Pages 208-228 ======   ====== Pages 255-276










Sir W. Berkeley, governor
An act for a cessation. Edit. 1733 and 1752.
      WHEREAS at an assembly held at James Citty the fifth of June 166, it was enacted that a cessation from sewing, setting, planting or tending tobacco from the ffirst of February 1666, untill the ffirst of ffebruary 1667 should be established in this colony of Virginia in case the province of Carolina should give

Purvis 140.
Act 1. of June 1666, confirmed; the colonies of Maryland & Carolina having passed similar laws.
Various Readings
      * From the Ch. City and P. Rand. MSS. which agree verbatim in this respect. In the Northb. MS. it is "Att a Grand Assembly held att James City by prorogation from the 5th of July 1666, to the 23rd of October 1666 Annoq Regni Rs. Car. Scdi 18, 0. In Purvis, the acts of this session are erroneously dated 1680.
      The title of this act is wanting in the Northb. MS. but it is given as above in the Ch. Cit. and P. Rand. MSS. in Purvis, and the edi. of 1733 and 1752. This act for a cessation, as it was then called, was in consummation of a favorite scheme to improve the quality and enhance the price of tobacco, by suspending the planting of it for a certain period, and thereby lessening the quantity. Various propositions were made to the colonies of Maryland and carolina, and conferences had on the subject, before they could be induced to come into the measure. See act XII of September 1663; also the compact between the commissioners of the respective colonies, ante pa. 200; act III of Sept. 1664; act X of October 1665; act I of June 1666; and act IV of the same session.




their assent to the same as the province of Maryland by their act of assembly had engaged themselves to doe, both the said acts of Marryland and this country impowring certaine commissioners to treate and conclude of the best meanes of security, for putting the said acts into effectual execution; By vertue whereof the commissioners in the said acts nominated and appointed, did upon the tenth of July ffolowing meete at James Citty, and did then and there conclude and agree upon certain meanes and waies for putting the said acts into effectuall practice, and for prevention of all frauds and deceits that may be used therein as by the articles there made more ffully doth appeare; at which meeting the commissioners for the province of Carolina did alsoe oblige themselves that the said province of Carolina should by an act of their assembly confirme the agreement aforesaid, and transmit the said acts to the honourable governour of Virginia and Maryland by the last of September then next ensueing; But whereas by reason of the said province their engagement in repelling the assaults of the adjacent Indians that their act (though fully at their assembly confirmed) could not be sent to Virginia and Maryland by the day in the articles agreed upon, for which cause the governour and councell of Maryland though they still acknowledge the act itselfe for a totall cessation from planting as aforesaid, to remaine in its full force, and in pursuance of the establishment thereof, caused a proclamation to issue requireing and commanding all persons in the said province to yeild conformity and due obedience thereto, of which the chancellor (a) to testifye their full intents of executing the said acts transmitted a copy of the right honourable the governour of Virginia, yet in his letter declareing that by reason of the said act of Carolinas not comeing to them by the day in the treaty prefixed, hee conceived that all the articles in the said treaty conteyning the meanes to have the act assuredly, and without fraud, put into practice, became void and for that cause another treaty was of necessity required; which reasons the governour, councell and burgesses of this grand assembly takeing into

Various Readings
      (a) The words 'the chancellor,' omitted in Purvis.




their serious considerations have enacted and declared, and by these presents doe enact and declare that the aforesaid act of the ffifth of June prohibiting sowing, setting, planting or tending tobacco from the ffirst of ffebruary 1666, to the ffirst of ffebruary 1667 is, and remaines in full force, and is hereby fully ratifyed and confirmed, and all persons required to take notice thereof and yeild their due obedience thereunto; for the surer establishment whereof the commissioners in the aforesaid act mentioned, or soe many of them as are thereby required, are hereby againe impowred and desired to renew the former treaty with the commissioners of Marryland, and to reestablish the articles in the former treaty agreed upon and concluded; the grand assembly hereby oblieging themselves that the publique ffaith given by their commissioners for observance of the said articles passed under their hands and seales and the like reciprocally taken from the commissioners of Maryland shall bind this country and every inhabitant thereof to a full performance of the said act; And that noe scruple may remaine are fully agreed that two instruments of one tenor made one to the governour of Virginia the other to the lieutenant generall of Maryland from the governour of Carolina that the inhabitants of that province will truly observe the articles agreed upon betweene the commissioners of Virginia and Maryland shalbe accepted and reputed a suffitient engagement for the conformity of that province in the observance of the act; and if there should appeare to the said commissioners any emergent occasion for any thing or things in the aforesaid treaty agreed and concluded upon to be added or altered, they are by this act impowred to proceed therein as they in their discretions shall find the necessities of affaires to require. And the governours honour is hereby requested by his honours commission and instructions to confirme this full power and authority unto them; and to the intent that notice may be given to the honourable lieutenant general of Maryland of our intentions to renew the treaty, the governours honour is hereby requested to send a messuage to the lieutenant generall of Maryland to certifye him that upon the seaventh of December next, or as soone after as wind and weather will permitt, the commissioners of this country Compact between commissioners of the several colon's of Virginia, Maryland and Carolina, as to a suspension of the planting of tobacco confirmed.

Discretionary power given governor and commissioners in relation to renewal of compact.

Notice of appt. of comm'rs.




will meete the commissioners appointed for that province at St. Maryes in Maryland to put into full execution the aforesaid act of cession, (a) by which meanes all obstacles and doubts wilbe taken away and the aforesaid law receive a plenary and effectuall execution: And it is further enacted that the governours honour be requested as soone as possible after the conclusion of the treaty to publish and declare by his honours proclamations the successe (b) and tenour thereof to the severall counties of this colony. Where to meet.

Treaty to be proclaimed.


An act for debts and rates.*
      WHEREAS it is apparent to all that the establishment of a cessation from planting will certainly advance the gaines of the merchant by giveing him time to vend his comodities, and for that consideration it might be justly expected that he should make some proportionate abatement in his debts; yet this assembly whose care[it] hath ever beene to preserve the rights and properties of every person free from the least violation, have still continued the same entire, And have only for the supply of peoples necessities and inabling them to provide for their subsistance, in the vacant yeare from planting, have enacted, and by the authority of the governour, councell and burgesses of this present grand assembly, be it enacted that for all debts already contracted for to be paid this present yeare in tobacco except publique debts, any debtor paying one halfe of his debt in kind shall have liberty for the payment of the other halfe untill the 10th of November 1668, giving reasonable security (if required) to pay the remayning During the suspension of planting tob'o. debtors paying 1-2 the debts already due, in kind, to be allowed further time for the other half on giving reasonable security.

Various Readings
      (a) 'Assembly' in Purvis.                                    (b) 'Full intent' in Purvis.
      * Under this title, in the Northb. MS. is comprehended the subject matter of three separate acts, as given in the Ch. City and P. Ran d. MSS. and Purvis, the titles of which are preserved in edi. 1733 and 1752. The title of this act in the last mentioned volume is, 'An act shewing how debts are to be paid the cessation year.' Act III, 'An act for valuation of commodities for payment of public dues,' Act IV. 'An act for rating of ordinary keepers.'




halfe at the time aforesaid; And in case the creditor will not stay that time, but prosecute his debtor for payment to be made sooner, it shalbe in the liberty and choice of the debtor to make tender of his estate before the next justice of peace to legall valuation of the second moyety; Provided that if the debt be under two hogsheads of tobacco, it shall not be lawfull for the debtor to prejudice the creditor by breaking an hogshead of tobacco and paying a parcell thereof. Creditors refusing to wait, debtor may tender payment in property.
      *Be it alsoe further enacted by the authority aforesaid that all publique dues this yeare in regard of the cessation and consequent (a) expectation of advanceing the value of tobacco there be an abatement of the sumes formerly allowed, and that all publique and county debts, ministers and parish dues, officers ffees, ffines, quitt rents, and all other rents (b) and debts generally, that shall be contracted and become due, in the vacant yeare from planting, may be paid in the country comodity at the rates here following, vizt.

Wheate, Garravances and English Peas, lb. tob. s. 
      per bushell 40 or 4  
Indian Corne shelled, per bushell 20 or 2  
Barly per bushell 35 or 3   6
Wound Silke per pound 200 or 20
Indians Peas of all sorts (except Garravances)           
      per bushell 35 or 3   6
Oates per bushell 30 or 3  
      * From this place, 'An act for valuation of commodities for payment of public dues,' in Purvis, & Ch. Cit. & P. Rand. MSS.
Public & county dues, ministers and officers' fees, &c. and debts contracted during cessation, payable in country commodities.

Rates of commodities.
(c)      No rates sett upon fflax by reason of the uncertainty of the quality, nor beife and porke, because perishable, but both those left to valuation according to the condition and goodnes.

      Provided that for prevention of inconveniencies and
Flax, beef and pork not rated

Various Readings
      (a) 'Cause that' in Purvis, and Ch. City & P. Randolph MSS.−− An error so apparent is almost conclusive proof of what I have before remarked (ante page 170) that Purvis and these MSS. were composed of the same materials.
      (b) 'Rates' in Purvis, Ch. City & P. Rand. MSS.
      (x) In the Ch. City & P. Rand. MSS. this clause follows the next, beginning with the word 'provided', but the above arrangement, as in the Northb. MS. is the most natural.




loss, the debtor (a) is subject to, if he have not caske in which to carry his graine, it is further enacted that the debtor shall provide and pay the graine in caske, and the creditor to allow him for his caske 10 per cent as in case of tobacco.
      * Be it also further enacted by the authority aforesaid that excessive rates of liquors sold by ordinary keepers shalbe henceforth moderated and reduced to these prices, vizt.

      ffor all Spanish & Portugall wines treble the value of what they cost, provided it exceed not 100lbs. or 10s per gallon.

      ffor all ffrench wines the like, not exceeding 80lbs. tobacco or 8s. per gallon.

      ffor rum the like not exceeding 100lbs. tobacco or 10s. per gallon.

      ffor brandy and English spiritts the like, not exceeding 160lbs. tobacco or 16s. per gallon
      * From this place 'An act for rating of ordinary keepers,' in Purvis and Ch. City & P. Rand. MSS.
Rates of liquors.
      ffor beer and syder being produced by the husbandry of this country, and therefore fitter to be encouraged what profitt they can make not exceeding 40lbs. tobacco or 4s. per gallon.

      ffor syder the like, not exceeding 25 lbs. tobacco or 2s. 6d. per gallon.

      ffor Virginia drams the like prices as for brandy and English spiritts; and if any person shall question whether the bottles by which spiritts or other liquors may be sold be quart or not, and shall require the same to be measured by a sealed pott, it is enacted that the person soe requireing shall not pay for more drink then the pottles shalbe found to conteyne: And for the better encouragement of ordinary keepers to sell at those rates, it is further enacted that whereas by the present laws ordinary keepers accounts are not pleadable, all persons keeping ordinaryes and selling at those rates, shalbe admitted to plead their accounts and recover judgment for the same, (as by law is permitted for other accounts) in any court of judicature in this country as freely as if they had never beene excepted, any former law to the contrary notwithstanding; Provided the party drinking know the price he must pay, be alive and be impleaded within a yeare after the debt accrues due.

Contents of bottles may be ascertained.
Ordinary keepers selling at legal rates entitled to recover debts; all former laws prohibiting their recovery repealed.
Provided that the dr. know the price, be alive, and the action be commenced within one year.
Various Readings
      (a) 'Receiver' in Purvis, and Ch. City & P. Rand. MSS.




An act for Surveyors.* Edi. 1733 and 1752.
      WHEREAS the act ascertaining (a) the ffees of surveyors by reason of the low rates sett therein which seems to have beene first made above twenty yeares since, (when tobacco bore a greater value then can now be expected) deterr any men of parts, ability, and integrety from exerciseing the said ffunctions, in the ffaithfull and well discharge whereof the peaceable possession of the inhabitants of the country are soe much concerned, and yet for want of a penalty therein expressed, leaves a liberty to every one to extort from the people what summes they please; Be it enacted by this grand assembly and the authority thereof, that for encouragement of able men in that scyence to practice the same, that the ffees lymitted in that act be doubled, vizt. fforty pounds of tobacco for measuring every hundred acres of land, if the whole divident exceed not or amount to one thousand acres; but if under that quantity ffowre hundred pounds of tobacco, and for the same shall deliver an exact platt of the dividend surveyed and measured; And if any surveyor upon reasonable demand (not being by sicknes or other lawfull impediments hindred) shall refuse to measure the land of any person whatsoever for the consideration and satisfaction as aforesaid, every such surveyor shalbe fined and pay for such his refusal fower thousand pounds of tobacco for every hundred acres, halfe to the person injured, the other halfe to the informer to be recovered by action of debt in any court of judicature in Virginia; But if any surveyor goe further from home then he can retorne in a day, then such further satisfaction be allowed him as by the former act is provided. Purvis 145.


Surveyors fees doubled.

Penalty for refusing to survey, or exceeding legal fees.

Further compensation in certain cases.

Various Readings
      * This is numbered act V. in Purvis, the Ch. City and P. Rand, MSS. and the editions of 1733 & 1752, under the title of 'An act ascertaining surveyors fees.'
      (a) 'Concerning' in Purvis and Ch. City & P. Rand. MSS.




An act for Wolves killed by Indians.* [See an. p. 87 & vol. 1, p. 199, 328, 456.
      WHEREAS in some ffronteer counties the number of wolves killed and brought in by Indians though from never soe remote places, have very much inhanced the taxes of the said counties, where noe benefitt hath accrued, the heads of the said wolves being purchased by some inhabitants for lucre of the encouragement given by act, to the insupportable burthen of the people; Be it enacted by this present grand assembly and the authority thereof, that the allowance for wolves killed by Indians, and the injury of the persons and places by whome and where they are killed, be wholy left to the county courts by their by-laws, to take care and provide for, as shalbe found most requisite for the convenience and occasions of each county, notwithstanding the governour and councell haveing assented to this at the desire of the burgesses are of opinion that this act wilby the cheife desires thereof quickly be repealed.

Acts giving rewards to Indians to kill wolves repealed.
County courts to make bye-laws concerning.


An act for free importation of Salt into Northampton county.
      WHEREAS the county of Northampton hath shewed that by a former act of assembly the importation of salt into that county was prohibited for the better encouragement of collonel Edmund Scarburgh who had erected a salt worke at Accomack, but he not furnishing the wants of the people in that county of Northampton according to expectation and the law restrayning their releife from other places, Be it Preamble.

Various Readings
      * This is numbered act VI, in Purvis, and P. Rand. MSS. edi. 1733 & 1752, under the title 'An act repealing the act of encouragement for killing wolves.'
      The title of this in Purvis, and Ch. City & P. Rand. MSS. and edi. 1733 & 1752, is, 'An act concerning the salt-works, at Accomack' it is there numbered VII.




enacted by this present grand assembly and the authority thereof that the said act for soe much as relates to the county of Northampton be henceforth repealed, and liberty and lycense given to any person to importe and sell salt there as freely as before that act of restraint he might have done, collonel Scarburgh himselfe haveing given his full assent to the repeale.


An act concerning Indians.*
      WHEREAS the late act for the next towne of Indians to be answerable for all murthers committed in the parts adjacent seemes too full of severity and rigour to be put into execution unles there were at least some probable reason to induce a beleife of their being involved in the guilt, And yet if noe course be taken for restraint and prevention of the like insolencies and murthers there can be little hopes of security to the English; Be it therefore enacted by this grand assembly and the authority thereof, that in Henrico county, which as a fronteer is most exposed to those dangers, the bounds already fixed on the southside of James River be confirmed and that the militia of that county doe lay out the bounds on the northside of the river, (a) to lymitt the Indians about them, And that after such bounds laid out and notice thereof given, any indian shall presume to come in contrary to act in force, that then it shall be lawfull for any Englishman to kill such Indian or Indians soe transgressing, by the successe whereof in the county it will appeare whether the same course be necessary to be put in practice in other places: And be it further enacted that where the Indians in any part of Virginia shall be found still refractory and not obedient to the said act that notice Preamble.

Bounds of Indians laid out on south side of James river confirmed, and to be laid out on north side, in Henrico county.

Indians com'g within those bounds may be killed.

Refractory Indians, may be reduced to obedience.

Various Readings
      * This is numbered VIII, in Purvis, and Ch. City and P. Rand. MSS. and edi. 1733 and 1752. In Purvis the title is the same as above in Northb. MS. but in the others it is, 'An act prohibiting Indians to come into Henrico county.'
      (a) A blank in Northb. MS. 'river,' in Ch. City.




thereof being given to the right honourable the governour, his honour be desired by force to reduce them to a conformable obedience; Provided that such Indians as shall come upon messuages or other publique imployments to the places and persons by the governours honour permitted, and shall keepe their direct pathes, shall be exempted from being lyable to the severity of this act. Proviso in favour of Indians coming on messages.

An act for provision of ammunition. Edit. 1733 and 1752.
      WHEREAS there is a generall complaint of the want of ammunition for defence of the country in these times of eminent danger, It is enacted by this grand assembly that each county shall by their by-laws be impowred to make such provision thereof at a county charge as their severall occasions shall necessarily require. Purvis 148.

Counties authorised to provide ammunition by their by-laws.

An act for Weavers and Loomes. Edi. 1733 and 1752.
      WHEREAS the present obstruction of trade and the nakednes of the country doe suffitiently evidence the necessity of provideing supply of our wants by improveing all meanes of raysing and promoteing manufactures amonge ourselves, and the governours honour haveing by apparent demonstrations manifested that our poverty and necessity proceeds more from want of industry then defect of ability, since that five women or children of 12 or 13 yeares of age may with much ease provide suffitient cloathing for thirty persons, if they would betake themselves to spinning, which cannot be objected against, if weavers and loomes were once provided; for the better effecting whereof, Be it enacted by the authority of this grand assembly that within two yeares at furthest after the date of this act, the commissioners of each county court shall provide and sett up a loome and weaver in Purvis 148.


Each county to provide a weaver & loom at the expense of the county.




each of the respective counties of this country at the charge of the county, and that noe private person setting up a loome at his owne charge shall excuse the county from setting up a publique one; But that every court neglecting to performe the tenour of this act shall be fined two thousand pounds of tobacco to the use of the publique and informer. Provided that the executing hereof in the counties of Rapahanock, Stafford,* Westmerland and Northumberland who by newnesse of their ground pretend themselves incapable of makeing provision for the soe soone imployment of a weaver be respited for fowre yeares after the date hereof. Penalty for neglect

Not to extend to Rappahannock, Stafford, Westmorel'd, and Northumberland.

An act against entertayners of runaways. Edit. 1733 and 1752.
      WHEREAS diverse ill disposed persons not valueing the fine imposed by act, which by the inconsiderablenesse thereof they think not worth the paines of any mans recovery, doe harbour and give entertainment to loytering runaway servants for two or three dayes or more, thereby encourageing the said servants in such lewd courses; for prevention whereof, Be it enacted by the authority of this grand assembly that what person soever, contrary to the act in force, shall harbour or entertaine any such runaway servant shalbe fined to pay sixty pounds of tobacco for each day and night he shall soe harbour them to be recovered by the master or owner of the said servant by action of debt in any court of judicature in this country; this act extending only to such servants as serve by their ffirst indenture. Purvis (145.)


Penalty increased for harbouring runaway servants.

To what servants to extend.

Various Readings
      * This is the first time the name of Stafford occurs among the counties. In Mercer's abridgment, title 'Counties,' it is said to have been established in 1675.




An act for servants service Edit. 1733 and 1752.
      WHEREAS the present act in force prescribing how long servants comeing in without indentures shall serve, enjoynes all servants adjudged by the courts to be sixteene yeares of age to serve but five yeares, and all under to serve untill they be twenty fowre yeares, by which inequality, a servant if adjudged never soe little under sixteene yeares pays for that small tyme three yeares service, and if he be adjudged more the master looseth the like; Be it therefore enacted that the said act be from henceforth altered and amended, vizt. that all servants comeing in without indentures, after the expiration of this cession of assembly, shall serve according to their age, vizt. if adjudged nineteene yeares or above, then to serve five yeares, if under that age then to serve soe many yeares as he wants of twenty fowre years, when his age is adjudged by the court; And that every man intending to clayme the benefitt of this act is hereby required within two courts at furthest after he hath bought him or them, or imported a servant as aforesaid, to carry him to the court, who by a present inspection at that tyme wilbe best enabled to passe judgment upon the matter. Purvis (146.)


Former acts, concern'g servants com'g in without indentures amended so that they may serve according to their age.

When to be carried to c'rt. to have their ages adjudged.

An act for the charge of criminalls. Edit. 1733 and 1752.
      WHEREAS the charge of prosecuting criminall persons hath beene hitherto usually defrayed part by the publique, but most by those counties where the offenders dwelt or the fact was committed; for avoydance of which charge it is probable that many lewd livers by a too favourable censure escape their deserved punishments. Be it therefore enacted by this grand assembly and the authority thereof, that where the person convicted hath estate suffitient to defray the charge of his prosecution, the publique or county shall not be charged but the whole paid out of the delinquents estate, and the county and publique only then be lyable to satisfye when noe estate or not suffitient can be found or discovered. Purvis (147.)


Criminals convicted, to pay the expense of prosecution if estate sufficient, otherwise expense to be paid by county and public.





An act for Lower Norfolke non adddresse to the Collector.*
      WHEREAS the county of Lower Norfolke lyeth most in this river, and therefore not soe to be suspected to ship tobacco without paying the impost as the other counties in Potomack river and those on the Eastern shore, Be it therefore enacted that the inhabitants of the said county shall have equal liberty with others to dispose of their tobacco without the trouble of the addresse of every planter to the collector for giveing account and cleering the tobacco they make; but that the law still continue in force for all the counties in Potomack River and Accomack and Northampton.

County of L'r Norf. exempted from restrictions of former acts in exporting their tobacco.

Law to continue in force as to counties on Potomack and Accomack and Northampton.
An act repealing encouragements, and not planting Mulberry Trees. Edit. 1733 and 1752.
      WHEREAS the providence and care of the publique good in former assemblies thought fitt for the advance and promotion of trade, manufactures and staple comodities in the country, to grant of the publique certain encouragements for building of vessells, makeing of silke, cloath, &c. By which meanes diverse people being induced to put the same in practice, have by their successe made evident demonstrations how beneficial the same will prove; This assembly in hopes that all people now convinced of the profitts accrewing thereby will of their owne accords vigerously prosecute those now apparently profitable designes, have therefore for the ease of the publique Purvis (148.)


Various Readings
      * In the revisals of 1733 & 1752, the title of this act is 'An act of dispensation, for Lower Norfolk, to ship their tobacco.' In Purvis, and Ch. City & P. Rand. MSS. the title is different, but the subject matter in all the MSS. is the same.




taxes thought fitt to enact, as by this grand assembly and the authority thereof, it is enacted, that all acts of encouragement of silke, cloath, (a) building of vessells or any thing else may henceforth be generally and totally repealed and voyd, except the act for release of the impost of two shillings per hogshead to inhabitants of this country adventuring in vessells belonging properly and solely to Virginia owners, according to the one hundred and thirty fourth act of assembly; And moreover that the act imposeing a fine for not planting of mulberry trees which every one intended to make silke will now propagate voluntarily, be also repealed and made voyd. Act allowing premiums for silk, cloth, vessels, &c. repealed.

Act imposing fine for not planting mulberry trees repealed.

An act for Millers. Edit. 1733 and 1752.
      WHEREAS diverse owners and keepers of publique mills in this country doe refuse to grind corne according to turne for the reward and toll already sett and appointed by act, Be it therefore enacted by the present grand assembly and the authority thereof that what person soever, master, owner or lessee of any mill, shall hereafter refuse to grind as aforesaid shalbe fined and amerced one thousand pounds of tobacco for every such offence; And if the miller soe refuseing by a servant, he shalbe punished at the discretion of the county court where the offence shalbe comitted and complayned of, unles the servant can prove that what he did was done by order of his master, which fine shall be recovered by any person injuryed by action of debt in the court of that county where the offence was committed. Purvis 149.

Miller to grind according to turn.


Serv'ts punished at descret'n of courts, unless they acted by their master's orders.

Various Readings
      (a) The word 'cloth' omitted in Purvis.





An act concerning Sheepe.*
      WHEREAS the seaventy seaventh act concerning the insuffitiency of ffences prohibites any injury to be done to severall sorts of beasts and cattle among which sheep are not nominally included, it is enacted hereby that from henceforth sheep shalbe comprehended in the said act, and damages recovered for any injury done to them by vertue of the act aforesaid as for other cattle it is provided. Sheep includ'd in the act concerning trespasses and damages, on account of fences.

An act concerning bills of exchange. Edit. 1733 and 1752.
      WHEREAS it appeares that many bills of exchange drawne upon persons in England by people resident in this country in confidence that the goods by them sent might produce effects suffitient to satisfye them, which exspectation being frustrated sometimes by the miscarrying of the ship, sometimes by not sale of the goods or pretence thereof by the party on whome they are drawne, cause the said bills to be protested, and by the greate damage of 30 per cent given by act against the party that charged, is found to tend too much to the detriment and prejudice of the inhabitants of this country; It is therefore enacted by this grand assembly and the authority thereof, that from henceforth the damages upon bills of exchange protested shall not exceed 15 per cent, and that the former act giveing 30 per cent be hereby repealed and made voyd. Purvis 150.


Damages on protested bills of exchange reduce to 15 per cent.

Various Readings
      * The title of this act in Purvis, and Ch. City and P. Rand. MSS. and edi. 1733 & 1752, is "An act including sheep in the 77th act. It is there numbered XVII.





An act for releife of poore people.*
      WHEREAS there is an act intended for the releife of poore people that causes not exceeding the value of 20s. sterling or 200lbs. tobacco might be determined by a justice of peace without further suite; And whereas complaint hath been made that some of the said justices have contrary to the good intent of the said act exacted ffees from the parties comeing before them for justice, to a greater value then the thing sued for amounted to, It is therefore enacted by this grand assembly and the authority thereof that it shall not be lawfull for any justice of the peace to receive of any person any ffees for any cause or matter brought before him or determined by him. No justice of p'ce to receive any fee for any cause or matter bro't before or determined by him.

An act for seating and planting. Edit 1733 and 1752.
      WHEREAS there is in all pattents a provisionall clause for planting and seating the land therein granted, in three yeares, but never yet by any law declared what was meant by that clause, nor what should be accounted suffitient seating and planting, this grand assembly for the better explanation thereof have declared and enacted, and by the authority thereof doe declare and enact that building an house and keeping a stock one whole yeare upon the land shall be accounted seating; and that cleering, tending and planting an acre of ground shall be accounted planting, and that either of those shalbe accounted a suffitient performance of the condition required by the pattent. And that after such planting and seating the land as aforesaid and continuance of paying the quit rents, noe land shalbe adjudged to be deserted. Purvis. 151.

What is meant by seating and planting land, as expressed in patents.

Various Readings
      * The title of this act in Purvis, and Ch. City and P. Rand. MSS. and edi. 1733 and 1752. is, 'An act declaring that no justice shall take fees.'





An act for conformation of titles.*
      WHEREAS the honourable Tho: Ludwell, esq. hath informed the assembly that he finds in the records many pattents for greate parcells of land, for which there appeare not any right upon record, And ffurther that diverse patents have been issued and noe records (a) extant upon which the assembly takeing the premises into serious consideration as alsoe the greate trouble and prejudice that may issue to diverse honest inhabitants of this country in asserting their titles though in truth never soe good, yet by these neglects of the clerke rendred in stricknes of law altogether invalid; ffor remedy whereof the governour, councell and burgesses of this present grand assembly have enacted, and it is by the authority thereof enacted and ordayned, that for preservation of all present titles and prevention of ffuture trouble, that all lands held by former pattents of which there are noe record extant, or to which there are noe rights annexed in the records, unto the date of this present assembly, shall for ever beheld valid and ffirme according to the claimes of the severall patents, these defects being found to have hapned by defects of the clerks of those times in not makeing present entry of the rights delivered to them, and the casualty of two severall fires whereby many of those rights with other papers were destroyed; the assembly hereby rendring thanks to Mr. Secretary for his care of preventing future troubles, and requesting him to continue it, not suffering any pattent hereafter to passe the office before the rights are entered and the pattent compared with the record. All lands held by former patents, tho' not recorded or rights annexed in the records confirmed; these defects aris'g from the neglect of the clerks and the casualty of two fires.

Various Readings
      * The title of this act in Purvis, &c. is, 'An act concerning imperfect patents.'
      (a) The words 'and further that diverse patents have been issued and noe record,' omitted in Purvis.




An act for Law Bookes. Edit. 1752.
      WHEREAS for the better conformity of the proceedings of the courts of this country to the lawes of England, it appeares necessary for their better direction therein, all the former statutes at large and those made since the beginning of the raigne of his sacred majestie that now is and a few other approved bookes of law should be purchased, It is therefore by this grand assembly and the authority thereof enacted accordingly that all the aforesaid statue bookes, and Daltons justice of the peace, and office of a sherriffe, and Swinburnes book of Wills and Testaments may be sent for by the auditor for the sue of the generall courts and assembly, to be kept at James Citty, and paid for out of the two shillings per hogshead; and that the like bookes be sent for by some of the commissioners of the severall county courts for the use of the respective counties, and paid for out of the county levy. Purvis 133 and edit. 1733.

Law books, viz. Statutes at large, Dalton's justice, and sheriff, and Swinburne on wills, to be imported for the use of the gen. court and assembly.

The like for the counties.


An act against refractory Souldiers.*
      WHEREAS the officers of the militia have complained that divers refractory persons have in contempt of the authority impowring them, and to the ruyne of all military discipline refused to appeare upon the dayes of exercise and other time when required to attend upon the publique service, It is enacted by this grand assembly that every person soe neglecting to appeare, shall for every such neglect be amerced and fined one hundred pounds of tobacco to be disposed of by the militia to the use of the regiment, and that the commanders returne of such fines to the sherriffe of the respective counties shall be a suffitient warrant (in Fines on militia-men fail'g to attend musters.

How levied by distress.

Various Readings
      * The title of this act in Purvis, and Ch. City and P. Rand. MSS. and edi. 1733 and 1752, is, 'An act imposing fines on refractory persons;' and it is there numbered XXIII.




case of the parties deniall of payment) to levy the same by distresse. Provided that if before the laying of the levy the party amerced doe shew to his commander such cause of his absence as by the said commander shalbe judged reasonable, then the party to be excused and the fine not retorned.

How excused.


An act for Sherriffes and bayles.*
      WHEREAS the 46th (a) act for sherriffes to take bayle was misprinted and some words left out, It is enacted that for prevention of mistakes in courts of judicature a coppy be transcribed out of the orriginall for correction of the error in the printed booke, which followeth: "Be it also hereby enacted that all sherriffes shall take suffitient bayle of all persons arrested, with this condition to bring forth the party arrested or performe the award of the court, and if the sherriffe shall neglect to take suffitient bayle of the party arrested, or otherwise consent to be the cause of his escape, than the said sherriffe shall be lyable to pay the award of the court himselfe, and shall alsoe pay in case the consent to the escape be proved one thousand pounds of tobacco, halfe to the publique, and other halfe to the party greived for his (See an. p. 79; same law, correctly transcribed.)

Sheriff to take bail on arrests.

Consequence of failure or permitting an escape.

Various Readings
      * In Purvis, and Ch. City and P. Rand. MSS. the title of this act, is, 'An act for the better explanation of the 16th act in the printed book;' in the editions of 1733 and 1752, the 46th act, which is the act alluded to. See ante pa. 79.
      (a) '16th in Purvis, and Ch. City and P. Rand. MSS. but a mistake. It appears obvious that the errors which had crept into the revised acts of March 1661-2 which were printed in London, long before the publication of Purvis. (see not to pa. 164, 165.) were transferred into Purvis, without any new examination of the originals; whereas the acts contained in the Northb. MS. were more correctly transcribed in the first instance. By comparing the 46th act of March 1661-2, as contained in Purvis, with the same act in the Northb. MS. and this collection, it will be seen, that the very omissions here spoken of in the printed acts, do not exist in the Northb. MS.




"delay in recovering the debt; But if bayle be taken, and the party appeare not to answer the suite then judgment shalbe awarded against the bayle; Alwayes provided that the sherriffe or baile shall (if they desire it) have an attachment against the estate of the party arrested and not appeareing, and further that if the sherriffe or bayle shall at the next court after that to which the arrest was made bring forth the body of the party soe arrested to answer the suite, then the sherriffe or bayle shalbe acquitted from the judgment passed against them."

      Memorandum. This assembly was adjourned to the 12th of November, 1667.
When sheriff or bail may have attachment against principal.

How they may discharge themselves.
Signed by Sir WILLIAM BERKELEY,           
ROBERT WYNNE, Speaker.            

(Note to edit. 1733.) 







      UPON the end of which session it was enacted that the convention of the next should be upon the 25th of April 1667, unless the right honourable the governor found occasion to convent it sooner; who pleasing to issue his sumonds for the appearance of the respective burgesses, this day there appeared.
Capt. ROBERT WYNNE Speaker.
Henrico County.  Capt. William fferrar.
Charles City.                  { Mr. Speaker,
{ Capt. Thos. Southcoat.
York. { Leiut. col. Wm. Barber,
{ Capt. Danl. Parke.
New Kent. { Coll. William Clayborn,
{ Capt. William Berkley.
James County. { Capt. Edward Ramsey,
{ Mr. Thomas Ballard.
James City. Mr. Theo. Hone.
Surry County. { Capt. Laur. Baker.
{ Mr. Thos. Warren
Isle of Wight. { Maj. Nich. Hill,
{ Mr. Robert Williamson.
Nansamund. { Col. John Blake,
{ Capt. John Leare.
      * The Journal of this session is contained in a MS. furnished to the editor by Thomas Jefferson, late president of the United States, and purchased by him from the executor of Richard Bland, dec.−−− Most of this journal being taken up in discussing various propositions, which were enacted into laws, and may be found in the preceding acts of the same session, such parts of it, only will be published, as afford some information important to a correct history of that period.




Lower Norfolk. { Capt. Adam Thorwgood,
{ Capt. Wm. Carver.
Elizabeth City. { Col. Leond. Yeo,
{ Capt. John Powel.
Gloster. { Adjt. genl. Jenyngs,
{ Major Thomas Walker.
Lancaster. Rawleigh Traverse.
Rappahanock. { Capt. John Weye,
{ Mr. Thomas Lucas.
Stafford.* Col. Henry Mees.
Westmoreland. { Coll. Nich. Spencer,
{ Coll. John Washington.
Northumberland.            Mr. William Presley.
Northampton. { Leuit. Coll. Kendall,
{ Capt. John Swavage.
Accomack. { Coll. Edward Scarburgh.
{ Mr. Hugh Yeo.
      Major Hone, Leiut. col. John Blake sent to acquaint the governour that the house attended his honours pleasure; who ordered the several letters from the governour of Carolina, his honours answer to be read and all his honours letters to the lieut. and chancellor of Maryland and their answers which follow; Committee to wait on the governor.
      These are in his majesties name to impower and authorize the bearer hereof to pass boat and men or fresh horses, where occasion shall require, for the convenience and expedition of the transport of him and his horse over any river or creek, or to guide, direct and conduct him in his passage to Maryland, upon business of publick concernment, and his return. ffor the furtherance and expedition of which passage and return, all magistrates and persons are hereby strictly charged and required to be aiding and assisting to the bearer, and to secure and ffeed his horses at any place where he shall have occasion to leave them, at their peril. Given at James City the 24th of October 1666. Passport to commissioners, to treat with the colony of Maryland.
      * The county of Stafford, for the first time, appears among the proceedings of this assembly. It is mentioned as a county in the 8th act of this session, ante p. 238. That is more conclusive proof of its establishment as a county, than the mere circumstance of its being represented, for we have before seen, that, by the existing laws, any county which would lay out 100 acres of land, and people it with 10 tithable persons, should be entitled to a representative, notwithstanding the act for limiting the number of representatives in two for a county. See ante note to p. 196.




Most Honoured Sir,
      I MUST once more beg your pardon for importuning you to send us your declaration of the governour and councels assent to a cessation, for indeed not only our assembly and courts, but all our commerce have their dependance on the assurance of that our former results receive no interruption by the alteration of our opinion, and it's the voice of all that a cessation will make some few merchants venture their goods to us in these dangerous times, which otherwise they will keep by them, and then in what a miserable condition will these poor colonies be; for however we are at greater distance from danger, we shall be the first that for want of necessarys shall feel the pressures of a terrible war. The last ship that came to us informs us that the scales yet hang formidably balanced and that few ill venture to us but on hopes of great gains. This with many other considerations makes us desire you to hasten this messenger with your answer, which we are confident will satisfie all our hopes and wishes. Letter of the gov'r addressed to the chancellor of Maryland or governor of Carolina on the subject of a suspension of the planting of tobacco.
Your most humble servant,                  
Jamestown, the assembly
      setting 8ber. 24th 1666.
Most Honoured Sir,
      OUR assembly is now met to perfect the great business of the cessation, but we can move no further in it till your assent be publickly made known to us. The commerce of the whole country is at a stand till it be fully declared that your necessary act be absolutely confirmed by you, and the few merchants that are here refuse to open their stores till they know on what terms they should dispose of their commodities and besides other imputations of levity and inconstancy, I am confident few or no ship will be hazarded to us in the time of such extraordinary danger, if we make not good that which we have so much noised in the world. Therefore, dear Sir, let your concurring assent be sent to us as soon as possible, you Letter from the gov'r addressed to the chancellor of Maryland or gov'r of Carolina, on the subject of a suspension of the planting of tobacco.




can; by this time we suppose your councel is met, and therefore hope that this messenger will bring back your answer.
Your most humble servant,                  
Jamestown, the assembly setting,
      October 24, 1666.
      The house adjourned until to-morrow morning, being the 25th of October, at the 3d beating of the drum.

October 26, 1666.
      UPON reading the chancellours of Marylands letter with the proclamation inclosed, published and proclaiming the observance of the act of cessation, whether the same is conceived by this house to be a sufficient ending of that governments confirmation of their former act, and whether it shall be thereupon determined in the house that the act made for that purpose the 5th of June, 1666, is and shall remain in full force and power, for the restriction of planting from the first of February, 1666, till the first of February, 1667, according to the tenor of the said act, and the right honorable the governour and counsel is requested and impowered further to signifie the same by his proclamations to each of the respective counties of that his majesties colony and in it to prescribe such course and penalty as may cause the same to be put in effectual execution.
      WHEREAS the parishes of Lancaster and Payankatank having formerly been united and since divided into two parishes, by that division became more sensible of the inconveniency and charge, have petitioned to be reunited, it is accordingly ordered that their petition be granted and the parishes reunited and to be called the name of Christ Church Parish.       Parishes of Lancaster and Paynkatank united, & to be called Christ Church.

27 October, 1666.
      THE assent to the acceptance of the proclamation of Maryland as full confirmation of the former act for the cessation assented to by a 2d. Nemine Contradicente. Proclamat'n of Maryland for a cessation in planting tob'o. assented to as satisfactory.




      Ordered that account of the fines be each Saturday rendered in the house, one half whereof to be disposed of to the use of the house, one fourth to major Hone for collection, the other fourth to be allowed and accepted by the said major Hone to H. Rand, on account.
      The fines this week amounted to 460 lb of tobacco.
      The house adjourned till Monday morning third drum the committee to meet the first drum this afternoon.
Fines imposed on members of assembly, for breach of rules how collected and accounted for.

October 29, 1666.
      THE house met, there was read the result of the conference between the right honorable the governour and committee of burgesses, October 27, 1666, as followeth, vizt.
      Then was read the petition of Mr. William Drum, concerning the land commonly called the governours land, in the main reserve, the 29th of October, 1666, by the governour and councel, to the assembly for their judgments therein, returned thus endorsed;
      "This petition or one to this effect was exhibited in June last, to which the house gave his answer, vizt.
                        " June 8th, 1666.
      "The house humbly conceiving the grants of lands to appertain only to the governor and councel (and things thereby without their cognizance) think fit this petition be returned to your honours."
Conference between the governor & council, & burgesses, on the subject of grants of land; they being exclusively confided to the gov'r. & council, the assembly refused to take cognizance.
      And now do humbly conceive the same answer be (sufficient) the result of their judgments as conceiving the matter to be here coram non judice.
      WHEREAS there was a proposition from the Isle of Wight county for one of their three burgesses to be dismissed, it is the opinion and judgment of this assembly that since no burgess is admitted without legal and deliberate examination of his return, that it cannot consist with the honour of the house to dismiss him from attendance during the continuance of that assembly of which he is a member. The house refuse to dismiss a burgess from Isle of Wight, on the petition of the inhabitants.




November 9, 1666. Die Jovis.
      THE honourable governour sent knowledge of his pleasure to the house that two or more of the councel might join with the house in granting and confirming the sums of the levy.
      The humble answer of the house is, that they conceive it their privilege to lay the levy in the house, and that the house will admit nothing without reference from the honourable governour and councel unless it be before adjudged and confirmed by act or order, and after passing in the house shall be humbly presented to their honours for approbation or dissent.

      Mr. Ballard, major Weir and captain Bridger are appointed to present this answer to the honourable governour and councel.

      This is willingly assented to and desired to remain on record for a rule to walk by for the future, which will be satisfactory to all.
The assembly assert their privilege to lay the levy in the house of burgesses.


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