|Pages 209-238||Pages 262-282|
HOLDEN AT JAMES CITTY THE SECOND DAY OF
|2nd Revisal of the laws.|
|The MS. from which the acts of this session were printed, is now in the library of Congress at Washington.|
| PRESENT Sir William Berkeley, knight Governor, &c.|
|The names of the Burgesses for the several plantations are as followeth:|
|WHEREAS the many and sundry acts and laws at former Grand Assemblies established in severall books and volumes digested have been found very prejudiciall to the Colony by this Grand Assembly, for reduceing the same into a more exact method and|
|order, And for preventing all mistakes & pretenses, which may arise from misinterpretation or ignorance of the law's in force. It is therefore thought fitt, and accordingly enacted by the Governour, Council & Burgesses of this Grand Assembly and the authority acts and lawes of all former Assemblies be from repealed & made void. Such onely excepted, which are hereafter mentioned as followeth (vizt.)||All former laws repealed. |
|IN the first place Be it enacted for the advancement of God's glorie and the weale publique, that these orders & constitutions hereafter following concerninge the Church government be and remaine in full power, force & vertue.||Church government.|
|That there be a vestrie held in each parish, for the makeing of the leavies and assessments for such vses as are requisite & necessary for the repairing of the churches, &c. and that there be yearly chosen two or more churchwardens in every parish.||Church wardens.|
|Itt: That the most sufficient and selected men be chosen and joyned to the minister and churchwardens to be of that vestrie.||Vestry.|
|Itt: That there be a yearly meeting of the ministers & churchwardens before the comander & com'rs. of every county court in nature of a visitation according to the orders & constitutions of the church of England, which is there usually held every yeare after Christma's.||Visitation.|
|Itt: That there be an oath administered to the churchwardens that they deliver in a true presentment in writing of such misdemeanors as to their knowledge have been comitted the year before, whilst they have been churchwardens, namely, swearing, prophaning God's name, and his holy Sabboths, abuseing his holy word and commandments, contemning his holy sacraments or any thing belonging to his service or worship.|| Oath of church wardens.|
What offences to present.
|Itt: If any person or persons of what degree or condition soever shall abuse themselves with the high & foule offences of adultery, whoredome or fornication or with the loathsome sinne of drunkennes in the abuse of God's creatures, of those and every those to make a true presentment.||Adultery, fornication, drunkenness.|
|Itt: That the littargie of the church of England for the administration of the word & sacrament, be duely performed according to the booke of common prayer, allowed by his Ma'tie & confirmed by consent of parliament.||Sacrament.|
|Itt: That the churchwardens shall likewise at that time deliver upon their oaths a true account of all leavies, collections & disbursments as have been in their time concerning church affairs whereby all things concerning the same may be fairely carryed, And all collections so made to be paid by the churchwardens, according to the order for the ministers duties, & brought to the place appointed by the churchwardens for the time being.||Levies, &c. to be returned by church wardens on oath.|
|Itt: That there be a true & perfect register kept in a booke & yearly presented at the said visitation of all weddings, christenings & burialls and that the clerke of every parish shall present to the commander of every monethly court a list of all weddings, christenings & burialls within their parish the present moneth.||Register of marriages, births and deaths.|
|That there be no marriage solemnized vnless by a license vnder the signett from the Governour, or the banes lawfully published in the parish or parishes where both parties do inhabite.||Marriages not to be without licence or banns.|
|Itt: That the said meeting or visitation be after the coming in of the new churchwardens & going out of the old, And that the old churchwardens be not discharged until they have given vpp their presentment as aforesaid.||Visitation, when to be.|
|Itt. That there be a place sett out and allotted for the buriall of the dead in evrie plantation according to the appointment of the commander & minister of the place.||Burying grounds.|
|Itt. That every minister have his clark and also sexton, for the keeping cleane of the churches, & other services in the absence of the ministers according to the cannons of the church of England, & his or their meanes to be allowed by the parishoners.||Clerks and sextons to be appointed.|
|That all freemen that are hired servants shall pay their own tithes and duties are to be collected per pol for the country service.||Who to pay tithes.|
|It is also enacted & confirmed, by the authority aforesaid that the vestrie of evrie parish with the allowance||Ministers, how appointed;|
|of the commander & com'rs. of the county living & resideing within the said parish, or the vestrie alone in case of their non residence shall from henceforward have power, to elect and make choyce of their ministers, And he or they so elected by the commander and comr's. or by the vestrie in case of non residence as aforesaid to be recommended and presented to the said comander and com'rs. or vestrie alone, tot he Governour & so by him admitted, Provided that it shall be lawfull for the Gov'r. for the time being to elect and admit such a minister as he shall allow of in James-Citty parish, And in any parish where the Governour & his successors shall have a plantation provided he or they enjoy not that priviledge but in one parish where he or they have such a plantation, and vpon the neglect or misbecomeing behaviour of the minsters or any of them, compl't. thereof being made by the vestrie, The Governour & Council are requested so to proceed against such minister or ministers by suspension or other punishment as they shall think fitt & the offence require. Removeall of such ministers to be left to the Grand Assembly.||and punished for neglect, &c. |
May be suspended by the governor and council, but removed only by the general assembly.
|Be it further enacted and confirmed for the releife of diverse poore people that have been of very long continuance in the country, and are disabled to labor by reason of sicknes, lamenes or age, The vestrie of everie parish are hereby enjoyned vpon the complaint of such poore & vnable persons to give them a certificate to the com'rs. of the county where such poore shall reside to testifie their poverty which shall free them from all publique charges except the ministers' & parish duties.||Poor to be exempted from public charges.|
|Be it also enacted and confirmed That there be tenn pounds of tob'o. per poll & a bushell of corne per poll paid to the ministers within the severall parishes of the collony for all tithable persons, that is to say, as well for all youths of sixteen years of age as vpwards, as also for all negro women at the age of sixteen years, And it is also further ordered for the better conveniencie & ease of the ministers that vpon the twentieth of November if it be nos Sunday, & then vpon the day following (notice being first given by the churchwardens a week before,) That the parishoners shall bring in the duties of tenn pounds of tob'o. for the ministers vnto||Ministers' allowance. |
|a place appointed by the churchwardens in that plantation, And that the ministers be warned to be there, or appoint some others to receive the same, The said churchwardens to give the aforesaid warneing, And it is likewise ordered that the duties of a bushel of corne to be brought in vpon the 19th of December to a place appinted by the churchwardens in that plantation by the minister (notice being given as aforesaid,) The payment to be made by two bushells of ears for one bushell of shelled corne, & so rateably , And it is further ordered that if any planter or parishoner do neglect the bringing of the corn or tob'o. as aforesaid, he or they for such default shall forfeit double the quantity of tob'o. or corne to be leavied by distresse by the authority of the commander, And it is further established that the ministers petty duties shall be as followeth.||Penalty for failure.|
|Fees to ministers.|
|ffor breaking ground in the church the pay is left to the churchwardens & vestrie.|
|ffor breaking ground in the chancell att the discretion of the ministers.|
|BE it also enacted & confirmed, that noe master or commander of any vessel, boat, barke, or shipp, shall transport any person or persons out of the collony except the said person or persons do produce a pass vnder the hand of the governour & attested by the secretary, vpon the penalty to pay all such debts as any such person shall stand indebted to any person within the collony, at his or their departure, And it is further ordered that before any passe shall be signed to any person, he or they shall bring certificate to the secretaries office from the commander or monethly court where he or they reside that he hath sett vp his name tenn daies at the place of meeting of the county court or otherwise shall putt in sufficient security for the payment of all debts that are due or oweing from them to any person within the collony.||No person to be transported out of the colony without a pass from the governor, nor before he has advertised his intention or given security for all his debts.|
|IT is further enacted & confirmed, that the Governor & Council shall not lay any taxes or impositions vpon this collonie their lands or comodities otherwise then my the authority of the Grand Assembly to be leavied & imployed as by the Assembly shall be appointed.||Restrictions on ghe governor, &c. as to taxes.|
|BE it also enacted & confirmed, that what person or persons soever within the collony shall feloniously kill a tame hogg being none of his owne & being thereof lawfully convicted shall suffer as a felon, And whosoever shall kill any wild hoggs without lycense from the Governor, unles it be within the bounds of his own land shall for his offence be censured by the Governor & Council, or in case it be within the bounds of his own land such person killing any wild hoggs shall call two of his neighbors being housholders who may wittnes that the hogg was vnmarked. And before such view of neighbors what persons soever shall kill a wild vnmarked hogg, and cutt off his ears, shall be censured as aforesaid (as in case of a transgressor for killing of wild hoggs without the bounds of his own lands,) The ears to be brought in to the next commissioner as formerly, It is likewise thought fitt to be explained that this clause of veiwing the ears shall extend to such as shall have license from the Governor for killing of wild hoggs, Provided that this clause of killing of wild hoggs nor the penalty thereof shall not extend to Smith's Iland.||Punishment for feloniously killing a tame hogg.
For killing a wild hog, without license from the governor.
|BE it also enacted & confirmed, That ev'rie planter shall make a sufficient fence about his cleared ground, And if he be deficient therein what trespass or damage he shall susteyne by hoggs, goats or cattle whatsoever shall be to his owne losse and detriment, And also if it happen that any person shall hunt any of the said hoggs, goats or cattle as aforesaid that shall so offend them & do them harm he shall make satisfaction for any of them that shall be so hurt, to the owners of the said hoggs, goats or cattle, to be recovered||Sufficient fences to be made. |
Penalty for hunting or killing hogs, &c. breaking into grounds not sufficiently fences.
|within any court of justice within the collony. And it is thought fitt & so ordered that where any hoggs, goats or cattle, shall endamage any planter for want of such ffence as aforesaid and the party damnified do wilfully kill or otherwise hurt so as the said hoggs or cattle do die of such hurt, whether by doggs sett vpon them or otherwise, in such cases the owner of the ground shall not onely be liable to satisfie the full value of such hogg, goat or cattle, But by vertue of this act shall be adjudged to satisfie double the value of such hoggs, goats, or cattle so killed to the owners of them.|
|BE it also enacted and confirmed for preventing and redressing the great abuses by the excessive and exorbitant ingrossing of comodities brought into the collony and forestallers of the market, (as hereafter is expressed, vizt.) what person or person soever shall buy and shooes, Irish stockins, course woollen or linnen stockins, servants shirts, or any linnen whatsoever, servants woollen clothes, or any woollen cloth whatsoever strong liquors, soape, candle, sugar, fruite, spices, nailes, or any manner of ironware, armes, amunition, or any necessarie comoditie whatsoever and do sell the same at a dearer rate then they were bought by them, such person shall to all intents and purposes be counted an ingrosser and foresteller, and such person or persons so offending against the premises, shall for every such sale of the aforesaid goods forfeit double the valew of what the goods were sold by him or them, halfe of which forfeiture shall be and come to the King's majestie, the other halfe to the informer: Nevertheless it shall be lawfull any thing in this act to the contrary notwithstanding, for any person haveing bought a servant and undergone the charge and hazard of seasoning of any such servant, to make his best advantage by putting of or bartering such servant to any other inhabitant within the collony.||Ingrossing & forestalling defined. |
|BE it also enacted and confirmed that according to his majesties instructions no master of any shipp or vessel arriving to the collony shall breake bulke or make||Vessels restricted to James City.|
|sale of any goods or servants, nor any merchant or other person whatsoever arriving in such shipp or vessel before such shipp or vessell shall arrive at the porte of James Citty, (at which port they shall ride at anchor four and twenty hours at least.) And it is further ordered, that if any master, merchant or any other person whatsoever shall offend against the premises, such master shall forfeit for such offence of breaking bulk two pounds of powder for each tunn of burden, one moyity whereof shall be and come to the publique stock and the other moyity to the informer, And such master, merchant or any other person whatsoever for such offence of sale of goods or servants before arrival to the aforesaid port, shall forfeit the full valew of the goods and servants so sould, the one halfe whereof shall be and come to the King's ma'tie and the other half to the informer, And for removing and takeing away of all pretense of ignorance to this said act by any master, merchant or any other person whatsoever, it is further ordered that the capt. leu'tt. or other officer of the ffort shall affix a coppy of this act to the mainmast of any shipp or vessell that shall arrive within James River, Provided that this act nor the penalty thereof shall not extend to any shipp or vessell that shall be consigned to Charles River or Northampton county.|
Penalty for failure.
Copy of this act to be fixed to the mainmast.
|BE it also enacted and confirmed that there be two acres of corne planted for every worker in the ground, And for the better execution of this said act, it is further ordered that all constables within their severall lymitts and precincts shall take a veiw of every man's corne vpon the ground, and where the proportion of two acres is wanting, the constables of the said lymitts shall present their defaults to the comissioners of the monethly courts which by vertue of this act are required to make inquiry thereof, and are further authorized to impose a fine of five hundred pounds of tobacco per acre defective vpon such person or persons whom they find delinquent in the premises one halfe whereof shall be and come to the constable or any other informer and the other halfe to publique vses for the good of the county where the offence is committed.||Two acres of corn to be planted for each worker. |
Constables to present for failure.
|BE it also enacted and confirmed, that all comanders or masters of shipps comeing out of the ocean into the harbor of Poynt Comfort or elcewhere within the lymitts of the collonie shall pay vnto the capt. of the ffort, his deputy or deputyes or such whom the governor shall appoint a quarter of a pound of powder and shott proportionable for every tunn of burden that the shipp, shall be of, as also match and paper royal according to their burden or tunns, The burden to be accounted as they are entered at the custome house or as they doe pay to the lights or other duties in the kingdome of England, And it is further enacted that all commanders and masters of shipps shall at their arrivall give in a true list vpon oath to the capt. of the ffort or his deputy of the nomber of the passengers.||Fort duties payable at Point Comfort of powder, shot, &c.|
|BE it also enacted and confirmed, for a finall determination of the Isle of Weight county, Vpper and Lower Norff: counties that the Isle of Weight county shall beginn at Lawne's creek and from thence to extend downe along the maine river vnto the plantation of Rich: Hayes formerly belonging vnto John Howard including the said plantation and family from thence to extend from the main river into the woods southerly vnto the plantation of William Nowell and Mr. Robert Pitt including likewise the said plantation and familys and from thence southerly as aforesaid.||Boundaries of Isle of Wight, Upper & Lower Norfolk counties.|
|And the vpper county of New Norff: to begin at the aforesaid plantation of Rich: Hayes and from thence into the woods southerly as aforesaid, and by the mayne river, from thence to extend downe by the mayne river into the creeke near vnto the plantation of the said ffrancis Bullock being the first creek to the westward of Crayne Poynt, including the plantation of the said ffrancis Bullock, and no waies trenching vpon the western branch of Elizabeth River, nor the creeks thereof which do belong to the county of the Lower Norff:|
|These bounds being sett and lymitted by the consent and agreement of the burgesses for the said countyes.|
|WHEREAS the rights and interests of the inhabitants are very much infringed by hunting and shooting of divers men vpon their neighbours lands and dividents contrary to the priviledges granted to them by their patents, whereby many injuries do dayly happen to the great damage of the owners of the land whereon such hunting or shooting is vsed. It is therefore enacted and confirmed that if any planter or person shall hunt or shoot vpon or within the precincts ro lymitts of his neighbour or other divident without leave first obtained for his soe doing, and having been warned by the owner of the land to forbear hunting and shooting as aforesaid, he or they soe offending shall forfeit for everie such offence foure hundred pounds of tobacco, the one halfe to the owner of the land, the other halfe to publick vses −−− Notwithstanding it shall and may be lawfull for any person or planter to hunt or shoot uppon any divident of land not being planted or seated without any restraint or penalty, Provided that the lymitts of everie divident be bounded with certain and noted marks. Provided also that it shall be lawfull for any person having shott a deare or other game without the lymitts of any man's land to pursue the said deare or game into the divident of another man, and freely to carry away the same without any trespass against the owner or proprietor of the said land and without incurring the penalty of this said act.||Penalty for hunting or shooting upon another man's land.
|WHEREAS divers persons as dayly experience informeth doe closely and privately convey over their estates by way of mortgage not delivering possession whereby the creditors are defrauded and defeated of their just debts not having knowledge of the same, Be it therefore enacted and confirmed, for redresse of the like inconveniencies hereafter that what person or persons soever either have since January 1639 or hereafter shall make or pass over any conveyance as aforesaid of any part or parcell of his estate in any other way or manner then what shall be done and acknowledged at a quarter court or monethly court and there registred||Mortgages to be registered in quarter or monthly courts; or deemed fraudulent as to creditors.|
|such conveyance shall be adjudged fraudulent and to all intents and purposes void and of none effect. Provided that this act shall not extend to such persons who for satisfaction of just debts shall make a bill of sale of their estate or any part of them, and therevpon deliver the estate mentioned in the bill of sale into the possession of the creditor, but that such act shall be good to all intents and purposes although it be not done, nor acknowledgment thereof made in any court within the collonie as if this act had never been.|
|BE it further enacted and confirmed that the plantation and county now knowne by the name of Achommack shall be knowne and called by the county of North'ton, It is likewise enacted and confirmed that Charles River county shall be distinguished by this name (the County of York) And that Warwick River shall be called the County of Warwick, And that Chickahomini parish shall be nominated and called Wallingford.||Name of Accomac changed to Nor'ampton, of Charles River to York, and Warwick River to Warwick.|
|BE it also enacted and confirmed vpon consideration had of the large extent of the county of North'ton and the great inconvenience for the inhabitants to be all of one parish that the said county shall be divided into two parishes, The bounds of the one to be from the eastermost side of King's Creek towards the vttermost extent of land towards Smith's Island including all the land between the bay of Chesopeiak and the seaboard side.||Nor'ampton county divided into two parishes. |
|And the other parish, from the northward side of the said King's Creek to Nuswattocks including all the lands between the said bay of Chesopeiak and the seaboard side.||2d parish.|
|Be it also enacted and confirmed that the inhabitants of Mrs. Edlow's divident lying above Sandy Poynt shall be taken and admitted into the parish of Wallingford.|
|BE it enacted and confirmed that Warwick county shall be bounded as followeth: from the mouth of Keth's* creek vpp along the lower side of the head of it, including all the divident of Mr. Thomas Harwood (provided it prejudice not the antient bounds of James Citty county) with Mulberry Island, Stanly Hundred, Warwick River, with all the land belonging to the Mills. and so down to Newports News with the families of Skowen's damms and Persimon Ponds.||Warwick county, boundaries of.|
|BE it further enacted and confirmed, vpon the petition of the inhabitants of Linhaven parish, by the Governor, Council and Burgesses of this Grand assembly that the parish of Linhaven be bounded as followeth (vizt.)||Linhaven parish, boundaries of.|
|To beginn at the first creek shooting out of Chesopeiack bay called the Little Creek including all the branches of the said creek and thence extending to the head of Lynhaven river, including all the branches o the said river, and thence to extend down to the head of the easterne branch of Elizab: River to a creek on the northward side of the said branch called the Broad Creek, and on the southward side to a creek called the Indian creek, Provided it be not prejudiciall to the parishes of Eliz: River and southerne shoar by takeing away any parte of the said parishes, And it is furhter enacted and confirmed by the authority aforesaid that the inhabitants of Lynhaven parish shall not be compelled by any officer to be exercised in maritall discipline beyond the lymitts of the said parish, And that the said parishoners shall have the free liberty and priviledge of electing and choosing Burgesses for the said parish.||May elect burgesses. |
|FFOR the better inabling the inhabitants of this collony to the religious worship and service of Almighty God which is often neglected and slackened by||Upper Norfolk county divided into parishes.|
|* Note in the MS. "now Skisser"|
|the inconvenience and remote vastnes of parishes, It is therefore enacted and confirmed by the authority of this present Grand Assembly, that the county of Vpper Norff: shall be divided into three distinct parishes (vizt.) one on the south side of Nansimum River, The bounds of the parish to beginn from the present gleab to the head of the said river, on the other side of the river, the bounds to be lymitted from Cooling's Creek including both sides of the creek vpwards to the head of the Westerne Branch and to be nominated the South parish.||1st parish.|
|It is also thought fitt and confirmed that the east side of Nansimum River from the present gleab downewards to the mouth of the said River be a peculiar parish to which the gleab and parsonage house that now is shall be appropriated and called the est parish. −−− The third parish to beginn on the westerly side of Nansimum River to be lymitted from Coolings Creek as aforesaid and to extend downewards to the mouth of the River including all Chuckatuck on both sides and the Ragged Isands and to be known by the name of the West parish.||2d parish. |
| Be it also enacted and confirmed that the parish of
Chesckake be called Hampton Parish.
Be it also enacted and confirmed for the conveniency of the inhabitants on both sides of Appomattock River being farr remote from the parish church of the said plantation vpon Appomatttock be bounded into a parish by themselves as followeth, to beginn at Causon's ffeild within the mouth of Appomattock River on the eastward side, and at Powell's Creek on the westward side of the river, and so to extend vp the river to the falls on both sides and the said parish to be called by the name of Bristoll.
|Names of certain parishes changed and new ones formed.
|Be it also enacted and confirmed that the bounds of the parish of Weynoak be as followeth, beginning at the creek called David Jon's creek, and so vpwards along the mayne river vnto the Oldman's Creek, and over the river to fflowerday Hundred and so downe the river on that side the water vnto Chippoaks's Creek where Charles Citty county endeth.||Weyanoake parish.|
|Be it also enacted and confirmed vpon consideration had of the godly disposition and good intent of Benjamin Symms, dec. in founding by his last will and testament a freeschool in Elizabeth county, for the incouragement of all others in the like pious performances, that the said will and testament with all donations therein contained concerning the ffreeschool and the scituation thereof in the said county and the land appurteining to the same, shall be confirmed according to the true meaning and godly intent of the said testator without any alienation or conversion thereof to any place or county.||Confirmation of the will of Benjamin Symms, giving lands in Elizabeth City for a free school.|
|WHEREAS much ground intended for James Citty hath layen long deserted by the antient proprietors who neither built themselves nor suffer others, This present Grand Assembly doth hereby enact and confirme that all such that have build decent houses vpon ground so deserted towards the making of a Towne since January 1640 or shall add more to them after publication of these acts shall hold them without interruption of the said proprietors or any of them, according to the custome and his majesties and their lordships instructions concerning land, Provided allwaies that the said antient owner shall have allotted him as much ground in stead thereof as near the towne as conveniently may be, Provided allways in such ground so deserted such as shall build vpon it and take it vpp for themselves shall pay to his majestie all such and the like rent or rents as are reserved vpon the grant to the first proprietor as in the case of other land deserted.||Vacant lots in James city to be built upon by others.|
|WHEREAS many great abuses & much detriment have been found to arise both against the law of God and likewise to the service of manye masters of families in the collony occasioned through secret marriages of servants, their masters and mistresses being not any ways made privy thereto, as also by committing||Punishment on servants marrying without leave of their owners.|
|of fornication, for preventing the like abuses hereafter, Be it enacted and confirmed by this Grand Assembly that what man servant soever hath since January 1640 or hereafter shall secretly marry with any mayd or woman servant without the consent of her master or mistres if she be a widow, he or they so offending shall n the first place serve out his or their tyme or tymes with his or their masters or mistresses, and after shall serve his or their master or mistress one compleat year more for such offence committed, And the mayd or woman servant so marrying without consent as aforesaid shall for such her offence double the tyme of service with her master and mistress, And a ffreeman so offending shall give satisfaction to the master or mistress by doubling the value of the service and pay a ffine of five hundred pounds of tobacco to the parish where such offence shall be comitted, And it is also further enacted and confirmed by the authority of this Grand Assembly that if any man servant shall comit the act of fornication with any mayd or woman servant, he shall for his offence, besides the punishment by the law appointed in like cases, give satisfaction for the losse of her service, by one whole year's service, when he shall be free from his master according to his indentures, And if it so fall out that a freeman offend, as formerly he shall be compelled to make satisfaction to the master or mistris of the said woman servant by his service for one compleat year, or otherwise give forthwith such valuable consideration as the comissioners in their discretion shall think fitt.||Also for committing fornication.|
|WHEREAS complaints are at every quarter court exhibitted against divers persons who entertain and enter into covenants with runaway servants and freemen who have formerly hired themselves to others to the great prejudice if not the vtter vndoing of divers poor men, thereby also encourageing servants to runn from their masters and obscure themselves in some remote plantations, Vpon consideration had for the future preventing of the like injurious and vnjust dealings, Be it enacted and confirmed that what person or persons soever shall entertain any person as hireling, or sharer or vpon any other conditions for one whole||Penalty for harbouring or dealing with a runaway servant or hireling.|
|yeare without certificate from the commander or any one commissioner of the place, that he or she is free from any ingagement of service, The person so hireing without such certificate as aforesaid, shall for every night that he or she entertaineth any servant either as hireling or otherwise, fforfeit to the master or mistris of the said servant twenty pounds of tobacco, And for evrie freeman which he or she entertaineth (formerly hired by another) for a year as aforesaid, he or she shall forfeit to the party who had first hired him twenty pounds of tobacco for every night deteyned. And for everie freeman which he or she entertaineth (though he hath not formerly hired himselfe to another) without certificate as aforesaid, And in all these cases the party hired shall receive such censure and punishment as shall be thought fitt by the Governor and Counsell: Allways provided that if any such runnaway servants or hired freemen shall produce a certificate, wherein it appears that they are freed from their former masters service or from any such ingagement respectively, if afterwards it shall be proved that the said certificates are counterfeit then the retayner not to suffer according to the penalty of this act, But such punishment shall be inflicted vpon the forger and procurer thereof as the Governor and Council shall think fitt.|
|WHEREAS there are divers loytering runaways in the collony who very often absent themselves from their masters service, And sometimes in two or three monthes cannot be found, whereby their said masters are at great charge in finding them, And many times even tot he losse of their year's labour before they be had, Be it therefore enacted and confirmed that all runnaways that shall absent themselves from their said masters service shall be lyable to make satisfaction by service at the end of their tymes by indenture (vizt.) double the tyme of service soe neglected, And in some cases more if the comissioners for the place appointed shall find it requisite and convenient. And if such runnaways shall be found to transgrese the second time or oftener (if it shall be duely proved against hem) that then they shall be branded in the cheek with the||Runaway servants, how punished. |
For a second offence to be branded on
|letter R. and passe vnder the statute of incorrigible rogues. Provided notwithstanding that where any servants shall have just cause of complaint against their masters or mistrises by harsh or vnchristianlike vsage or otherways for want of diet, or convenient necessaryes that then it shall be lawfull for any such servant or servants to repaire to the next comissioner to make his or their complaint, And if the said commissioner shall find by good and sufficient proofes, that the said servant's cause of complaint is just, The said comissioner is hereby required to give order for the warning of any such master or mistris before the comissioners in theire seuerall county courts, where the matter in difference shall be decided as they in their discretions shall think fitt, And that care be had that no such servant or servants be misvsed by their masters or mistrises, where they shall find the cause of complaint to be just. Be it further also enacted that if any servant running away as aforesaid shall carrie either peice, powder and shott, And leave either all or any of them with the Indians, And being thereof lawfully convicted shall suffer death as in case of ffelony.|| the cheek with the letter R. |
Proviso in case of ill usage of master.
Felony to carry powder, &c. to the Indians.
|BE it also enacted and confirmed, that what person or persons soever shall sell or barter with any Indian or Indians for peece, powder and shott and being thereof lawfully convicted, shall forfeit his whole estate, the one halfe to the informer the other halfe to the vse of the county where such ffact shall be committed, And if any person shall barter or trade with the Indians for any other comodities such person shall suffer imprisonment at the discretion of the Governour and Counsel, And whereas it is informed that divers persons do entertain Indians to kill deare or other game, And do furnish the said Indians with peeces, powder and shott, by which great abuse, not onely the Indians (to the great indangering of the collony) are instructed in the vse of ovr arms, but have opportunity given them to store themselves as well with arms as powder and shott, Be it therefore enacted, That what person or persons soever within the collony, shall lend any Indian either peece, powder and shott, It shall be lawfull for any person meeting with any such Indian so furnished, to||Penalty for selling arms and ammunition to the Indians, or dealing with them.|
|take away either peece, powder or shott, so as such person taking away either peece, powder or shott do carrie the same to the comander of the county, and acquaint him therewith, which said comander is hereby authorized to give possession to the informer either of the peece, powder or shott so brought before him, Ad the said commander is further require, to make a strict inquire and examination to find out such person that did lend or give such peece, powder or shott to the Indians, And in case the said commander or other commanders in examination shall find any person by just proofe delinquent in the premises, he or they are to bind over the said party to answer the same, before the Governor and Counsell the ensuing quarter court, and in such case the party delinquent for his just offence shall forfeit two thousand pounds of tobacco, the one half whereof shall be an come to the King's majesty, the other halfe to the informer, And it is further enacted that such delinquent for his second offence shall forfeit his whole estate, one halfe to the King, the other halfe to the informer. And this act to be of force after publication hereof in each county.|
|THE Governor and Counsell with the Burgesses of the Grand Assembly haveinge taken into serious consideration the estate of the collony and finding that many people have (through their ingagements in England) forsaken their native countrey and repaired hither with resolution to abide here, hopeing in time to gain some competency of subsistance by their labors, Yet neverth'les their creditors hearing of their abroad here in the collony, have prosecuted them with their actions to the ruin of the said debtors, And having duely weighed the causes and reasons induceing such debtors to leave their countrey and friends, And if such suits and pleas be thus early admitted before the countrey shall come to better maturity, It might hazard the deserting of a great part of the country, Therefore that the generall good be preferred before the particular ends of any person, The Governor, Counsel and Burgesses do hereby enact and confirm, that all process & suits of this nature be suspended vntil his majestie shall||Process against debtors lately arrived from England suspended.|
|signifie his royal pleasure herein, Provided that if it shall appear to the Governor and counsell that the debt soe impleaded have relation to the collony either for adventure of any goods or for the accomodation of any planter in or for his return into the collony, Then it shall and may be lawfull for any creditor vpon just proofe of his debt to have such releif as in justice shall be found due. Any thing in this act to the contrary notwithstanding.||Proviso.|
|BE it also enacted and confirmed that the order of court made the 8th of October 1630 for the grant of land to the Vndertakers that seated the first and second year vpon Chescake and Yorke be hereby ratified and confirmed vnto the said vndertakers according to the true intent of the said order.||Order of court of 1630 granting land to certain setlers confirmed.|
|WHEREAS divers controversies have risen between masters and servants being brought into the collony without indentures or covenants to testifie their agreements whereby both masters and servants have been often prejudiced, Be it therefore enacted and confirmed for prevention of future controversies of the like nature, that such servants as shall be imported haveing no indentures or covenants either men or women if they be above twenty year old to serve fowre year, if they shall be above twelve and vnder twenty to serve five years, And if under twelve to serve seaven years.||Servants brought in without indentures, how long to serve.|
|BE it further enacted and confirmed by the authority aforesaid that no blank warrant shall be made or executed by any clerk or sheriffe within the collony, And also that no writ or process be directed to more than one sheriffe (vnles against felons runnaway||No blank warrant to issue; & no writ to be directed to more than one sheriff.|
|servants or for other criminal causes,) And for such as shall be found delinquent to be censured by the Governor and Counsell.||Proviso.|
|Be it also enacted by this Grand Assembly that it shall be free and lawfull for any merchant, factors of other of the Dutch nation to import wares and merchandizes and to trade or traffique for the commoditys of the collony in any shipp or shipps of their owne or belonging to the Netherlands, And whereas it is pretended by a petition exhibitted to this Assembly from Dutch merchants that the nation is much discouraged from adventuring hither by reason of the strict course which is taken here, to exact bonds with security for the payment of his majesties custome at the port of London, (which security they being strangers is very difficult for them to find or procure,) Be it therefor enacted and established by this Grand Assembly and the authority of the same that what Dutch merchant shall adventure goods and merchandise into this collony and shall bring in with them good and sufficient letters of creditt directed to the Governor from some merchant or merchants inhabitting within the city of London of knowne repute and ability to this effect, that the said merchant from such letters shall come will satifie to his majest's collectors or customers such dues and demands as shall be found due to be paid by them, and is or shall be thought fitt to be required from merchants of that nation tradeing in that commodity within the kingdome of England ora t the port of London, that then it shall be free and lawfull for such Dutch merchant to exporte his tobacco out of the collony without entring into any bond or obligation for defraying any customes or without any stopp or hinderance, then that he be ompelled to charge bills of exchange to satisfy according to the tenor and effect of the letter of creditt, And it is further thought fitt that this act be transmitted and authenticated vnder the signett of the Counsell and the hand of the Secretary.||Encouragement to Dutch merchants. |
Duties how secured.
|BE it also enacted that no person or persons whatsoever for any offence already committed or to be committed shall be hereafter adjudged to serve the collony.||Servitude for offences abolished.|
|WHEREAS by the 18th act of Assembly 1641, It was appointed for the equall appraisments of goods seised by execution that all plts. and defts. should choose each of them indifferent men for that purpose and in case of disagreement the said four or any three of them do chuse an vmpire, which vmpire soe chosen, shall be sworn before the next comissioner to praise such goods indifferently and his vmpirage to be final, and whereas the said act doth not lymitt a convenient time for the chusing of appraisers as aforesaid which causeth much neglect and delay to arise to the prejudice of divers persons if it be not prevented, Be it therefore enacted by the authority of this Grand Assembly that if any persons either plt. or deft shall neglect to appoint appraisers according to the real intent of the said act within three days notice given them by any sheriff to whom execution of seizure shall be directed, It shall be lawfull for any sheriff in case of neglect as aforesaid to chuse and appoint appraisers, either for the plt. or deft. for the appraisment of any goods seized by execution as aforesaid.||Goods taken in execution how appraised.|
|BE it further enacted and confirmed that no sheriffe for the future do retaine continue or execute the office of a sheriffe any longer then one whole year in one county, And the said sheriffe of everie county respectively doe bring in and yeeld vp at every March quarter court yearly to the Governour and Counsell a just accompt of all publique comands committed to their charge, At which time they are to be discharged at the said court, and also that all sherriffs doe give good caution to the county courts for the performance of the trust comitted vnto them.||Sheriffs to continue in office one year only.|
|BE it also enacted and confirmed for the benefit of all orphants that the comissioners of the severall county cours, do take into their serious consideration and care that no land belonging to any orphant within their countys respectively, be alienated, sold estranged or taken vp as deserted by any person or persons during their minoritie, vntil three years after their full age, nor that they suffer, nor any waies conive at the overseers or guardians intrusted for orphants as aforesaid, do farm, sett or lett to lease any tenements or lands due to such orphants for any longer term of years then vntil the said orphants shall come to age as aforesaid.||Orphans' lands protected from sale, forfeiture, &c.|
|WHEREAS divers suits are and have been comenced in courts, depending on the differences of land, to the great trouble and molestation of the whole collony, ffor prevention thereof, be it enacted and confirmed, that if any person or persons whatsoever have sett downe vpon any plantation or ground which did properly belong to any other man. And if it shall fall out by a just survey to be the right of him, Although it hath been formerly peopled, cleared and builded vpon by authoritie, that a valuable consideration be allowed by the judgment of twelve men vpon oath to the first that hath seated vpon it, But if the charge shall amount to more then the owner is willing to disburst, that he that is in possession shall give satisfaction for the land what it may be judged worth, by twelve men before the seating thereof, which jurie to be sworne by the next authoritie qualified to the administration of an oath, Provided that this act shall not extend to any orphants land nor that such land shall be accounted deserted vntil three years after the full age of any orphant.||Persons settling on lands of others to be allowed for their
improvements, and if they exceed the value of the land, the 1st settler to have the land at
Proviso in case of orphans.
|WHEREAS there hath been the generall sufferinge of the collony, that the orphants of divers deceased persons have been very much abused and prejudiced||Guardians & overseers of orphans, their duties.|
|in their estates by the negligence of overseers and guardians of such orphants, Be it therefore enacted and confirmed, that the guardians and ouerseers of all orphants shall carefully keep and preserve such estates as shall be comitted to their trust either by order of court or otherwise, And shall likewise deliver an exact accompt once everie year to the comissioners of the severall county courts respectively of the said estates and of the increase and improvement, who are hereby required to keep an exact register thereof, And all overseers and guardians of such orphants are injoyned by the authoritie aforesaid to educate and instruct them according to their best endeavors in Christian religion and in rudiments of learning and to provide for them necessaries according to the competence of their estates, And where any shall be found delinquent in the premises the comissioners of the said county courts are required to take the care of the said orphants and their estates into due consideration and to see them provided for according to their estates and qualities.|
To account yearly to court.
|Be it enacted & confirmed, for the better observation of the Sabbath that o person or persons shall take a voyage vppon the same, except it be to church or for other causes of extreme necessitie vpon the penaltie of the forfeiture for such offence of twenty pounds of tobacco being justly convicted for the same.||Sabbath day how to be observed.|
No voyage upon;
|Be it further enacted & confirmed, for the better observation of the Saboth and for the restraint of divers abuses committed in the collony by vnlawfull shooting on the Sabbath day as aforesaid, vnles it shall be for the safety of his or their plantations or corne fields or for defence against the Indians, he or they so offending shall forfeit for his or their first offence being thereof lawfully convicted, if he be a freeman the quantity of twenty pounds of tobacco, and if a servant to be punished at the discretion of his master, And if masters of any such servants be remisse and negligent in the punishing of his servant for the offence aforesaid he shall be liable to the forfeiture of twenty pounds of tobacco, being justly convicted for the same.|
|Pages 209-238||Pages 262-282|