Whereas several revolutions have heretofore happened in this colony which were fomented and carried on by factions and seditious persons to the great loss and Damage of the Inhabitants thereof, and to the repeated breaches of her Majesty's peace and violation of the Loyalty and Obedience due from Subjects to their lawul Sovereigns and Superiors; And what has most nearly concerned us, are the late unhappy dissensions amongst ourselves in this Colony, whereby injustice and Oppression took place, and overspread our Colony, our trade decreased and daily differences and animosities encreased to the ruin of religion and our Liberties. Since which time it has pleased God in a great measure, to influence us with a deep concern of our Calamitys, and put into our hands a power and resolution of removing those threatening evils and Dangers, and for the future to procure a happy Restauration of peace and tranquility amongst us, by making such good and wholesome Laws, whereby religion and virtue may flourish, Our duty to our Prince and Governors be putt in practice and maintained, Our Laws Libertys and Estates preserved and Kept unviolated, and justice and Trade encouraged. We therefore the Commons assembled do pray that it may be Enacted. And be it Enacted by his Excellency the Palatin and Lords Proprietors, by and with the advice and consent of this present General Assembly and the authority thereof, and it is hereby Enacted,
I. That any person or persons whatsoever who shall at any time (after the date hereof) speak any seditious words or speeches or spread abroad false news, write or disperse scurrilous Libels againt the present Government now lawfuly established disturb or obstruct any lawful Officer in the executing his Office, or that shall instigate others to Sedition Caball or meet together to contrive invent, suggest, or incite rebellions, Conspiracys, Riotts or any manner of unlawful Feuds or differences thereby to stir up against or malitiously to contrive the Ruin and Disturbance of the Queen's peace, and of the safety and tranquility of this Government, the said person or persons so offending shall and are to be reputed as utter Enemeys to the Queen's peace, and the welfare and good of this government, and shall be punished accordingly by fine, imprisonment, pillory or otherwise at the discretion of the Justices of the General Court, who are hereby empowered to hear and determine the same, and the said person or persons so offending, shall be compelled to give good and sufficient security for his or their good behavior during the Courts pleasure, and be incapable of bearing any office or place of Trust within this Government for the space of three years or accordingly as the Demeritt of the Crime, shall appear before the Judges thereof and if any person or persons shall at any time hereafter, know of such evil practices as aforesaid, and shall conceal the same, that then they shall be punished in the same manner as if they themselves had committed such crime And for the further prevention of traiterous Conspiracys and Rebellions against her sacred Majesty of Great Brittain her Crown and
II. And be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid what person soever shall act in any place of profit or trust as aforesaid, without being so qualified shall forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds to be recovered by Action of Debt, bill plaint or information in any Court of Record within this Province, one half to the Governor or President for the time being for the support of the Government and the other half to him or them that shall sue for the same and shall forfeit his right to the same place or benefise Provided that all Military Officers may take the oaths in order to their qualification before any one member of the Council or of the General Court, who are hereby empowered to administer the same, and give them certificates thereof, and moreover what person or persons who hereafter shall equivocate, alter, add to, or diminish any word or clause, of the oaths appointed to be taken by Law shall be deemed and held guilty of forgery and high crimes, and shall be punished accordingly.
III. And whereas this Province is annexed to and declared to be a member of the Crown of England, yet notwithstanding disputes do often arise concerning the Laws of England, how far they are in force in this Government; and it appearing by the Charter that the power therein granted of making Laws are limited with the expression Viz. Provided such Laws be consonant to reason, and as near as may be agreeable to the Laws and Customs of Our Kingdom of England, from whence it is manifest that the Laws of England are the Laws of this Government, so far as they are compatible with our way of living and Trade, Be it therefore Enacted by the authority aforesaid, and it is hereby Enacted and declared that the common Law is and shall be in force in this Government except such part of the practice in the issueing out and return of Writts, and proceedings in the Court of Westminster which for want of several Officers, cannot be put in execution, which ought to be supplied by Rules of the General Court of this Government, being first approved of by the Governor in Council which shall be good in Law from time to time till it shall be altered by Act of Assembly.
IV. And be it further Enacted and Declared by the authority aforesaid that all statute Laws of England made for maintaining the Queen's Royal Prerogative and the security of her royal person and succession of the Crown, and all such Laws made for the establishment of, church and the Laws made for granting Indulgencies to protestant dissenters, and all Laws providing for the privilege of the people and security of trade as also statute Laws made for Limitation of Actions and for preventing vexatious Lawsuits, and for preventing immorality and frauds, and confirming Inheritances and Titles of Land are and shall be in force here, altho' this province or the plantations in general are not therein named.
V. And because that it has always happened that upon vacancys of the Government seditious and evil minded persons have taken occasion to dispute the authority of the succeeding Governor or president howsoever elected or qualified for want of certain rules being laid down and approved of by the Lords Proprietors Wee pray therefore that it may be enacted by the authority aforesaid that in case of any such vacancy the eldest Lords Proprietors Deputy shall summon the rest of the Deputys with all convenient
VI. And be it further enacted that in case of the vacancy of any Lords Proprietors deputy the Governor or President in time being with the consent of the major part of the deputys then being, shall chose one to supply that vacancy till that Proprietor shall signify his pleasure to the contrary and if any of the Lords Proprietors deputy shall at any time neglect or refuse to give their attendance being cited thereto, the act or acts of the remaining deputy shall be good and valid in the Law to all intents and purposes. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that in case of extraordinary occasion, if the Governor, deputy Governor or President for the time being shall depart the Government, and shall first declare the cause of his departure in Council, his absence not exceeding six months shall not be deemed a vacancy, but the eldest Councillor shall preside in Councill during his absence
Whereas many of the poor Inhabitants of this Government have grievously complained that Coll. Thos. Cary pretending a power to dispose of the Lords proprietors Lands and to receive the moneys for the consideration of the same, have upon that pretext received and taken securities for several sums of money of the Inhabitants of this Government as the consideration of several Tracts of land by them purchased according to the Instructions, Rules and Ordinances made by authority from the Lords Proprietors upon Record in this Government, and for several fees and charges thereon accruing; yet many of them the said Inhabitants have not their Titles to their respective Tracts of Land made and executed according to the true intent and meaning of the said Instructions: And whereas his Excellency the Lord Palatin and Lords Proprietors have by their Instructions appropriated the money arising and becoming due to them for the relief of the poor Palatines lately transported into this Government by the Hon. Chrito. Baron de Graffenreid, Wee there fore the Commons assembled do pray that it be enacted and be it enacted by his Excellency the Palatin and the Lords Proprietors by and with the advice and consent of this present general Assembly and the authority thereof. And it is hereby enacted:
I. That the said Coll. Thos. Cary shall within two next months after the publication thereof appear before the President and Council or Commissioners
II. And be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid that in case the said Coll. Thos. Cary shall refuse or neglect to appear and deliver up the said Bills or other securitys and make payment as aforesaid, That then and in such cases the same shall be levyed upon his goods and chattels, Lands and Tenements, Rights and Credits by distress and sale, by warrant from the Honoble, the President directed to the provost Marshall of the several Counties or their Deputies.
III. And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that no alienation, assignment, bargain or sale, made after the publication of this Act shall be of any effect or pleadable against the execution of this Act, and for the better discovery of what sum or sums of money are in the hands of the said Thos. Cary the Land Office with all books, records and papers thereunto belonging being feloniously detained or otherwise imbeziled by Mr. Emil Low so that a true account thereof cannot be had Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that all persons holding or claiming any Tracts of Land by purchase shall within two months after publication thereof give just account upon Oath what Land they hold or lay claim to, to the persons hereafter named that is to say in the precinct of Chowan to the Honoble. Coll. Thos. Pollock in the Precinct of Pequimons to the Honoble Wm. Glover in the precinct of Pasqootank to the Honble Nathaniel Chevin in the precinct of Currituck to the Honble Richd Sanderson Esqr. in the precinct of Pamlico to Mr. Joel Martin in the precinct of Wickham to Mr. John Jordan in the precinct of Archdale to Capt: Lyonell Reading and Capt. William Brice upon penalty of being deprived of all benefit of this Act and forfeiting to the true and absolute Lords proprietors of this province the summ of ten pounds to be recovered by action of debt in the General Court wherein no Essoign protection or wager of Law shall be allowed.
III. And whereas grievous complaint have been made that Mr. Edward Mosley hath taken upon him to set out and survey the Lords Proprietors Lands without due entry made or lawfull authority for the same, and therein have not proceeded according to the Rules and Instructions in that case provided, so that many illegal imperfect and irregular Surveys have been made and several sums of money have been unlawfully extorted, from several of the Inhabitants upon pretence of fees and assignment of rights to the great wrong of the Lords proprietors and loss and damage of the people for remedy whereof, Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid that the said Edward Moseley shall within forty days after publication of this Act give Bond with good security in the sum of five hundred pounds to the Honble Edward Hyde esq. who is hereby appointed Trustee on behalf of the people with condition that the said Edward Mosely shall pay back and refund unto the respective persons all such sum or sums of money and deliver up all such Bills or specialtys as he hath received for security upon pretence of fees, or composition for assignment of rights where it shall appear that his survey or returne hath been imperfect, irregular, deficient or not warrantable by the rules in that case provided, or where rights had been assigned to him without due authority for the same which shall be adjudged of by the Governor or President
IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that in case the said Edward Mosley shall neglect or refuse to appear to give security as aforesaid within the time aforesaid that then and in such case all such Bills or other specialtys by him taken as aforesaid shall be utterly null and void in the Law to all intents and purposes as if the same had never been made, and all such sum or sums of money as aforesaid by him received shall be recovered back by an action of debt at the suit of the party aggrieved in the General Court of this Province wherein no essoign protection or wager of Law shall be allowed; and where any person or persons shall have the trouble of sueing for mony already paid, the said persons shall have double costs and damages allowed by him the said Edward Moseley (Provided always that any irregularity deceit or unwarrantable action of the said Edward Moseley or any person by him employed, shall not in any wise prejudice the person claiming the land, but the right and claim of every person upon due and regular returne, shall stand and be firm and good in Law, as if the same had perfectly and warrantably been done and performed.
V. And whereas from and after the 24th day of July in the year 1708 the Government was unlawfully usurped, the course of Justice subverted, and an arbitrary power set up by which several sums of money have unlawfully ben levyed upon the people her Majesties subjects imprisoned and unjust judgments given and execution thereon had and obtained. Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid that all suits judgments, proceedings, and levys made from and after the day aforesaid until the two and twentieth day of Jan. last past shall and are hereby declared to be null and void; and where executions have been had out of any pretended Court or Courts a writt of restitution shall issue out at the suit of the party aggrieved which shall be signed by the Clerk of the Court wherein such judgment was obtained, whereof the pretended court shall be evidence, Provided that restitution for any sum levyed upon pretence of publick charge, shall be made as shall hereafter be appointed by Act of Assembly, Provide also that this Act shall not bar any person that hath made suit within the time before mentioned but that his right of Action shall remain to him, as if such suit had not before been made, Provided also that this Act nor any part thereof shall extend to Marriages probates of wills, Letters of Administration, Conveyances and sales of Land amongst ourselves, proving of Rights, Contracts, and Bargains.