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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Minutes of the Lower House of the North Carolina General Assembly
North Carolina. General Assembly
February 23, 1744 - March 08, 1744
Volume 04, Pages 719-732

[B. P. R. O. North Carolina. B. T. Vol. 28.]

North Carolina—ss.

At an Assembly begun and held at Edenton the fifteenth day of March in the sixteenth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King (and so forth) and in the year of our Lord One Thousand seven Hundred and forty two [1743] and from thence continued by several Prorogations to the Twenty first day of February in the seventeenth year of the reign of our said sovereign Lord George (and so forth) and in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and forty three [1744] at Bath Town, and then further continued to the twenty third day of February aforesaid

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in the year aforesaid at Bath Town aforesaid being the fourth Session of this Present Assembly.

Members Present.
Samuel Swann Esqr Speaker.
Mr George Powers
Mr Mcrora Scarbrough
Mr Joseph Sutton
Mr John Barrow
Mr Richard Nixon
Mr Samuel Sinclare
Mr Caleb Wilson
Mr Wyriot Ormond.
Mr John Benbury.
Mr William Wilson
Mr William Faris
Mr Christopher Guin.
Mr John Swann
Mr Christopher Reed.
Mr William Kenneday.
Mr. John Dawson
Mr Edmond Smithwick
Mr Joseph Anderson.
Mr William Gardiner.
Mr John Starkey.
Mr William Burgess.
Mr Edward Phelps.
Mr William Brice
Mr James Craven.

The Writt for ellecting a Member to serve in this present Assembly for New Hanover County in the room of Mr John Porter was returned.

Pursuant to which return Mr George Moore appeared, took the Oaths appointed by Law for his Qualification subscribed the Test and took his seat in the House accordingly.

Mr Joseph Anderson and Mr Wilson waited on his Excellency the Governour to acquaint him the House was met.

His Excellency the Governour was pleased to send a Messenger to this House thereby commanding their immediate Attendance in the Council Chamber.

John Harlow messenger to this House appeared.

Benj: Talbot formerly door-keeper to this House not appearing Andrew Conner was appointed door-keeper in the room of the said Benjn Talbot.

The House in a full Body waited on his Excellency the Governour in the Council Chamber when his Excellency was pleased to make the following Speech (to wit.)

Gentlemen

There is no occasion for my saying much to you at present you are already apprized of the reasons of your meeting at this time

The time prescribed by Law for sinking your Bills of Currancy is now approaching and it will require the greatest care and attention to manage this affair with that regard to your Interest of your Constituants to common Honesty and the publick faith which I hope you will always observe in all your proceedings.

There is another affair Gentlemen which it is high time for you to think seriously of and that is a proper and convenient place for holding his Majesties Courts, for fixing the publick Offices and transacting the Business of the Colony.

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When all the parts of this Province except such as were contiguous to the Virginia Line was but thinly inhabited, when your dealings were but small and navigation inconsiderable, when the soil of the whole province was the property of the Crown, there was then no great hardships in continuing the seat of Government where it has been for several years past in allowing the Officers to keep the publick Records in their private Houses and giving their attendance twice or thrice in a year at Publick times. But now Gent when the Province is peopled quite up to the head of Pedee River which was formerly reconed in South Carolina when the number of the people towards that Colony are so much increased when your commerce and navigation are so considerable augmented and so large a portion of the Lands in the Neighbourhood of Virginia are no longer his Majesties property.

In these circumstances it is highly necessary to appoint a place nearer the centre of the Country where his Majestie's Courts may be held where Offices may be built for keeping the publick registers and Officers obliged to give constant attendance for the dispatch of Business without hurry or confusion.

As I am fully satisfied from my own experience that this Country can never be brought to a proper Settlement till something of this kind is done I hope you will now set about it in good earnest.

The House returned Ordered the same be read Which was read accordingly And Mr William Faris Mr Joseph Anderson and Mr John Swann were appointed to prepare an Address to said Speech and report the same to the House.

Mr Thomas Lee one of the Members for Tyrell County appeared.

The House adjourned till to-morrow 9 oClock


Fryday the 24th February 1743. [1744] The House met according to adjournment.

Read the Petition of John Doyel of Edgecomb County. Praying to be exempt from paying levies & taxes, which was Granted

Read the petition of James Blount of Tyrrell County Praying to be exempt from working on high ways and bearing arms which was Granted

Mr William Faris reported from the Committee appointed to prepare an address to his Excellency the Governour that the Committee had prepared the same.

Ordered the same be read, which was read as follows (To wit)

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To his Excellency Gabriel Johnston Esqr Governour and Commander in Chief in and over the Province of North Carolina

The humble address of the General Assembly of said Province.

May it please your Excellency

We are so fully convinced of the reasons of our Meeting at this time from the many publick affairs which call for our closest attention we are resolved to sett about them with all possible assiduity.

The sinking of our currancy appears to us of the utmost consequence for the establishing the publick faith and discharging our Trusts as representatives of this Province but the want of Gold and Silver or some paper currancy lays us under the greatest difficulties how to accomplish it

We please ourselves with the hopes of your Excellencys agreeing to such measures as the necessity of the Colony requires. As you daily experience the many inconveniences for want of some specie or currancy, and it shall be our study to prepare such a Bill for this purpose as may give the best security for the publick faith.

The many inconveniences arising from the unsettled way in which the publick Offices and records have been kept are so strongly felt that we shall carefully consider of a proper place where the publick business may be transacted for the future without hurry and confusion, and as far as the publick debts already contracted and the difficulties attending the payment of publick Taxes will admit shall assist in building proper Offices for those purposes

SAM: SWANN. Speaker

Ordered the same be engrossed.

Mr John Swann moved that a Committee be appointed to examine, state and settle the publick accounts And the following persons were accordingly appointed (To wit) Mr John Swann, Mr Benj: Hill, Mr Joseph Anderson, Mr John Starkey and Mr James Craven

Mr James Craven moved that a Committee be appointed to examine and allow publick claims And the following persons were accordingly appointed (To wit) Mr Benj: Payton, Mr Thomas Lovick, Mr Samuel Sinclare Mr John Dawson and Mr Edmd Smithwick.

Ordered That the following message be sent to the Council (To wit)

May it please your Honours

We have appointed the following Gentlemen a Committee of this House to examine, state and settle the public [accounts] (To wit) Mr John Swann, Mr Joseph Anderson Mr Benj. Hill, Mr John Starkey and Mr James Craven

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And also the following Gentl to examine and allow publick claims (To wit) Mr Benjamin Payton Mr Thomas Lovick Mr Saml Sinclare Mr John Dawson and Mr Edmund Smithwick

In conjunction with such of your House as your Honours shall think fit to appoint

By order
SAM: SWANN Speaker.

Ordered That Mr Wyriot Ormond, Mr John Starkey Mr William Faris Mr James Castellaw, Mr Joseph Anderson, Mr James Barker, Mr John Hodgson, Mr James Craven and Mr William Wilson do prepare and bring in a bill for sinking the paper currency of this Province &c:

The House adjourned till 3 oclock

P. M: The House met according to adjournment

Mr Simon Bryan one of the Members for Pasquotank County, Mr Thomas Lee one of the Members for Tyrrell County, Mr John Pope one of the Members for Edgecomb County, Mr James Castellaw one of the Members for Bertie County, Mr Benjamin Payton one of the Members for Beaufort County appeared

Mr Joseph Anderson and Mr William Wilson waited on his Excellency the Governour to acquaint him the House was ready to wait on him with their address.

His Excellency was pleased to return for answer that he required their immediate attendance

The House in a full Body waited on his Excellency the Governour in the Council Chamber and Mr Speaker presented to his Excellency the foregoing address.

Then his Excellency was pleased to return this House his thanks for their address

Mr Henry White and Mr Willm Leary two of the Members for Currituck County appeared

Read the Petition of the Inhabitants of Pequimons County complaining of great hardships they lye under by the port act formerly ratified at Wilmington—praying relief and so forth

Mr William Faris moved that a Committee be appointed to prepare a Bill for a General Inspection of Commodities in this Province and also to appoint proper places for the lading and unlading goods and Merchandizes (To wit) Mr William Faris, Mr James Castellaw, Mr William Wilson and Mr Mcrora Scarbrough Mr John Hodgson Mr Thomas Barker and Mr Samuel Sinclare

Resolved That if the Committee above said have occasion to send for any person or papers to attend the said Committee that on application of any of the Members of the said Committee to Mr Speaker he shall issue his Warrant to bring such persons or papers before them

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Received the following message from the Council (To wit)

Mr Speaker and Gentlemen

In answer to your message regarding the appointment of the Committee of Publick Claims & amounts to joyn such of this House as we thought fit.

The House have appointed the Honble Eleazar Allen, Esqre and William Forbes Esqre on accounts and the Honble Mathew Rowan & Roger Moore Esqrs on the Claims to joyn those of your House.


Dated Febry 24th 1743. [1744]

The House adjourned till To-morrow 8 oclock.


Saturday the 25th Febry 1743. [1744] The House met according to adjournment.

The House adjourned till Monday 10 oclock


Monday the 27th Febry 1743. [1744] The House met according to adjournment

Mr Marmaduke Norfleet one of the Members for Pequimons County appeared

Mr Benjamin Hill one of the Members for Bertie County appeared

Mr Thomas Barker moved for leave to bring in a Bill to repeal such part of the Port Law as relates to that part of the province formerly called Albemarle County

Ordered he have leave and that he prepare and bring in the same

Mr Faris moved that Mr George Moore be added to the Committee for publick claims.

Ordered. He be added thereto accordingly

Mr Barker moved that a Committee be appointed to prepare a Fee Bill

Ordered. That Mr John Hodgson, Mr James Craven, Mr John Starkey and Mr Wyriot Ormond do prepare and bring in the same.

Read the Petition of William Dennis of Northampton County Praying to be exempt from paying County Publick and Parish Taxes The same Granted

The House adjourned till 3 oclock

P. M: The House met according to adjournment

Mr James Castellaw moved for leave to bring in a Bill for making provision for the Members of the General Assembly.

Ordered he have leave accordingly and that he prepare and bring in the same.

Mr James Castellaw moved that a Committee be appointed to bring in a Bill for repealing the act Intituled an act for facilitating Navigation

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Ordered. That Mr James Barker, Mr John Hodgson Mr Mcrora Scarbrough Mr Joseph Anderson and Mr James Castellaw do prepare and bring in the same

Mr Craven moved that the absent Members be sent for in custody at their several and respective expence And that Mr Speaker issue his Warrant accordingly

Resolved That the absent Members be sent for in Custody and that Mr Speaker issue his Warrant for that purpose

The House adjourned till Tomorrow 8 oclock.


Tuesday the 28th of Febry 1743. [1744] The House met according to adjournment.

Read the Petition of John Chilly of Beaufort County Praying to be exempt from Working on the roads and bearing arms. The same Granted.

Mr John Swann reported from the Committee for examining stateing and settling the publick Accounts that the said Committee on examining reports and papers of former Committees thought it requisite that the following persons be sent for to the said Committee (to wit)

Mr Thomas Lowther, Mr Joseph Anderson, Mr Thomas Hunter Mr Hugh Merchant Mr John Tripp Mr James Wainright Samuel Johnston Esqre Mr Richard Eagles Mr Robert Walker.

Resolved. That the above persons be sent for in Custody of the Messenger and that Mr Speaker issue his Warrant accordingly

The House adjourned till 3 oclock

P. M: The House met according to adjournment.

The House adjourned till To-morrow 8 oclock


Wednesday the 29th Febry 1743. [1744] The House met according to adjournment

The House adjourned till 3 o'clock

P. M: The House met according to adjournment.

Mr Edmd Smithwick moved for leave to withdraw himself from the service of the House Monday next.

Ordered he have leave to withdraw himself accordingly

Mr Benjamin Payton moved that Mr William Wilson be added to the Committee of Publick Claims.

Ordered That he be added thereto accordingly.

Mr John Dawson moved for leave to bring in a Bill to erect a Town on Chowan River at Out Laws Landing in Bertie County

Ordered he have leave and that he prepare and bring in the same.

The House adjourned till to-morrow 8 oclock.

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Thursday the 1st of March 1743. [1744] The House met according to adjournment

The House adjourned till 3 oclock.

P: M: The House met according to adjournment.

Mr James Craven moved for leave to bring in a Bill to impower his Excellency the Governour to incorporate Edenton into a Citty and Corporation and so forth

Ordered he have leave and that he prepare and bring in the same.

Which Bill he read in his place and the same was sent to the Council

Mr Samuel Sinclare brought in a Bill for laying out the several Counties in this Province hereafter named into several Districts and to impower the several Commissioners therein named to make such New roads, to keep the roads in repair that are already made in such places and in such manner as the said Commissioners shall think convenient & so forth. Which he read in his place.

Ordered the same pass.

The House adjourned till 8 oclock to-morrow morning.


Fryday the second March 1743. [1744] The House met according to adjournment.

Mr Christian Reed moved for leave to bring in a Bill for an act to repeal an act for establishing ports of Delivery in the several parts of this Province. Ordered he have leave and that he prepare and bring in the same.

Mr Christian Reed brought in the above Bill which he read in his place.

Read the Petition of James Pearson of Craven County Praying to be exempt from Duties & paying Taxes. The same Granted.

Mr Thomas Lovick one of the Members for Carteret County appeared

The House adjourned till 8 oclock to-morrow morning


Saturday the 3rd March 1743. [1744] The House met according to adjournment.

Mr John Hodgson one of the Committee appointed for drawing a Bill for sinking the present Bills of Credit of this Province for discharging the publick debts and for making stamping and emitting a new Currancy of sixteen Thousand pounds equal in value to proclamation money, brought in the said Bill Which he read in his place.

Ordered the same pass and be sent to the Council.

Sent the above Bill to the Council by Mr William Faris Mr Thomas Barker Mr Benjamin Hill and Mr Joseph Anderson.

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Sent the road Bill to the Council By Mr Samuel Sinclare and Mr John Starkey

Mr Arthur Mabson one of the Members for Carterett County appeared.

Sent the Bill for repealing part of the delivering Port Law by Mr Christopher Reed and Mr Wilson

The House adjourned till Monday morning 8 oclock


Monday the 5th March 1743. [1744] The House met according to adjournment

Received from the Council the money Bill. Endorsed 5th March 1743 [1744] Read the first time and passed with Amendments

And also the following Message (to wit)

Mr Speaker and Gentlemen

We send down the Bill for sinking the present Bills of Credit (& so forth) read in our house the first time to which we have made no amendments saving the striking out the clause which relates to the payment of the Wages of the Council and House of Burgesses which we think very improper in any Bill of this kind

We likewise think the time limited for the sinking the publick Bills of credit is too long and the Tax for sinking them too small that five years for the first and two shillings proclamation for the last will be more equitable.

We are likewise of opinion that the scheme for raising a New Currency is in general very defective as it establishes no fund whereby the nominal value put upon the Bills can be ascertained and made sure to the possessors of them and if possessed in the form (would) we apprehend tend to the great hurt of the province rather than any advantage to it.


Monday March the 5th 1743. [1744]

Received the road Bill and also the Bill to repeal part of the Port Law from the Council. Endorsed 5th March 1743. [1744] Read the first time and passed.

Mr Thomas Barker brought in a Bill for defraying the expence of the province in their travelling to and from and attending at Assemblys. Which he read in his place. Ordered the same pass. Sent the said Bill to the Council by Mr William Kennedy and Mr James Castellaw.

Read the Corporation Bill and sent the same to the Council by the above two Gentlemen.

Read the second time the Bill to repeal part of the port Act and so forth and sent the same to the Council by the above two Gentlemen.

Read the Bill for sinking the present Bills of Credit.

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Mr John Hodgson moved that the house resolve into a Committee of the whole House to debate the subject matter in the said Bill contained-Which passed Nem: Cont:

The House resolved into a Committee of the whole house accordingly and unanimously chose Mr John Starkey Chairman.

Then proceeded to debate the matters in the same Bill contained and made several amendments therein.

Mr Speaker resumed the chair.

Mr Chairman reported that the Committee had proceeded on the said Bill and had made several amendments therein—which was read and agreed to by the whole House.

Mr Thomas Castellaw Treasurer of Bertie County resigned his said Office of Treasurer for said County.

Mr John Hodgson Treasurer of Chowan County resigned his said Office of Treasurer for said County.

The House adjourned for an hour

The House met according to adjournment

The House adjourned till to morrow 8 oclock.


Tuesday the 6th of March 1743. [1744] The House met according to adjournment.

Mr James Castellaw one of the Members for Bertie County exhibited the following complaint against Mr Merora Scarbrough to this House (to wit)

The underwritten James Castellaw a member of Bertie County humbly conceives it is a duty incumbent upon him as a member of this House to exhibit an article of complaint against Coll: Macrora Scarbrough one of the assistant Judges of the General Court of this Province, Judge, Member of Assembly and Treasurer of Pequimons County (to wit) he the said Coll: Macrora Scarbrough being intrusted by this Honourable House with the publick Treasury of that County and obliged to pay all the publick claims so far as the money of the said Treasury extended without any discount, yet the said Macrora Scarbrough (as the underwritten humbly conceives) to enrich himself upon the ruin of the publick Credit did in open violation to the orders of this House take and receive of sundry persons claims on the publick, at Twenty, thirty and forty per cent discount to the great hurt of the possessors of the said claims and tends very much to the breach of the publick faith, he therefore begs leave to produce to this Honble House such necessary evidences to support this charge which if made good he humbly submits to the Justice of this House whether such a high criminal who may imagine

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himself above the reach of inferior Courts and persons ought not only to be set aside being Treasurer of that County but also expelled as unworthy of being a member of this House (he also moves if these facts prove true) that his Excellency may be addressed by this Honble House (he also moves) to set him aside being assistant Judge from enjoying any post in this Government either civil or military.

JAMES CASTELLAW.

Mr Scarbrough moved that the merits of the said Petition be heard to-morrow morning.

Resolved the same be heard accordingly.

Sent the money Bill to the Council by Mr Benj: Hill and Mr John Starkey and also the following message (viz.)

Gentlemen of his Majesties Council.

We have considered your message sent down with the Bill for an act for sinking the present Bills of Credit of this Province (and so forth) but as you gave us no reason for your amendment of the clause wherein the surplus of the money raised by the Tax for sinking the present Bills of Credit and the Interest of the new currency applyed to the payment of the wages due and growing due to the members of the Council and General Assembly and other publick debts we cannot think of any to induce us to agree to your amendments

When we consider the circumstances of the Inhabitants of this Province we cannot agree to shorten the period of time for sinking the present Bills of Credit as we apprehend the laying a higher Tax for that purpose added to the Taxes already payable would near ruin our constituants

As to the last part of your message concerning the clause for emitting a new currency wherein you say that the scheme for that purpose is very defective as it establishes no fund whereby the nominal value put on those Bills can be ascertained and made sure to the possessors. We cannot find an examination that this scheme is any way defective in that particular as the Interest of the money taken out is to be yearly paid in, in gold, silver or deer skins, and the principal paid in and sunk at the several Periods in the said Bill mentioned either in currency or gold, silver, or deer skins, and should we make the payment of the principal more difficult to the takers up we are of Oppinion it would not be taken up at all and the publick thereby deprived of any benefit from it

By order
SAMl SWANN. Speaker

6th March 1743. [1744]

The House adjourned till 3 oclock.

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P: M: The House met according to adjournment

Mr James Summer one of the Members for Pequimons County appeared

The House adjourned for a quarter of an hour

The House met according to adjournment

Received the following message from the Council. (viz:)

Mr Speaker and Gentlemen

We observe your message of this day by Coll: Hill and Mr Starkey together with the Bill for sinking the present Bills of Currency that you have taken Occasion to alter your stile to address to this House by substituting the words Gentlemen of his Majesties Council in the place of those always heretofore used in all messages from your House to ours

As we would not willingly enter into any dispute with the House of Burgesses and not knowing whether this alteration was by order of the House or by mistake we desire you would satisfie us in this point that if the latter the message may be amended and then we shall proceed to answer it in such manner as the nature of it requires wherein we doubt not to give you full satisfaction


March 6th 1743 [1744]

The House adjourned till to-morrow 8 oclock


Wednesday 7th of March 1743. [1744] The House met according to adjournment.

Mr Macrora Scarbrough Treasurer of Pequimons County appeared at the Barr of this House and resigned the said office of Treasurer of said County

The House adjourned for a quarter of an hour.

The House met according to adjournment.

Sent the following message to the Council by Mr James Summer and Mr William Wilson (to wit)

Gentlemen of his Majesties Council

In answer to your message in relation to the altering of the stile of address in our message to your Honours, we are of opinion whatever may have been the method heretofore that the stile mentioned in our message was proper, especially when we consider his Majesties instructions and that it is what we have always made use of in the enacting part of our Laws.

As we are very desirous of doing the Business of the Publick are unwilling to enter into any dispute but we apprehend it was a mistake

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when in your Message you call this House the House of Burgesses this House being stiled by his Majesties Instructions and also in the Laws themselves the General Assembly.

By order
SAMl SWANN Speaker.

7th March 1743. [1744]

The House adjourned till 3 oclock.

P: M: The House met according to adjournment

Read the read Bill a second time and sent it to the Council by Mr John Swann and Mr George Moore.

Mr William Faris moved for leave to absent himself from the service of this House.

Ordered he have leave accordingly.

Mr John Barrow moved for leave to bring in a bill for appointing a place for holding the Superior Courts of Justice in this Province and settling the several publick offices in the same.

Ordered That the Committee consist of the following Gentlemen (to wit)

Mr Thomas Barker Mr John Hodgson Mr Wyriot Ormond Mr John Swann Mr John Barrow. And that they prepare and bring in the same.

The House adjourned till To-morrow 8 oclock.


Thursday the 8th of March 1743. [1744] The House met according to adjournment.

Mr Samuel Taylor one of the Members for Northampton county appeared.

Received from the Council the following message (to wit)

Mr Speaker and Gentlemen

Your message of yesterday by Mr Wilson and Mr Summer not being satisfactory has induced this House to the resolutions herewith sent you.

March 8th 1743. [1744] In the Upper House of Assembly.

Upon reading and considering the message of this morning sent up by Mr Summer and Mr Wilson this House came to the following resolutions. Nem: Con:

Resolved That it is the opinion of this House that the message received this morning from the House of Burgesses in answer to one of this House yesterday relateing to the alteration of stile used to this House is by no means satisfactory and that the said message of this morning is a continuation of the affront and indignity put upon this House yesterday

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Resolved That it is the opinion of this House that the Message of yesterday from the House of Burgesses to this House sent up by Mr Starkey and Mr Hill in which the usual stile of address was altered was intended and put on foot by some evil disposed persons to disturb the Harmony and good understanding that has hitherto subsisted between the two Houses thereby to serve some sinister end and obtain some extraordinary demand they may have in view.

Resolved That this House will not receive any Message from the House of Burgesses to transact publick Business with that House until satisfaction be given to this House for the said affront and indignity

By order of the Upper House
RICHARD LOVETT Clke

Upon reading and fully considering the message and resolves of yesterday sent from the Council to this House This House has resolved (Una Voce)

That the alteration of the stile of address from this House to the Council from may it please your Honours to that of Gentlemen of his Majesties Council in our message of the sixth instant in answer to their message sent down with the Bill for sinking the present Bills of Credit was not done with any design of affronting or offering any Indignity to them but was thought by this House to be most proper it being agreeable to his Majesties Instructions that they should be called the Council in the enacting part of our Laws.

Resolved That it is the opinion of this House that the Council have no just reason to believe that the alteration of the stile of address aforesaid was altered to affront them neither have they given or offered to give any reason to this House why it should not be altered

Resolved That the second resolve of the Council is a high affront to this House and a breach of the priviledges thereof and put on foot by some evil disposed persons to destroy the Harmony and good understanding that hath subsisted between the General Assembly and his Majesties honourable Council are Arbitrary and tend to subvert the Liberties and priviledges of this House as representatives of the people

His Excellency the Governour was pleased to command the immediate attendance of this House in the Council Chamber

The House in a full Body waited on his Excellency the Governour in the Council Chamber When his Excellency was pleased to dissolve this Assembly

Test

WILLm HERRITAGE Clerk Genl Assembly.