May it please your Grace
I had the honour by a letter dated the 17th of September to give my Lord Duke of Newcastle an account that I was obliged to suspend Nathaniel Rice Esqre secretary of this Province, from being one of the Council, for the preservation of my life, and the peace of this Province.
Mr Robert Halton another Councillor, haveing been often summon'd, and admonished of his neglects hath failed comeing to any Court or Council, this month compleats two years therefore by a letter wrote to him the 26th of last month I suspended Mr Halton for willfully absenting himself from the Councils, without shewing cause, being thereunto required. Rice and Halton being suspended, there remained Mr John Ashe and Mr Edmund Gale and no more; who had sate as Councillors in this Province. To fill up the Council to the number prescribed in his Majesty's seventh Instruction. I swore on the 27th past Coll: Benjamin Hill, Coll: Francis Pugh, Coll: Henry Gaston Coll: McRora Scarborough and on the 29th Coll: Daniel Hanmer, Members of the Council, all these Gentlemen have good estates (for this Countrey) I believe they will act with honour and integrity, and becomeing the station of Councillors, the last named of these Gentlemen is also appointed Chief Justice of this Province in the room of Mr William Little deceased, Coll: Hanmer was bred to the profession of the Law is nephew to Sir Thomas Hanmer in great esteem with the people of this Countrey and thought the only man capable of executeing the Office of Chief Justice in this Province Mr John Montgomery the Attorney General was suspended on the 29th of last month for the many villanys by him pertetrated Mr John Hodgson a very good Attorney is appointed to succeed him. My Lord it would take up too much of your time to read the long history I can write of the wickedness, villanys, follys and madness, Smith, Rice and Montgomery have been guilty of in this Province the detestable method of lyeing, and inventing slanders and calumnys (these men have so long used) against me deserves more then ordinary punishment. The Council Journals contain but a small part of what I am able to prove against them, I am of opinion even therein may be found enough to convince any reader that they are unfit persons to be imployed in offices of Trust. If it is your Graces pleasure, to order these scoundrels att
Mr Lovick and Mr Little being dead, it clearly appears that they were falsely accused by Porter and others of profiting themselves, in the sale of Lands to pay for running the Line between this Province and Virginia, both dyeing much in debt.
The Kings Instructions compell me to trouble your Grace with this letter.