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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Letter from Thomas Child to the Board of Trade of Great Britain
Child, Thomas, fl. 1745-1767
January 08, 1753
Volume 05, Pages 15-16

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[B. P. R. O. North Carolina. B. T. Vol. 12. C. 16.]

My Lords, [of the Board of Trade]

I received a letter from Mr. Pownall, dated 17th Novr 1752, signifying to me your Lordships commands, “that I should acquaint you whether I had any intentions of returning to North Carolina and, if I had, when I proposed to depart &c.” In obedience to which I must beg leave to assure your Lordships that I am, and ever shall be, most ready to obey your Lordships Orders; and more particularly those which prescribe to me my Duty in an office that I have the honour to hold under His Majesty's royal Commission, but in order to give a particular Answer to the said letter, I must crave leave previously to represent to your Lordships the occasion of my return to England, and the business which has detained me here.

My Lords on the 28th February 1745 I had the honour to receive His Majesty's Commission of that date appointing me Attorney General of the Province of North Carolina, in which Commission there is inserted a Grant to me of all Sallaries perquisites and profits appertaining to the said Office; and in consequence of which Commission I soon repaired to the said Province, and took upon me the execution thereof.

My Lords, there are annexed to the said Office two yearly sallaries, one of £80. and the other 30£ sterling payable (as all other appointments in that Province are) out of His Majesty's royal revenue of Quit rents, arising in the said Province of North Carolina. Now altho' I did at a very great expence, and at frequent hazards of my life, continue to execute the said Office, I have never yet been able to get one farthing of my said sallaries.. Occasioned (as I verily believe) by the insufficiency of the fund of Quit rents to answer the said Appointment, and by the mismanagement or neglect of the Officers in forming a good rent roll, and for want of proper Laws to regulate and enforce the payment of Quit rents. So that my said Sallaries, as granted to me by His Majesty's said Commission of February 1745, are wholly in arrear from that time to this, as appears by the late Governr Johnstons testimonial and Certificate thereof, under his hand and the great Seal of the said Province produced herewith.

My Lords, being in great want of my aforesaid Dues, I applied to the said late Governor Johnston for his leave to return to England, in order to sollicit payment of the same, or to procure some other kind of satisfaction

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in lieu thereof; as will also appear by the aforementioned Testimonial and certificate And as to any prejudice that may arise to His Majesty's Affairs &c. I took care to procure a very able gentleman of the Bar in that Province, to act for me in my absence, and whom the late Govr the more readily commissioned for that purpose as the said Gentleman had before that for a long time executed the said Office of Attorney General in a former Vacancy. So that, I hope, no manner of prejudice can or will arise to His Majesty's service by means of my Absence.

My Lords, from my particular knowledge of the Affairs of North Carolina, I am certain that, unless some method be found out of easing His Majesty's said revenue of Quit rents, pro tempore, of the Governr's Sallary of £1000. per annum, neither the said annual charges thereupon, nor the Officer's said arrears will have any chance of being discharged within these twenty years at least. A Hardship that will bear heavy upon, and be very grievous to many Gentlemen, that have acted for many years in His Majesty's Service, under great difficulties and at their own expense.

All which is most humbly submitted to your Lordships consideration. &c.

THOMAS CHILD

Stafford row near Buckingham Gate Westmr 8th January 1753.