are wherefore wee desire you per first you will give us an acct who you have put into the said Comission what he hath Collected what you have done wth yt already collected & also a particuler of the wrecks & other things apertaineing to ye Ld Proprietors & also what the yearely amount of quit rents of land is & particulerly what quantity of land each man holds & what the rent is he payes & then we shall order how ye sd quit rents & others perquisitts shall be disposed of

There hath also Complaint been made by Mr Woodrowe or secretary yt you would not permit him to Injoy the perquisits of his office but that you took them to your selfe wch is by no meanes to be tollarated in a governor but he must let ye Inferior officers Injoy the due perquisits of their places if he expect they should performe their Dutys & must be no further concerned therein then see the officer doth his Duty and not

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opress the people by unreasonable exactions wee desire yor answeare to this also

Collo Ludwell of Virginia hath complained to us that a plantan in Albemarle apertaining to him in Right of his wife the Lady Berkely is detained from him upon prtence yt it is escheated to us & wee being willing to doe him & all other men Right doe Require you to send us a true state of that matter how it stands & in whose possession ye sd plantatin now is & if it be escheated that you send to us a true copie of ye record thereof for wee shall bee very unwilling to turne any man out of his estate or not restore him to it if he have lost it by faileing in any nicity of law.

We have considered of what you write of my Lord Culpapers sending to demand the quit rents of the County of Albemarle for wch wee are well assured he had no orders from hence Wherefore desire you not to faile in using all discreet Legall & prudent wayes for the prservation of our Just Rights we shall take a convenient time to petition ye King yt or bounds may be runn out yt Disputes may be prvented for ye future

Wee Require yt you do not deviate from those rules wee have by our Instructions sett for ye granting of land, for wee shall not allow of it

There was 4 blank Deputations sent away wth this Letter signed by ye Du: of Albemarle one by ye Ld Bath for ye Ld Carteret, by Sr Peter Colleton & another by all ye Ld for Sr Wm Berkelys Dated ye 3d June 1684


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1 This date should be 1684-5. See last paragraph.