His Majesty having been pleased by his Royal Commission to me as Commissioner for supervising inspecting and comptrolling His Majesty's Revenues and Grants of Lands to order and direct a strict enquiry to be made into the present method of passing of Grants of Lands through the several offices in this Province and to settle and regulate the same in such manner as that the Royald & 43d Instructions to the Governour of this Province provided they will register their Grants and that they will oblidge themselves to cultivate and improve their lands and to pay the Quit Rents that are legally due thereon.
In obedience therefore to His Majesty's commands and in respect to such Gentlemen as may have any concern in the matter herein treated of. I apprehend that it is a Duty incumbent on me to inform the gentlemen to whom this notice is addressed what His Majesty expects and requires they will comply with on their part which I Shall beg leave to do in the following manner namely
1st Notice is given to all such as claim lands by Proprietary Patents or Grants or by any other Title derived under them who have not comply'd with the directions of the Quit Rent Law. That they do forthwith register their Titles or Memorials thereof in the Office of the Auditor General or his Deputy and that all Lands that have been sold or devised to others be registered in the manner directed by the Said Act and that all Guardians Trustees and Attorneys who have any Lands in Trust are to take notice that if they do not comply with the directions of the said Act they will be answerable and accountable for the same and that if the record is not perfect the Party's concerned are to take notice that it will be incumbent on them to prove that they have tendered their Grants patents or memorials thereof in the Office of the Auditor General or his Deputy.
2dly Notice is given to all such as have had any Lands ascertained to them by virtue of surveys made in pursuance of the directions made in the Quit Rent Law or that have taken out Grants from His Majesty's Governour in order to confirm their former Titles to Lands claimed under the late Lords Proprietors That they do forthwith register their respective Titles or Memorials thereof in the Office of the Auditor General or his Deputy.
3dly Notice is given to all persons claiming lands by virtue ofds Proprietors which Patents or Grants they alledge to be destroyed by fire or otherwise but of which they are not able to make full proof nor of the conditions on which the Grants were passed That His Majesty has been graciously pleased to signify His Pleasure to the Commissioner of the Quit Rents that he shall permit them to take out new Grants for the same at the proper and accustomed Office Subject to the Quit Rent of four shillings Proclm Money per 100 Acres. But as to all such as shall make full proof before the Commissioner of the Quit rents of their having had Patents from the Lds Proprietors before the year 1727. and of the conditions on which they were granted, His Majesty's pleasure is that they shall hold their Lands agreeable to the Terms and Conditions of their Patents notwithstanding their having been destroyed by fire or otherwise and that the Commissioner of the Quit rents shall certify the same accordingly. And this further notice is given that if the partys concern'd do not accept of the terms that is now offered to them that they will be proceeded against as the Law directs.
4thly Notice is given to all such as have Warrants granted them for Surveys or have platts or Surveys returned that they are to take out Grants for the lands claimed in right of the Warrants otherwise they will be prevented from doing it hereafter for as a Warrant is not a Title in Law those that will not do equity cannot claim it.
5thly Notice is given to all such who possess Land by Grants under the Crown and to such as claim Lands by mesne conveyances, or by any other title whatsoever derived under the said Grants that such Titles respectively or Memorials thereof are to be registered in the Office of the Auditor Gen1 or his Deputy or that otherwise the original Grantees will be prosecuted for the Quit Rents and that all such as have not comply'd with the conditions of their Grants in settling and cultivating their lands do forthwith settle and cultivate the same.
6thly Notice is given to all such as reside in this Province and have not paid their quit rents that by the Quit Rent Law their Lands are subject to be forfeited Provided the Quit Rents are five years in arrear and that no distress can be found upon their hands and thus further notice is given to such as claim or possess lands in right of Grants made out in pursuance of Purchase Warrantsls Receipts upon what particular Patents or Grants they have paid their Quit rents.
7thly Notice is given to all such who have taken out Grants for Lands and committed any waste upon the same by cutting down the Timber that tho' they may have subjected their Lands to be forfeited by not complying with the conditions of their Grants or that in order to avoid the payment of the Quit Rents they have convey'd their Titles to others who are not residents in this Province. That they are hereby required to pay the Quit Rents that are due thereon for altho' there are conditions comprized in the Grants on failure of which they may be forfeited. Yet nevertheless it is at the Ellection of the Crown to enforce the performance of the conditions contained in the Grants. And it is apprehended that where the Conditions of the Grant is not comply'd with that a sale or surrender of the Grant does not discharge the Original Grantee, particularly when the same is made to any person that does not reside in this Province for by that means a claim would be kept up against the Crown and the Crown would be barr'd from having any remedy.
8thly Notice is given to all such as claim or possess more lands than what they are entitled to by their Patents or Grants that His Majesty has been graciously pleased to signify his pleasure that if they do give notice of such surplus land to the Commissioners of the Quit Rents that they shall be permitted to take out New Grants for the same subject to the Quit Rent of four shillings Proclm money per hundred acres And this further notice is given that if the party's concerned do not comply that the Commissioners of the quit rents will hereafter publish a notice assuring all such as will give him information of any surplus Lands claimed by others the party by whom the notice is given shall be entitled to have a Grant for the said surplus Land subject to the usual Terms and conditions of settlement.
9thly Notice is given to all such as have taken out Grants for Land in pursuance of mixed surveys or of plats or surveys irregularly made out and returned that if they will apply to the Commissionerst Honble the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury and to the Rt Honble the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations and that the Partys concerned may expect such relief as the nature of their case may admitt.
Gentlemen you will perceive by the nature and tendency of the above Notice what His Majesty requires from you is calculated for the publick service and benefit of this Province and that your own ease and security depends upon the taking of proper measure in the settlement of your Lands and in the ascertaining and freeing your share of property from being ever hereafter drawn in question by the Crown and it is hoped that the easy and gentle method that is proposed to you in the effecting of this good work will invite you thereto as it is conceived that it cannot be argued with the least appearanee of reason that it is placing any hardship on the Partys concerned in any of the matters above hinted at to register their Titles or Memorials thereof in the Office of the Auditor Gen1 or his Deputy particularly as the same may be registered at so low an expence as seven pence halfpenny Proclm money per Copy sheet and if the Benefits arrising to the Publick from the having of a regular Register of all Patents and Grants is considered the private Trouble the partys may be at in doing the same cannot be put in competition.
His Majesty has it in his power and has given it to the Commissioners of the Quit rents in charge that after his having given publick notice of His Majesty's Royal Intentions he shall by due course of Law enforce a complyance to what is now required But in order to avoid prosecutions His Majesty has been graciously pleased to command me to invite you to your duty with an assurance that such as comply with the directions of the Crown shall not be disturbed in their propertys or possessions and for this further reason that if it is possible there shall be any such as will not pay a just regard to the notice that is now given that the consequenees that may attend a refusal shall be wholy imputed to themselves.
You are sensible that in justice to the Crown and in respect to the security of your landed interest you onght to pay the quit rents for such lands as you claim or possess. Yet it has appeared upon examination that tho' there is near Two millions five hundredth part of the quit rents. It is hoped that you will consider this and that you will as soon as possible state the accounts with the Receiver General and shew a readiness in doing what is in your power in the payment of the arrears of quit rent in which case the poorer sort of planters shall upon application had to the Receiver General of the Quit Rents be indulged with any reasonable time they may demand for the payment of the arrears of Quit rent. Gent from the reasonableness of what is proposed to you I doubt not but that you will readily comply with what is required and as it regards myself I beg leave to assure you that it shall be my particular study to do everything in my power for your ease and service. I am
(Endorsed) South & North Carolina. Publick Notice addres'sd to all Gentlemen Freeholders and others whom it may concern.
Recd with Mr McCulloh's letter to the Board dated 12th Novber 1741.
Recd May ye 28th
Read June 17th 1742
Read July 14th 1742