My Lords, [of the Board of Trade]
On the death of Nathaniel Rice Esqre late President and Commander in Chief of this Province, it is become my Duty as next in Council, to
I was within a few miles of Wilmington where Mr. Rice died on the 29th of last month and immediately caused the Members of His Majesty's Council to be summoned, and accordingly James Murray, James Hasell, James Innes, John Rutherford, John Swan and Lewis De Rosset Esqrs being all the Members that could then attend, met me in Council the 1st of this month where I and they qualified by taking the Oaths by Law appointed.
His Majesty's Commission to the late Governor Johnston, the royal Instructions to him dated the 3rd August 1733, and two other Instructions from their Excellencies the Lords Justices dated the 16th April last were immediately delivered to me. These I shall carefully peruse & observe. And in order to carry into execution that most necessary Instruction of their Lordships for the revisal of our Laws, a work of time & pains much wanted here, I have by the advice of His Majesty's Council prorogued the General Assembly to the 27th of March next then to meet at Newbern.
By the advice of His Majesty's Council I have appointed James Murray Esqre Secretary and Clerk of the Crown in the room of Mr. Rice who held these Offices till he died.
The publick Papers have come thro' so many hands of late that I am the less surprised at so few of them being delivered to me; but I shall cause strict search to be made and the Papers of the late Governor & President by their executors for such as yet remain that I may have all the directions necessary for promoting His Majesty's service and obeying your Lordships commands.