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Petition from Martin Howard concerning the Chief Justice's salary, including cover letter from Howard to William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth
Howard, Martin, ca. 1730-1781
January 04, 1774
Volume 09, Pages 813-814

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[B. P. R. O. Am. & W. Ind.: No. Carolina. Vol. 221.]
Letter from Chief Justice Howard to Earl Dartmouth.

Newbern No Carolina January 4th 1774.

My Lord,

His Excellency Governor Martin does me the favour to inclose this letter to your Lordship, and from the kind testimony he will be pleased to give of me, I flatter myself your Lordship will be induced to take the subject of the inclosed memorial into your consideration, and promote such an establishment as His Majesty may think suitable to the office of Chief Justice of this Province, which he has been pleased to confer upon me. It may give me some further claim to His Majesty's grace and favour to acquaint your Lordship that I am one of the Persons who suffered very greatly by the riots occasioned by the Stamp Act in Rhode Island Colony in the year 1765, and for which I have never yet received any compensation.

I am with the greatest respect and veneration for your Lordship's very worthy and amiable character

My Lord &c,


Petition from Chief Justice Howard to the Earl of Dartmouth.

Humbly Sheweth,

That on the tenth day of June 1771, an Act of the Assembly of this Province, commenced whereby a salary of six hundred pounds currency per annum, nearly equal to three hundred and thirty pounds sterling, was given to the Chief Justice and also fifty pounds currency for each Court he should attend, being twelve in number, which made three hundred and thirty pounds sterling more.

That by reason of the expiration of the Superior Court Law, no Courts have been held during the last year, so that your Memorialist has lost great part of the annual allowance granted him by the aforesaid Act of Assembly, and has nothing now to depend upon, but the said salary of six hundred pounds currency which will also be at an end on the tenth day of June next, the Law having been made to continue for three years only.

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That your memorialist has just grounds to believe, that if the Assembly upon the expiration of said Law, shall make any further Provision for the Chief Justice, that it will be upon such Terms as shall keep him constantly dependant upon such temporary Grants as they shall be pleased to make for his subsistence.

That therefore your memorialist under these circumstances is advised, and thinks it most proper to reject any allowance, the Assembly may propose to make him, and in lieu thereof to have recourse to the Fees of Office as established by an Act of Assembly passed in the year 1748. But as the said Fees depend upon the number of suits, the profit arising therefrom, varying from three to five hundred pounds sterling a year is uncertain and precarious, your memorialist therefore most humbly prays that His Majesty would be graciously pleased to grant such an allowance over and above the said Fees, or otherwise as he shall think suitable to the dignity and importance of the Office. Your Memorialist further begs leave to refer to your Ldps consideration, that the salary of £70 sterling a year established by an Order of His Majesty in Council, & payable to the Chief Justice from the revenue, arising out of His Majesty's Quit rents is now in arrear, & unpaid for five years last past, owing to the difficulties of collecting that revenue, or to some other cause, so that your Memt besides losing what is past, has little expectations of any receipt for the future from that Establishment.

Your Memorialist in justice to himself cannot omit to inform your Ldp that in performing the duties of his Office, in this Province, he is under a necessity of riding upwards of a thousand miles a year in an unhealthy climate, for the most part thro' a wild and unsettled country, & to pass many wide and dangerous Ferrys, which makes the office of Chief Justice of N. Carolina far more burdensome & expensive than that of any other upon the Continent of America. From all wch he humbly hopes thro' your Ldps benevolent aid & assistance to obtain such favour & relief as His Majesty shall be graciously pleased to grant him.


Newbern No Carolina January 4th 1774.