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Memorandum from the Board of Trade of Great Britain to George III, King of Great Britain concerning acts of the North Carolina General Assembly
Great Britain. Board of Trade
March 31, 1774
Volume 09, Pages 955-957

[B. P. R. O. B. T.: No. Carolina. Vol. 24. P. 231.]
Letter from the Board of Trade to the King.

May it Please Your Majesty,

We have had under our consideration five Acts passed in your Majesty's Province of North Carolina in March, 1773, the Titles of which are as follows, viz:

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1. An Act for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors with respect to the imprisonment of their persons.

2. An Act for the Relief of persons who have or may suffer by their Deeds and mesne conveyances not being proved and registered within the time heretofore appointed by Law.

3. An Act to regulate and ascertain the Fees of the Clerks of the Pleas in the Superior and Inferior Courts in this Colony, directing the method of paying the same, and for taxing Law Suits.

4. An Act for directing the method of appointing Jurors in all causes, civil and criminal.

5. An Act for the more speedy recovery of all Debts and Demands under five pounds money within this Province.

We have likewise consulted Mr Jackson, one of your Majesty's Counsel at Law on these Acts, who has reported to us in the case of the Act for the relief of insolvent Debtors (which is first in the List above recited) that he conceives there are weighty objections thereto inasmuch as it fixes so short a time as sixty Days from the appointment of the Commissioners at most, for beginning to examine the Claims of Creditors, after which there is no further delay allowed for absent persons, but the commissioners certainly may and seem to be required to make their Dividend forthwith. That it is besides a great defect in this Law, that there is no saving in respect of Debts due to your Majesty, for which reasons, as they appear to us to be material, we are humbly of opinion that it will be advisable for your Majesty's Royal disallowance of this Act.

With respect to the second of these Acts, viz, the Act for the relief of persons who have or may suffer by their Deeds and mesne conveyances not being proved and registered within the time heretofore appointed by Law, Mr Jackson observes that it is improper in point of Law in that there is no saving for the right of Purchases without notice. Your Majesty's Governor likewise in his Letter accompanying the Manumission of these Acts observes upon this Law that it is indeed apparently well designed but that since he passed it he finds under a specious Title it is calculated as a Strategem to indemnify persons who are desirous to defraud Your Majesty's Revenue by withholding their Quit Rents by keeping the Receiver General in ignorance of the Lands they hold. Upon the force of these objections we humbly propose to your Majesty to signify your Majesty's Royal disapprobation of this Act.

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The Acts No. 3, 4 and 5 are all passed with clauses limiting their duration for Six months only and altho' it does appear from what is stated by your Majesty's Governor that the reason for passing these Acts for a term of so short duration was in order to make them correspond and be coeval with the temporary Court Acts which were rejected, yet inasmuch as the said Acts to which they refer have received your Majesty's Royal disallowance, and as the passing Acts in your Majesty's American Colonies for Terms of so short continuance without the clauses suspending their execution until your Majesty's Pleasure shall be known, ought as we conceive for very obvious reasons to be resisted. We do therefore think it advisable for your Majesty to signify your Majesty's Royal Disallowance of the three several Acts above referred to.

All which is humbly submitted.


Whitehall, March 31st, 1774.