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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 25, 1729 - April 03, 1729
Volume 03, Pages 52-61

[From Records of General Court.]

North Carolina—ss.

At a Genl Court of Oyer & Terminer and Genl Sessions held for the Sayd province at the Courthouse in Edenton begun on Tuesday the twenty fifth day of March one thousand Seven hundred & twenty nine and continued by Adjournmt until the third of April following

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Present
Christopher Gale Esqr Cheif Justice
Thomas Luton
John Alston
Thos Lovick
Henry Bonner Esqrs Assistants

And Severall Members of the Council (as Justices of the peace) to hold the Genl Sessions of this Government.

The following persons were impannelld and Sworne of the Grand Jury Vizl

Capt Benja Hill
Mr Robert Hicks
Mr Orlando Champion
Mr Thos Luton Junr
Mr James Meliken
Mr Richd Willson
Mr Francis Branch
Mr John Blount
Mr James Castellaw.
Mr Edward Howcot
Mr John Beverley
Mr Martin Cromen
Mr Thomas Bryan
Mr John Bonde
Mr Hill Savage
Mr Thos Rountree

who being charged with things proper for their Enquiry withdrew and Considerd thereof and on their Returne made presentmt of the following Bills Vizl

A Bill of Indictmt against Solomon Smith for Felony & Murder.

A Bill of Indictmt agt Griffith Jones & Truman Jones for a Forcible Entry on the Estate of William Reed a minor.

A Bill of Indictmt agt James Bremen for assaulting Robert Pearce.

And then the Grand Jury was dischargd from further Attendance at this Court.

And now here at this day (Vizl &c:) The aforesayd Thomas Spencer (tho' Solemnly required) came not Nor was there any return made of the Writt of Exigent

Wherefore It Considerd by the Court here at the motion of the Attorney Genl that the same be continued returnable to the next Court on the last Tuesday in July next

And now here at this day (Vizl &c:) came the aforesd George Allen and moved for Tryall And likewise the Attorney Genl on behalf of Our Sovereign Lord the King But the Court being given to understand that His Majtys most Gracious Genl Pardon was Since the offence com̄itted and Since the Indictmt aforesd are of Opinion that the Sayd Offence is thereby pardond & that the prosecution aforesd cannot be proceeded in according to Fawcett's Case 2d Croke 148 Do therefore Order that all further proceedings thereon be Stayd and the Sayd Geo: Allen be dischargd paying Costs.

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And now here at this day (Vizl &c:) came the aforesayd Joseph Jenoure by David Osheal his Attorney & moved to the Court that he might come to a legall Tryall or be dischargd

Whereupon the Attorney Genl produced to the Court here an Order from the Governor in these Words Vizl


North Carolina—ss.

Sr Richd Everard Bart Governor Capt Genl & Admll To Wm Little Esq: Attorney Genll

Whereas a Bill of Indictment was preferrd & found by the Grand Jury at July Court agt Joseph Jenoure and others for a Riott, These are therefore to order & impower you to enter a Noli Prosequi on the Sayd Indictmt Given under my hand this first day of April 1729 in the Second year of his Majty King George ye second & Signd Richd Everard.

Wherefore It is Considerd & by the Court here Orderd that the sayd Joseph Jenoure & the Others mentiond meant or intended in the sayd Indictmt be thereof dismist and may go without day paying Costs.

And now here at this day (Vizl &c) the aforesd Nathaniel Martin in Custody of the Marshall to the Barr here brought in his proper person came and being askt how of the Crime aforesd he would acquitt himself sayd that he is not thereof Guilty & for Tryall thereof putt himself upon the Country and Wm Little Esqr Attor Genl on behalf of our Sovereign Lord the King likewise. Whereupon the Marshall was com̄anded to cause to come twelve &c: And there came John Charlton Thos Hoskins John Benbury John Champion Jon Dunning Saml Woodward James Smith Charles Wilkins William Handcock Wm Branch John Carter Henderson Luton who being impannelld and Sworn on their Oath do say that he is not Guilty

Orderd that the sayd Nathl Martin & Susanna his Wife be thereof dismist without day paying Costs

Wm Little Esqr Attorney Genl comes to prosecute ye Bill of Indictment agt Solomon Smith in these Words Vizl


North Carolina—ss.

To Christophr Gale Esqr Cheif Justice and the rest of the Justices for holding the Genl Court at Edenton the last Tuesday of this Instant March 1729

The Jurors for Our Sovereign Lord the King on their Oath do present that Solomon Smith late of Bertie precinct Labourer in the precinct aforesayd not having the fear of God before his Eyes but being moved

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and Seduced by ye instigation of the Devil on or about the first day of November last past in the Evening of the same day at Bertie prcinct in the province aforesayd by force and Armes in & upon One William Coyne in the peace of God and Our sayd Lord the King then & there being an Assault did make And the sayd Solomon Smith with a Knife of the value of three pence in his hand then & there drawn had & held feloniously & voluntarily the aforesd William Coyne at Bertie prcinct in the province aforesayd did Stabb & wound ye Sayd William not having any weapon then drawn nor having then there first struck the sayd Solomon and to the sayd William Coyne of Bertie prcinct in the province aforesayd feloniously and of his malice forethought with the aforesayd knife One mortall wound in & upon his left breast did give about one inch & half long and about five inches in depth with which mortall wound the Sayd William Coyne instantly dyed and So the Jurors aforesayd upon their Oath do say that the aforesayd Solomon Smith on the day and year aforesd in Bertie prcinct in the province aforesayd in manner & form aforesayd killed and murderd the Sayd William Coyne agt the peace of Our sayd Lord ye King his Crown & dignity &c: & against the Statute in that Case made & provided. Upon which Indictmt the sayd Solomon Smith was arraignd and upon his Arraignmt pleaded Not Guilty and for Tryall thereof putt himself upon God & the Country and William Little Esqr Attrney Genll on ye behalf of our Sayd Lord the King likewise Whereupon the Marshall was comanded to cause to come twelve &c: and there came Francis Pugh William Bryan John Early James Smith John Champion John Howell Robt Jefferys John Dunning John Blackman James Bate Jacob Privett & Wm Charlton Junr who being impannelld and Sworne on their Oath do Say Wee Jurors do find the prisoner Solomon Smith Guilty

(Signd)
FRANCIS PUGH Foreman

Then the sayd Solomon Smith being askt if he had any thing to Say why Sentence Should not pass agt him as the law in that Case hath provided And he offering nothing in avoydance thereof It is Therefore Considerd Sentenced & by the Court here adjudgd that the sayd Solomon Smith shall returne to the place from whence he came and from thence to the place of Execution there to be hangd by the Neck till his Body is dead.

The Court having rec̄d from the Honoble the Governor by the hands of Richd Everard Esqr his Son the following paper Vizl

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North Carolina—ss.

To Chr: Gale Esqr Cheif Just: & to the rest of the Assistant Judges

I receivd a certificate yesterday signd by the Ch: Justice in which it is Signified to me that one Solo Smith of Bertie prcinct Labourer stands condemnd by this Sessions for the murther of William Coyne for which ye Sentence of the Sayd Court was for him to be hangd: As the Life of a Man is a thing of a very tender nature I am at a loss to judge if the Chief Just: means hanging till he is dead or whether it is by the Neck legg or arm for I must not guess at his meaning Besides I must tell you Gent as the man was tryde Condemned on the twenty ninth of the last Month And the Court was Compounded of Officers not duly qualifyed to open Such Court that all proceedings therein are Extrajudiciall and Erronious Therefore cannot without Injury to my conscience Sign Such a Dead Warrant for the Execution of the unhappy prisoner till a Tryall de novo and the Court Compounded of Officers duly qualifyed and those of my Appoyntment

Given under my hand this first day of April One thousand Seven hundred & twenty nine and Signd Richard Everard

It was considerd by the Court & that the Blood of an innocent person barbarously Shedd was of too great & Serious a consequence to be turnd to Ridicule as it appears to be by the aforegoing paper or Letter to the Court Whereupon the Court came to a Resolution to certify the same again to the Honoble the Governor which was done in these words Vizl


North Carolina—ss.

Genl Court April ye Second one thousd Seven hundred and twenty nine By the Cheif Justice & Members of ye Genl Court That Innocent Blood may not lye at Our Door Wee think it Our Duty once more to certify to yor Honor that Solo Smith now prisoner in the Goale at Edenton has been this Sessions legally convicted for the Murder of William Coyne and that Sentence of Death was on the twenty ninth of March past pronouncd upon him in Open Court in these Words Vizl That he should returne to the place from whence he came & from thence to the place of Execution and there be hangd by the neck till his Body was dead. It appears to us to be a very barbarous Murder Directed to the Honoble Sr Richd Everard Govr &c: and Signd Chr: Gale Thos Luton Thos Lovick & Henry Bonner

A Bill of Indictment having been presented to the Grand Jury aforesayd against Jacob Beale for killing James Beale by Misadventure and being returnd Ignoramus It was considered by the Court that he be thereof dismist and may goe witht day paying Costs

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Wm Little Esqr Attorney Genl comes to prosecute a Bill of Indictment found by the Grand Jury agt Griffith Jones & Truman Jones in these words Vizl


North Carolina—ss.

To Christopr Gale Esq: Cheif Justice & the rest of the Justices for holding the Genl Court at the Courthouse in Edenton on the last Tuesday in March Anno Dni One thousand Seven hundred & twenty nine.

The Jurors for Our Sovereign Lord the King on their Oath do present that Griffith Jones & Truman Jones both of pasquotank precinct having taken and associated themselves with other malefactrs and disturbers of the peace of Our Sayd Lord the King being armd in an Hostile manner of whose names the Jurors aforesayd are wholly Ignorant upon the twelfty day of March Anno Dni One thousand Seven hundred & twenty eight at Pasquotank Precinct in the province aforesayd by force & Armes To witt with Swords Staves Gunns & other defensive and invasive Armes upon one Mesuage with the Appurtenances at Arenoose Creek in pasquotank prcinct aforesayd upon the peacable possession of One Mrs Jane Reed Widow & Extrix of William Reed late of pasquotank prcinct aforesayd Esqr dec̄d did enter of which Certain Messuage with the appurtenances the aforesayd Jane Reed Wido and Extrix was then & there possessd during the minority of William Reed a Minor Son of William Reed Esqr late of the sayd prcinct deceased to whom the freehold of the prmises belongs And the abovesayd Griffith Jones and Truman Jones and the other malefactors aforesd by force & Armes the aforesayd Jane from her possession aforesayd did Eject expell & amove and the Sayd Jane So being expelld from her aforesayd Mesuage with the appurtenances unlawfully and with a Strong hand did then keep out and Still do keep & hold out against the peace of Our Sayd Lord the King that now is his Crown & dignity and Contrary to the form of the Statutes in that Case made and provided &c: And on the motion of the Sayd Attorney Genl It is Considerd & Orderd that a Capias do issue returnable to the next Court on the last Tuesday in July next

A Bill of Indictment having been preferrd to the Grand Jury against John Perkins on Suspicion of having burnt the House of Thomas Climson lately Situate & being in the precinct of Curratuck in the province aforesayd Which Sayd Bill of Indictmt was returnd to the Court here Ignoramus. Therefore It is Considerd that he give Security for his good behaviour twelve months & one day And that he continue in the Marshall's Custody untill he hath given Such Security & payd the Costs

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accruing by this prosecution Whereupon the sayd John Perkins in Court appeard and acknowledgd himself indebted to Our Sovereign Lord the King His Heirs and Successors in the sum of fifty pounds Sterling to be levyed on his goods & Chattells Lands and Tenemts &c: With Condic̄on that if the sayd John Perkins shall & do well & truly behave himself towards his Sayd Majesty and all his leige people and more especlally towards Thos Climson and His Wife for twelve months & One day then this Recognizance to be voyd else to remaine of full force & Virtue.

Wm Little Esqr Attorney Genl comes to prosecute the Bill of Indictment found by the Grand Jury aforesd against James Bremen in these Words Vizl


North Carolina—ss.

To Christopher Gale Esqr Cheif Justice & the rest of the Justices for holding of the Genl Court at Edenton on the last Tuesday of this instant March Anno Dni one thousand seven hundred & twenty nine.

The Jurors for our Sovereign Lord ye King upon their Oaths present that James Bremen late of Edenton in the North East parish of Chowan precinct in Albemarle County in the province aforesayd Mercht the twenty third day of this instant Moneth of March in the night time of the same day by force & Armes &c: at Edenton in the parish prcinct and County aforesayd in North Carolina aforesayd then & there by force & Armes &c: the Window of the lodging room of one Robert Pearce did break open And him the sayd Robert Pearce did then & there assault & in great danger of his life did putt & Other Enormitys to the Sayd Robert Pearce then & there did offer against the peace of Our now Sayd Sovereign Lord the King his Crown & dignity &c. And signd Wm Little Attry Genl and on the Motion of the sayd Attorney Genl It was then & there by the Court Considerd and Orderd that he be taken into Custody of the provost Marshall and brought before the Court which was accordingly done And the sd James Bremen acknowledgd himself indebted to our Sovereign Lord the King His Heirs & Successors in the Sum of One hundred pounds Sterling & Mr Edmond Porter & Mr Wm Harding Jones in the Sum of fifty pounds Sterling each to be levyed on their goods & Chattells Lands & Tenemts &c With Condic̄on that if the Sayd James Bremen shall personally be & appear at the next Genl Court to be held for this Governmt at Edenton the last Tuesday in July next then & there to answer the sayd Indictmt and in the meantime that he be of his good Behaviour then this Recognizance to be voyd else to remaine in full force &c.

Whereupon Richd Everard Esqr came into Court and deliverd to the Court here a Certain Writing in these Words Vizl

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North Carolina—ss.

Sr Richard Everard Bart Govr Capt Genll Adml and Com̄andr in Cheif To Christopher Gale Esqr Cheif Justice & his Assistants and to Wm Little Esqr Attorney Genl Greeting

Whereas a Certain Bill of Indictmt was preferrd and found by the Grand Jury of this present Court agt James Bremen of Edenton Mercht for breaking open the Window of One Robert Pearce & then & there assaulting the sayd Robert Pearce & being that I am fully assured & Satisfyed that the Sayd Indictmt was grounded upon the malice of the sd Robert Pearce and by the instigation of Willm Badham alias Hammon Clerk of the Genl Court and that the Sayd James Bremen did no ways assault Strike or any other ways hurt the Sayd Robert Pearce And that the sayd Window was open before the Sayd James Bremen came to it and he did not by any act whatsoever brake or disturb the peace of our Sovereign Lord the King. This is Therefore to Command you the sayd Christopher Gale &c: to enter a Noli prosequi on the Sayd Indictment Given under my hand and Seal this 1st day of April in the second year of his Majesty King George ye Second Annoq Dni 1729 and Signd Richd Everard and a Seale Wherefore It is Considerd & by the Court here by & with the Consent of the Attorney Genl that the sayd James Bremen be thereof dismist and may go thereof without day it being the Governors Order And It was then & there Orderd that the Sayd Comand Should be entred as aforesayd

William Williams of Edenton Gent produced a Com̄ission from the Honoble Sr Richd Everard Bart Governor &c: appoynting him provost Marshal in the room of Robt Route Esqr who is Com̄issionated by the Lords Proprs to Execute that Office in this Governmt as long as he well behaves And the sayd Wm Williams movd to the Court here to have the Sayd Com̄ission admitted and himself qualifyd and rec̄d Whereupon the Court declared their Opinion was that the Com̄ission aforesayd is not good because the sayd Sr Richd Everard Governor did not take the advice and Consent of the Majority of the Council for granting the same as by law he ought to have done And the Court are also of opinion that the aforesayd Robert Route is not departed out of this Governmt as in the Sayd Com̄ission is Suggested And that the Deputys which act by virtue of his Com̄ission are good & lawfull

By direction of this Court John Parke Esqr Provost Marshall was com̄anded to take into his Custody Edmond Porter & George Allen & them safely keep until they give Security for their good behaviour during the Sitting of this Court for a Contempt by com̄itting an affray

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in the view and verge thereof And the sayd Geo Allen came into Court & acknowledgd himself indebted to Our Sovereign Lord the King in the Sum of ten pounds Sterling and Edmond Gale Esqr in the like Sum of ten pounds Sterling to be levyed on their Severall goods and Chattells Lands & Tenements &c: With Condic̄on that the Sayd George Allen shall be of his good behaviour during the Sitting of this Court And in further Obedience of the sayd Order and Direction the sayd Jno Parke followd the sayd Edmd Porter who was fledd to the House of Mrs Elizabeth Marston a publick House or Ordinary in Edenton and there told the sayd Porter he had receivd the aforesayd Order Whereupon the Honoble Sr Richd Everard Bart Governor of the province aforesaid who was at the Sayd House rose up from his Seat & com̄anded him not to take any body out of his Company & further told him that he was no Marshall and that he thought he the Sayd Parke had a great . . . . . . he would protect every body that was in his Company and bidd him tell the Court so Upon which the Sayd Parke imediately withdrew without the Sayd Porter and returnd to the Court and made report thereof.

Robert Pearce came into Court and made Information upon Oath in these Words Vizl Robert Pearce Sworne on the holy Evangelists upon his Oath Sayth that on Monday morning about the hours of three and four before Sunrising he this Informant being in his own Lodging room in Bed and wakt out of his Sleep did hear a Noise in the next adjoining room to this Informant's And imediately thereon this Informt heard the voyce of James Bremen (to whom the sayd next adjoining room belongs & another persons voyce which this Informant takes to be Mr Richd Everard which Sayd Bremen & Mr Everard demanded this Informant to open his Door And (this Informant being silent therein) the sayd Bremen & Mr Everard both went round to this Informants Wooden Window which was then close shutt) which they broke open and Splitt in peices And then Mr Richd Everard (whose face this Informant saw by moon light) did fire in upon this Informant in his sayd Lodging room Severall times with a pistoll or pistolls thro' the Window broken open as aforesayd and took full aime to this Informt to fire at him & then went round into the Sayd Bremens Room & broke the door of the sayd room (which before was nayled) in Severall parts And Severall fires from a pistoll or pistolls were fired in upon him this Informt By which meanes he this Informt was much in danger of his life & was very much hurt in his face & hand by the Gunpowder that lodgd in his Face & hand and very much burned him this Informant And further Sayth the sayd Bremen told him this Informt that he the sayd Bremen had gotten this Informants

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Bullett Moole & had Cast Bulletts enough to do the business of this Informant and all the rest of em̄ that day And Sayd See what your lisping Judge can do now to help you and the Sayd Bremen declared that he would enter into the room of this Informant and break one of his Cutlaces and then he would have but one to defend himself with; And this Informant further Saith that the Sayd James Bremen Sayd Here damne his Blood shoot his Braines out Signd Robert Pearce & thus (∗) for Seale Upon which he prayd Security of the Peace.

Which Informac̄on being Corroborated by the Oaths of John Ismas Gent and Thomas Jones Attorney at Law It is Considerd that the Provost Marshall be directed to take them the sayd James Bremen and Richard Everard into his Custody and them Safely keep untill they give Security in the Sum of One hundred pounds Sterling each and two suretys for each of them in the sum of fifty pounds sterling every of them With Condic̄on that they be and appear at the next Genl Court on the last Tuesday in July next on the third day of the sayd Court & in the mean time that they shall keep the peace of our Sovereign Lord the King as well towards his Majesty as all his leige people And particularly the Sayd Robert Pearce and not depart from the Sayd Court without Lycence &c

And then the Court adjourned by order