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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Letter from Francis Nicholson to the Board of Trade of England
Nicholson, Francis, 1655-1728
December 02, 1701
Volume 01, Pages 541-543

[B. P. R. O. B. T. Virginia. Vol. 9. F. 12.—Extracts.]

Virginia 10ber 2nd 1701.

May it please Your Lordships,

* * * *

I have had the honor to receive your Lordships letter of June 22d concerning the irregularities & misdemeanors that have been long practised in His Maj. Plantations and Proprietor and Charter Governments &c. all which is most certainly true as are likewise Your Lordships Observations relating to the Proprietary Governments in America and I am heartily sorry and concerned the Parliament hath so much business that a Bill concerning them was not passed but I hope in God it will this Sessions.

The Honble Col. Robert Quary about two months ago touched here in his way home from South Carolina

I have particularly discoursed him about Dr. Cox's affair And if the Doctor should obtain according to my Lord Matravers his Grant We are apprehensive that it will take away a good part of Virginia which lies on the south side of James River but with submission I believe it is rather a sort of Indenture and I think my Lord Matravers never complyed with any one condition at least no such thing appears upon our Records this is matter of law and so beyond my capacity to determine but if the

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dispute lies between the Lords Proprietors and Dr. Cox and that he be willing (according to this letter to me) to put it under his Maj. Governt of Virginia (it may be of interest and service in point of the tobacco trade) and be content that the Plantations of those who have taken Patents here, since Charles the 2nd his Grant to the Lords Proprietors may be the boundarys betwixt Virginia and New Carolina then it had better be the Doctors than the Proprietors (if they will not do the same things) for some people are apprehensive that if the Line should be run according to the Lords Proprietors Charter it would take in several plantations which now pay Quit rents to his Majesty and are in all other respects under his government I heartily wish that this affair of the bounds was well settled in the mean time will not be wanting in my duty to his Majesty according to your Lordships commands in that affair.

In order to settle the affair of North Carolina I humbly propose that his Majesty would be graciously pleased to purchase the proprietorship thereof if it cannot be had otherwise and if £2000 sterling were given for it (but I hope it may be purchased much cheaper) I suppose in some years time his Maj. would be no looser by it considering the advantage of the Quit rents and of the encouragement that people might have in going upon tobacco there &c. And this £2000 might be spared out of the Quit rent money now in Mr Auditor's hand for I am in hopes that they will this year sell indifferently well.

* * * *

I was extraordinarily troubled & concerned that the intended meeting of his late Excellcy the Earl of Bellomont Govr Blakiston & myself was disappointed but I humbly propose that all those Governors who have immediate Commissions under his Maj. on this Continent may meet together as soon as possible in order to consult about this affair of the Indian trade as also concerning others of his Maj. interest and service but if the Proprietary or charter Governts should be there to be sure their own interest & service would be their main design for I suppose some of the principal things which we should consult about would be the great prejudice it is to his Maj. interest and service to have Charter & Proprietary Governts and humbly to represent the reasons thereof as also how they may be remedyed As to the first it cant be expected that those Governours will joyn with us nor is it in the least convenient that they should know the reasons either against them or how they may be remedyed If the Charter and Proprietary Governours should be ordered to be at such a Meeting they would make great use of it with their people that his Majesty owns them as Governours tho' they have not complyed with the

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Acts of Parliament for taking of Oaths particularly of that of a Govr for duly observing the Acts of Trade & Navigation & that nothing can be done at least without some of them as was reported in Pennsylvania upon his late Excelcy ye Earl of Bellomonts Govr Blakiston and my being to meet there and that his Maj. had ordered us to wait on Mr Penn But if they are not there the people might take it that they are slighted and that his Maj. did not think them qualifyed by law as they ought to be or that they were not to be made use of by his Maj. or protected by him as the other Governours were who have the honor to have his Maj. immediate Commissions It might discourage their own people and be a means to make them uneasy under their government and fly to his Majesty for protection as on the other hand it might be an encouragement to those under the governments of his Majesty. If your Lordships please Col. Quary can give you an account of these affairs being so desired by him who is

Your Lordships
most obliged and
faithful humble Servant