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Letter from the Board of Trade of Great Britain to Josiah Martin
Great Britain. Board of Trade
March 11, 1773
Volume 09, Pages 597-598

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[B. P. R. O. B. T. No. Carolina. Vol. 24. P. 226.]
Letter from the Board of Trade to Governor Martin.


We have had under our consideration the Laws passed by you in December 1771, the Objects and Utility of which are so fully and properly explain'd in your Letter to the Earl of Hillsborough of the 1st of March 1772.

His Majesty's Order in Council of the 22nd of April last, disallowing the Act for founding & endowing Queen's College in Charlotte Town, has been already transmitted to you by the Secretary of State and it is our Duty in consequence of his Majesty's determination on that Law, to lay before His Majesty for his Royal disallowance the Act No. 9, passed in December 1771, for amending the former Act which having been repealed, the subsequent Act is become nugatory and improper.

We have not failed to give the fullest attention to your reasons in support of the Act to indemnify such persons as acted in support of Government, during the continuance of the late Disorders; and although we are convinced of the general expediency and necessity of some proper Law for that purpose, yet we cannot approve the Act, to which you have given your Assent; as it appears to Us to be much too loosely worded; and that the description of the Cases to which the provisions of the Act apply are so general & indeterminate as that Persons, who have been guilty of almost any enormity may under the plea of their having acted in defence of Government, be protected and indemnified, and persons who have been unjustly and unwarrantably injured in their persons and properties, cut off from all possibility of redress.

It is our duty therefore to desire that you take the earliest opportunity of recommending to the Council and Assembly to pass such an explanatory Law, as may define and ascertain with more accuracy & attention the bounds and limits of that indemnity which is meant to be granted; in general we should hope it would not be necessary to extend indemnity beyond the Cases of imprisonment of persons, either actually in arms against Government or suspected of giving aid & assistance to the Rebels, to the seizure of Arms in the possession of suspected persons and the impressing of Horses

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and Carriages for the use of the Government, we cannot however take upon us to suggest every Case that may be necessary to be provided for, your own discretion must direct your Judgment but we think fit to acquaint you, that if some explanatory Act is not passed, we shall be under the necessity of laying the present Law before his Majesty for his Majesty's Disallowance, it being as we conceive of a nature that is without precedent or example in any Case whatsoever.

We are Sir, &c.,

Whitehall March 11th 1773.