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Letter from Nathaniel Rice and John Baptista Ashe to the Board of Trade of Great Britain
Ashe, John Baptista, d. 1734; Rice, Nathaniel, d. 1753
April 20, 1733
Volume 03, Pages 457-458

[B. P. R. O. B. T. North Carolina. Vol. 9. A. 46.]
RICE AND ASHE VS. BURRINGTON—SALE OF LANDS IN NORTH CAROLINA.
LETTER FROM Mr RICE & Mr ASHE, TWO OF Ye COUNCIL OF N. CAROLINA, DATED APRIL 20th 1733.

To the Rgt Honble the Lds Comrs for Trade and Plantations.

May it please your Lordships

Governour Burrington on his first issuing Warrants for Lands, proceeding Contrary to His Majesty's Com̄ision and Instructions to him, in selling the King's Lands without any Instruction impowering him so to do, at the rate of two shill: & sixpence Virginia or Proclamation Money for every fifty Acres, and issuing Warrants for much larger quantities to some than by the King's Instructions he was directed, Arbitrarily denying or refusing to others what was their Right or Proportion allowed

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them by the King, not in the least consulting the Council in the Affair. We objected to the legality of such a Method; and some Petitions of Persons claiming Rights, (wch had been denyed them by the Governr) to Lands pursuant to the Kings Instructions being read, brought the matter into Debate in Council; whereupon the Council gave it as their opinion unanimously on reading his Majesty's 42nd Instruction, that every Person proving his Rights, or swearing to the number of Persons in his Family, had a claim of fifty acres of Land for every such Person, and on some Petitions relating to Saw Mills, praying a larger quantity of Land might be granted, than directed by the King's Instructions; They likewise unanimously were of the opinion that it could not be allowed.

These Opinions of the Council, and the Debates on the Delivery of them notwithstanding the Governour proceeded to sell and grant Lands in very large undue Quantities, so that we (thinking ourselves obliged as much as in us lay to prevent such an unwarrantable Practice, detrimental both to His Majesty's Interest and to the People,) drew up the annexed Protest, which the Governor (as we believe) suspecting, or having Intelligence of, broke up the Council unexpectedly, to prevent its being offered: Thereupon we filed it in the Secretary's office together with the Caution following the same. This has drawn on us his Excellency's highest displeasure, and being the Cause of many real Injuries he has done us (of which we shall be obliged by the next Conveyance, (there being now no time) to inform your Lordships) has brought on us that load of unjust and groundless Reproaches he has bestowed on us in his paper herewith sent to your Lordships. We hope and believe your Lordships will readily pardon us for thus troubling you, when you shall Consider that it is a Matter relating to the King's Interest, and that we cannot but be solicitous of Vindicating ourselves and of preventing or obviating any Misrepresentation of our Conduct and Characters to your Lordships.

We are with the greatest Submission and Respect My Lords, Your Lordships most obedient humble Servants
NATH: RICE.
BAPt: ASHE.

20th April 1733.