Pages 17-39 ======   ====== Pages 58-77





[From a MS. presented to the Editor by the court of Northumberland county.]

the Preamble to the acts.
      § WHEREAS the late unhappy distractions caused frequent changes || in the government of this country, & those produced soe many alterations in the lawes, that the people knew not well what to obey nor the judge what to punish, by which meanes injustice       Preamble reciting the changes of government during the existence of
* This is dated simply 1662, in the MS. and in Purvis's collection; but it was the session of March 161-2; and so referred to in the 7th act of October 1686. See Northumb. MS. folio 165. b. and L. V. edit. 1733. p. 92, where it is in like manner referred to. In the editions of 1733, 1752 and 1769, this session is said to be held on the 23d of March 161.
      ====== Purvis's printed collection commences with the acts of this session; and the Editor had indulged a hope, that with the commencement
[This note concludes on the next page.]
      From the date 1662 to the end omitted in Purv. In the editions 'of 1733, 1752, and 1769, the acts of this session are headed thus: Anno Regni Caroli II, Regis Angliae, Scotiae, Franciae and Hiberniae Decimo Tertio' And underneath separated by a line: 'At a Grand assembly, summoned to be held at James City the twenty third day of March, in the twelfth year of the reign of our sovereign lord Charles the second, by the grace of God, of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, &c. and in the year of our Lord 1660. And from thence continued by prorogation, to the twenty third day of March 1661.'
      On the first leaf of the Northumberland MS. is written evidently at the same time with the acts of this session 'The Booke of Acts Beeginning March the 23d 1662. Annoq R. R's. Car. Scdi. 14th.'
      These words omitted in Purv. and the editions of 1733, 1752, and 1769.
      § This preamble is in Purv. and the editions of 1733, 1752, and 1769.
      || 'Change' in Purv. and edit. 1773−− but 'changes' in Northumb. MS. and edit. 1752 and 1769.
      'Judges in Purvis and edit. 1733, 1752, and 1769.




was hardly to to bee avoyded, and the just freedome of the people by the incertainty and licentiousness of the laws hardly to be preserved, This assembly takeing the same into their serious [a] consideration, and gravely weighing [b] the obligations they are under [c] to discharge to God, the king and the country, have by settling the laws, diligently endeavored to prevent the like inconveniencies, by causing the whole body of the laws to be reviewed [d] all unnecessary acts & cheifly such as might keep in memory, our inforced [e] deviation from his majesties obedience, to be repealed, and expunged, and those that are in force to be brought into one volume, and least any prejudice might arise by the ignorance the common-wealth of England, generally called the usurpation.
[This note began on the previous page and concludes here.]
of the printed laws, his labours would, in a great measure, have ended; but he regrets to find that they are only about to begin. On comparing the printed acts in Purvis with two manuscript volumes in the possession of the Editor, and embracing the same period, he has discovered so many errors in Purvis's collection, that he cannot venture to adopt it, though it be in print. The weight of authority is certainly in favour of the manuscripts; one of which was furnished to the Editor by Thomas Jefferson, late President of U. States; and was given to him, (as he states in a letter to the Editor,) 'from the Charles City office;' the other was presented to the Editor by the court of Northumberland county, to which it appears to have been regularly furnished, when the laws were distributed in MS. and only one copy sent to a county, but by an inspection of the book itself, in which the county of Northumberland is charged, at the end of the acts of almost every session,'with a copy of the laws;' the price of which is stated at 300lb. of tobacco, which was the fee then established by law (See acts of 1657-8 vol. 1. pa. 490.
      From this period to the year 1682 inclusive, where Purvis ends, the Editor will use the Charles City MS. Purvis's collection the Northumberland MS. and sometimes the revisal of 1733, which several volumes will be thus designated, "Ch. Cit. MS." "Purv." "Northumb. MS." and "edit. 1733;" but the Northumberland MS. being so far the most complete and accurate and exhibiting the best history of our language, will be taken as the standard. −−− Various readings will occasionally be given from each; and that which is deemed most correct will be introduced into the next text.
[The facsimile reprint has a blank section with missing type in the first lines of the preceding paragraph. My guesses for the missing words are inserted in red.]

Various Readings.
      [a] 'Serious' omitted in Northb. MS. but inserted in Purvis and all the revisalls.
      [b] 'waying' in Northb. MS. but 'weighing' in Pur. and all the revisals.
      [c] 'under' not in Northb. MS. or Purv. but in all the revisals.
      [d] 'revived in Purv. but 'reviewed' in Northb. MS. and all the revisals.
      [e] 'forced' in Purvis and all the revisals.




of the times from whence those acts were in force, they have added the dates of every act to the end that courts might rightly administer justice and give sentence according to law for any thing hapning at any time since any law was in force, and have also endeavoured in all things (as neere ast the capacity and constitution of this country would admitt) to addhere to those excellent and often refined laws of England, to which we profess and acknowledge all due obedience and reverence, [f] And that the laws made by us are intended by us, but as breife memorialls of that which the capacity of our courts is utterly unabled [g] to collect out of such [h] vast volumes, though sometimes perhaps for the difference of our and their condition varying in small things, but far from the presumption of contradicting any thing therein conteyned, And because it is impossible to honour the king as we should unlesse wee serve and feare God, as wee ought, and that they might shew their equall care of church and state [i] they have sett downe certaine rules to be observed in the government of the church until God shall please to turne his majesties pious thought towards us, and provide [j] a better supply of ministers among us.

The common law adopted.
      BEE it therefore enacted by the Governor Councell and Burgesses of this Grand Assembly That all the following laws continued or made by this assembly shall hereafter be reputed the laws of this country, by which all courts of judicature are to proceed in giveing of sentence, and to which all persons are strictly required to yeild all due obedience, and that all other acts not in this collection mentioned be to all intents and purposes utterly abrogated and repealed unles suite for any thing done be comenced when a lawe now repealed was in force, in which case the produceing All laws continued or made by this assembly to be hereafter reputed the laws of this country.

      All others repealed.

Various Reedings.
      [f] 'reverence and obedience' in Purvis and all the revisals.
      [g] 'unable' in Purvis and all the revisals.
      [h] 'its' in Purvis and all the revisals.
      [i] 'of church and state' in Northb. MS but omitted in Purv. and all the revisals.
      [j] 'supply' in Northb. MS, but 'provide' in Purvis and all the revisals.




that law shall excuse any person for doeing any thing according to the tenor thereof.


Church to be built or Chappell of Ease.
      BEE itt enacted for the advancement of Gods glory, and the more decent celebration of his devine ordinance, that [a] there be a church decently built in each parish of this [b] country, unles any parish as now setled by reason of the fewnes or poverty of the inhabitants be incapable of susteyning soe greate a charge, in which case it is enacted that such parishes shall be joyned to the next [c] greate parish, of the same [d]county, and that a chappell of ease be built, in such places [e] at the particular charge of that place. A church to be built in every parish.

Or, a chapel.


Vestryes Appointed.
      THAT for the makeing and proportioning [f] the levyes and assessments for building and repayreing the churches, and chappells, provision for the poore, maintenance of the minister, and such other necessary duties [g] for the more orderly manageing all parociall affaires, Be it enacted that twelve of the most able men of each parish be by the major part of the said [h] parish, Duty of vestries.

Twelve vestrymen in each parish.

Various Readings.
      [a] 'that' omitted in Purvis and edit of 1733 and 1752; but in Northb. MS and edit 1769.
      [b] 'the' in Purvis and all the revisals.
      [c] 'next' omitted in Purv. but in Northb. MS. and all the revisals.
      [d] 'same' in Northb. MS. and Purv. but omitted in all the revisals.
      [e] 'places' in Northb. MS. and Purv. 'place' in all the revisals.
      [f] the word 'of' before 'the' in Purv. but not in Northb. MS or any of the revisals.
      [g] 'uses' in Purvis and all the revisals.
      [h] the word 'said' not in Northb. MS. but in Purvis and all the revisals.




chosen [i] to be vestry-men* out of which number the minister and vestry to make choice of two churchwardens yearly, as alsoe [j] in the case of the death of any vestry man, or his departure out of the parish, that the said minister and vestry make choice of another to supply his roome, And be it further enacted that none shall be admitted to be of the vestry that doe [l] not take the oath of allegiance and supremacy to his majesty and subscribe to be conformable to the doctrine and discipline of the church of England.       Vacancies in vestry, how supplied.
Vestry-men to take oath of allegiance and supremacy, and subscribe to conform to church of England.


Glebes to bee laid out. (a)
      THAT for the better encouragement and accomodation of the ministery there be glebes laid out in every parish & a convenient house built upon them (b) for the reception and abode of the minister according to his majesties instructions and that such provision be made for his maintenance in the valuable and current comodityes of the country as may be really worth at least (c) ffourescoure pounds per ann. besides his perquisites (d) and (e) glebe viz. I fin tobacco at the rate fo twelve shillings the hundred, in corne att tenn shillings per barrell, if in mony by bills of exchange, and (f) security to be given for the certaine payment, And in case of protest to be recovered here with fifty per cent for damages.
Provision for the ministry.

      Salary, at least £80 per annum, besides perquisites and glebe.

Various Readings.
      [i] 'chose' in Purvis.
      [j] 'at, so' in Purvis.
      [l] 'doth in Purvis and all the revisals.
      (a) This act is also in Purv. but the title only is given in edit 1733 and 1752, and it is altogether omitted in edit 1769.
      (b) the words 'upon them' omitted in Purvis.
      (c) the words 'at least' omitted in Purvise.
      (d) a blank for the word 'perquisites' in Northb. MS but inserted in Purvis.
      (e) the word 'the' between 'and' and 'glebe' in Purvis.
      (f) the word 'and' and omitted in Purvis.
      * 'a vestry' in Purv. and all the revisals.





Ministers to bee inducted. 1642.
      THAT for the preservation of the (g) purity and unity of doctrine, & discipline in the church, & the right administration of the sacraments noe minister be admitted to officiate in this country but such as shall produce to the governour a testimoniall that he hath received his ordination from some Bishopp in England & shall then subscribe to be conformable to the orders and constitutions of the church of England, and the laws there established, upon which the governour is hereby requested, to induct the said minister, into any parish that shall make presentation of him, and if any other person pretending himselfe a minister shall contrary to this act presume to teach or preach publiquely or privately, the governour and councell are hereby desired and impowered, to suspend and silence the person soe offending and upon his obstinate persistance to compell him to depart the country with the first conveniency as it hath beene formerly provided by the 77th act made at James Citty the second of March 1642.* Ministers to receive ordination from some Bishop in England.

      None others to officiate.

How inducted.

Others to be suspended and sent out of the colony

      * See act 64 vol. 1. p. 277.


To provide Readers. (h)
      THAT every parish not haveing a minister to officiate every sunday doe (i) make a choice of a grave See vol. 1. p. 290, and Vol. 2. p. 29.

Various Readings
      (g) the word 'the' omitted in Purv. and all the revisals.
      (h) In Purvis and all the revisals, the title of this act is 'Ministers to provide readers 1661' But the word 'Ministers' is probably an interpolation; because, from the act itself it appears that the parishes are to provide readers. The date '1661' is probably correct, and it seems strange that the revisals of 1733, 1752 & 1769, should date the acts of this session as of 1661, and annex the same date to one of the acts only. By a resolution of March 1660-1, (see ante page 34) a committee was appointed to revise the laws, to give dates to the several acts, and to present a draught of them, with such alterations as they deemed necessary to the next assembly. At the same session of March 1660-1, this act was, in substance, passed, (see ante p. 29) and might therefore, with propriety be dated 1661.
      (i) 'to' in Purv.




and sober person of good life and conversation to read divine service every intervening sunday at the parish church, when the minister preacheth at any other place.       Readers to be chosen by the parish.


Liturgie to be read.
      THAT the canons sett downe in the liturgie of the church of England for celebrating divine service and administration of the sacraments be duly observed and kept and that the whole liturgie according to the said injuctions be by the minister or reader at church and chappell every sunday throughly read.

See vol. 1. p. 149, 241, 277.

      Canons of the church of England to be observed, and liturgy read.

Church Catechisme.
      THAT neither minister nor reader teach any other catechisme than by the canons appointed and inserted in the booke of comon prayer and that the minister expound no other then that, that our fundamentals at least may be well laid, and that noe reader upon presumption of his owne abilities do attempt the expounding that or any other catechisme or the scriptures.

See vol. 1. p. 157, 182.
      Catechism of church, only to be taught.
Readers not to expound catechism, or scriptures

Ministers to Preach Weekely.
      THAT the minister of every parish preach constantly every sunday (viz.) one sunday in a month at each chappell of ease in his parish (if there be any in it (a) ) and the other sundays (b) at his parish church and that twice a yeare at least he administer the sacrament of the Lords supper there.

See vol. 1. p. 151, 181, 290, 311.

Ministers to preach every Sunday and administer sacrament twice a year.
Various Readings
      (a) the words 'in it' omitted in Purvis and all the revisals.
      (b) the word 'sundays' omitted in Purv. and all the revisals. In consequence of this omission, the act reads as if there were but two Sundays in a month.





Sundays not to bee profaned. (c)
      THAT the Lords day be kept holy, and that neo journeys be made on that day except in case of emergent necessity, And that noe other thing, be used or done, that may tend to the prophanation of the day, But that all and every person and persons inhabiting in this country haveing noe lawfull excuse to be (d) absent shall upon every sunday and the fower holy days hereafter mentioned, diligently resort to their parish church or chappell accustomed then and there to abide orderly and soberly during the time of common prayers preaching or other service of God, upon penalty of being fined fifty pounds of tobacco by the county court upon presentment made by the churchwardens who are to collect the same with the parish levies, Provided alwayes that this act include (e) not Quakers or other recusants who out of nonconformitie to the church totally absent themselves but that they shall be lyable to such fines and punishments as by the statute of 23d of Elizabeth are imposed on them, being for every months absence twenty pounds sterling and if they forbeare a twelve month then to give good security for their good behaviour besides their payment for their monthly absences, according to the tenor of the said statute, And that all Quakers for assembling in unlawfull assemblyes and conventicles be fined and pay each of them there taken, two hundred pounds of tobacco for each time they shall be for such unlawfull meeting taken or (f) presented by the church wardens to the county court* and in case of the insolvency of any person amonge them, the more able then taken to pay for them, one halfe to the informer and the other halfe to the publique.

See vol. 1. p. 144, 261, 434.
      The Lord's day to be kept holy.
      No work done on, except in cases of necessity.
      Divine service and preaching to be diligently attended on Sundays and holy-days.
Further penalty on quakers, and recusants: who are to be fined under stat. 23d Eliz.
      Quakers meetings or conventicles, how prevented and punished.
      The more able to pay for insolvents.
Various Readings
      (c) this act is alo in Purv. but the title only is given in edit. 1733, and 1752, and is altogether omitted in edit. 1769.
      (d) the word 'be' omitted in Purvis.
      (e) 'conclude' in Purvis.
      (f) the words 'taken or' omitted in Purvis.
      * The whole sentence from the asterisk * to the end fo the act omitted in Purvis.





The 30th of January to be kept ffast.
      WHEREAS our late surrender and submission to that execrable power that so bloodyly massacred the late king Charles the first of ever blessed and glorious (a) memory, hath made us by acknowledging them guilty of their crimes, to shew our serious and hearty repentance and detestation of that barbarous act Be it enacted that the thirtieth of January the day the said king was beheaded, be annually solemnized with ffasting and prayers, that our sorrows may expiate our crimes and our teares wash away our guilt. (From act 18 of March 1660-1, ante p. 24.

The 30th of Jan. a holy-day in commemoration of the beheading of Charles I.


The nine and twentiety day of May to be kept holy.
      SINCE God of his mercy hath bin pleased to restore our late distracted kingdomes to peace and unity and his late distressed majestie to the throne of this royall ancestors Be it enacted that in testimony of our thankfulnes and joy, the twenty ninth of May the day of his majesties birth and happy restitution be annually celebrated as an holy day. (From act 19, of March 1660-1, ante p. 25.)
      The 29th of May, a holy-day, to commemorate the restoration of Ch. II.


None to be marryed but by Ministers, nor by them but by lycense,
or publishing the bannes.
      THAT noe marriage be sollemnized nor reputed valid in law but such as is made by the ministers (c)

See vol. 1. p. 156, 181, 241, 332, 433.
Various Readings
      (a) The words 'and glorious' omitted in Purvis and all the revisals; but they are inserted in the Northb. MS. and the act of the last session from which this was taken. See ante pa. 24.
      (b) This act is also in Purv. but the title only is given in edit. 1773, and 1752, and it is altogether omitted in edit 1769.
      (c) 'Minister' in Purvis.


51        [====== There is no page 50]


according to the laws of England, and that noe ministers (c) marry any person (d) without lycence from the governour or his deputy, or thrice publication of banes according to the prescription of the rubrick in the (e) comon prayer booke, which injoynes that if the persons to be marryed dwell in severall parishes the banes must be asked in both parishes, and that the curate of one parish shall not solemnize the matrimony untill he have a certificate from the curate of the other parish, that the banes have been there thrice published, and noe objection made against the joyning the parties together, (f) And if any minister shall contrary to this act marry any persons, he shall be fined tenn thousand pounds of tobacco, and any pretended marriage hereafter (g) made by any other than a minister be reputed null, and the children borne out of such marriage of the parents, be esteemed illegitimate and the parents suffer such punishment as by the laws (h) prohibiting ffornication ought to be inflicted.       No marriages valid, but those celebrated by ministers according to the laws of Eng.
      None to be married without license, or publication of banns.

Issue of persons hereafter married otherwise, illegitimate.


Churchwardens to make Presentments. §
      THAT the churchwardens shall twice every yeare (viz.) in December court and Aprill court deliver a true presentment in writing of such misdemeanors as to (i) their knowledge, or by comon fame have beene comitted whilst they have beene churchwardens, namely swearing, profaneing Gods holy name, or sabbath abuseing or contemning his holy word or (j) sacraments See vol. 1. p. 126, 156, 182, 227, 240, 309-10.
      Church wardens to present twice a year.

Various Readings
      (c) 'Minister' in Purv.
      (d) 'person' in Purvis.
      (e) 'the' omitted in Northb. MS.
      (f) 'the parties joining together' in Purvis.
      (g) the word 'hereafter' omitted in Purvis.
      (h) 'law' in Purvis.
      § This act is also in Purv. but the title only is given in edit of 1733, and 1752, and wholly omitted in edit 1769.
      (i) 'by' in Purv.
      (j) 'and' in Purvis.




or absenting themselves from the exercises thereof, As alsoe of those foule and abominable sins of drunkennesse fornication and adultery, and of all malitious and envious slandering and backbiting for the better manifestation whereof the said churchwardens are impowered to cause all such persons upon whose reports they ground their presentments to appeare at the next (k) county courts to which the presentments are made to give their evidences concerning the same. What offences.

may summon witnesses.


Church wardens to keepe the Church in repaire and provide Ornaments. 1661(a)
      AND it is further enacted That the said churchwardens take care and be impowered during their church-wardenship to keepe the church in repaire provide books and decent ornaments (viz.) a greate bible two comon prayer books, a communion cloath and napkin, a pulpitt and cushion, this present yeare, and after annually something towards comunion plate, pulpitt cloath and bell as the ability of the parish will permitt, and that they the said churchwardens doe faithfully collect the ministers dues, cause them to be brought to convenient places and honestly pay them, and that of all the disbursements and receipts they give a true account to the vestry when by them required who are impowered by a former branch of this act ====== to levie the same upon the parish, and by this to give the said churchwardens a sufficient discharge.

      (Altered from act 33, of March 1660-1, ante p. 30,)
Church-wardens, their power and duty in repairing the churches, and providing ornaments.
      To collect the Minister's dues.
      ====== The assembly considered all the laws relating to the church as one act.
Various Readings
      (k) 'respective' in Purv.
      (a) This act is published according to the order in which it is placed in the Northb. MS. −− In Purv. & the revisals of 1733 & 1752,(in which all the errors of Purvis seem to have been carefully copied) it is arranged as act SV, and follows the act concerning the 'burial of servants' &c. But the commencement of the act itself shews that the arrangement in the Northb. MS. is the only proper one. This act is in all the revisals.






Buriall of Servants or others privately prohibited. (b)
      WHEREAS the private buriall of servants & others give occasion of much scandall against diverse persons and sometimes not undeservedly of being guilty of their deaths, from which if the persons suspected be innocent there can be noe vindication (c) if guilty noe punishment, by reason they are for the most part buryed without the knowledge or view of any others then such of the family, as by neerenesse of relation (as being husband wife or children (d) are unwilling) or as servants are fearfull to make discovery if murther were (e) committed: ffor remedy whereof as alsoe for takeing away that barbarous custome of exposeing the corps of the dead (by makeing their graves in comon and unfenced places) to the prey of hoggs and other vermine, Be it enacted that there be in every parish three or fower or more places appoynted (according to the greatnes or littlenes of the same) to be sett apart and fenced in, for places of publique buriall, for that precinct, And further that before the corps, and if none, yet according to the decent custome of all Christendome they may accompany itt to the ground, (f) And be it further enacted that noe persons (g) whether free or servants shall be buried in any other place then those soe appointed, unles such who by their own appointment in their life time have signified their desires of being interred in any particular place elsewhere.       Preamble, reciting the ill effects of private burials.

Burying places to be appointed in every parish.

See vol. 1. p. 123, 161, 227, 241.

      Neighbors to be called in, who are to view the corpse, in case of suspicion.

None to be buried in any other place, except by their own appointment.

Various Readings
      (b) this act is also in Purv. and edit. 1733: in edit. 1752, the title only is given; and in edit 1769, it is wholly omitted.
      (c) the word 'nor' between 'vindication' and 'if' in Purvis and edit. 1733, but it is at least superfluous.
      (d) 'child' in Purvis and edit. 1733.
      (e) 'where' in Northb. MS.
      (f) 'grave' in Purv. and edit 1733.
      (g) 'servants' in Northb. MS.





Registers to be kept by the Ministers or Readers [a]
      WHEREAS many differences doe frequently arise about the age of orphants, and inquirees are often made for persons imported into this country and here deceased, and no positive certificate can be granted of the age of the one, or the death of the other, by reason noe registers have bin kept, which might by the record there entred evidence that same, Be it therefore enacted that the minister or reader of every parish shall well truely and plainly record all births burialls and [b] marriages which shall happen within the precincts of the parish in a [c] booke to be provided by the vestry for that purpose, And if any master of a ffamily or other person whome it may concerne shall ommitt of giving notice to the same minister or reader of the day of the birth death or marriage of any to him or them related the space of a month such person shall for such his neglect be fined one hundred pounds of tobacco, and that the minister or reader [d] have for their entry of such birth death or marriage ffifty [e] pounds of tobacco and if they neglect entring the same as aforesaid there they be fined upon discovery made fo the same neglect five hundred pounds of tobacco to the use of the parish. See vol. 1 p. 155, 158, 180, 182, 433, 542.

      Register of births, deaths, and marriages to be kept by ministers or readers.

Penalty for omitting to inform minister or reader.

      Their fees for entering.

      Penalty for neglect.


Lycences for Marriage how to issue.
      AND whereas many times lycenses are granted and the persons are marryed out of the parishes, which lycences have been usually granted by the governor, See ante pa. 28,and vol. 1. p. 156, 181, 241, 433.

Various Readings
      [a] This act is also in Purv. but the title only is given in edit 1733 and 1752, and wholly omitted in edit 1769.
      [b] 'or' in Purvis.
      [c] The words 'in a' omitted in Northb. MS. but inserted in Purvis.
      [d] the words 'or reader' omitted in Purvis.
      [e] 'three' in Purv.




whose knowledge of persons cannot possibly extend over the whole country, Bee it enacted that henceforward all persons desiring lycences for marriage shall first repaire to the clerke of the county court and there give bond with sufficient [f] security that there is noe lawfull cause to obstruct their said marriage and that upon receipt of such bond the said clerke shall write the lycence and certifie to the first in commission for that county, or such other when it shall please the governor to depute that he hath taken bond as aforesaid who by vertue thereof shall signe the said lycence and direct the same to the minister And to the end that the legall grant of the said lycense may be made evident and the governor assertayned of his just dues, It is further enacted that the said clerke shall yearely in September court returne the names of the partyes marryed and of the securityes to the secretaryes office there to be recorded. And further that he deliver an account of the ffees due for the said lycences to the sherriffs or collectors of the county, who is hereby required to collect the same with the levies and to make payment thereof to the governor and others to whom they are due and any clerke makeing default in any of the premises to forfeite one thousand pounds of tobacco to the use of the governor. The ffees for the lycences to be as followeth (viz.) to the governor two hundred pounds of tobacco, or twenty shillings sterling, to the clerke for writing the bond lycence certificate and returning the same to the office fifty pounds of tobacco, and to the secretary for recording the same in the office as aforesaid forty pounds of tobacco and the minister marrying with a lycence two hundred pounds of tobacco or twenty shillings, if by banes ffifty pounds of tobacco or five shillings. Marriage licenses how to issue.

      Fees to the gov. for, how collected.

Governor's Clerk's, Secretary's and minister's fees.

Various Readings
      [f] 'good' in Purvis.





Provision for a Colledge.
      WHEREAS the want of able and faithful ministers in this countrey deprives us of those great blessings and mercies that always attend upon the service of God; which want, by reason of our great distance from our native country, cannot in probability be always supplied from thence: Bee it enacted, that for the advance of learning, education of youth, supply of the ministry, and promotion of piety, there be land taken up or purchased fora colledge and free school: And that there be with as much speed as may be convenient houseing erected thereon, for entertainment of students and scholars. See ante pa. 25, 37.

Lands to be taken up or purchased for college and free school.
      * [Whereas an ancient practice of this countrey, hath contrary to law and reason ignorantly vested the lands of persons intestate in the hands of administrators; of whom divers persons have purchased and hold their lands by no other titles than such sales, which can be of no validity against the claim of the King, whom no time can prescribe, and to whom if an heir appear not, the land must of necessity devolve: And if the King should at any time give express order to an escheator to make enquiry into the titles we hold, by the said escheator, cannot by vertue of his office but find all such lands for the King; which we Francis Morrison and Thomas Ludwell, who are at present intrusted by his majesties treasurer, to make composition of all lands so escheated to his majesty; taking into our serious consideration, and our of out [out of our] tender care of many poor men, who by the loss of lands, thus perhaps dearly purchased and honestly paid for, and out of our sense of the many inconveniences and great damages would fall upon them by being ousted out of their possessions, by Lands of persons dying intestate and liable to escheat, how disposed of, or compounded for.

      This act is taken from Purvis: The Northb. MS. containing only the first section, which indeed seems to be all that is applicable to the title.
      * From the asterisk to the end, is not in the Northb. MS. but is taken from Purvis. It may well be doubted, however, whether it ought not wholly to be omitted, as it has no connexion with the subject matter of the first section, or the title of the act.




the severity of a too rigorous escheator; and that on the other side, we might not seem to debar his majesty of his just rights, we have thought it convenient to propose a certain rule for compositions of all lands held by any pretended right two years, by which, while the power is in our hands, we shall proceed; and if the assembly think it a favour we shall proceed; and if the assembly think it a favour we shall joyn with them, making it our request to Major Norwood his majesties treasurer, to get his majesty to confine them, that no succeeding escheator may at his pleasure rigorously exceed these our moderate and reasonable demands.

      1. We concede that any person, having been two years in possession of any land, that ought to have been vested in his majesty by escheat, shall pay for his composition but one hundred pounds of tobacco, for every fifty acres, besides the fees for finding the office and drawing the conveyance.

      2. That every person, having been so in possession two years, as aforesaid, shall have eight months time to petition for, and make their composition: But if they defer it longer, besides the fees for finding the office and drawing the conveyance.

      3. That where there is a widow, she shall enjoy the land of her husband during her life, and be admitted in the first place to make her composition for the fee-simple, in case she signifie her desire within the time aforesaid.

      4. That all lands escheated before the two years aforesaid, the person concerned shall pay for his composition as aforesaid: But all lands which shall hereafter lapse, or which have lapsed within the two years last past, the composition to be made for with those by his majesties treasurer appointed and authorized thereunto: And that the widdow be admitted, in the first place, she making her claim within eight months according to the proposition abovesaid.]


Pages 17-39 ======   ====== Pages 58-77