In obedience to his Majesty's commands signifyed to me by your Lordship's letter, bearing date the eleventh of December 1766. No. 1. I have the honor to send inclosed the mode of granting lands in this province, with the fees that are taken in the Land office as in No. 4. The fee taken by the Governor for signing the warrant of survey, is ascertained by the number of acres in the warrant. This fee has been established by custom, before and ever since Mr Dobbs's administration, the Bill in 1748 not having made any provision for the Governor's executing the warrant.
The copy of Mr Palmer the Surveyor General's letter, will explain the manner of making a proposal for land, and the steps taken previous to complete a title to the same, all which appears from experience, to be extremely adapted to the circumstances of this country and its inhabitants. I esteem it the best regulated office in the province. Your Lordship will observe, that the crown of the great seal
Their objection to having their deeds on parchment is, they say the insects and little vermin peculiar to hot climates destroying it sooner than on paper, which I believe to be the case, where the parchment is not kept in some dry place, secure from air, therefore my Lord, as I found this the practice when I begun my administration, and as these patents are daily construed to be good titles in the courts of law in this province, I have continued the same.
We labour under very considerable inconveniences, for want of the royal small seal: if his Majesty would be graciously pleased to order one to this province, I beg leave to submit it, whether the small seal might not be affixed to every grant of land for 640 acres and under, reserving the great seal to every grant of a greater quantity of land, in virtue of his Majesty's special warrant.
The other part of his Majesty's requisitions, in your letter of the eleventh of December last, I shall transmit as I can procure them. The Secretary is busily employed in copying out the patents that are recorded in his office, a work that will be attended with a length of time, and considerable extra expence, which I have promised to recommend to his Majesty to be allowed.