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Bill by the North Carolina General Assembly concerning quit rents
North Carolina. General Assembly
October 09, 1736 - October 11, 1736
Volume 04, Pages 180-189

A Bill for providing His Majesty a Rent Roll for securing His Majesties Quit Rents for the Remission of Arrears of Quit Rents & for quieting the Inhabitants in their Possession & for the better settlement of His Majestys Province of North Carolina.

Whereas by an Act of Parliament passed in Great Brittain in the second year of His present Majesty King George the second entituled an Act for Establishing an Agreement with seven of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina for the surrender of their Title and Interest in that Province by virtue of which said Act the several parts and shares of seven of the late Proprietors therein named (Except as therein is excepted) are now become vested in His Majesty his Heirs & Successors together also with seven eight parts of all and every the Arrears of Quit Rents and other Rents sum and sums of money debts, dues, Accounts, Reckonings Claims & Demands whatsoever due to the said last mentioned Proprietors to the first day of June 1729 And Whereas the Kings most Excellent Majesty as a mark of His Royal and Fatherly indulgence to the Inhabitants of this Province has been graciously pleased to impower His Excellency Gabriel Johnston Esqre Governor etc to give his assent to a Law for remitting all such Arrears, as were due from the Inhabitants thereof at the time of His Majestys purchase and to direct that the Inhabitants of this Province claiming Lands by any Pattents or Grants (should in order to the forming a Rent Roll) forthwith Register the same in the office of the Auditor General or his Deputy that for the future

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the Annual Rent reserved on such Pattents or Grants might be the better ascertained and paid. We therefore humbly pray your most sacred Majesty that it may be Enacted and it is hereby Enacted by his Excellency Gabriel Johnston Esqre Governor the Council and General Assembly of the said Province now met at Edenton that all Persons seized or possessed of any Lands in this Province by any Title or Claim whatsoever under the late Lords Proprietors shall within eighteen months after the breaking up of this Assembly Register the Originall Pattents or Grants or Mesne Conveyances or Abstract of such original Pattents Grants or Mesne Conveyances by which they hold the said Lands in the office of His Majestys Auditor General or his Deputy if such original Pattents or Grants or abstract of such Original Patents Grants or Mesne Conveyances are not already registered in said office And that the Auditor General shall Register the said Grants & mesne Conveyances or abstract of such Original Patents Grants or Mesne Conveyances without Fee or reward and that all Grants already made by His Majesty shall in like manner be registered in Eighteen months after the breaking up of this Assembly and all Grants hereafter to be made by His Majesty his Heirs & Successors shall in like manner be registered within Twelve months from the date of the said Grants, and the said Auditor or his Deputy shall be allowed for registring every Grant passed or to be passed since His Majestys Purchase or a memorial or abstract thereof and giving a Certificate thereon seven pence half penny Proclamation Money or the value thereof in the Currency of this Province for every Copy sheet that is to say for every ninety words and no more. And to the end that all Persons may know where to resort to for Registering their said Grants or Mesne Conveyances by this Act directed to be Registered by the Auditor Gen11 or his Deputy without Fee or reward. It is hereby further Enacted that the Auditor General or his Deputy or some Person appointed by him do attend at the respective Court houses in each precinct,       day within the time by this Act appointed for Registering the same and to give Publick notice of the days that he intends to attend for Registering the same. And that for the Registering all Grants which shall hereafter be made, the Auditor General or his Deputy or some person authorized by the said Deputy shall attend at Edenton. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that all Grants and Pattents whether under the late Lords Proprietors or His Majesty and all Mesne Conveyances by this Act directed to be Registered which shall not be Registered in manner aforesaid shall be held deemed and taken to be null and void, and the lands thereby granted to be vacant lands, and shall and may be granted by His Majesty to any persons whatsoever excepting all Orphans and
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Minors, who shall be allowed three years after they are at age if it shall be neglected by their Guardians or Trustees but if such Guardian or Trustee shall neglect to have such Orphans or Minors land Registered as aforesaid such Guardian or Trustee shall forfeit the sum of Two Hundred and fifty Pounds Currency Money to be recovered of any Court of Record of this Province one half to the Informer and the other half to the Orphan or Minor so injured unless such Guardian or Trustee doth within twelve months after the breaking up of this Assembly appear before the Auditor General or His Deputy or the precinct Court where such Guardian or Trustee reside and make Oath that he hath not in his Custody the Grant or Mesne Conveyance by which the Orphan or Minor holds lands and that he cannot procure the same a Certificate of which Oath taken before the Precinct Court shall without delay be transmitted by the Clk to the Auditor General or his Deputy excepting also all Persons now absent or beyond seas who shall be allowed five years for registering their Grants as aforesaid. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that all persons who were in possession of any Tracts of land Tenements or Hereditaments in the said Province before the twenty fifth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twenty nine being the time when the several parts and shares of seven of the late Lords Proprietors became vested in His Majesty and have no Title deeds to produce from the late Lords Proprietors their Governor or Com̄andr in Chief or shall be in actuall possession at the time of applying for a Grant upon due proof made before the Governor or Comander in Chief for the time being in Council of such possession such person or persons shall be intituled to a Grant of so much of the said Land so possessed at the rate of fifty Acres for each person black or white his family consists of, or according to the proportion of one hundred acres for every three Acres he has cultivated or improved at the Quit rents directed at His Majestys Instruction, but if such land should lye in Albemarle County, then upon such terms as should be agreeable to the directions of the late Lords Proprietors for granting lands pursuant to the Deed of Grant dated May the fourth one thousand six hundd and sixty eight. And if any person shall be posses't of land which has been actually surveyed and measured out to him by any Surveyor, or proof of such survey being made he shall be intituled to His Majestys Grant preferable to all others for the Lands contained within the bounds of such survey and in Case any person posses't of Lands as before recited shall neglect or refuse to apply for a Grant for such Lands before the Twenty fourth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousd seven hundred thirty seven then the said Tracts to revert to the Crown and be
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disposed of by His Majesty to any person whatsoever excepting all Orphans & Minors who shall be allowed three years after they arrive to age to apply as aforesaid if the same shall be neglected by their Guardian or Trustee & such Guardian or Trustee so neglecting to apply in behalf of such Orphan or Minor shall forfeit the sum of Two hundred & fifty pounds Currency money to be received in any Court of Record in this Province one half to the Informer and the other half to the Orphan or Minor so injured excepting all such persons now absent or beyond the seas who shall be allowed five years for making such applycation by themselves or their Attorneys.

And be it also further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all and every person and persons who are now possesst of or do hold any Messuages, Land, tenements or hereditaments whatsoever in the Province of North Carolina by and under any original Pattents, Grants or Deeds whatsoever provided the same have been obtained without Fraud covin or any deceit either from the said Lords Proprietors or from their Palatine or his Deputy or from the Deputys of the late Lords Proprietors lawfully appointed or from the Governor and Council for the time being lawfully impowered to make such sales, Grants Pattents and Conveyances, or by Conveyance from any person whatsoever holding under such original Grants, may hold use occupy & enjoy all and every such Messuage, lands, tenements and hereditaments whatsoever to them their heirs, Executors, admds & assignes respectively according to the several tenures in such original pattents grants deeds or mesne Conveyances & that from & against his Majesty, his heirs and successors from and against all and every the said Lords Proprietors & their heirs and all and every person or person whatsoever, save and except as herein after is saved & excepted and that for and notwithstanding any misnomer of the names of any of the said Lords Proprietors or their deputies any want of significant & necessary forms or words in Law for conveying such Lands any Omission, Commission or mistake whatsoever in the said Grants done Omitted or Committed by all or any of the late Lords Proprietors their Governors, Deputys or Trustees commissioned by the said Lords Proprietors for settling, granting or conveying Lands in this Province & also for & notwithstanding the Lands granted or conveyed or intended to be granted or conveyed by such Patents Grants or deeds have not been sufficiently described or ascertained Provided nevertheless that such Lands or some part thereof have been regularly surveyed meeted out or ascertained by survey to such Pattentees, Grantees or purchasers or to their heirs or assignes or to the heirs or assignes of the persons named as pattentees, grantees or assignees in such Pattents or grants

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or deeds of assignment or to their or either of their Attorneys or Agents in their behalf by the survey of a surveyr or Surveyors so as part of such Pattent Lands are certifyed or returned into the secretarys or Surveyor General's Office by a Surveyor or Surveyors lawfully appointed.

Saving to all & every Inhabitant or Inhabitants of the County of Albemarle & to their heirs such rights priviledges & immunitys they may can or shall lawfully claim possess hold or enjoy by virtue of the great deed of Grant from the late Lords Proprietors to the County of Albemarle under this great seal of this Province to the said County of Albemarle bearing date May the fourth 1668 Provided also that nothing in this Act contained shall extend or be construed to abridge lessen or take away any of the Priviledges & Rights aforesaid by the said great deed granted to the Inhabitts of the aforesaid County of Albemarle & their heirs etc.

And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid that no Grants of Land which shall be made by His Majesty his Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being shall be deemed a barr against the claim of any person or persons whatsoever or bodies Pollitick or Corporate saving against His Majesty his heirs & successors & against the late Lords Proprs Provided nevertheless that if no legal claim be made within five years after the date of His Majestys grant or the grant of the late Lords Proprs their Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being such Grantee or Grantees continuing during that time in quiet & peaceable possession of the Lands thereby granted such Grants are hereby declared to be good in Law & a perpetual barr against all persons claims or demands whatsoever saving to Minors who shall prosecute such their claim within three years after they shall come of age saving the rights also of persons beyond the seas who shall be allowed five years by themselves or Attorneys to prosecute the same Provided also that nothing in this Act contained shall Extend or be construed to alter or abridge the Right Honble Lord John Carteret his heirs, Exetrs, Admrs or Assigns or the said Lords Proprs or their heirs of any Estate right, title or interest whatsoever which have or hath been saved & reserved unto the said John Lord Carteret or to the late Lords Proprs or any of them in & by the Act intituled an Act for establishing an agreement with seven of the Lord Proprs of Carolina for the surrender of their title & interest in that Province to His Majesty nor to receive or enlarge any Estate or right or interest whatsoever in the said Lords Proprs in any of them their or any of their heirs of in & to the Provinces, territories aforesaid or any part thereof which they or any of them have granted & conveyed as aforesaid to any person or persons whatsoever or

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which they have surrendered to His Majesty by virtue of the last herein before recited Act. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesd that all persons seized or possest of any land granted by His Majesty his Govr or Comdr in Chief for the time being within this Province (which have not already been clear'd & cultivated) shall be obliged to settle & cultivate them in the manner following, that is to say, every owner or possessor of such lands shall within three years after passing this Act clear & inclose three Acres of every hundred he is so seized & possesst of or in lieu thereof shall upon each tract or parcell of Land he possesses build one sufficient & inhabitable house and shall put on at least five head of Cattle for every five hundred acres & so in proportion for a greater or lesser quantity of acres on the said land & all persons who after the passing of this Act shall obtain grants of Land shall within three years after the date of the said grants be obliged to cultivate or put on five head of Cattle & build one sufficient & habitable house & in case of neglect the said grants to be null & void & the lands thereby granted to revert to his Majesty Provided always that nothing in this Act shall be construed, Deemed adjudged or taken to invalidate or set aside any grant or patent for land passed under the Seal of the late Lords Proprs either in England or this Province so as such grant or pattent is already registered or shall be tendered to be registered within the time limited within this Act. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesd that all the Arrears of Quit rents now due or that shall become due to His Majesty his heirs & successors shall be paid to the Receiver Generall in silver in the Proclamation standard or in gold equivalent thereto or in paper Bills of Credit of this Province or in such Comoditys thereof as in this Act is hereafter provided & for the better ascertaining the value of such bills of Credit & the proportion they do or shall bear to Proclamation money. Be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that the said exchange shall be regulated Yearly by the Governor the two Senior Members of Councill the Attorney Gen11 the Receiver Gen11 & the Auditor Gen11 (for the time being) or their Deputys. The Speaker of the Lower House of Assembly & six other members appointed by the said House or the Majority of them Provided if such Majority as shall be an equall number of the Committee of Burgesses & of the officers of the Crown present & for the appointment of the said Committee of Burgesses.

Be it Enacted by the Authority aforsd that the House of Burgesses in each Session of Assembly shall nominate & appoint six of their Members who together with the Speaker shall continue & remain a Committee on the part of the People untill the next Session of Assembly after such

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appointment for settling the equivalent in manner Aforesd any prorogation or dissolution of the General Assembly notwithstanding & in case of the death of any of the said Committee of Burgesses between the two Sessions of Assembly the survivors of the Committee are hereby empowered to Elect any other Burgess of the preceeding Assembly in room of the person Dead, which person so elected shall have the same power as if nominated by the Assembly for settling the Equivalent.

And all the persons concerned in fixing the said Exchange shall be obliged before they give their Opinion to swear and subscribe the following Oath I A B. do solemnly swear that in ascertaining the proportion betwixt the value of the Bills of Credit of this Province & Proclamation money I will give my opinion according to truth & as the Exchange at present takes place in Trade & that to the best of my knowledge I will in this Affair do justice betwixt His Majesty & his Subjects. So help me God.

And be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that His Majestys Quit Rents shall be paid annually in the County of Albemarle in the month of January & in the County of Bath in the month of February & that the Receiver General shall give proper notice at least one month before-hand of the different days on which he will attend at the different Precincts & at the Places in this Act mentioned. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforsd that all Arrears of Quit rents now due or which hereafter shall become due to His Majesty his heirs & successors shall be paid to the Receiver Generall or such Collectors as shall be appointed to receive the same in silver at the Proclamation standard or in Gold equivalent thereto or in paper Bills of Credit of this Province at the Exchange as regulated by this Act or in such Comoditys & at such several respective Prices hereinafter rated & exprest Hemp merchantable at 3 pence per pound Flax merchantable at four pence per pound Rice merchantable at ten shillings per hundred Tobacco eight shillings & four pence per hundred Drest Deer skins at two shillings & six pence per pound. And be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that the Quit rents which hereafter shall become due to His Majesty shall be paid at the respective Court houses of the Precincts where such lands lye & at the several places hereafter mentioned, that is to say, At the Court House in Currituck in the Court house in Pasquotank, at the Court House in Pequimmons, at the Court House in Edenton for Bartie and Edgcomb at Out Law's landing upon Chowan at a place called the Old Plantation upon Coshia River & at Killingsworth landing on Morratuck River, for Terrill & Mr Leighs at the mouth of Kindericks Creek, for Beaufort at Bath Town for Hyde at Mrs Websters, for Craven at Newbern Town for Carteret Precinct at

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Beaufort Town, for Onslow at the Court House for New Hanover at New Town & for Bladen at the Court House, & all & every person or persons so carrying his rents shall and may retain in his own hands for his charge of carrying to the said places ten per cent for ten miles & under fifteen per cent for all above ten miles & under Twenty per cent for all above Twenty miles, & because it may so happen that it may be more convenient for many persons to pay their Quit rents at other Places than in their Precinct where their lands lye Be it Enacted by the Authority aforesd that it shall & may be lawfull for any person to pay his Quit rents at any of the Places before in this Act mentioned, & the Collector or Receiver appointed for every Place as aforementioned shall receive such Quit rents as are tendered unto him & such Collectors receipts shall be sufficient as if the same had been paid in the Precinct where the land lyes. And be it Enacted that the rents of such Lands as have already been granted or that hereafter shall be granted by His Majesty shall become due only from the date of the Pattent by which the said lands were granted. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesd that in Case any Person or persons shall be in his Arrears to His Majesty for any quit rents or parts of Quit rents, the Receiver Generall or any person by him appointed shall enter into the Lands of the Defaulter & distrain & the proceedings thereon shall be according to the Laws, statutes & usages of England, & if it shall so happen that any Person shall be in the Arrear of Quit rents for the space of five years, & no distress can be found on the Land for which such Quit rent is due that then on inquisition & office found the said Land shall revert to his Majesty his heirs & Successors.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesd that no Rice, Corn or other grain whilst in the sheaf or ear either in the field or barn, shall be lyable to any Distress for Quit rents or other rents whatsoever till threshed out, nor Negros or other slaves, nor Wagons, Carts or Carriages, loaden or unloaden going in the Kings High Road or Private Path to or from a landing, nor horses or oxen drawing the same, nor the loading so carryed or drawn, nor any goods in Boats, Perriangurs or other Vessels on the water, nor horses nor oxen of the Plow on any Plantation where other horses or Cattle are shewn or delivered, nor mills nor other Plantation tools or utensils, or Canoes, boats or Perriangurs belonging to the owner or any other person when other sufficient distress is shewn or produced, nor shall any distress be severed & drove or carryed to more than one place to put the parties to charge.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforsd that in case any distress & sale as aforesd shall be made by colour of this Act or otherwise

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of any Quit rents pretended to be due & in arrear, or if any distress or distresses shall be taken & sold contrary to the true intent & meaning of this Act that then the owner of such goods so distrained & sold as aforesaid his Exers or Admr shall & may by action of trespass or upon the Case to be brought against the Person or persons by whose Warrant or Command such distress was made any or either of them, his or their Exers or Admrs recover double the value of the goods or chattels so distrained & sold together with full cost of suit And whereas many original Pattents or grants from the late Lords Proprietors may be lost or destroy'd Be it therefore Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that the Records or such Patents or grants or the abstracts of them recorded in the Secretarys Office or the Exemplification of the records of such Pattents or Grants shall be as good, as if the originals were produced, and that they may be pleaded & given in evidence as well as if the originals were in being. Provided always that such abstracts or Exemplification shall be Registered or tendered to be registered in the office of the Auditor Generall or his Deputy as before is in this Act directed; And that if the Quit rents reserved on such Pattents or Grants cannot be discovered in the Records that then the Grantee shall be chargeable with the highest Quit rent that was actually reserved & made payable to the late Lords Proprietors in the County where such Land lyes.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that if upon any survey hereafter to be made of any Persons Land it shall appear that there are more Acres of Land contained within the Bounds of his plot, or the marked Trees or stakes, specified in the said Plot than is Exprest in the Grand Deed, by which any person holds the same, that then the Person Claiming such overplus as being contained or supposed to be contained within the Bounds of his plot or marked Trees, shall be preferred to a new Grant thereof, before any Person whatsoever at the same Quit rent reserved on his Original Grant or Deed, And if it appears that any Person hath a less number of Acres than by his Grant or Deed is Expressed; that then & in such case he shall pay Quit rent for no more land, that what he shall appear to be possessed of on such new survey, anything herein contained to the contrary thereof in anywise notwithstanding. And where there is a less Quantity of Acres of Land in any Persons Grant or Deed than his Grant or Deed expresses, such Person shall be intituled to a new Grant of Vacant Land to make up the Deficiency, at the same Quit rent that is reserv'd on such Grant or Deed.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all Arrears of Quit rents that were due & owing to the late Lords Proprietors or his Majesty on the twenty fifth day of July in the Year of Our Lord

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1729 by the Inhabitants of this Province, be and are hereby remitted and discharged.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that any Officer or Officers or other Persons who shall at any time be sued or impleaded for putting this Act in Execution, it shall be lawfull for such Officer or Officers, Person or persons, to plead the Genll Issue & give this Act, and the especial matter thereof in Evidence and that this Act shall be held deemed and taken as a Publick Act.

A Bill for providing his Majesty a Rent Roll, for securing His Majesty's Quit rents for the Remission of Arrears and for quieting the Inhabitants in their Possessions etc.

9th October 1736. Read the first time & passed

Per order
J. PRATT Clk Genll Assbly.

Sent by Mr Hodgson, Mr Montgomery

October 11th 1736 Read in the Upper House the first time and Rejected By Order

J. ANDERSON Clk
.

(Endorsed)

Referr'd to in Govr Johnston's Letter of October 15th 1736.