Whereas His Majesty out of His Paternal care of the Inhabitants of this Province and Compassion for their unhappy Condition, did, out of his Royal Bounty, purchase from the late Lords Proprietors, the Soil and Dominion thereof, with all Arrears of Quit Rents accruing & then due; and has been graciously pleased to take his Subjects of this Government under his immediate Protection; and Whereas the Confusions of this Province has in a great measure proceeded from the want of proper Laws for the Settlemt. of the Country and of a Rent Roll of the Quit Rents reserved & payable to His Majesty; Wherefore to the End that the Arrears of his Majesty's said Quit Rents which are become due and payable since his—Majesty's Purchase of the said Soil and Governmt. as well as such as shall hereafter become due and payable to His Majesty his Heirs and Successors, may be the better ascertained and paid; We humbly pray Your Most Sacred Majesty that it may be Enacted, and be it hereby Enacted by His Excellency Gabriel Johnston Esq Governour, by and with the Advice & Consent of His Majesty's Council and the Assembly of the said Province,
I. That all persons seized or possessed of any Lands in this Province by any Title or Claim, whatsoever, whether under the late Lords Proprietors or under his Majesty, who have not already registered their Lands in the Register's Office of the Precinct where the Land lies, shall, within six Months next after the end of this present Session of General Assembly, register the Original Patents or Grants, or mesne Conveyance, under which they hold the sd. Lands, or the Plot or Survey of the sd. Land, or either of them, in the Register's Office in each Precinct where such Lands lye, or tender the same to be registered as aforesaid and that the Register of each Precinct where such Patents or Grants Plots or Surveys are so registered shall return an Abstract thereof certify'd to the Auditor General's Office within three Months after the registering the same, and that all Grants that shall be made hereafter by His Majesty His Heirs and Successors, or which shall be made by Deeds or mesne Conveyances shall within Six Months after the Date of the sd. respective Grants or Deeds be registered in like manner in the Office aforesd: And for every Grant or Deed hereafter to be registered the Register shall have and receive two Shillings and Six pence Proclamn Money; and for every Abstract so returned and Certify'd, the Register shall have and receive seven pence half penny of like Money, or in lieu thereof Bills or Comodities as is in this Act directed and no more; and that the sd. Registers in the sevl. Precincts shall affix and keep an Alphabetical List or Index of the Books where such Patent Grant or Deed is register'd.
II. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesd. that all former Grants or Patents under the late Lords Proprietors the Governr. or Commander in Chief for the Time being, or under His Majty., or which shall be given by His Majty; which shall not be registered & return'd in manner aforesd.; such Grants shall be deem'd held and taken to be void and the Lands thereby granted to be vacant Lands, and shall revert
III. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesd. that all Persons who were in actual Possession of any Lands within this Province before the 25th day of July in the Year of Our Lord 1729, being the time when this Province became vested in His Majesty, and have no Patents or Grants to produce from the late Lords Proprietors their Governrs. Trustees or other Persons by the sd. Lords Proprs. authorized and appointed to grant Lands; and shall be in such actual Possession at the time of applying for a Grant, upon due Proof made before the Govr. or Commander in Chief for the time being in Council of such Possession and of the Number of Blacks or Whites such Person or Persons have in Family, shall be entituled to a Grant of so much of the sd Land so possessed at the rate of fifty Acres for each Person black or white so in family, at the Quit Rents directed by His Majesty's Instructions. But if such Lands should lye in the County of Albemarle, new Patents shall be granted, agreeable to the Directions of the late Lords Proprietors for granting Lands in the sd. County, pursuant to the Deed of Grant. Provided that all persons claiming Grants as Posessors of Land as aforesd, shall publish their Claims by Writing affixed at the Court house Door or such place as is appointed for holdg. each Precinct Court where such Land lies,—two Precinct Courts Successively; Proof thereof to be made by the Oath of the Person or Certificate from the Clerk of the sd. Court, describing the Situation and Number of Acres in such Lands contained.
IV. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that no Grant of Lands which shall be made by his Majesty His Govr. or Commandr. in Chief for the time being shall be deem'd a Bar against the Claim of any Person or Persons whatsoever Bodies politic or Corporate saving agt. his Majesty his heirs and Successors, and agt. the late Lords Proprs. Provided Nevertheless that if no legal Claim be made within five Years after the date of his Majesty's Grant or the Grants of the Lords Proprs., the Govr. or Comr. in Chief for the time being, and the Grantee or Grantees continuing for that Space in quiet and peaceable Possession of the Lands thereby granted, such Grants shall and are hereby declared to be good in Law, and a pereptual Bar against all Persons Claims and Demands whatsoever saving to Minors who shall prosecute such their Claim within twelve Months after they shall come of Age; saving also the Right of Persons beyond the Seas, who shall be allow'd Five Years by themselves or their Attornys to prosecute the same.
V. And Whereas by the Deed of Grant to the Inhabitants of Albemarle County by the Lords Proprs. Anno 1668—their Lordships did grant their Lands in the County of Albemarle in the same manner as the Lands in Virginia were then granted; and the Inhabitants of the said County relying on the Faith of the said Deed of Grant, did during the Time of the late Lords
VI. And be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that all Arrears of Quit Rent now due, or which shall become due to his Majesty his Heirs & Successors shall be pd. to his Majesty or to such Person as he shall appoint to receive the same in Silver at the Proclamation Standard, or in Gold equivalent thereto; or in the Paper Bills of Credit of this Province; or in the several Comodities and at the several and respective prices hereinafter rated & express'd: That is to say, Hemp at three pence per pound, good Merchantable water-rotted bright and clean Flax at four pence half penny per pound Rice at ten Shillings per hundred merchantable and fit for the European Market; well dressed Deer Skin at two Shillings and six pence per pound, not weighing less than a Pound per Skin; Tobacco at Eight Shill. & 4d p hundred for the County of Albemarle only.
VII. And for the better ascertaining such public Bills of Credit and the proportion they do or shall bear to proclamn. Money; Be it Enacted that the said Exchange shall be regulated and fixed by the Governr. Council and Assembly.
VIII. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid that the Arrears of Quit Rents now due to his Majesty since the 29th day of Septr 1729, or which shall become due on the 29th day of Septr. which shall be in the Year of Our Lord 1735, shall be pd. to his Majesty in the manner following; that is to say, The one Moiety or half part between the first day of February & the first day of March 1735 And the other Moiety or half part, together with the Quit Rents which shall then grow due, on the 29th day of Septr, which shall be in the Year of Our Lord 1736 between the first day of February and the first day of Mar. next following; and after the Quit Rents to be paid yearly at the Time aforesd and Places hereafter mentioned In Chowan Precinct at Edenton Burket's Landing & B Landg: in Bertie Precinct at Mr. Arthur Williams's Landg. Sam Williams's Landg. now—Mr. Thos Jones's; on Petty Shore at Jno. Howel's Landg. on Chowan River at Jno. Green's Landg. at the Widow Jeffery's Landg. at Theoph. Pugh's Landg. on which Edmd. Wiggins lives, all on Roanoke River, and at Base Island, on Cashi River; in Pequimen's Precinct at the Mouth of Deep Creek; in Little River at the Court house, at the River Bridge and at the Mouth of Yawpim River; in Pasquotank Precinct at the Landg. of Mr. Gab. Burnham, at the Landg. of Mr. Cha Sawyer, at Elihu Albertson at Arunens Creek at the Landing of Col. Jno Palin at the Landg. of Mr. Robt Lowry on Little River and at the Landg. of Mr. W. Reed on Pasquotank River in Currituck Precinct at Tulls Creek Bridge at Henry Woodus's Landg. on North River; at the Town on Roanoke Island; in Tyrrel Precinct at Shikowee Landg. at the Widow Bell's Landg. and at Mr. Jos. Spruel's Landg: in Beaufort Precinct at Bath Town, at Capt. Trip's Landg. and at Burdet's Landg. in Hide Precinct at Mr. Webster's Landg. at Matchapunga River and at Maj Slade's Landg: on Slade's Creek; in Craven Precinct at Newbern Town in Carteret Precinct at Beaufort Town in New Hanover
IX. And be it further Enacted that if any Disputes shall arise between the Officer appointed to receive such Quit Rents and the Persons paying the same concerning the Quality or Goodness of the Comodity tender'd for Paymt. the Officer upon Application to the next Magistrate, such Magistrate shall summons three freeholders to view the said Commodities so tender'd, & they or any two of them shall upon their Oaths declare before any Magistrate in the said Precinct whether such Comodity so tender'd as aforesaid be Merchantable or not, according to their best Skill & Knowledge.
X. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid not agreed to That the Quit Rents which become due & payable to His Majesty for the year 1736 shall be paid the Time & Places before mention'd in this Act, and if any Person shall remain Arrear thirty days after the Twentieth day of Decr. yearly in Case any Person or Persons shall be in Arrear to his Majesty for any Quit Rents or Part of Quit Rents, (excepting such as are herein before mention'd, for the Paymt. of which a time is already limited) for the Space of Two Months after such Quit Rents are become due the Receiver Genl. or any Person by him appointed shall enter on the Lands of the Defaulter and distrain and the Proceedings thereon shall be accordg to the Laws Statutes & Usage of England: And if it shall so happen that any Person shall be in Arrear for Quit Rent for the Space of Three Years, and no Distress can be found on the Lands for wch such Arrears are due, that then on Inquisition & Office found, the said Lands shall revert to his Majesty His Heirs and Successors.
XI. And whereas many Original Patents or Grants from the Late Lords Proprs the Govr or Comander in Chief for the Time being, have been lost or destroyed; it is therefore Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Records of such Patents or Grants, or the Abstract of Them recorded in the Secretary's Office; or the Exemplifiation of such Patents or Grants, shall be deemed as good & may be pleaded and given in Evidence, as if the Originals themselves were in being and produced; and if the Quit Rents reserved on such Patents or Grants cannot be discovered on the Record, that then the Grantee shall be charged with the highest Rent that was actually reserved & made payable to the late Lords Proprs in the County where such Lands lye; and such Exemplification may be register'd & returned into the Auditor's Office, as is before in this Act directed. Provided always, that in Case no Record can be found of such Grant or Patent so lost or destroyed, the Person holding and possessing the said Lands, upon due Proof before His Excelly the Govr or the Comr in Chief for the time being, of the Sum that has been paid for Quit Rent by himself or Predecessors, shall be liable to & chargeable with no greater Sum as Quit Rent for the said Land than has been so proved to be pd. as aforesd. anything herein before to the contrary notwithstanding.
XII. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That any Officer or Officers or other person who shall at any Time be sued or impleaded for putting this Act or any part thereof in Execution, it shall be lawfull for such Officer or Officers, Person or Persons to plead the General Issue, and give
XIII. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That nothing in this Act shall be construed, deemed held or taken to bring in Question or Invalidate any Patent or Grant of Land that is supported by the Act of Parliamt., whereby His Majesty purchased the Sovereignty of this Province, and the Interest of Seven of the Proprietors, so as such Patent or Grant shall be registered or tendered to be registered, within the Time limited in this Act.
Copy of the Quit Rent Bill as it was, when Rejected by the Council of North Carolina.
Recd October 10th, 1735.
Read 14th Do.