At a General Assembly, held at New Bern, the Fourteenth Day of April, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty Nine. Gabriel Johnston, Esq., Governor.
I. Whereas, by an Act of the General Assembly of this Province, passed the Sixteenth Day of October, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty Eight, intituled, An act for forming a Rent-Roll of all the Lands holden in this Province, for quieting the Inhabitants in their Possessions, and for directing the Payment of Quit-Rents; it is, among other Things Enacted, that the Quit-Rents hereafter to be paid for any Lands already granted within this Province, or which have been actually possessed by any Person for the Space of Twenty Years last past, shall be paid in Proclamation Money at the Court-house in the County where such Land lieth, or Inspectors' Notes for Tobacco, at One Penny Proclamation Money, per Pound, or Indigo, at Four Shillings, Proclamation Money, per Pound, good and merchantable, and such as the Inspector shall judge will be intituled to the Bounty given by the Act of Parliament, being well inspected, after the same Manner as Tobacco is to be inspected for Payment of Public Taxes, if delivered at such Inspecting-houses as are appointed by Law, where Boats or Pettiaguas may conveniently go to receive the same; and provided, that the Tobacco to be delivered at such Houses, shall not weigh less than Nine Hundred Weight, Nett Tobacco, in each Hogshead: And whereas large Arrears of Quit-Rents are now become due to his Majesty, and to the Right Honourable the Earl of Granville, and no Provision being made in the before recited Act, as a Fee to the Sheriffs of each County for executing a Warrant of Distress on the Defaulters.
II. Be it therefore Enacted, by his Excellency Gabriel Johnston, Esq., Governor, by and with the Advice and Consent of his Majesty's Council, and General Assembly of this Province, That from and after the passing of this Act, every Sheriff of any County in this Province, or other Person who shall be appointed Deputy-Receiver of his Majesty's Quit-Rents, or Collector and Receiver of the Quit-Rents due to the Earl Granville, shall have and receive the same Fees for executing a Warrant of Distress, as are appointed by Law in Cases of Executions at the Common Law; and shall be subject to the same Penalties for any Exaction, or receiving more than such Allowances as are in that Case made and provided.
III. And in order to prevent any Mistakes that may arise, by the Receiver-General, or the Earl Granville's collector or Receiver, their not knowing what Lands are transferred from one Person to another within this Province, either by Will, mesne Conveyance or other Transfer; Be it Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That the Deputy Auditor for the Time being, shall every six months transmit to the Receiver-General for the
IV. And be it further Enacted, That after the Register or Secretary shall, as before mentioned, transmit such List, as aforesaid, the Person to whom such mesne Conveyance is made, or to whom any such Lands shall be devised by Will, shall (all Arrears of Quit-Rents being first paid) only be chargeable with the Quit-Rents of such Land, and no other Person whatsoever; Any Law, Usage, or Custom, to the Contrary, notwithstanding.
V. And in order to prevent any Complaints that may arise by Mistake on Warrants of Distress to be issued against Defaulters, of the exact sum which shall be due, and which, from the great Number of Defaulters, and the Length of Time they have been in Arrear, may probably happen; Be it Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That where any Warrant of Distress shall be issued by the Receiver-General, or the Earl Granville's Receiver, to be levied on any Defaulter, and the said Defaulter shall think himself overcharged, or that the Sum mentioned in the said Warrant is not due to the Crown, or to the Earl of Granville; in such Case the said Defaulter shall, and is hereby required, to produce his last Receipt for the Quit-Rents of such Lands as the Warrant shall be issued for, and shall be accountable only from the Date of such last Receipt; but if such last Receipt shall be lost or mislaid, and the Defaulter shall apprehend he is overcharged in the said Warrant, that then such Defaulter shall make Oath, before any Magistrate, That such last receipt is, bona fide, lost or mislaid, or otherwise not in his Power to produce, and he verily believes in his Conscience he is not indebted to the Crown, or the Earl Granville, in the Sum mentioned in the Warrant In which Case, the Sheriff of the County or other Deputy to whom the Warrant shall be directed, shall stop all Proceedings for that Time, and make Report thereof to the Receiver-General, or the Earl Granville's Receiver, in order to rectify the said Mistake; if any otherwise, the said Defaulter shall be accountable for the whole Sum mentioned in the said Warrant; and the Sheriff or other Deputy shall levy the same accordingly.
VI. Provided, That no Distress be made upon any Negro or Negroes, Ox or Oxen, Horse, or Horses of the Plough, nor any necessary utensils for Husbandry, where other sufficient Distress is produced; and that all Distresses made in Virtue of this Act, shall be safely kept by the Sheriff or other Person making the same; until the Second Day of the next subsequent Court of the County where such Distress shall be made, and shall then be sold for Gold, Silver, Bills, or Inspectors' Notes for Tobacco, and Indigo, by the said Sheriff, or other Person making such Distress as aforesaid, (except redeemed before that Time by the Person from whom taken) at Public Vendue, to the highest Bidder; the surplus of such Distress, if any, after the Quit-Rent and Officers' Fees deducted, shall be returned to the Person from whom such Distress shall be taken.
VII. And whereas, in the before recited Act no Allowance is made to any Person or Persons, for the Hogshead in which any Tobacco may be paid for Quit-Rents, agreeable to the said Act; Be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all and every Person and Persons, who shall pay Tobacco in
I. Be it Enacted, by his Excellency the Governor, Council, and General Assembly of this Province, That if any Handicraft Tradesman, or any other Person whatsoever, shall be in Prison within this Province, on mesne Processes, or Execution for any debt, above Forty Shillings Proclamation money, and hath no visible Estate, Real or Personal, and shall make Oath, before the Court of the County where he is in Prison, or in the Vacation, before some two Justices of the Peace for that County, being both present together, the Creditor or Creditors at whose Suit he is confined being first personally summoned to appear at the same Time; That he hath not the Worth of Forty Shillings, Sterling Money, in any worldy Substance, either in Debts owing to him, or otherwise howsoever, over and besides his wearing apparel, working Tools, and Arms for Muster; and that he has not, at any Time since his Imprisonment, or before, directly, or indirectly, sold, assigned, or otherwise disposed of, or made over, in Trust for himself, or otherwise, any Part of his Real or Personal Estate, whereby to expect or have any Benefit or Profit to himself, or to defraud any of his Creditors to whom he is indebted; and if there be no person present that can prove the contrary, then such Person, by such Court or Justices, without Form or Trial, shall immediately be set at Liberty, and shall stand forever discharged of all such Debts so sued for, and all Costs of Suit: But in Case such Person shall afterwards be discovered to have sworn falsely, he shall be indicted for Perjury; and if convicted, shall lose both his Ears in the Pillory, and be liable to satisfy the Debt and Damages.
II. And be it further Enacted, That the Justices of the Peace, when the Proceedings are before them out of Court, shall put the same in writing, under their Hands, and return the same into Court from whence the execution issued, there to be kept on Record, under the Penalty of Five Pounds Proclamation Money, for each Justice, for such his Omission or neglect; to be paid to the Person injured, by Order of the said Court.
III. And be it further Enacted, That if any Person, charged in Execution for any Sum in any Prison, within this Province, shall be minded to deliver up his Effects to his or her Creditors, it shall be lawful for such Prisoner to prefer a Petition to the Court from whence the Process issued setting forth the Cause of Imprisonment; and an exact Account of his or her Estate, and all Circumstances relating thereto; and on such Petition, the Court shall order the Prisoner to be brought, and the Creditors, at whose Suit he is charged, to be summoned; and on the Day of Appearance if any of the Creditors neglect to appear, on Proof made of the due Service of the Court's Order, the Court shall proceed to examine the Matter of the Petition in a Summary Way, and shall tender to such Person an Oath, to the Effect following:
I, A. B., do solemnly swear, in the Presence of Almighty God, That the Account by me delivered, with my Petition, into this Court, doth contain a full and true Account of my Real and Personal Estate, Debts, Credits, and
IV. And be it further Enacted, That if such Person take such Oath, and the Creditor be satisfied with the Truth thereof, the Court may order the Effects contained in such Account, or so much as may be sufficient to satisfy the Debts and Fees due to the Gaoler, to be, by an Indorsement on the Back of the Petition, signed by the Prisoner, assigned to the Creditor or Creditors, or to one or more of them, in Trust for the rest; and by such an Assignment, the Estate and property of the Lands, Goods, Debts, and Effects, shall be vested in such Creditor or Creditors, in Trust, as aforesaid, and the Prisoner shall be discharged out of Custody, by Order of the Court, without Fee, and the Person or Persons to whom the Effects shall be assigned, paying the Fees to the Gaoler, shall divide the Effects, in Proportion to their Debts: But if the Person or Persons at whose Suit the Prisoner is in Execution, shall desire Time to inform him, her, or themselves the Court shall remand the Prisoner, and direct him, and the Person or Persons dissatisfied, to appear, at a Day, in the next succeeding Court; and if at such Day the Creditor or Creditors make Default, or if he, she, or they, be unable to make Discovery of any Effects of the Prisoner omitted in his Petition, or to shew any Probability of his having being so sworn, the Court shall cause the Prisoner to be discharged, unless such Creditor or Creditors, on his being detained, agree, by Writing, to pay the Prisoner Ten Shillings, Proclamation Money, by the Week, to be paid Weekly, so long as he or she shall continue in Prison at his, her, or their Suit; and on Failure of Payment, the Prisoner shall, on Application made to the Court, be discharged by Order: And in case the Prisoner shall refuse to take the Oath, or shall be detected of Falsity therein, he shall be remanded.
V. And be it futher Enacted, That the Person of any Debtor so discharged shall, never after, be arrested for the same Debt; but the Judgment shall remain in Force, and Execution may be taken out against his Lands or Goods, (his wearing Apparel for himself and Family, Tools for his Trade, and Arms for Muster, excepted.)
VI. And be it further Enacted, That if any Person who shall take such Oath, shall, upon Indictment of Perjury, be convicted thereon, he shall suffer all Pains of wilful Perjury, and shall be liable to be taken on a new Process; and shall, never after, have the Benefit of this Act.
VII. And be it further Enacted, That if the Effects assigned shall not extend to satisfy the whole Debts due to the Person or Persons at whose Suit such Prisoner was charged, and the Fees, there shall be an Abatement in Proportion; and the Gaoler shall come in, as a Creditor, for his Fees.
VIII. And be it further Enacted, That no Person, charged in Execution, shall be allowed to Petition by Virtue of this Act, unless such Prisoner do exhibit his Petition to the Court from whence the Execution issued, within Six Months after such Person shall be so charged in Execution.
IX. And be it further Enacted, That where by this Act an Oath is required,
I. We pray it may be Enacted, And be it Enacted, by his Excellency Gabriel Johnston, Esq., Governor, by and with the Advice and Consent of his Majesty's Council, and the General Assembly of this Province, and by the Authority of the same, That the said James Davis shall be allowed and paid by the Public, the Yearly Salary of One Hundred and Sixty Pounds, Proclamation Money, for the Work and Services hereafter mentioned, to be done and performed by him for the Public; and that the said Salary shall begin and commence from such Time as the said James Davis shall set up his Press at New Bern, in this Province, and be ready to proceed on his Business of Printing; and shall continue for the Space of Five Years provided the said James Davis shall so long live, and perform the said Services.
II. And be it further Enacted, That the said James Davis, in Consideration of the said Salary, shall, and he is hereby required and directed, to reside in New Bern aforesaid, and to print, with the same Type or Letter with which his Petition now laid before this House, is printed on, at every Session of Assembly in this Province, the Speeches and Addresses at the Opening of each Session; also the Journals and Proceedings of the House of Burgesses; and deliver Copies thereto to each Member who shall attend at such Session; and shall also, as soon as the same can or may be done, print all such Laws as shall be passed at each Sessions, and shall transmit One Copy of them his Excellency, the Governor, and one to each Member of his Majesty's Honourable Council, and also one Copy to each Member of the General Assembly in the several Counties in this Province; one copy to each of the Clerks of the Houses of Assembly, for the use of the said Assembly; one Copy to the Clerk of the General Court, for the Use of the said Court; one Copy to the Clerk of each respective County Court in this Province, for the Use of such Court; and also one Copy for each and every Justice of the several Counties in this Province, not exceeding Twelve Copies to be sent to the said Justices of any one County; and supply such Copies of the said Journals and Laws as shall or may be necessary, to be transmitted from this Province to the Board of Offices in England, as usual; and also, shall print, and trasmit to the Proper Places, the Public Proclamations, and all other Acts of Government.
III. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That the Clerks of the Council, and of the General Assembly, for the Time being, the Secretary of the Province for the Time being, and all other Officers within this Province, shall, and they are hereby required, to deliver to the said James Davis, examined and tested Copies of all such Speeches, Journals, Laws and Proclamations, and all Acts of Government, in their respective Offices, which are herein before directed to be printed, at such Time or Times as the same shall be demanded of them by the said James Davis; and that if any one of the said Officers shall neglect or refuse so to do, he shall forfeit and pay the Sum of Twenty Five Pounds, Proclamation
IV. And be it further Enacted, That the several Officers shall be paid by the Public, for all such Copies as they are hereby required to make out and deliver to the said James Davis, the same Fees and Allowances as by Law or Usage they have a Right to for such Services.
V. And for the Payment of the Salary herein before mentioned to the said James Davis, and the Fees and Allowances to the several Officers, for such Copies as they are by this Act required to make out, and deliver to the said James Davis, Be it Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That a Tax of Four Pence, Proclamation Money, be, and it is hereby laid, for the Space and Term of Five Years, and no longer, on each and every Taxable Person within this Province, and paid as the County and Parish Taxes are paid; and shall commence immediately after the Ratification of this Act: And shall be collected and Accounted for, by the several Sheriffs of the respective Counties within the same, in the same Manner, and under the same Penalties, as by the Laws now in Force they are to collect and account for the Public Tax.
VI. And be it further Enacted, That if any surplus of the Monies arising by Virtue of this Act, shall remain, after Payment of the said Salary to the said James Davis, and the Fees and Allowances to the several Officers, for the Copies that shall by them be delivered to the said James Davis, by Virtue of this Act, the same shall be applied, by the General Assembly, for and towards discharging the Public Debts of this Province.
VII. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person or Persons shall print, sell or offer to Sale in this Province, within the Time of Five Years aforesaid, any of the Journals or Laws aforesaid, other than such as shall be printed by the said James Davis, without the Licence of the said James Davis; such Person or Persons shall forfeit and pay, to the said James Davis, the Sum of Five Pounds, Proclamation Money, for each and every Journal or Law of any Sessions so printed, sold, or offered to Sale, contrary to the true Intent and Meaning of this Act, to be recovered, in the same Manner as the Penalty first above mentioned in this Act.
VIII. And be it further Enacted, That all the said Laws that shall be printed by the said James Davis, by Virtue of this Act, shall be allowed to be given in Evidence in all or any of the Courts of Judicature in this Province, and before any Magistrate or Magistrates, in any Matter or Controversy depending before them.
I. Whereas divers Persons are seized of small and inconsiderable pieces of Land in Tail, often ignorantly, without Design, devised, in Tail by the Ancestors; and the Method of defeating such Estates in Fee Tail, General or Special, within this Province, by Act of General Assembly, in such particular Case to be made and provided, is found too expensive for poor People seized of such Land, to go through with; and therefore, the Docking Intails by some easier Method will be a great Relief to such poor People and their
II. Wherefore we humbly pray your Most Sacred Majesty that it may be Enacted, and be it Enacted by his Excellency the Governor, Council, and General Assembly of this Province, That it shall and may be lawful for any Person or Persons, seized in Fee-Tail, General or Special, of, or in, any Lands or Tenements within this Province, not exceeding the Value of Fifty Pounds Sterling Money, and not being Parcel of, or contiguous to, other intailed Lands of the same Parties, to sue out a Writ, from the Secretary's Office, in the Nature of an Ad quod Damnum, directed to the Sheriff of the County where such intailed Lands lie, commanding him to enquire, by good and lawul Men of this County, of the Value of such Lands, and whether they be Parcel of, or contiguous to, other intailed Lands of the same Party as aforesaid; and such Sheriff shall return his Inquisition to the said Office; and if the said Lands shall be found not to exceed the Value aforesaid, and to be a separate Parcel, as aforesaid, then a Deed of Bargain and Sale, reciting the Title of such Inquisition, (wherein a valuable Consideration shall be expressed, and, bona fide, paid,) acknowledged by the Party, or proved by Two Witnesses, before the Chief Justice, or any of the Associate Judges, or in the Court of the County where such Lands may lie, within Six Months after the Date thereof, and registered, within Twelve Months, in the County where such Lands lie, shall be sufficient in Law to pass the Fee-Simple Estate of such Lands to the Purchaser or Purchasers thereof; and the Right of the Issue of the Vender, and all other Persons in Remainder or Reversion, shall be barred, in the same Manner as the same Estate might be barred by Fine and Recovery, according to the Laws of England.