My Lords, [of the Board of Trade]
Having fully wrote to you by two Ships one of wch sailed from Ocacock Bar and the other from Cape Fear, wherein I have sent you several Papers Addresses and Memorials relative to the proceedings of this Assembly, and the Advantage of this Province, to wch I beg leave to refer.
I did not intend to trouble your Lordships any further until the Session of Assembly should be over, which is now coming to a happy conclusion, But as I hear a Ship is ready to sail from Virginia immediately, and I have received a pressing Address from the House of Assembly delivered by the Speaker at the Head of the House recommended to me to be laid before Your Lordships in order to have Your Approbation to lay it before his Majesty, I cou'd not neglect taking the present Opportunity of laying it before Your Lordships
Upon my coming over as I acquainted Your Lordships that I found it wou'd be prudent to suspend the Repeal of several of the Laws until the Conclusion of the first Session of Assembly, particularly about the Election of Members, the Courts of Justice, and the repealing the Acts for establishing several Counties and Towns as it wou'd delay the calling the first Assembly and put the Electors into Confusion and it wou'd take up a considerable time to prepare Charters, and in the unsettled State of the province & their present Divisions wou'd have had a very bad Effect, and as no Taxes had been levyed upon account of the one half of the Province denying the Validity of the late Laws, the other part also refused to pay, so that it was absolutely necessary for His Majesty's Service upon the present Emergency & French Invasion to lose no time in calling the
In the first place I am informed that all the Members chosen for the Countys & Towns which must be disfranchis'd by this Repeal must lose their Seats and can't be restored until the Charters are granted and they shall again be rechosen which will in fact occasion a Dissolution or vest the whole power of the Assembly in the few remaining Countys which might occasion a flame and again disunite the Province. I shant mention the reasons given in the address relative to the Rights of the Inhabitants of the several Towns to their purchases. I apprehend that if the Reasons they offer relative to the Charters for the Counties be fact, that the Counties can't be altered or subdivided after once the Inhabitants are Incorporated by the Charter without the Consent of all the Inhabitants, that it will be of very ill Consequence for I find by the Inconvenient laying out of Counties some of them being 100 miles in length, and some not above 18 or 20 broad others less, and from the largeness of the back or Western Counties, which towards the West have no determined Boundaries, there must, as the Inhabitants increase be frequent Subdivisions & Alterations as the Colony increases in Numbers, and therefore whatever favour his Majesty can shew consistent with his Prerogative I hope he will graciously grant to his faithful Subjects of this Province which he has allowed to the neighbouring Provinces and since his Majesty may condescend to wave has [his] prerogative at his pleasure I conceive he may comply with the Request of the Assembly for the time past, as they are willing and desirous to acknowledge his undoubted Right to make them by Charter at his pleasure, and he may give His Orders & Instructions to me to confirm the Towns by Charter, and give them further Priviledges of Fairs Markets &c without repealing the Laws which confirm their present possessions and purchases, and all future Countys to be erected subdivided or altered, may be allow'd by his Majesty's giving
I submit this to your Lordships Consideration and hope you will approve of my delaying to promulge the Repeal of this Law until I have his Majestys further commands upon it, as there will be no occasion for any Alteration until towards next Session, which I expect will not be till November next, before which time I shall have his Majestys and your Instructions upon it. I shall add no more but to let Your Lordships know that the Assembly have acted with great Temper prudence & Unanimity, and have testified a great Zeal for his Majesty's Service and Good of the Colony and therefore merit his Majestys Favour.
When the Assembly breaks up which I apprehend may be this Evening or on Monday at furthest, I shall lose no time in sending Your Lordships Copies of the most material Bills which require Your immediate Considerations and the others as soon as they can possibly be copied; but as it is expected the Ship can't wait or may be sail'd by the time this gets to Virginia, I must send it off this Day. I am with great Respect,