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Memorandum concerning instructions to the Governor of North Carolina
No Author
Volume 03, Pages 495-496

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[B. P. R. O. North Carolina. B. T. Vol. 9. A. 32.]

1st. By the Papers I have seen in your Lordship's office it appears that in 1728 Sir Richard Everard then Deputy Governor in Council ordered John Lovick then Secretary to dispose of no more of the soil of North Carolina until His Majty's pleasure should be known. But in the year 1729 the said Sir Richard being prevailed upon by the arts of the said Lovick and William Little the receiver and others issued a great many Pattents wherein the number of acres was left blank and the Receiver General Little's receipt likewise in blank for the purchase money so that the possessors of such Patents have it in their power to putt in as much land as they please.

It seems to have been Sir Richard's intention that every Patent he signed should contain only a Tract which is 640. acres, instead of which some People have filled up their Patents with 5000. some with more, some less.

Mr Burrington's Fourty first Instruction related to this affair and is as follows.

In consequence of this Instruction Mr Burrington called the Partys before him and after a superficial enquiry acquitted Messrs Lovick and Little but as Sir Richard Everard is now dead this Instruction cannot continue in the form that it now is and as these blank Patents are every day produced, and have been transferr'd from one Person to another, and valuable considerations have been paid for them by several persons It is humbly submitted to your Lordships whether in Place of the said Instruction it will not be proper to substitute one ordering the frauds of the blank Patents to be strictly enquired into & the Persons guilty to make good what money has been paid for their Patents to them, and that they should be prosecuted according to law.

2nd Fourty seventh Instruction

The Beginning of this is already complied with and was in its own nature temporary the last Clause is—“But in the meantime you are to take especial care that no office or place whatever in our said Province be executed but by Commission to be granted by us or by you our Governor under the seal of our said Province.”

Tho' this part of the Instruction is very full and strong yet when it was laid before the Assembly of North Carolina the lower house came to

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the following Resolution—“This House is of opinion that the fourty seventh Instruction doth not extend to officers appointed by act of assembly as are the publick and precinct Treasurers and several other officers It is therefore humbly proposed that at the end of the above mentioned Clause it may be added And this to extend to such officers as were formerly used to be appointed by act of Assembly particularly the publick and precinct Treasurers.

3. As Mr Burrington thought proper to give coppies of his Instructions to a great many people, which may give great handle for contention about the Governors Power and as the Instructions are the same in Number. It is humbly proposed that your Lordships would alter their order so as that when the Instructions which are necessary to be laid before the Assembly shall be found to be of a different Number from what the same was in Mr Burrington's, they can never be certain that our Instructions are the same.

4. Your Lordships please to let me have a Coppy of the Attorney General's opinion as to the validdity of the Laws particularly as to the emission of Bills of Credit in 1729 after His Majesty's purchase took place. A point that deserves the utmost attention.

5. I find Mr Burrington has represented at several times to your Lordships how proper it would be to reduce the quitt rents from three shillings to two sh: per 100. acres which is the quitt rent of Virginia the neighbouring Province I cant help informing your Lordships that all the People of that County whom I have seen have represented it to me as a great hardship that they should pay one shilling per 100. acres more than Virginia which has so good a staple as Tobacco and such a number of good harbours for navigation but which they are deprived of.

Quere If it be necessary to enquire into the complaints of the Province against Mr Burrington.