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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Minutes of the General Court of North Carolina
North Carolina. General Court
March 31, 1724 - April 04, 1724
Volume 02, Pages 542-551

[From General Court Records.]


North Carolina—ss.
Att a Generall Court of Oyer & Terminer & Gaol Delivery held at the Courthouse in Edenton begun on Tuesday the thirty first day of

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March Anno Dni one thousand seven hundred & twenty four and continued by severall adjournments to the fourth day of April following
Present
Christopher Gale Esq Chief Justice
John Worley Esq Assistant
Adam Cockburne Esq Assistant
Barnaby MacKinney Esq Assistant

The following persons were impannelled and sworn on the Grand Jury Vizl

Collo William Maule
Capt John Alston
Mr Thomas Lovick
Mr Robert Hicks
Mr Griffith Jones
Mr Arthur Mabson
Mr David Bailey
Mr Jacob Miller
Mr Thomas Norcomb
Mr William Bonner
Mr Cornelius Harnett
Mr Thomas Bartlett
Mr James Castellaw
Mr Thomas Hoskins
Mr James Morgan
Mr William Gray
Mr Jeremiah Vaile

Who being charged with things proper for their Enquiry by the Chief Justice withdrew and considerd the severall matters given them in Charge and on their returne made presentment of the following Bills vizl

A Bill of Indictment against John Johnston for Felony.

A Bill of Indictment against Robert Atkins for obstructing and contemning the Authority of this Government

A Bill of Indictment against Joseph Castleton for publishing and declaring seditious words and speeches

A Bill of Indictment against Mary Cotton for felony

A Bill of Indictment against Mary Cotton for Misdemeanor

And then the Grand Jury was discharged from further service at this Court

William Little Esqr his Majestys Attorney Generall comes to prosecute the Bill of Indictment found by the Grand Jury against John Johnston for felony in these Words vizl


North Carolina—ss.

To the Honoble Christopher Gale Esq Cheif Justice and to the rest of the Justices for holding the Generall Court of this Province.

The Jurors for our Sovereign Lord the King upon their Oath do that John Johnston late of Edenton in Chowan prcinct in the County of Albemarle and province aforesaid Barber on the twenty third day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twenty three in the tenth year of the Reigne of our Sovereign Lord King George by force and armes &c in Edenton aforesaid two payr of Gold shirt Buttons of the value of twenty shillings and two white Holland

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shirts of the value of forty shillings being the proper goods and Chattells of Thomas Cook of Edenton aforesaid then & there being he the said John then & there feloniously took carryed away & stole contrary to the peace of our said Lord the King that now is his Crown & dignity &c.

And Henry Clayton Esqr Provost Marshall having made return that the said John Johnston was by him received into close custody on the twenty fourth day of Nevember last but on the twenty sixth day of the said month the said prisonr broke out of Custody and fledd and altho' pursued according to Law could not be taken again but hath made his Escape. And being now Solemnly required to render himself at this Barr came not but made default

Whereupon it was Considerd that a Capias do issue directed to the said provost Marshall requiring him to take the said John Johnston if to be found within this Government (and if not) that he cause Proclamac̄on to be made at the next Court to be held for Pasquotank prcinct (being the place of the said Johnstons residence) for him to render himself on or before the third day of the next Generall Court. Otherwise that process of Outlawry will be adjudged against him as the Law directs.

William Little Esqr his Majestys Attorney Genl comes to prosecute a Bill of Indictment found by the Grand Jury against Robert Atkins for obstructing and contemning the Authority of this Government in these words vizl


North Carolina—ss.

To the Honoble Christopher Gale Esqr Cheif Justice & to the rest of the Justices of the Generall Court &c.

The Jurors for our Sovereign Lord the King on their Oath present that Robert Atkins of Carteret prcinct in the County of Bath in the province aforesaid planter maliciously intending to move sedition and to obstruct and contemn the lawfull authority of this Government Vizl in the Parish of St John's in the prcinct of Carteret & County of Bath aforesaid on the eleventh day of ffebruary one thousand seven hundred & twenty three John Simpson Constable of the said parish by virtue of a lawfull warrant to him directed by Joseph Bell Esq: one of his Majesty's Justices of the said prcinct the said Robert Atkins according to Law apprehending he the Said Robert then & there did resist and utterly refuse to yield obedience thereto and did publickly then & there seditiously and contemptuously say the said Joseph Bell (the aforesaid Justice meaning) had nothing to do to grant a warrant for him and that

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the Authority (the Authority of this Government meaning) was good for nothing. And further scurrilously & in Contempt did say the Authority (the Authority of this Government again meaning) might kiss his Arse and that he (the said Constable) might kiss his own Arse and he the said Robert then & there by force & Armes with the assistance of his Servants & doggs with sticks staves & weapons the aforesaid John then & there in the Execution of his office being, violently & seditiously did assault and drove away and utterly obstructed and resisted. And that thereupon the said John Simpson complaining of the assault and contempt aforesaid to the Honoble Christopher Gale Esq: Cheif Justice of this province who by his warrant required the said John the Constable aforesaid with such aid as he thought necessary to apprehend the said Robert Atkins the aforesaid assault & contempt of Authority aforesaid to answer & in pursuance thereof he the said Constable the aforesaid Robert Atkins apprehending vizl in the parish aforesaid on the fourteenth day of the said Month of February He the said Robert Atkins malitiously and in utter defyance of the Authority of this Government did take his gun and present the same at the said Constable & his aid these following threatning words & speeches seditiously then & there uttering. Stand off at your perrill or else by God I will shoot you (the said Constable & his Ayd meaning) and again Go farther off or by God I will blow your Brains out (then again the said Constable & his aid then & there in the Execution of their office meaning) opprobiously calling the said & his aid Rogues & doggs with divers other threats & menaces and utterly resisted the said Constable and him violently & seditiously in the Execution of his office did obstruct & hinder by force & Armes to the great contempt of the Authority of this Government manifest danger of raising sedition & contention & subverting the good and wholesome Laws and Constitution against the peace of our Lord the King that now is his Crown & dignity & Contrary to the form of the Laws & statutes in such case provided &c.

To which Indictment the said Robert Atkins pleaded not Guilty but being called to the Barr a second time in Order for his tryall he prayed leave to withdraw his plea which being granted he then pleaded Guilty and humbly moved the Court for Mercy: Whereupon it was Considerd and adjudgd that he pay a fine of fourty pounds & further that he give good & Sufficient security in the sum of one hundred pounds that he be of the Peace & good behaviour for twelve months & one day and pay costs, and that he stand committed till this Sentence is performed

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William Little Esq: his Majesty's Attorney Genl comes to prosecute a Bill of Indictment found by the Grand Jury against Joseph Castleton for publishing and declaring seditious words & speeches &c in these words Vizl


North Carolina—ss.

To the Honoble Christopher Gale Esqr Cheif Justice & the rest of the Justices for holding the Generall Court of the said province

The Jurors for our Sovereign Lord the King upon their Oath do present that on the fifteenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twenty three Joseph Castleton late of Edenton in the County of Albemarle in the province aforesaid Labourer malitiously intending and imagining George Burrington Esq: then Governor Com̄ander in Cheif & Admirall of the said province into the hatred & disesteem of his Majesty's good subjects Inhabitants of this province to bring and his Just Administrac̄on & good Government to contemn & obstruct evilly intending to move sedition & discord and subvert the good Order Peace & Government of this province at Edenton aforesaid he the said Joseph Castleton did malitiously and contemptuously speak publish & declare these false scandalous & seditious words and speeches following Vizl The Governor (the aforesaid George Burrington Esqr meaning) is a damd Rogue & a villian and that there was not a worse Rogue & villiam in the world; And that there was a man come to him (meaning to him the aforesaid George Burrington Esq: Governor) for Justice and he beat him & made him kneel down on his knees & begg his life and that when he (himself the said Joseph Castleton meaning) gott home he would write to all the proprietors (the true & absolute Lords Proprietors of Carolina meaning) and acquaint them what a Rogue the Governor was (the aforesaid George Burrington Esqr Governor meaning) to the great scandal & defamac̄on of him the said George Burrington Esq: Governor &c & to the weakning & obstructing his Administrac̄on & the good Government of this province & moving Jealousys tumult & sedition within the same to the great & manifest danger of subverting the Laws & constitution of this Government against the Peace of our Sovereign Lord the King that now is his Crown & Dignity &c. & contrary to the form of the Laws & Statutes in that case made & provided &c.

To which Indictment the said Joseph Castleton pleaded not Guilty but being called to the Barr a second time in Order for his Tryall he prayed leave to withdraw his plea which being granted he then pleaded (Guilty) and Humbly moved the Court for mercy. And the said Joseph Castleton

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not having visible effects whereon to levy a fine answerable to the demeritt of his crime. It is therefore Considerd and Adjudgd that he stand in the pillory on the publick parade at Edenton upon Thursday the ninth day of this Instant Aprill from the hours of twelve to two of the clock in the afternoon and that he on his knees begg pardon of the said George Burrington Esq: Governr &c in Councill the same day and also give Bond & Security in the sum of fifty pounds to be of the Peace & good behaviour till the next Court & pay all costs and that he stand committed till the said sentence is performed.

William Little Esq his Majesty's Attorney Generall come to prosecute a Bill of Indictment found by the Grand Jury against Mary Cotton for felony in these words vizl


North Carolina—ss.

To the Honoble Christopher Gale Esqr Cheif Justice & to the rest of the Justices for holding the Generall Court of this province.

The Jurors for our Sovereign Lord the King on their oath do present that Mary Cotton late of Bath Town in the County of Bath in the province of North Carolina aforesaid Spinster on the twentieth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twenty three and in the tenth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King George by force & armes &c at Bath Town aforesaid one certain white cotton & linen sheet of the value of ten shills belonging to Roger Kenyon of Bath Town aforesaid did then & there take & feloniously carry away and afterwards vizt on the twenty seventh day of the said Month of November at Bath Town aforesaid one other white cotton & Linen sheet of the goods & chattels of the said Roger Kenyon & of the value of ten shillings & two linen shirts one window curtain & a chest of drawers cloth of white homespun damask all of the value of forty shills she the said Mary then & there feloniously took & carryed away And afterwards vizt on the twentieth day of December following one three pounds Bill one of the publick Bills of Credit of this province belonging to the said Roger Kenyon she the aforesaid Mary at Bath Town aforesaid then & there being did feloniously take steal & carry away & afterwards vizl on the twenty fifth day of the said Month of December at Bath Town aforesaid one five pounds Bill one of the publick Bills of Credit of this province to the aforesaid Roger Kenyon belonging then & there being she the said Mary did take steal and carry away contrary to the peace of our said Lord the King that now is his crown & dignity &c.

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Upon which Indictment the said Mary Cotton was arraigned and upon her arraignment pleaded (Not Guilty) and for tryall thereof put herself upon God & the Country. Whereupon the Marshall was comanded to cause to come twelve &c by whom &c who to neither &c and there came Vizt

Samuel Pagett
John Grey
Timothy Truelove
Henderson Luton
Joshua Callaway
Ross Bell
Thomas Mathews
Thomas Luton Junr
Edward Wingate
Thomas Cooke
John Early &
Francis Branch

Who being impannelled and sworn say we of the Jury do find the prisoner at the Barr Guilty of petty Larceny Goods to the value of ten pence.

Then the said Mary Cotton being askd if she had anything to say why sentence should not pass against her as the Law in that case hath provided and she offering nothing in avoydance thereof: It is therefore Considerd and Adjudgd that she the said Mary at the whipping post shall receive thirty one lashes on her bare back & that she give good security in the sum of one hundred pounds sterling for her good behaviour to all his Majestys leige people for twelve months & one day and also that she pay all fees & costs accruing by reason of her prosecution and if she does not give such security and pay the said fees within one month after the adjournment of this Court that then she shall be sold by the provost Marshall to any person the highest bidder who will give security to transport her out of this Governmt and that she stand committed till the said sentence is performed.

On the petition of Elizabeth Langford Eleanor Clarke Edward Harrington & Martha Morris praying to be allowed for their attendance &c as Evidences for our Sovereign Lord the King against the aforesaid Mary Cotton. Ordered that they be paid by the said Mary Cotton for three days attendance at half a crown per day for four days travelling at twenty pence per day and ten shills ferrying each in all twenty four shills & two pence each alias Exon

On the petition of Thomas Cook praying that he may have his goods restored which were feloniously taken from him by John Johnston aforesaid who is returned fledd &c It is Orderd that a Writt de bonis restituendis do issue directed to the provost Marshall thereby com̄anding him to restore to the said petitioner his goods aforementioned

And now here at this day came the aforesaid Thomas Mathews and produced his accot against the said John Sale and also Capt Henry Bonner late Churchwarden produced his accot of disbursements likewise which

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accots being too tedious for the Court to audit. It is Orderd that the said Mathews adjust his accot before the chief Justice with all Convenient speed & pay the said Churchwardens accot with Costs if sufficient in his hands

John Solley Esq being ordered to be summoned to this Court to shew cause (if any he has) why the Examinac̄on of John Burton & Thomas Williamson together with their Recognizances were not returnd to the last Court accordingly made his appearance & declared that soon after he took the said Examinac̄ons and Recognizances he departed this Government but before he went he either sent them by some person that neglected to deliver into the office or else he hath mislaid them amongst his own papers: It is therefore Orderd that the said John Solley do give his attendance and also produce the said Examinac̄ons and Recognizances at the next Court on the last Tuesday in July next on the third day of the said Court

George Skipper being bound by Recognizance to appear &c at this Court being solemnly required came not Whereupon William Sadler who was bound for his appearance came to this Barr and prayed that the said Recognizance might be continued & day given till the next Court for his appearance which was granted.

William Charlton Junr being bound by Recognizance to appear &c at this Court accordingly made his appearance and was dismist without day paying Costs

John Charlton being bound by Recognizance to appear at this Court accordingly made his appearance and is dismist without day paying Costs.

Whereas severall Counterfeit Bills were lodged with the Clerk of this Court by Order of the Genl Assembly that the Attorney Genl might make prosecution thereon but no informac̄on appearing or sufficient Evidence for any prosecution It is Orderd by the Court here that they still remain lodgd in the Clerks office till some Informac̄on or Evidence appear or Order of Generall Assembly be made relating thereto.

Henry Baker by Edward Moseley his Attorney comes to prosecute a Complaint against Collo William Maule for keeping ferry at or near the same place where the said Baker was by the Court of Chowan precinct Orderd to keep ferry over the said River of Chowan which order was afterwards confirmed by this Court &c. And the said William Maule appeard and the arguements on both sides being heard & duly considerd It is Orderd that the said Complaint be referred to the next Generall Assembly.

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On the Petition of Sarah Sutton widow relict of George Sutton of perquimons prcinct deceased praying this Court to appoynt indifferent persons to make division of the personall Estate of her said Husband as the Law in that case made directs Orderd that Charles Denman Richard Ratcliff. Richd Skinner and Jonathan Phelps who were appoynted appraisors or any three of them do make division of the said Estate according to the prayer of the petitioner and as the Law in that case made directs

On the petition of Nathaniel Sutton (on the behalf of the heirs of George Sutton late of perquimans prect decd who dyed intestate) praying this Court to appoynt indifferent persons to divide the same as the law directs. Orderd that Charles Denman Richard Ratcliff Richard Skinner & Jonathan phelps who were appointed appraisors of the said Estate or any three of them do make division of the same according to the prayer of the petor as the Law directs.

On the petition of Richard Whidbee Extōr of the last Will & Testament of Joseph Sutton of perquimans prect deceased setting forth that the said Joseph by his last will and testament did bequeath & dispose of part of his Estate & desired that the remaining part might be equally divided among his children and praying this Court to appoynt some persons to make an equall division of the same which was granted and Orderd that Richard Ratcliff Saml Charles Samuel Nichols & Joshua Toms or any three of them do make division of the said Estate according to the will of the deceased & as the Law in that case directs.

Robert Kingham com̄itted on suspicion of having murderd and feloniously killed one George Kennard late of Bertie precinct on or about the tenth day of March last was Brought to the Barr but sufficient Evidences to prove the same being wanting also pregnant circumstances appeard to the Court here that he is guilty of the same: It is Considerd that he remain in custody of the Marshall till the next Court for further Evidence to be produced against him.

Philander a Negro appearing at this Barr complaining that he is held as a slave by Thomas Harding Executor of Thomas Sparrow deceased altho' he was freed by the said Sparrow in his lifetime and that all the practising Attorneys of this Court are retained by the said Harding and he the said Philander utterly ignorant of the Law or means of redress prays that he may have Councill assigned him Whereupon it is Orderd by this Court that Mr William Little be Councill for the said Philander and that he assist him as an Attorney in this Case. And thereupon Mr William Little exhibitted in Court the complaint of the said Philander against the said Thomas Harding Extōr as aforesaid in these words vizl

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Philip Laneer alias Philander a negro man humbly complains to this Court against Thomas Harding Executor to the last will and Testament of Thomas Sparrow late of this province deceased for that the said Philip Lander alias Philander being once in servitude and held as slave by the said Thomas Sparrow was by him freed as by an Instrument under the hand of the said Thomas Sparrow and before Evidence Yet he the said Thomas Harding Executor as aforesaid doth hold the said Negro as a slave & him hath detained & still doth detain in Servitude altho' his freedom & the priviledge of a freed man he ought to have & enjoy and thereupon he makes sute to this Court that by consideration of the said Court he may be judged and declared free accordingly

Whereupon Thomas Boyd appeared on behalf of Thomas Harding Extor of the last will & Testament of the said Thomas Sparrow deceased and prayed time till the next Court to make answer to the aforesaid Complaint Which was granted. And it is further Orderd that the said Philander be & remaine in the hands & keeping of the Provost Marshall Genl till the next Court; and to be then produced and forthcoming

Information being made to this Court by William Daniel of Bertie precinct that John Jones Joseph Jones John Jornagan John Spier James Moore & William Reed all of Bertie Precinct planters did sell & retail strong Liquors in their Houses without lycence and contrary to Law praying that process might be made out requiring them to appear at the next Court to make answer to the said information Which was granted: and thereupon the said William Daniell became bound by severall Recognizances in the sum of twenty pounds each to prosecute each of the said persons informd against as aforesaid.

And then the Court adjournd

C. GALE C. J.
By order of the Cheif Justice &
his Assistants.
W. Badham Cl'k.