Charles Berry Esqr produced His Majestys Mandamus for swearing and admitting him the said Charles Berry a Member of His Majestys Council for this province And the said Charles Berry having accordingly this day taken the oaths required by Law for the qualification of Public Officers, And having also repeated and subscribed the Test as required by Law, taken the Oath appointed to be taken as a Member of Council, He the said Charles Berry is accordingly admitted a member of His Majesty's Council and took his Seat at the Board accordingly.
Read Sundry Warrants from No 1 to No 123 Inclusive and Sundry Patents from No 1 to No 82 Inclusive which were Granted
Read the Petition of Daniel Simmons setting forth That he is possessed of a Tract or parcel of Land in Craven County On the No side of Trent River Granted by patent to Colo Maurice Moore 14th October 1722 &c said by patent to contain 150 Acres. That being apprehensive there is more Land contained within the Bounds of said
Ordered that a Warrant of Resurvey issue on the Land mentioned in the said Petition agreeable to the Original Bounds and Evidence be produced to the Deputy Surveyor to ascertain the same, And That on the return thereof the several Depositions or Evidence appear before the Governor and Council in Order that they may proceed thereon.
Read the Petition of Furnifold Green and James Green setting forth that their father Furnifold Green obtained a patent for 1700 Acres of Land in Craven County on the No side of Neuse River bearing date the 10th day of October 1707 which Patent the petitioners prayed to have Recorded (Judging the Old Record to be Defaced)
Ordered that the said Petition be Rejected and That the present Record of said Patent be deemed sufficient.
Read the Petition of Matthew Byrne praying a Warrant of Resurvey of a Tract of Land in Bladen County situate on the So Wt side of the No Wt Branch of Cape Fear River on the Lower side of William Hawksworths land which said Land has been purchased by said Byrne from Wm Lord.
Ordered that a Resurvey thereof be made in Order to ascertain the lines of the said Land and the number of Acres contained within the same agreeable to the prayer of the said Petition and that the same be returned to the next Court of Claims.
Came on to be tryed the Complaint against Robert Jones Esquire Attorney General By William and Elizabeth Swindel and William Branch agreeable to Order of the 23rd February last a number of Depositions in behalf of both parties having been read the said Robert Jones Esqr being present made his Defence.
Swindel and Wife
Robt Jones Junr Attorney General
Branch Agt the same.
On these two Complaints His Excellency Delivered it as the unanimous opinion of himself and the Council That Mr. Attorney General had in the most clear and full manner exonerated himself from the matters of complaint exhibited against him And that he had as far as appeared to them, Demeaned himself in his Office with uprightness and propriety.
Ordered therefore that he be acquitted and stand discharged from both the said Complaints.
Heard several Causes as pr Chancery Docket
Read Sundry Patents from No 83 to No 108 Inclusive and also Sundry Warrants from No 124 to No 144 Inclusive which were passed.
Read the petition of John Dreading praying to have a patent for 100 Acres of Land in Craven County Recorded Granted
Read the Petition of John Stevens praying for a Resurvey of Lands in Bladen County Granted
Read the Petition of William Gibson praying for a Resurvey Granted
Read Sundry Patents as pr Patent Book.
Read the Memorial of John Rutherford Receiver General of this Province in the following words
To His Excellency Arthur Dobbs Esquire, Captain General and Governor in Chief in Council
The Memorial of John Rutherford His Majestys Receiver General for the said Province
That for some time past your Memorialist hath been imployed in the Auditors business forming a Rent Roll and so far as they are to be found upon Records in the Secretarys Office hath obtained accounts of all the Patents Granted in his Majestys district till the Beginning of this present Land Office excepting for the County of Bladen to the year 1752, from which time the said Receiver has kept an Account of all the patents granted in that County as well as of the Lands Granted in the other Counties in His Majestys district, The Account of the Patents for Bladen County till 1752 having been Lost the Deputy Secretary hath undertaken at the Expence of the Crown to make out that Account for Bladen anew which when done, The Rent Roll so far as relates to the List of Patents will be Compleate.
Your Memorialist humbly Represents several difficulties and obstructions in the Execution of His Office of Receiver General
1st The many original Counties in which Lands have been granted, having been divided and parts set off into other Counties by other names, it is extremely difficult in this extended Country to discover in which County the Lands now lie.
2d The Clerks of the Courts with whom Wills are filed neglect to Transmit to the Secretaries office as by Law they are required extracts of the Devises of Lands made By such Wills.
3d The Registers of the several Counties neglect and indeed refuse to transmit to the Secretaries Office extracts of the Mesne Conveyances Recorded with them altho your Memorialist hath offered to pay them for such service
4th Few of His Majestys Tenants voluntarily discover to the Auditor or your Memorialist the Quantity and scituation of the Lands they severally hold.
5th Many Tenants are not to be found
6th On many Lands no distress is to be found
7th And when distress is proposed to be made the Tenants threaten the Deputy Receivers with the utmost Rigor of the Law if they receive a shilling more than is due which said Receivers not knowing when the Last payments were made may very innocently do
8th Under all these difficulties and several others which might be mentioned Your Memorialist and his Deputies can make but little progress in the Collection of His Majestys Rents.
Your Memorialist therefore humbly prays your Excellency to take the premises into consideration and to Grant such Relief and assistance to your Petitioner as the Law will admit until an Effectual Aid can be obtained by a Quit Rent LawSignedJOHN RUTHERFORD
25th April 1764.
Which Memorial His Excellency with Advice and Consent of Council Ordered to be Delivered to Robert Jones Esquire Attorney General to Report his Opinion thereon Which he accordingly did in the following words
In obedience to an Order of His Excellency Arthur Dobbs Esqr Governor of North Carolina in Council, I have considered the memorial of the Honble John Rutherford Esqr Receiver General of the Province aforesaid the 25th Inst and am of opinion That as to the matters mentioned in the second Article of the said Memorial there is no Law whereby the County Court Clerks are compelled to transmit to the Secretarys Office Extracts of Deeds or Wills in their Offices whereby Lands are Conveyed.
As to the third Article It is the Duty of every Register to furnish the Receiver General on request with such Extracts on receiving payment of the Legal fees However there is no Law that subjects him to a penalty for not doing of it; But am humbly of Opinion that a refusal or neglect so to do is a forfeiture of His Office and Subjects him to a removal
As to the Fourth Article There is no way of Compelling the Tenants to make such discovery But by a Bill in Chancery
As to the sixth Article where no distress is to be found a Remedy may be had by Action of Debt brought in behalf of His Majesty
As to article seventh in cases where the precise demand cannot be ascertained a distress cant be taken with safety because if it should afterwards appear That the distress was taken for more than was due The Officer will be liable to the Action of the partie: But in such cases it will be most advisable to bring an Action of Debt which is maintainable against him who has the Legal Estate of the Land for all Arrears due in which Action The Crown may recover for what appears on trial to be due
Which is submitted to His Excellency and the Honorable members of His Majestys Council byTheir most Obedt Humble ServantROBERT JONES Junr
The Memorial of John Rutherford Esqr Receiver General of His Majestys Quit rents and Mr. Attorney Generals opinion thereupon were taken into Consideration and Ordered That the Secretary do Order the Clerks of the Several County Courts within this Province to Return to His Office according to the form he shall prescribe, on or before the first day of August next an Abstract of all the Devises of Land made by Wills Returned into their Offices severally of which Returns hath not already been made into the Secretarys Office under pain of being removed from their Office in case of refusal. That the Secretary do likewise transmit to the Registers of the several Counties His Excellencys Order for them, To return to the Secretarys Office on or before the first day of August next an Abstract according to a form to be prescribed to them of all Deeds and Mesne Conveyances Registered in their Respective Offices of which Returns hath not already been made into the Secretarys Office under pain of being removed from their Offices
That the Secretary give assurances to the several Clerks and Registers that they shall be paid by the Receiver General for the Services they shall perform in obedience to this Order, And the said Receiver is required for such service to pay at the rate of four pence for each Extract. That the Chief Justice do in like manner Direct and require the Clerks of the Several Superior Courts to return an Abstract of the Devises By the Wills filed in their several Offices for which they shall be paid as aforesaid. That the Receiver General do give the Attorney General or Other able Council a list of such Tenants as are in Arrear for Rent and proper to be prosecuted for the same in order that the said Attorney may bring suit against them in the Superior Court.