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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Instructions to Arthur Dobbs concerning the tenure of judges in North Carolina
George III, King of Great Britain, 1738-1820
December 09, 1761
Volume 06, Pages 591-592

[From MSS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
George R.

Additional Instruction for our Trusty and well Beloved Arthur Dobbs Esqre Governor of No Carolina in No America, and, in his absence to our Commander in Chief or to the President of our Council of our said Province for the time being Given, at our Court at St

-------------------- page 592 --------------------
James's the Ninth Day of December 1761 in the Second Year of our Reign.

Whereas Laws have been lately passed or Attempted to be passed in Several of our Colonies in America enacting that the Judges of the Several Courts of Judicature or other Chief Officers of Justice in the said Colonies shall hold their Offices, during good Behavior; And Whereas the Governors or other Chief Officers of Several others of our said Colonies have Granted Commissions to the Judges or other Chief officers of Justice; by which they have been empowered to hold their said Offices during good Behavior, Contrary to the express Directions of the Instructions given to the said Governors or other Chief Officers by us or by our Royal Predecessors; And Whereas it does not appear to us, that, in the present Situation and Circumstances of our said Colonies it would either be for the Interest or Advantage of the said Colonies, or of this our Kingdom of Great Britain that the Judges or other Chief officers of Justice, should hold their Officers, during good Behaviour; It is therefore our express Will and Pleasure that you do not upon any pretence whatever upon pain of being removed from your Government give your assent to any Act, by which the Tenure of the Commissions to be granted to the Chief Judges, or other Justices of the Several Courts of Judicature shall be regulated, or ascertained in any manner whatsoever; and you are to take particular care in all Commissions to be by you Granted to the said Chief Judges, or other Justices of the Courts of Judicature that the said Commissions are Granted, during Pleasure only, agreeable to what has been the Antient practice and usage in our said Colonies and Plantations.

G. R.