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Memorandum from the Board of Trade of Great Britain to George III, King of Great Britain concerning acts of the North Carolina General Assembly, including an extract of a memorandum concerning acts of the South Carolina Assembly
Great Britain. Board of Trade
February 17, 1762
Volume 06, Pages 700-702

[From MSS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]

To the King's most Excellent Majesty.

May it please Your Majesty.

We have had under our Consideration three Acts passed in Your Majesty's Province of North Carolina in April 1761 which said Acts We humbly beg leave to lay before Your Majesty together with such Observations as have recurred to Us thereupon; The first of these Acts is entituled

An Act to amend and improve the Navigation from Currituck Inlet through the District in Currituck County to Albemarle Sound

This Act alters and repeals (in so far as regards the Port of Currituck) an Act passed in this Province in 1754, by which a Tonnage duty of Powder and Lead was imposed on every Vessel arriving in any of the Ports of that Colony, for its defence and Security, it being directed in the Act now in question that so much of the Powder and Lead as shall have been received from Vessels arriving in that Port, shall be sold and the product thereof applied to the Purposes of this Act, and that for the future a Tonnage duty of 2.6 per Ton shall be substituted in the place of the Duty of Powder and Lead required to be paid by the Act of 1754.

This alteration, We humbly apprehend is not only improper and impolitic in itself, but is also inconsistent with those Instructions, which have been given from time to time to the Governors of the several Colonies in America, directing and requiring them, to endeavour to procure Laws to be passed in their several Governments for imposing upon all Vessels trading to the said Colonies, a Tonnage duty on Powder payable in kind without any Commutation.

The other Two Acts are entituled

An Act for altering the times of holding the Superior Courts of

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Pleas and Grand Sessions, for the District of New Bern and also the Inferior Courts of Pleas and Quarter Sessions in the Counties of Orange and Carteret and for other purposes.—And an Act Entituled,

An Act to impower the several Superior and Inferior Courts within this Province to admit a Copy of the last Will and Testament of any Person deceased to be given in Evidence

Both these Acts being additional to and explanatory of the Acts passed in this Province in 1760, for establishing the Superior and Inferior Courts of Judicature, which Acts have been repealed in Your Majesty's Order in Council, of the 14th day of Decemr 1761, they must necessarily share the same fate; But independent of this Circumstance, the last mentioned of these Acts, appears to Us liable to another very material Objection, in as much as it is to the same purport and Effect, as an Act passed in the Province of South Carolina in April 1759, which Act has been repealed by Your Majesty's Order in Council the 25th of June 1761 for the reasons set forth in Our humble Representation to Your Majesty of the 29th of May preceding an Extract of which Representation so far as regards the Law now in question; We humbly beg leave to annex, and to propose, that these three several aforementioned Laws passed in North Carolina, in 1761 may be repealed.

All which is most humbly Submitted

Whitehall, Febry 17, 1762

Extract of a Representation from the Board of Trade to His Majesty Dated May 29th 1761.

An Act to supply the Defects in Evidence where original Wills, cannot be produced, and to make the Proceedings upon Questions arising upon such Wills more easy and Effectual; and for repealing so much of the Second Clause of an Act for making more effectual last Wills and Testaments, as contradicts or repeals the Ninth Clause of the Act against Bastardy.

Upon which Sr Mathew Lamb has reported to Us in the following Words

This Act is for establishing a method in regard to the proof of Wills concerning real Estates, which is not allowed of by the practice

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of the Courts of Law in England. The Acts of Parliament and the Practice of the Courts of Law have established a method for the Execution of such Wills and for the Proofs thereof, which has been done to prevent Frauds and Injuries to Heirs at Law and this Province has hitherto as well as the other Provinces, proceeded in the same method, and altho' it might be convenient to have some way less tedious and expensive than is at present, to make Wills concerning real Estates to be Evidence in Courts of Law, yet as this Province has the same way of proving Wills concerning real Estates in Chancery (per Testes) and exemplifying the same so as to make them Evidence as is usually practiced here; I am of Opinion there should be no Distinction for this Province, but that the Law should remain there as it is at present, agreeable to the Law and Practice of England, to prevent Inconveniencies that may arise by such alteration as is intended.

Besides this Objection stated by Sr Mathew Lamb, this Act appears to Us liable to another, which We conceive to be of great Weight, For it repeals part of a just and reasonable Law passed in 1734, founded on the Act of the 29th of King Charles the Second for preventing Frauds and Perjuries and against which no Complaint in the course of so many Years, has ever been made, and by such repeal, restores and revives a Clause in an Act against Bastardy whereby Persons having legitimate and illegitimate Children, are restrained from making by their last Wills any Provision for the illegitimate, how considerable so ever their Estates may be further than to the Amount of one Hundred Pounds Currency of that Province.