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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Memorandum by William Little concerning the fees earned by the Chief Justice of North Carolina
Little, William, 1692-1734
August 1731
Volume 03, Pages 200-201

[B. P. R. O. Am: & W. Ind: Vol. 22. P. 118.]
Mr LITTLE'S VALUATION OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE'S PLACE AT £600. PER. AN:
[August, 1731.]

May it please Your Excellency,

In obedience to you I am to give your Excellency an Account of the Profitts of the Attorney General's place of this Province which I cannot pretend to do exactly, because the Incomes are more or less just as the business happens of late years the Authority of Government has been suffered to sink so low & the Courts so much obstructed that Law & Justice seemed at a stand & but little business done.

But since your Excellency has settled the Government & the Law has its free course & Justice duly administered, the business of that office

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will be considerable. I believe there will be 12 or fifteen Indictments a Court one with another which is held 3 times a year, the Fee of each Indictment is 50s, besides the incidental fees of it, & often a Fee from the Prosecutor too, & there is another business besides Bills of Indictment which will Augment the Fees so that by a moderate Computa without the Salary which is £40 per. annum. & besides his practice as a Lawyer in Civil Actions which that station recommends him to a full share if not always the Choice of I think the incomes of the office cannot come to less than £100 per. annum. which is to be received in Proclamation Money. As to the Chief Justices place which you are pleased to mention too, it is not Easy for the reasons I before gave to make an Exact Estimate of it, the business being uncertain, the Clerk of the General Court is under his Appointment whose Fees are very valuable And according as that point is managed it makes the value of the other more or less, there are also severall Fees out of Court such as probates & acknowledgements of Deeds & other writings that may be there or in the Precinct Courts, & so is more or less as People are brought into the way of it.

I am of opinion that with good Application, & if the most is made of the Clerkship the Chief Justices Place may one way or other Com̄ unibis Annix be worth 5 or six hundred Pounds per. Annum. besides the Salary which has been Sixty Pounds per Ann: but its supposed will now be raised to £100 per. Annum:

And if the Circuits come to be settled the Value of the Place will be considerably the greater for it. This may it please your Excellency is the best Account I am able to give, but you'l please to give me leave to add that in all offices as well as other business it depends much on the Person & his knowledge of the Place.

I am Your Excellencys most Dutifull & devoted humble Servant.
WILLIAM LITTLE.