|Volume Map||Pages 30-50|
Statues at Large;
OF ALL THE
LAWS OF VIRGINIA,
FIRST SESSION OF THE LEGISLATURE,
IN THE YEAR 1619.
PUBLISHED PURSUANT TO AN ACT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
OF VIRGINIA, PASSED ON THE FIFTH DAY OF FEBRUARY,
ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND EIGHT.
By WILLIAM WALLER HENING.
PRINTED FOR THE EDITOR.
AT THE FRANKLIN PRESS.−−W. W. GRAY, PRINT.
| PREFACE |
STATUTES AT LARGE.
|THE first edition of this volume was printed in 1814, by the late Mr. Samuel Pleasants, printer to the commonwealth, by contract with the editor, and the sheets sent to Petersburg to be bound. As many copies as were subscribed for by the state, at that time, and a few over, were finished and delivered, the remaining sheets were all burnt, in the dreadful fire which happened in that town on the 16th day of July, 1815. This impression is re-printed page for page with the former, with the addition of a collection of historical documents, at the end of the Volume.|
|WILLIAM WALLER HENING.|
| LIST OF GOVEBNORS |
OF VIRGIGIA DURING THE PERIOD COMPRISED IN THIS VOLUME.
|(CONTINUED FROM VOL. 3, PAGE VIII.)|
|Hugh Drysdale died the 22d July 1726, and Colo. Jennings being suspended, Colo. Robert Carter took upon himself the administration of the government, as president of the council.||Hugh Drysdale.|
|[Here the MS. list of Governors ends..]|
|Robert Carter continued president of the council, till some time between the 17th of August and 13th of October 1727, when William Gooch was appointed Governor; −− the last patents, being dated on the 17th of August 1727, and the first signed by William Gooch, as governor, being dated the 13th of October 1727.|| Robert Carter.|
| General Assembly,
|Alex. Spotswood, Esq. Governor.|
An Act for appointing Rangers.
|WHEREAS a great number of barbarous, disorderly and lawless persons, of the Indian nations, have successively for many years last past, resided in and frequented the frontiers of this colony, and after the most horrid and notorious crimes by them committed, takeing the advantage of the large wast and uninhabited gronnds and woods, escape and avoid the hand of justice: For prevention whereof, and for the safeguard and secureing the said frontiers and the inhabitants thereof, from all injury, violence, spoyle and rapine of the said Indians.|
|Be it enacted, by the Lieutenant-Governor, Council, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and by the authority of the same, That from and after the passing of this act, the lieutenant governor, or the commander in chief of this colony and dominion, for the time being, is impowered and desired, with the advice of the council, to constitute and appoint such persons as he shall think fitt, to be lieutenants or commanders as he shall think fitt, to be lieutenants or commanders of the rangers for the said frontiers; each of which lieutenants, so constituted and appointed, shall choose out and list eleven able bodyed men, with horses and accoutrements, arms and ammunition, residing as|
Governor to appoint lieutenants of rangers.
10 [The heading says 9th ANNE, but Oct. 1710 was 9th ANNE.]
|near as conveniently as may be, to that frontier station for which he shall be lieutenant of the rangers, to serve under him as their commander. But if such lieutenant cannot find a sufficient number of able bodyed men, furnished and provided according to the directions of this act, to serve voluntarily under him, then and in such case it shall and may be lawfull for the commander in chief of the militia in the same county, and he is hereby impowered and required, upon the application of such lieutenant, to order and impress out of the militia of that county, so many able bodyed men, furnished as aforesaid, residing next to that frontier station, as shall make up the number of eleven. And such lieutenant and lieutenants, and the men under his and their respective commands, shall observe, perform and keep such orders and directions in their saverall rangings and marchings as such lieutenant and lieutenant-governor or the commander in chief of this colony and dominion, for the time being.|
To be provided with eleven men.
|And be it further enacted, That if any lieutenant of the rangers, or any the men under his command, shall in their marching and ranging meet with or see any Indian or Indians whatsoever, such lieutenant and such men shall endeavour by all possible means to apprehend and seize such Indian and Indians. And if upon examination of such Indian or Indians, he or they see cause, shall seize such Indian and Indians and convey him and them before one of her Majesty's justices of the peace, which justice shall if he see cause upon further examination commit such Indian and Indians to the custody of the sheriff of his county, to be by him conveyed to the lieutenant-governor or the commander in chief of this dominion, for the time being, for further examination; and the said justice shall then also certify the cause of such Indian or Indians' committment.||Indians, how to be dealt with.|
|And be it further enacted, That if any Indian or Indians so taken shall upon examination or tryal be found to belong to any of the nations in warr with this government, such Indian and Indians shall be transported and sold, and the benefitt of such sale shall intirely belong to that party of rangers by which he or they were apprehended. And if any Indian or Indians which shall be mett with or seen by such lieutenant or his men,||Indians taken, belonging to a tribe at war, to be transported and sold.|
|shall resist, fly or run away, so as such Indian or Indians cannot be apprehended or taken, whereby it may happen that such Indian may be wounded or killed in the pursuit.|
|It is hereby enacted and declared, That the person or persons killing or wounding such Indian or Indians shall incurr no penalty or prosecution for the same.|
|And be it further enacted, That if at any time dureing the continuance of this act, any inhabitant of this colony shall be killed or wounded by an Indian, there shall be paid to any person or persons that shall upon fresh pursuit take and secure such Indian so as he may be brought to tryal for the said fact, a reward of twenty pounds, current money of Virginia, by the general assembly of this colony. And if such Indian shall resist so as he cannot be apprehended alive, any person or persons that shall in that case shoot or kill such Indian, shall receive the like reward of twenty pounds, current money, to be paid as aforesaid.|| Reward for taking an Indian who had killed a white
Indians to be killed, if they resist.
|And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That there shall be levyed and paid to every lieutenant or commander of the rangers, for himself, his horse, with accoutrements, arms and ammunition, for his service fr one year, five thousand pounds of tobacco, with cask, and in proportion to that for a lesser time than a year. And to every man listed under such lieutenant or commander, for himself, his horse, with accoutrements, arms and ammunition, for his service for one year, three thousand pounds of tobacco, with cask, and in proportion to that for a lesser time than a year, out of the public levy, which tobacco, with cask, and in proportion to that for a lesser time than a year, out of the public levy, which tobacco shall be levyed and raised in the county where such lieutenant and rangers reside, or in some one or more of the next adjacent countys. And for the greater encouragement of the said rangers, every officer and other persons listed under him shall be and is hereby declared to be free and exempted from the payment of the said county and parish levys dureing their continuance in the said service. Such man so listed producing a certificate under the hand of his lieutenant or commander, setting forth the time such man shall have been in the said service, and making oath thereunto.|
Pay of lieutenant and men.
Encouragement to rangers.
|And be it also enacted, That if any lieutenant or commander of the rangers, or any man listed under such lieutenant or commander, by virtue of this act, shall||Penalty for disobedience of order.|
|refuse or wilfully neglect to observe, perform, or keep such orders and directions as shall from time to time be given by the lieut. governor or the commander in chief of this dominion, for the time being, to such lieutenant or commander relateing to the rangeing service, every person & persons so refusing or wilfully neglecting shall forfeit and loose all such pay as shall be then due and owing to him, or them, and shall suffer one month's imprisonment without bail or mainprize, such refusall or wilfull neglect being proved before the court of the county where such person & persons shall reside at the time of makeing the public claimes of the said county.|
|And be it further enacted, That this act shall continue and be in force for one year from the end of this session of assembly, and for no longer time.||Limitation of act.|
| CHAP. II.
An Act directing the manner of granting Probats of Wills, and Administration of Intestates Estates.
|[From edit. 1733, p. 270.]|
|I. BE it enacted, by the lieut. governor, council, and burgesses, of this present general assembly, and it is hereby enacted, by the authority of the same, That the county courts, and every of them, within their respective counties, have and shall have lawful jurisdiction and authority to hear and determine all causes, matters, suits, and controversies testamentary, which shall be brought before them; and that they have and shall have power to examine and take the proof of wills, and to grant certificates to the governor, or commander in chief of this colony and dominion, for the time being, or to his deputy or deputies appointed for that purpose, being a member or members of the said courts respectively, of the proof of all such wills, in order to obtain probats thereupon, or administration cum testamento annexo, as the case shall require; and to hear and determine the right of administration of the estate of persons dying intestate, in manner, and according to the several methods, rules, orders, and directions hereafter expressed and set down, that is to say: If any person, having a mansion-house, or other place of known residence and abode within this dominion, shall depart this life, and shall have disposed of his or her estate, or any part thereof, by will, such will shall be proved in|
Jurisdiction of county courts, in probats of wills and administrations.
In what county will to be proved.
|the court of that county where such mansion-house, or place of residence or abode shall have been: And if such person shall not have had any mansion-house, or place of residence or abode, as aforesaid, and shall have devised any lands, by his will in writing, to any person or persons, then such will shall be proved in the court of theat county wherein such land [lands] shall lie: And if such person shall, by such will, have devised lands, lying in several counties, and shall die in any one of those counties, then the will shall be proved in the court of that county wherein he or she shall happen to die: And if such person devising lands, as aforesaid, shall die in another county, than where any of his or her said lands shall lie, then the proof of such will shall be made in the court of some one of the counties where such lands shall lie, and not in any other county: And the proof of any will once well and sufficiently made in any county, as is above directed, shall be and is hereby declared to be of the same force, effect, and validity, for the disposing of lands, or any other estate, as if the same had been proved in every particular county where any land, or other estate, shall be. And if any person shall depart this life, having first made a will, and the executor or executors therein named, shall all of them refuse the executorship; in such case, the same court wherein the will should or ought to have been proved, if the executor or executors had accepted and taken upon him, her, or themselves, to discharge the trust, shall have power and authority to hear and determine to whom the right of administration ought to belong, and to grant certificate for obtaining letters of administration, cum testamento annexo. And if at any time hereafter, the will in writing of any person deceased, wherein lands shall be devised, shall be exhibited in any of the said county courts, and motion shall be made, that such will may be proved, then the court so legally moved, according to this act, shall appoint a time for proving the said will, and shall cause the next heir at law to the testator to be summoned to appear and be present at the time of such proof, and to show forth any thing that shall or may be lawfully alledged against such proof: And if there shall be divers heirs at law, in equal degree to the testator, then every one of them shall be summoned, as aforesaid: And if no such heirs be known, either to the court, or the party desiring|| Administration, with will annexed when to be granted.
Heir at law, when to be summoned.
|such proof, who shall declare the same upon oath (which oath, the court is hereby impowered and required to administer,) then proclamation shall be made by the sheriff of the county, at the courthouse, at two courts successively; and he shall also set up notes at every church and chappel in his county, of such will being exhibited and desired to be proved, as aforesaid: And that the said proof will be proceeded to, and compleated at the next court which shall be held for the said county, after the expiration of forty days from the making the last proclamation.|
|II. Provided always, That all persons, who, at the time of proving any will at common law, as aforesaid, where they may be concerned in interest, shall be under the age of one and twenty years, feme covert, non compos mentis, imprisoned, or out of the country, shall have liberty to contest the said proof at any time within ten years after their several disabilities and incapacities shall be removed, and at no time after the said ten years.||Saving to infants and others, under legal disabilities.|
|III. And be it enacted, That if any person, having a mansion-house, or other place of known residence or abode within this dominion, shall die intestate; in such case, the court of that county wherein such mansion-house, or place of residence shall be, and not any other county court, shall have full power & authority to hear & determine the right of administration upon the estate of such intestate, and to grant certificate for obtaining letters of administration thereon, in manner aforesaid. And if such person dying intestate, shall not have had any mansion-house, or place of residence or abode, as aforesaid, then certificate for obtaining an administration upon his or her estate, shall be granted by the court of that county wherein such person shall have died, and not in any other county. And if it shall so happen, that any executor shall die intestate, not having fully performed his executorship; or any administered the goods of the intestate; in every such case, it shall and may be lawful for the court, that granted the certificate for obtaining such probat, or commission of administration, to hear and determine the right of administration, and to grant certificate for obtaining letters of administration of the goods not administred to such person, as by this act shall have right thereto.||Administration of intestates estates, when and how
de bonis non, when granted.
|IV. And be it further enacted, That a probat of any will, or a commission of administration granted and issued, upon a certificate from any county court within this dominion, pursuant to, and in manner prescribed by this act, shall impower and enable the executor and executors, administrator and administrators, therein named and appointed, and every of them, to sue for, recover, and receive, by all lawful ways and means whatsoever, all and singular the goods an chattels, real and personal, and all and every the estate and estates of their and every of their testator and testators, intestate or intestates, in like manner, as they might or could do within the several counties where such certificate for obtaining probats, or commissions of administration, shall be granted, respectively.||Effect of probat, and of administrations.|
|V. And be it further enacted, That where any person shall die intestate, or where the executor or executors, and every of them, shall refuse to execute the will of the deceased; in such case, the county court, as aforesaid, shall have full power and authority to hear and determine the right of administration, and accordingly to grant certificate for obtaining commission of administration upon the estate of such intestate, or administration cum testamento annexo, upon the estate of such testator, whose executors shall refuse, as aforesaid, in manner following, that is to say: First to the husband or wife of the deceased if any be; and if none such, then secondly, to the child or children, or their legal representatives, if any be; and if none such, then thirdly, to the parents, father and mother, if any be; and if none such, then fourthly, to the brothers and sisters, if any be; and if none such, then fifthly, to the next kin, as uncles or aunts: and in case they fail to any others of more remote degree.||Who entitled to administration.|
|VI. And be it further enacted, That if upon the death of a person, there shall not any will be exhibited to be proved, or some motion made, for the legal proceedings, in order to obtain a certificate for a commission of administration to be granted to any of the kindred of the deceased, before, or at the next court which shall be held after the expiration of thirty days from the party's decease, in such county where such certificate ought by this act to be granted; then it shall and may be lawful to and for the said court to grant a certificate for obtaining administration of the estate of||Court may grant administration to any person after 30 days.|
|such deceased to any other person, as the said court, in their discretion, shall think fit.|
|VII. Provided always, That if any will shall afterwards be exhibited, and a probat thereupon be desired, or if any of the deceased's kindred (not having before refused) shall appear and pray administration upon his or her estate; in such case, certificate for obtaining a probat of the will, or an administration of the estate, shall be granted to such person or persons as shall lawfully desire the same, in like manner, as if any other administration had never been granted.||Effect of a will, being afterwards produced.|
|VIII. Provided also, That nothing herein before-mentioned, shall be construed to disable any court from summoning any person or persons whatsoever, having the will of the person deceased in his, her, or their custody or possession, to exhibit the same to the court, in order to a legal probation thereof; but that any person or persons may be compelled, by summons, or other lawful process, as the court shall think fit, to produce such will, being in his, her, or their possession, for the just and legal proceedings to be had thereupon; any thing herein, or in any other act, or any law, custom, or usage to the contrary hereof, in any wise notwithstanding.||Court may compel the production of a will.|
|IX. And all probats, commissions of administration, and of administrations, cum testamento annexo, as the several cases shall require, issued upon certificate granted according to this act, signed by the governor, or commander in chief of this colony, for the time being, and sealed with the seal of the colony, or signed by such other person or persons, being one or more of the magistrates in commission of the peace, and authorized by commission for granting probats from the governor, or commander in chief of this her Majesty's colony and dominion, for the time being, and sealed with the seal of the court where the same shall be granted, (which seal the court is hereby impowered and required, at the charge of the county, to provide,) shall be, and are hereby enacted and declared to be, to all intents and purposes, good and effectual in law, to impower and enable the executors and administrators therein named, to possess themselves of the estates of their testators or intestates, and to act and do all other matters and things, by virtue thereof, as any executor or administrator may||Probates and commissions of administration to be signed by governor or person authorised by him.|
|or might lawfully do, by any ways or means whatsoever.|
|X. And be it further enacted, That before any person or persons shall obtain a probat of any will or a commission of administration of any estate shall be granted to any person or persons, so as such administrator or administrators shall be thereby legally qualified to act, the said executors or administrators, and every of them respectively, as the case shall require, shall take the following oaths, to wit:||Executors and administrators to take an oath.|
|THE OATH OF AN EXECUTOR.|
|YOU shall swear, That this writing contains the true last will of the within named A. B. deceased, as far as you know or believe; and that you will well and truly perform the same, by paying first his debts, and then the legacies contained in the said will, as far as his goods, chattels, and credits, will thereunto extend, and the law charge you; and that you will make a true and perfect inventory of all the said goods, chattels, and credits. So help you God.||Oath of executor.|
|THE OATH OF AN ADMINISTRATOR.|
|YOU shall swear. That A. B. deceased, died without any will, as far as you know or believe; and that you will well and truly administer all and singular the goods, chattels, and credits, of the said deceased, and pay his debts, as far as his goods, chattels, and credits, will thereunto extend, and the law require you; and that you will make a true and perfect inventory of all the said goods, chattels, and credits, as also a just account, when thereunto required. So help you God.||Oath of administrator.|
|XI. And for the better securing the estates of persons deceased, or which shall hereafter depart this life.|
|XII. Be it enacted, That where the court shall have ground to suspect, either from their own knowledge, or the suggestions of the creditors or legatees of any person deceased, that the executor or executors of the testator will indirectly and fraudulently administer the estate to the prejudice of the creditors or legatees therein concerned; and also wherein any administrations are to be obtained, as aforesaid, there shall not be granted||Bond and security, when to be taken.|
|to any such executor or executors so suspected, a certificate for obtaining the probat of any will, or a commission of administration of any estate, to any person or persons whatsoever, until such executor or executors, person or persons, shall have given such sufficient security, either of the inhabitants of that county, or any other, as the court shall approve (respect being had to the value of the estate) for his, her, or their faithful and true administration of such estates; which security shall be bound to the justices of the court, and to their successors, in a bond, with one of the following conditions, to wit:|
|The Condition of the Bond to be given by Executors and Administrators, with the Will annexed.|
|THE condition of this obligation is such, That if the above bound A. B. executor of the last will and testament of C. D. deceased, [or administrator, with the will annexed, of all the goods, chattels, and credits of C. D. deceased,] do make, or cause to be made, a true and perfect inventory of all and singular the goods, chattels, and credits, of the said deceased, which have or shall come to the hands, possession, or knowledge of him the said A. B. or into the hands or possession of any other person or persons for him, and the same so made, do exhibit, or cause to be exhibited, into the county court of N. at such time as he shall be thereto required by the said court; and the same goods, chattels, and credits, and al other the goods, chattels, and credits, of the said deceased at the time of his death, which at any time after shall come to the hands or possession of the said A. B. or into the hands or possession of any other person or persons for him, do well and truly administer, according to law; and further, do make a just and true account of his actings and doing therein, when thereto required by the said court; and also do well and truly pay and deliver all the legacies contained and specified in the said testament, as far as the said goods, chattels, and credits, will thereunto extend, according to the value thereof, and the law shall charge him: then this obligation to be void and of none effect, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue.||Condition of bonds of ex'rs and adm'rs. with the will annexed.|
|The Condition of the Bond to be given by Administrators.|
|THE condition of this obligation is such, That if the above bound A. B. administrator of all the goods, chattels and credits, of C. D. deceased, do make, or cause to be made, a true and perfect inventory of all and singular the goods, chattles, and credits, of the said deceased, which have or shall come to the hands, possession, or knowledge of him the said A. B. or into the hands or possession of any other person or persons for him; and the same so made, do exhibit, or cause to be exhibited, into the county court of N. at such time as he shall be thereto required by the said court, and the same goods, chattels, and credits, and all other the goods, chattels, and credits, of the said deceased, at the time of his death, which at any time after shall come to the hands or possession of the said A. B. or into the hands or possession of any other person or persons for him, do well and truly administer, according to law; and further, do make a just and true account of his actings and doings therein, when thereto required by the said court: and all the rest and residue of the said goods, chattels, and credits, which shall be found remaining upon the said administrator's account, the same being first examined and allowed by the justices of the court, for the time being, shall deliver and pay unto such person or persons respectively, as the said justices by their order or judgment shall direct, pursuant to the laws in that case made and provided. And if it shall hereafter appear, that any last will and testament was made by the said deceased, and the executor or executors therein named do exhibit the same in the said court, making request to have it allowed and approved accordingly, if the said A. B. being thereunto required, do render and deliver up his letters of administration, approbation of such testament being first had and made in the said court; then this obligation to be void, and of none effect; otherwise to remain in full force and virtue.||Conditions of admr's bond.|
|XIII. And it is hereby enacted and declared, That the said bonds shall be good and valid, to all intents and purposes, therein mentioned; and that in the name of the justices, to whom such bond shall be made paiable, and of their successors, the same may and shall be||Bonds payable to justices.|
|prosecuted against the parties therein bound, and every of them, at the costs and charges in the saw of the party injured: And that the said bonds or any of them, shall not become void upon the first recovery had upon them; but if any person shall thereafter, find him or herself aggrieved by the misbehaviour of the executor or executors, administrator or administrators, therein named, then he or she so aggrieved, may commence suit, as aforesaid, upon such bond, and shall recover, as if no process had theretofore issued upon such bond; and so process upon such bonds may issue, and judgment thereupon shall be given, toties quoties, until the will of the testator therein mentioned be fulfilled, (as far as lies in the executors to fulfil the same,) or the administration of the estate therein mentioned, be justly and truly performed and compleated, or else that one or more judgment or judgments shall be given for the full sum expressed for the penalty in the said bond; which said bond may be put in suit in the county court, before which the same was entred into; any law, custom, or usage to the contrary thereof, in any wise, notwithstanding.||How prosecuted.|
|XIV. And if any person or persons nominated and appointed to be the executor or executors of any person deceased, shall make legal proof of such deceased person's last will and testament, and upon the court's suspecting such executor or executors of indirect or fraudulent administration and management of the testator's estate, either for reasons suggested to them by the creditors or legatees therein concerned, or upon their knowledge; and thereupon the said executor or executors being ordered by the court to give security, and failing either at the time of such proof made, or within two months after, to give such bond and security, as is before directed, for his, her, or their true and faithful administration of the estate of such person deceased, according to his or her will; such failure shall be construed, deemed, and taken in law, to be a refusal to accept the executorship, and administration cum testamento annexo, shall or may be granted in the manner herein before directed, to such next of kin to the deceased, as should otherwise have administration, in case no such will had been made; any law, custom, or usage to the contrary hereof, in any wise, notwithstanding.||Executor failing to give security, administration with the will annexed may be granted.|
|XV. And that the value of all decedents estates may be the better known, and an account thereof the more justly kept, every person or persons being appointed executor or executors, administrator or administrators, of any, or part of any estate whatsoever, and having a certificate for obtaining probat, or commission of administration granted unto him, her, or them, for the same, shall, at the next court after the obtaining of such certificate, upon his, her, or their corporal oath, exhibit a true and perfect inventory, as far as in them lies, of all and every part of the estate whereof the executorship, or administration shall be to him, her, or them, committed: And if it so happen, that such a full and perfect inventory, as is directed, cannot be made in the time hereby mentioned, upon reasonable cause to them shewn, the court may allow such further time for exhibiting such inventory, as to them shall seem necessary.||Inventory to be returned to court, by ex'rs and adm'rs.|
|XVI. And the courts shall cause appraisements of all decedents estates to be made in money, as soon as possible, by at least three good and lawful men upon oath, and in the same order, whereby the court shall order such appraisement; they shall also appoint the appraisers, and nominate one or more of the justices of their county, to administer an oath to the said appraisers, for their true and just valuing the estate, according to the best of their judgment, (which justices so nominated, or any one of them, shall be and is hereby fully impowered to administer such oath;) and accordingly the same shall be held and deemed to be lawfully administred, and to enure and to take effect, as firm and valid in law, to the purposes mentioned. Every one of which said appraisers shall be paid thirty pounds of tobacco for every day he shall attend to make such appraisement.|| Appraisements, how to be made.|
|XVII. And for peventing all disputes that may arise concerning the right of [to] crops upon the ground, It is hereby enacted and declared, That where any person or persons shall die intestate, whilst his crop of Indian Corn, Wheat, or other Grain, or Tobacco is on the ground, unfinished, or dying testate, shall not have otherwise directed, all and every servant and slave, employed in the said crop at the time of such decease, shall be continued on the plantations, and employed in the crop or crops respectively, until the five and twentieth||Servants and slaves to be continued on plantation of decedent.|
|day of December then next coming; and that then the said crop shall be deemed and taken to be assets in the executors or administrators hands, to be valued by appraisers to be appointed, in the same manner as they shall be for the other part of the deceased person's estate; any law, custom, or usage to the contrary, notwithstanding. And the slaves employed in the said crop, as aforesaid, shall, after the said five and twentieth day of December, be delivered to such person or persons to whom the same is declared to belong, by an act of assembly, made at a general assembly, begun at the capitol, the twenty-third day of October, in the year one thousand seven hundred and five, intituled, An act declaring the Negro, Mulatto, and Indian Slaves, within this Dominion to be Real Estate.|| Crops to be assets.|
Slaves, when to be delivered to heir.
|XVIII. Provided always, and it is the true intent and meaning of this act, That no executor or administrator shall be answerable for the price of any negro, or other servant or slave, which shall happen to die before the said twenty-fifth day of December, although such negro, or other servant or slave, shall be put into the inventory of the deceased person's estate.||Executor or adm'r not answerable for slave dying.|
|XIX. Provided always, That if any person shall hereafter depart this life, leaving an estate more than sufficient to pay all debts due from the same, such person shall and may have liberty to settle his or her estate by will, in such manner as he or she shall think fit; and may also direct, that the same shall not be appraised; and every such will shall be held valid, according to the true intent thereof: And the making a true inventory of the estate of such person, without proceeding to appraise the same, shall be held a sufficient compliance with this act.||When testator may direct his estate not to be appraised.|
|XX. Provided also, That if any person or persons already departed this life hath, or any person or persons who shall hereafter depart this life, shall by will bequeath his or her estate to his or her children, and make them, or such of them as are of age, executors of such will; or bequeath his or her estate to the husband or wife, or to his wife and children, and make them, or either of them, as aforesaid, executors; or in case there be no husband, or wife, or children, such person dying, shall by will make any person or persons whatsoever his or her executor and residuary legatee, or where the testator shall by his will direct, that his||When no security may be required of executor.|
|executor or executors shall not be obliged to give security; in all or either of the aforesaid cases, no security shall be demanded of such executor or executors, nor of any person or persons, who shall by any testator be appointed executor or executors in trust, durante minori œtate of his children, where he shall by his will have made his said children executors, and ordered that his estate shall be preserved in kind, and the profits thereof redound to the benefit of such children at their coming of age; any thing in this act, to the contrary thereof, in any wise, notwithstanding.|
|XXI. And provided likewise, That nothing herein contained, shall be construed to abridge or restrain the powers of executors over their testators estates, before, or until probat of the will, or commission of administration, with the will annexed, is obtained, as fully and amply as if this act had never been made.||Power of ex'rs before probat not abridged.|
|XXII. And that the wills of persons deceased may be the better preserved, Be it enacted, That all original wills shall remain in the clerk's office amongst the records of the several respective counties, where they shall be proved, whereto any person, whose occasions shall so require, may have recourse, as to the other records: except for the time it shall be removed by direction of any superior court. And that unto every probat, granted upon certificate from any court, there shall be annexed a true copy of the will whereupon such probat shall be granted.||Wills to remain among records,|
|XXIII. Provided always, and it is hereby declared to be the true intent and meaning hereof, That in all cases testamentary, where the decedent shall have left estate, real or personal, of the value of fifty pounds sterling, or upwards, in divers counties within this colony, it shall and may be lawful for the general court of this dominion, upon motion made to them by the executor or executors of such person dying testate, or by the person or persons who hath the right of administration of the estate of any person dying testate, or by the person or persons who hath the right of administration of the estate of any person dying intestate, or whose executors shall refuse to take upon them the trust, to take the proof of wills, and to hear and determine the right of administration, and thereupon to grant certificate for obtaining a probat or administration, or administration, with the will annexed, as the case is. And that in all cases where wills are exhibited to be proved in the general court, the court shall assign a certain day|| where proved. |
When general courts may grant probats.
|of the next succeeding general court, for proving the same; and shall direct summons to the heir or heirs at law, in the same manner as is directed for the county courts. And wherever proclamation is by this act made requisite, for summoning any heir or heirs, the general court shall cause such proclamation to be publicly affixed in their courthouse; and shall also cause proclamation to be made in the county where the testator died, after the same manner as is directed upon proving the will in the county court.|
|XXIV. That all probats of wills, and commissions of administration, granted upon certificate obtained in the general court, shall issue under the seal of the colony, and shall be signed, by the governor or commander in chief of this dominion, for the time being, or by the president of the council, for the time being, or by such member or members of the said court, as shall be commissionated for that purpose, by the governor, or president respectively. And that the forms of all oaths and bonds, required by this act of executors or administrators for the due discharge of their trust, shall be the same as is directed for the county courts, mutatis mutandis.||How probats, and administrations from general court to issue.|
|XXV. Provided always, That where the general court shall grant certificate for obtaining the administration of any estate, and shall fail to take sufficient security for the same; in that case, the members of the said court, granting such certificate, and every of them, shall be liable to pay such loss and damage, as shall accrue by reason of such failure, in the same manner as the justices of the county court in the like case should have been.||When court liable for taking insufficient security.|
|XXVI. And forasmuch, as by this act, it is before directed, that all decedents estates shall be appraised in money; and for that it often happens, that several debts are contracted in this colony for certain quantities of tobacco, or other commodities in specie, which may sometimes be of greater or lesser value than ordinary, which may occasion disputes between executors or administrators, and the creditors of their testators, or intestates, concerning the payment of such debts: for prevention whereof,|
|XXVII. Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if a debt, contracted by any person deceased, in tobacco, corn, wheat, beef, pork, or other kind of commodity,||Debts contracted by testator or|
|shall be recovered by suit at law against his or her executor or executors, administrator or administrators, and there shall not, at the time of such recovery, be so much of the commodities so contracted for, belonging to such decedent's estate, in the hands of his or her executor or executors, administrator or administrators, or any of them; then, upon the motion of any such executor or administrator, against whom recovery shall be had, as aforesaid, and oath made, that there is not a sufficient quantity of the commodities so contracted for, belonging to the decedent's estate in the hands of any of the executors or administrators, to satisfy the debt so to be recovered in specie, the court, before whom such motion and oath shall be made, shall value the commodity contracted for, according to the best of their judgment, in money; and accordingly shall give judgment for the same, to be paid in money, (and not in specie,) out of the estate of the person deceased; any law, usage or custom, or any obligation, contract, or other matter or thing whatsoever, to the contrary thereof, in any wise, notwithstanding.||tate, payable in specie commodities when to be converted into money by the court.|
|XXVIII. And be it further enacted, That the clerk of every county court, shall every half year, viz. in April and October, return to the secretary's office a list of all certificates for obtaining probats or administrations granted in their respective counties, containing the names of the testators or administrators, and the names of the securities; which lists the secretary of this colony is hereby required to cause to be recorded alphabetically in his office, in books kept for that purpose.||Lists of administrations with names of ex'rs, &c. to be returned half yearly to secretary's office.|
|XXIX. And be it further enacted, That all and every other act and acts, and every clause and article thereof heretofore made, for so much thereof, as relates to any matter or thing whatsoever within the purview of this act, is and are hereby repealed and made void, to all intents and purposes, as if the same had never been made.||Repealing clause.|
| CHAP. III.
An Act for building a Prison for Debtors to be committed by the General Court.
|[From edit. 1733, p. 279.]|
|I. WHEREAS it is found very inconvenient, that when defendants are brought in custody from several remote and distant parts of this colony to the general court, by writs issued out of the office of the said court, for want of bail for their appearance; and at the return of such writs or appearing, cannot give special bail to such actions on which they are arrested, ro after judgment obtained against them in custody, on which they ought immediately to be in execution, there is at present no prison or place to which such defendants can properly be committed.|
|II. Be it therefore enacted, by the Lieutenant Governor, Council and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and by the authority of the same, That as soon as conveniently may be, after the passing of this act, one lot or half acre of land lying in the city of Williamsburg, and in the county of York, as near as may be to the place where the colony goal for criminals now stands, be set apart and appropriated for a place whereon a prison shall be built; and that so soon as conveniently may be after the time aforesaid, there shall be made and erected on the said lot, a good substantial building of brick, well and sufficiently strengthened and secured with timber and plank, iron work, and other materials, so as to make the said building strong, and sufficient for the safe keeping of prisoners, out of the monies which shall be levied and raised by an act of assembly of this colony, intituled, An act for laying a duty on liquors and slaves, after the monies already appropriated out of the said duty are levied and paid.||Land to be purchased in Williamsburg, and a prison built thereon.|
|III. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the honourable the lieutenant-governor, or the governor, or commander in chief of this colony and dominion, for the time being, is impowered and desired to contract and agree with any person or persons, for the erecting, building and finishing the prison aforesaid; and to issue his warrant upon the treasurer of this dominion, for the time being, for any sum or sums of money which may be wanted, for the building and finishing the said prison, out of the monies which shall||Governor to contract for building, not exceeding 200l.|
|be raised for the said use, not exceeding two hundred pounds.|
|IV. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the said prison so erected and built, shall from thenceforth be called, The General Court Prison for Debtors; of which said prison, the judges of the general court, or the greater part of them, are hereby authorized ind impowered to lay out and appoint rules.||General court prison for debtors.|
|V. And be it further enacted, That the sheriff of the county of York, for the time being, shall be and is hereby appointed to be keeper of the said prison, and shall constantly attend the said prison, and shall constantly attend the said court; and is hereby impowered and required to receive and take into his custody all and every person and persons which shall by the said court be committed to him on mean process, or in execution in any civil cause or action, or for any contempt of the said court; and such person and persons in the said prison to detain and keep, until he, she, and they shall be thence lawfully discharged; and to take and receive all such prisoner and prisoners so committed to his custody, such fee and fees as are settled and allowable by law.||Sheriff of York to be keeper, &c.|
|VI. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That there shall be satisfied, and paid to the said sheriff of York county, for his care and pains in keeping the said prison, and looking after the prisoners committed to his custody, and for his attendance on the general court, such allowances, disbursements, and accounts, as shall be thought reasonable by the general assembly of this dominion.||His salary and how paid.|
|VII. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That if any prisoner who shall be committed to the custody of the said sheriff, or keeper of the said general court prison for debtors, shall be so indigent and poor, that he or she be not of ability to maintain and subsist him or herself in the said prison; then, and in such case, there shall be allowed and paid to such sheriff, as keeper of the said prison, for the relief and subsistence of such poor prisoner, the sum of six pence by the day, for every day such poor prisoner shall remain and be in his custody; to be levied and paid by the general assembly of this dominion.||Allowance to insolvents for diet, &c.|
|VIII. Provided always, That no fee, or security for a fee shall be paid or given by such poor prisoner to such sheriff, as keeper of the said prison, on any account or pretence whatsoever; nor shall it be lawful for such sheriff, as keeper of the said prison, or his under-sheriff, or any person whatsoever, to detain or keep in his custody such poor prisoner, for not having paid his or her fees due, or pretended to be due to him, by reason of his being keeper of the said prison.||But no fee to be paid by them to the keeper.|
|IX. And for the more easy and speedy obtaining of judgment against any person or persons who shall be a prisoner or prisoners in the aforesaid prison of the general court for debtors, Be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful to and for any person or persons who hath or shall have any cause of action against any prisoner or prisoners, who shall be committed to the said prison after entring an action, and filing or entring a declaration in such action with the clerk of the general court, and delivering a copy of such declaration to any such defendant or defendants; in any personal action or actions, at least one month before the day of the general court to which the said action is entred, and affidavit made of such delivery of such copy of such declaration, before one of the judges of the said court; unless such defendant or defendants shall enter, or cause to be entred a plea to such declaration, with the aforesaid clerk of the general court, at least three days before the day the court to which the said action shall be entred, to obtain judgment in such action against such defendant or defendants; any law, statute, act of assembly, usage, or custom to the contrary thereof, in any wise, notwithstanding.||How judgments may be obtained against prisoners in custody.|
|Edition 1733 and 1752.|
|Edition 1733 and 1752.|
| Signed by ALEXANDER SPOTSWOOD, ESQ. Governor. |
PETER BEVERLEY, Speaker.
|Volume Map||Pages 30-50|