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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Deposition of Timothy Biggs concerning rebellion in Albemarle County
Biggs, Timothy, d. ca. 1685
Volume 01, Pages 309-311

[B. P. R. O. Colonial Papers.]



Recd from ye Commrs of ye Customs the 15th of July 1680.


Timo Biggs of the County of Albemarle Alias Ronoake in ye Province of Carolina deposeth

That some tyme in ye yeare 1675 was sent into ye foresd County a boxe directed to The Governr or Deputy Governr yr of; in wch was Comissions & Instructions to one Mr Copely and Mr Birch ye one to be Collectr & ye other to be Survayr for the Colecting & manageing a cartaine duty of 1d per pound impost by act of parlamt upon tobacco &c. transported to N. England or any other of his Maties Collonyes in America & wth all a Lettr from ye Commissioners of his Majties Customs in England directing the Governr That in case ye sd Copeley or Birch were not in ye Country, yt yn sd Govrnr should place other persons to look after the Colecting ye sd Revenue wch ordrs ye Govrnr wth ye Assistance of the Counscill goeing About to put in Exeqution were undrhand opposed yrin by one Crawford wth others & some N. England men then there traydeing, ye sd Crawford Endeavouring to perswaid ye people it would be a Great Inconveniancy for ym to submitt to this payment & yt ye N. England men would rayse ther Comodityes double if such paymt of 1d per pound were Exacted from them; Upon which ye people were Mutinous

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& Reviled and threatened the members of the Counscill yt were for setleing the said duty; how Ever ye sd duty was sutled & one Bird appoynted for Colecting it who went on Colecting it untill ye yeare 1676 in wch yeare ther being a Warr wth the Indians & ye people for yt reason in Armes they were perswaided by Geo: Durrant, Richard Foster Patricke Whitt & Vallentine Bird ye Colector wth divers others to force the Govermt to remitt to ye New England men, by whose hands were brought unto ym all sortes of Europiane Comodityes, three farthings of sd penny per pound, the sd Durrant having then a considerable quantity of tobacco to Receive wch he was to ship of to N. England as this deponent hath hard the sd Durrant say.

In Jully 1677 Mr Tho. Miller Arrived in ye sd County Brought wth him a Comission for himselfe to be Colectr of ye sd duty & a Certificate from the Governr that he had performed what ye Law in his case Required & also a Lettr from his Matie Comanding ye Governr & all other officers to be assisting to him in Colecting ye sd duty & ordrs to call all other former officers to Accott and also brought a Comission from Mr Tho. Eastchurch Govrnr of ye sd County for him the sd Miller to be President of ye Counscill & comandr in Cheefe duringe the absence of ye sd Eastchurch & ye sd Miller wth the Assistance of the Counscill of ye sd County, Resatled the colecting of the sd Dutty & called the former Colector to Acctt for wt hee had Receaved and all people seamed quiately to submitt to ye same & the New England men complyed in paying ye sd Duty: this Deponant was comissionated by the aforesd Tho Miller to be one of his Deputy colectors & had receaved upwards of a hundred hoxheads of Tobacco for his Matie & had seized some parscells of goods Judged to be Imported from contrary to law The which was done wthout any opposition wch quiat posture of colecting his Maties duty continued untill ye arrivall of one Capt Zackry Gillam on Satterday about ye last of November wth one Georg Durrant from London Upon whose comeing In the sd Bird Crawford & severall others went on board ye said ship wher this said Durrant was & on Monday ye 2d Decr one Wells Nevell & divers others went to ye house of this deponent wth Muskets and swords & broke open Chists & Locks, useing viallence to ys deponants familly & forceably took away ye sd Millers Comissions & Instructions for his colecting ye sd duty & all the Records of the country wch wer by the Authority ordrd to be there & caryed them to ye forementioned Crawfords house And Valentine Bird Wm Sears foresd Wells & Wm. Gineings who Crawford also joyned with & a party of armed men seized upon this deponant ye aforesd Tho Miller & Mr Jno. Nixon membrs of ye councill & Governmt took from them all ther papers kept them close prisoners

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not suffering them to speak in private wth anybody ore one wth the other & then sent out parties of armed men to secur the Rest of his Maties Officers & all the Members of ye Counscill Governmt & officers wch would not submit to or Joyne wth them, some of wch wer seized & others fled into Virginia, they also Took into yr possession all yt Tobacco yt had been Recd for his Matie & the goods that had been seized for haveing been Imported into ye sd county from N England Contrary to Law or ye Act of Trayde & Navigation, after wch ye sd Crawford together wth Durrant Bird Wells Sears & Gineings who headed the Rest in Armes being newly furnished yrwth from on board ye sd Gillams ship marched & convayed ye foresd prisoners wth divers others To ye house of ye sd Durrant, where this Rabble kept a court after ther maner, Kept ym yr close prisoners offten Threetening to Try & hang them haveing set up a mocke Govermt by force of men in Armes & prceed after yr fashion, suffering New England vessells to depart wth Layding of Tobacco wthout paying his Maties duty & this deponant after seaven weeks Imprisonment wthout mittimus found oppertunity of escape fled to Virginia & from thence came to England to give an Acct to his Matie & Lds Prprtrs of these Mattrs Leaveing the sd Tho. Miller in Irons wth Jno Nixon & severall others his Maties & the countryes officers prizoners & further at prsent saith not


London. 1678