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Resolutions by the Virginia House of Burgesses, including circular letter from Peyton Randolph concerning taxation and trials in the American colonies
Virginia. General Assembly.; Randolph, Peyton, 1721-1775
May 16, 1769 - May 19, 1769
Volume 08, Pages 40-42

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Resolves of the Virginia House of Burgesses


Virginia 19th May 1769.

The House of Burgesses met on the 8th Instant: on the 16th they took into their serious consideration the state of this Colony, and in

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the course of their deliberations, being alarmed at the Distress in which all America is likely to be involved, came to several Resolutions; Copies of which they have given me particular directions to transmit, without delay, to the Speakers of the several Houses of Assembly on this Continent, and to request their concurrence therein.

In obedience to their order, I now, Sir, inclose you a Copy of those Resolutions, and am persuaded the importance of the subject will be sufficient to engage the immediate attention of your Respectable House, and the Circumstances of America evince the propriety of their Conduct.

His Excellency, the Governor, thought fit on the 17th to dissolve the Assembly. However discouraging this reprehension may be, yet we hope that our loyalty and affection to his Majesty, our Regard to the true Interest of our mother Country, and our inclinations to terminate this unhappy Dispute will be made manifest, and will in the end, dispose our gracious Sovereign to interpose in our favour, and to procure for his injured People the Redress they most humbly ask for.

I am with the greatest Respect
Your most obedient Servant
PEYTON RANDOLPH


Tuesday the 16th of May, 9th Geo. III, 1769.

Mr Blair reported from the Committee of the whole House, to whom it was referred to consider of the present State of the Colony, that they had come to several Resolutions, which he read in his Place, and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk's Table, where the same were read, and are as followeth, viz,

Resolved, that it is the Opinion of this Committee, that the sole Right of imposing Taxes on the Inhabitants of this his Majesty's Colony and Dominion of Virginia, is now, and ever hath been legally and constitutionally vested in the House of Burgesses lawfully convened, according to the antient and established Practice, with the Consent of the Council, and of his Majesty, the King of Great Britain, or his Governour, for the Time being.

Resolved, that it is the Opinion of this Committee, that it is the undoubted Priviledge of the Inhabitants of this Colony, to petition their Sovereign for Redress of Grievances; and that it is lawful and expedient, to procure the Concurrence of his Majesty's other Colonies,

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in dutiful Addresses, praying the royal Interposition, in Favour of the violated Rights of America.

Resolved, that it is the Opinion of this Committee, that all Trials for Treason, Misprison of Treason, or for any Felony or Crime whatsoever, committed and done in this his Majesty's said Colony and Dominion, by any Person or Persons, residing therein, ought of Right, to be had and conducted in and before his Majesty's Courts, held within the said Colony, according to the fixed and known Course of Proceeding; and that the seizing any Person or Persons, residing in this Colony, suspected of any Crime whatsoever, committed therein, and sending such Person or Persons, to places beyond the Sea, to be tried, is highly derogatory of the Rights of British Subjects; as thereby the inestimable Priviledge of being tried by a Jury from the Vicinage, as well as the Liberty of summoning and producing Witnesses on such Trial, will be taken away from the Party accused.

Resolved, that it is the Opinion of this Committee, that an humble, dutiful and loyal Address be presented to his Majesty, to assure him of our inviolable Attachment to his sacred Person and Government, and to beseech his royal Interposition, as the Father of all his People, however remote from the Seat of his Empire, to quiet the minds of his loyal Subjects of this Colony, and to avert from them those Dangers and Miseries, which will ensue, from the seizing and carrying beyond the Sea any Persons, residing in America, suspected of any Crime whatsoever, to be tried in any other manner, than by the antient and long and established Course of Proceeding.

The said Resolutions being severally read a second time;

Resolved. Nemine contradicente,

That the House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolutions.

Ordered, that the Speaker of this House do transmit, without Delay, to the Speakers of the several Houses of Assembly, on this Continent, a Copy of the Resolutions now agreed to by this House, requesting their concurrence therein.

A true Copy, extracted from the Journal of the House of Burgesses.

G. WYTHE, C. H. B.