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Order of the Privy Council of Great Britain concerning acts of the North Carolina General Assembly concerning riots
Great Britain. Privy Council
May 15, 1772
Volume 11, Pages 240-241

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(P. R. O. America & West Indies Vol. 109 page 231.)

Order in Council.
Additional Instruction to Our Trusty and Wellbeloved Josiah Martin Esquire Our Captain General and Governor in Chief in, and over Our Province of North Carolina, in America. Given at Our Court at St James's the 15 day of May in the     year of Our Reign. [1772]

Whereas it hath been represented unto Us, that a Law was passed in Our Province of North Carolina in 1771, intitled, “An Act for preventing Tumults and riotous Assemblies, for the more speedy and effectual punishing the Rioters, and for restoring and preserving the public peace of this Province,” enacting amongst other things, That upon Indictment found, or Presentment made against any Person for any of the Crimes described in the Act, the Judges or Justices of the Court shall issue their Proclamation, to be affixed or put up at the Court House, and each Church and Chapel of the County, where in such crime was committed, commanding such Offender to surrender within sixty days, and stand Tryal, on failure of which he shall be deemed guilty of the Offence charged in the indictment found, or Presentment made, and it shall be lawful for anyone to kill and destroy such Offender, and his Lands and chattels shall be confiscated to the King for the use of Government, which said clause appears to Us to be irreconcileable with the principles of the Constitution, full of danger in its operation, and unfit for any part of the British Empire: But whereas it hath been also further represented unto Us, that the said Act, which also contains many useful and proper regulations for the preservation of the Public Peace of Our said Province, of late disturbed by outrages and Insurrections of a very dangerous nature, is by its own limitation upon the point of expiring, and that the total repeal of it might in the present state of affairs have very fatal consequences, and revive seditious spirit (not yet wholly subsided amongst some of the Inhabitants) which has been productive of so much Tumult and Confusion. We have therefore not thought fit to disallow the said Act, But it is nevertheless Our express will and Pleasure, that, in case it shall be found necessary to enact any new Law within Our said Province of North Carolina for preventing

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Tumults and riotous Assemblies, you do take especial care, that the said Law be framed as near as may be agreable to the Laws of this Kingdom, and that you do not upon any pretence whatever give your assent thereto, unless the same shall appear to you to be entirely free from the objections stated to the Clause before recited.

[Note.—This should have been printed on p. 289, Vol. 9, Colonial Records.—W. C.]