To the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
The Memorial of James Abercromby Esqre Agent for the Province of North Carolina, & for Gabriel Johnston Esqre Governor of the said Province. Sheweth,
That your Memorialist during his Attendance before your Lordships while a Letter from his Grace the Duke of Bedford relating to complaints against Gabriel Johnstone Esqre Governor of North Carolina was under consideration your Memorialist took notice of several verbal Allegations which were then Exhibited to your Lordships by one Corben Morris and by other Persons who appeared before your Lordships as your Memorialists believes at the Instance of the said Corben Morris, which said Allegations then and there so Exhibited did tend not only to impeach the Proceedings of the Legislature of that Province together with Governor Johnstones Administration as productive of Grievances to his Majesties Subjects in that Province, but also to charge personally the said Governor Johnstone (amongst other things) with a Crime of the most detestable nature and particularly odious to him the said Gabriel Johnstone as Governour of that Province, vizt, disaffection to his Majesty's person and Government.
That the said Governor Johnstone is thereby most sensibly injured but as [at] the same time confident of your Lordships justice he pleads this fundamental maxim of the Constitution (vizt) that the greater crimes are, so much the less, are they to be presumed and taken by construction or conjectures and thinks it his particular good fortune in the present case, while he stood accused secretly to have received the strongest mark of his Majesty's goodness that those who act in authority under him are not to be deprived of his royal favour, nor condemned by others unheard, for from such principles of humanity and natural Justice your memorialist
That these Accusations have taken rise here (in England) and being exhibited before your Lordships by a person no ways concerned in that Province nor in the least aggrieved by the proceedings of the Governor or Legislature of North Carolina, nor any publick Documents from that province so much as called for in order to support such complaints it cannot therefore be expected that those who are themselves ignorant of such accusations should or could have instructed their Agent so as now to make a proper Defence in their behalf nor can he the said Agent (so lately introduced into that service) of himself Answer to Matters wherein he has not the smallest belief or knowledge.
That for these reasons and more particularly for that your memorial has not in this Case been at liberty to object to the Informality & Irregularity of the Accusers. Notwithstanding whereof as your Lordships Report for ought that your Memorialist knows or can any ways be informed of in point of practice may in the present case prove final and thereby the said Governor Johnstone and Legislature of North Carolina become deprived of the ordinary course of Defence in cases of complaints of a publick nature relating to the Plantations by a Litigation of Reports from your Lordships Board before his Majesty in Council your Memorialist is thereupon advised with your Lordships permission to make his Defence in behalf of his constituents before that the Report is made absolute by your Lordships Board and in order to enable him to make such Defence now moves your Lordships that copies of such Articles of Accusation as have been exhibited against the Legislature and the Governor of North Carolina so far as the same have been admitted by your Lordships to be grounds for complaint against such Legislature & Governor may
All which your Memorialist in behalf of the said Legislature and the said Governor of North Carolina submits to your Lordships Consideration.