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Affidavit of Timothy Biggs concerning rebellion in Albemarle County
Biggs, Timothy, d. ca. 1685
May 1679
Volume 01, Pages 291-294

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

That some tyme in the yeare 1675 was sent into the County of Albemarle als Roanoake in the province of Carolina a Box directed to the govrnr or deputy Governor of the sd place in wch was a Com̄ission to one Copely & an other to one Birch, the one to bee Collectr & ye other Surveyor for the Collecting A certaine dutie off 1dper ℔ imposed by Act of Parlemt upon Tobacco &c. transported to New England or any othr of his Maties Collonies in America & wthall A letter from the Com̄issrs of his Maties customes in England Directing the Governr that in case the sd Copely & Birch were not in the Country that then the sd Governor should place other persons in their Roomes & to looke after the Collecting

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the sd Revenue, wch orders the then speaker instead of A Governor wth the Assistance of the Counsell goeing about to put in Execution were underhand or clandestinlie oposed therein by one Crawford wth others & some New England Men then there tradeing the sd Crawford endeavouring to perswade the people that it would be a great inconvenience for to submit to this paymt and that the New England Men did intend to raise their Comodities double if such paymt of 1d per ℔ were exacted from them, Upon wch the people were very mutunous and reviled & threatened ye Members off the Counsell that were for settleing ye sd duty however ye sd duty was setled and one Bird apointed Collector who went on collecting ye same untill the yeare 1676 In wch yeare there being A warr wth ye Indians & the people of the sd Countrey for yt reason in armes they were perswaded by Geo. Durant, Valentine Bird the Collector & one White wth others to fforce the Governor to remitt to the New England men (by whose hands were brought to them all sorts of English Comodities) three farthings of the sd 1d per ℔ the sd Durant haveing then a considerable quantitie of Tobacco to receive & wch hee was to shipp for New England as this Deponant hath heard the sd Durant say

In July 1677 Mr Tho. Miller arived in the sd County bringing wth him A Commission to himself to bee Collector of the sd Duty & also A Lettr from his Matie comanding ye Governor & all other Officrs to bee assisting to him in Collecting the sd duty & calling all other former officers to accompt and also A commission from Mr Tho. Eastchurch ye Governor of the sd County for him the sd Miller to bee Presidt of the Counsell of ye said County and Comandr in cheife dureing the absence of the said Eastchurch who with the assistance of the Counsell of the sd Countie resettled the Collecting of the sd Duty & called the formr Collector to accompt for what he had reced and all people haveing quietly submitted to the same & the New England Men complied in payeinge their duty & this Deponent who was Commissionated by the aforesaid Thomas Miller to bee one of his Deputie Collector had reced about 100 Hogsheads of Tobacco for his Maties account and had seized severall parcells of goods judged to be imported contrary to Law wch was done without anie oposition wch quiet posture of Collecting his Majties sd Duty continued untill the Arrivall of one Capt. Guillam from London on Saturday the last of Novembr or 1st of December 77 in whose shipp came the aforesd Geo. Durant from London also upon whose comeing the aforesd Crawford Bird and severall other went on Board the sd shipp to the sd Durant & on the Monday following one Wells and severall others by the perswasion of the said Bird came with Musquetts & swords to the house of this Deponent

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and broke open Chests & Locks and violently tooke away the said Millers Commission & Instructions for collecting the sd duty of 1d per ℔ and the Records of the sd County wch were there & carried them to the afore menc̄oned Crawfords house and Vallentine Bird with one Willm Seeres & Willm Jenings wth a party of armed Men seized upon this Deponent, the aforesd Tho. Miller & Jno Nixon Esqr a Member of the Counsell & tooke from them all their papers and kept them close prisonrs not suffering them to speak wth anie Body or one wth the other & then sent out parties to secure ye rest of his Majties Collectors and all the Membrs of the Counsell and other officers yt would not submitt to them, some of wch were seized & others fled into Virginia, and the sd Rebells tooke into their possession the Tobacco that had beene rec̄ed upon the sd duty of 1d per ℔ and also the goods that had beene seized for haveing beene imported into ye sd County contrary to the Acts of trade and Navigation. After wch the sd Crawford together wth ye sd Durant wth others who then openly joyned wth them did with their party who had beene furnished with new Armes from on Board ye sd Guillams shipp Convey the sd Tho. Miller Jno Nixon and this Deponent & severall others who had beene brought in prisonrs to the house off the sd George Durant and there kept them close prisonrs and often threatened to hang them, haveing sett up A Court & governmt after their owne fashion, But this Deponent ffindinge an opertunity made his escape and fled into Virginia and from thence came into England and left the sd Tho. Miller in Irons wth severall others of his Majties Collectors and other officers prisonrs and whilest this Deponent was kept A prisonr New England vessells went thence wth Tobaco wthout paying ye sd duty & further saith not.


in or about May 79

This is a True Coppy of my affidavitt wch I delivered in ye prsence of ye Duke of Albemarle unto ye Ld Tresurer by ordr of ye Lds Propriatrs of Carolina the wch they perused & ordrd that I should draw a petition to the Kings Matie & Counscill & upon a Counscill day that I should prsent it the wch ye Lds Proprs aforesd at a meeting ordrd mee to proceed in apoynting ye Tyme saying as many of them as were of the Counscill would be prsent at prsenting it & forward mee in it But before the time apoynted the sd Lds mett a monge them selves & for some Reasons best known to themselves Comanded & ordered mee to desist

This is for a trouth

Given undr my hand this 15th Augt 1679

Depty for ye Earle of Craven

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I the subscribd doe Averr and am ready to be deposed yt ye attestation and averrmt above said and prte on the other side to the delivry and tender of ye aforementioned Affidavitt be the hand writeing of Mr Timothy Biggs