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| THE |
Statutes 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 |
Sixth Volume of the Statutes at Large.
|THE fifth volume of this work, commenced with the acts of 1738, and proceeded through those of 1748 as far as chapter XIV. inclusive, but the acts of this session containing a revisal of our laws for which provision had been made by an act of 1745, (a) it was impossible to comprise them in that volume. They are completed in this; and the laws are brought down to the end of October session 1755. From page 408 of volume 5, to page 215 of volume 6, the revised acts of 1748 will be found. These were first published in the edition of 1752, as they passed the Colonial Assembly, but ten of them having been repealed by the king's proclamation in April 1752, (b) which made a very important change in our system of jurisprudence, it became necessary to publish a new edition of our laws. This produced the edition of 1769, which has long been known by the appellation of the old body of the laws, in contradistinction to the Revised Code, contained in the editions of 1794, 1803 and 1814. I have now lying before me, the edition of 1752, from which that of 1769 was printed. This is evident from variety of circumstances: in different parts of the book, we meet with these words, in manuscript, "Examin'd so far with the Rolls:" all the corrections made with the pen, in this copy of the edition of 1752, and all the manuscript notes are printed, word for word, in the edition of 1769; and the arrangement of the chapters, are precisely as they are numbered in manuscript. Such of the acts of 1748, as had been repealed by proclamation in 1752, and such other acts of that session, as had been amended and re-enacted by the Legislature, after that event, are noted "not to be printed." Although the chapters are newly arranged in the edition of 1769, yet the sections remain unaltered. This circumstance alone would be sufficient to evince that that collection of our laws, is merely an edition, not a revisal.|
|In 1754, commenced a series of acts, intended for the protection of the inhabitants on the western frontiers, from the incursions of the French and Indians. (c) Encouragement had been held out by previous acts of the Legislature for persons to settle "on the waters of the Mississippi river in the county of Augusta;"|
|(a) See vol 5. pa. 321. (b) See pa. 215, of this volume, and pa. 432, of vol. 5. (c) See pa. 417.|
|(d) which was then the frontier county, and included all the western waters within the limits of Virginia. New sources of revenue were provided; (e) a lottery was instituted; (f) regular soldiers, were either impressed into the service, (g) or drafted among the young unmarried men of the militia; (h) the militia were newly organized; (i) courts martial constituted for the trial of military offences, (k) and the act making provision against invasions and insurrections amended. (l)|
|During this period, while the Indians were perpetrating the most cruel barbarities on the defenceless inhabitants of the frontiers, there existed a great scarcity of Indian corn, at that time the staple article for bread. −− The Assembly, to counteract the effects of such a state of things, resorted to the lex talionis, as it respected the Indians, by giving a reward of ten pounds for every enemy's scalp, taken from a male above twelve years old, and the like sum for every prisoner taken alive; (m) and by a subsequent law, the same rewards were given to friendly Indians. (n) The price of Indian corn was limited to twelve shillings and six pence per barrel (o).|
|It was during this war that Col. George Washington, afterwards the General, so justly celebrated as the commander of the American armies from the commencement to the termination of the revolution, first distinguished himself. The Assembly, in 1755, reciting that "the officers and private soldiers of the forces, levied in this colony had in the late engagement on the Monongahela, behaved gallantly, and sustained great loss," voted the sum of three hundred pounds to Col. Washington, other sums to different soldiers by name, and five pounds to each surviving soldier. (p.)|
|In the succeeding volumes there will be no omission of any private or local act, the editor having in his possession every act of Assembly and ordinance of convention, from the year 1752, down to the present time.|
|WILLIAM WALLER HENING.|
|(D) See pa. 258, 355. (e) See pa. 419, 435. (f) See pa. 453. (g) See pa. 438, 465. (h) See pa. 465, 527. (i) See pa. 530. (k) See pa. 534, 547. (l) See pa. 544. (m) See pa. 550. (n) See pa. 564. (o) See pa. 553. (p.) See pa. 528.|
|List of Governors of Virginia, during the period comprised in this volume.|
|WILLIAM GOOCH, ESQR. was appointed Governor in 1727, and continued until some time between 1749 and 1752; the last patents signed by him, being dated the 20th of June, 1749, and the first signed by his successor, Robert Dinwiddie, esqr. bearing date the 28th of April, 1752. −− The intermediate patents were signed either by Thomas Lee, or Lewis Burwell, as Presidents of the Council. William Gooch, esqr. acquired the title of Baronet while Governor of Virginia, as appears not only from the records of the Land Office, but from the acts of Assembly, of that period.|| Sir William Gooch, Bart. |
Robert Dinwiddie esqr.
| AT A
BEGUN AND HELD AT
|Sir W. Gooch, Bart. Governor.|
An act for the better securing the payments of rents, and preventing the fraudulent practices of Tenants.
|I. BE it enacted, by the Lieutenant-Governor, Council, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted, by the authority of the same, That where any goods or chattels shall be distrained for any rent reserved, and due, upon any demise, lease, or contract whatsoever, and the tenant, or owner of the goods so distrained, shall not, within ten days after such distress taken, and notice thereof, and the cause of such taking, left at the chief mansion house, or other most notorious place on the premises, charged with the rent distrained for, replevy the same, by sufficient security given to the sheriff, or officer serving such distress, to pay the money or tobacco, and all costs, with lawful interest for the same, at the end of three months, in such case, such sheriff or officer shall and may sell the goods and chattels so distrained, by public auction to the highest bidder, either for money or tobacco, according as the rent reserved shall be due and payable, in the like manner as goods or chattels taken in execution; and all bonds and securities, taken upon such sale, shall be returned by the sheriff or officer, and be of the like force, and leviable when due, in the same manner as bonds taken upon executing a writ of fieri facias.||The method of proceeding in distress for rent.|
|II. Provided always, That when distress shall be made for tobacco, between the last day of September, and the last day of December in any year, and the goods distrained shall be sold, and security taken for paying the tobacco by the first day of January then next; and the bonds taken for the same, and costs of seizure and sale, shall be by the officer delivered to the landlord for whom distress was made.||Where the distress is for tobacco, between 30th Sep. and 31st. Dec.|
|III. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That in case any distress and sale shall be made, under colour of this act, for rent pretended to be in arrear and due, where in truth no rent is arrear, or due, to the person or persons distraining, or to him, her, or them, in whose name or names, or right, such distress shall be taken as aforesaid, then the owner of the goods and chattels so distrained and sold, his executors or administrators, shall have remedy, by action of trespass, or upon the case, against the person and persons so wrongfully distraining, or either of them, his, her, or their executors and administrators, and shall recover double the value of the goods and chattels so distrained and sold, together with full costs of suit.||Remedy in case of wrongful distress.|
|IV. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That upon any pound-breach, or rescous, of goods or chattels distrained for rent, the person or persons grieved thereby shall, in a special action upon the case for the wrong thereby sustained, recover treble damages, with costs of suit, against the offender and offenders in any such rescous or pound-breach, or either of them, or against the owner of the goods distrained, in case the same be afterwards found to have come to his or her use or possession.||Treble damages upon pound breach or a rescous.|
|V. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That no goods or chattels whatsoever, lying or being in or upon any messuage, lands, or tenements, which are, or shall be leased for life, or lives, term of years, at will, or otherwise, shall at any time hereafter be liable to be taken, by virtue of any writ of execution, or on any pretence whatsoever, unless the party so taking the same shall, before removal of the goods from off such premises, pay or tender to the landlord, or lessor thereof, or his agent, all the money or tobacco cue for the rent of the said premises, at the time of taking such goods or chattels in execution.||Goods upon leasehold lands may not be taken in execution without paying the rent arrear.|
|VI. Provided nevertheless, That such rent arrear do not amount to more than one year's rent; and if more be due, then the party suing out such execution, paying or tendering to such landlord, or his agent, one year's rent, may proceed to execute his judgment: and the sheriff or officer serving the same is hereby impowered and required to levy and pay to the plaintiff, as well the money or tobacco so paid for rent, as the execution money.||But not for more than one year.|
|VII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That where any landlord shall have sufficient grounds to suspect that his tenant will remove, with his effects, out of the county, before the expiration of his term, so as no distress for the said rent can be made, it shall be lawful for such landlord to go before any justice of the peace, of the county where the lands leased do lie, and make oath, what rent the tenant is to pay, and at what time the same will be due, and that he has just cause to suspect, and verily believes, such tenant will remove his, or her effects out of the county, before the time of payment; and thereupon such justice may, and he is hereby impowered and required, to issue an attachment against the goods and chattels of such tenant, returnable to his next county court, and if such tenant shall not, at the time of serving such attachment, or before, or at such next court, enter into recognizance, with one or more sufficient securities, for the payment of the said rent at the time it shall become due, it shall be lawful for such court, and they are hereby required, to order the goods attached to be sold, by the sheriff at public auction, for money or tobacco, according to the reservation of the rent, to be paid at the time the rent shall become due, the purchasers giving good security for such payment, and to assign the bonds taken for the same, and the costs, to such landlord: and the overplus of such sale, if any, besides the charges of attachment and sale, to return to the owner.||Where tenant removes, the landlord may have attachment.|
|VIII. And that in case any lessee, for life or lives, term of years, at will, or otherwise, of messuages, lands, or tenements, upon the demise whereof any rents are or shall be reserved, or made payable, shall at any time, fraudulently or clandestinely, convey or carry off or from such demised premises, his goods or chattels, with intent to prevent the landlord, or lessor, from distraining the same for arrears of rent so reserved,||Goods carried off, may be seized within ten days.|
|it shall be lawful for such lessor or landlord, or any person or persons by him for that purpose lawfully impowered, within ten days next after such conveying away, or carrying off such goods and chattels, to take and seize the same wherever they shall be found, as a distress for the arrears of such rent, and the same to sell, in like manner as if they actually had been distrained, by such less or landlord, in and upon the demised premises.|
|IX. Provided always, That no goods or chattels so carried off, and bona fide sold for a valuable consideration, before such seizure made, shall be afterwards liable to be so taken or seized for any arrears of rent.||But not if sold before seizure.|
|X. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That any person or persons, having rent in arrear or due, upon any lease or demise, for life or lives, may bring an action or actions of debt for such arrears of rent, in the same manner as if such rent were due, and reserved upon a lease for years.||Rent arrear upon lease for life, recoverable by action of debt.|
|XI. And that it shall be lawful for any person or persons, having rent in arrear or due upon any lease for life or lives, or for years, or at will, ended or determined, to distrain for such arrears after the determination of the respective leases, in the same manner as if such lease or leases had not been determined.||How rent arrear may be distrained after determination of the lease.|
|XII. Provided, That such distress be made within six months after the determination of such lease, and during the continuance of such landlord's title or interest, and during the possession of the tenant from whom such arrears became due.||Proviso.|
|XIII. Provided also, and it is hereby enacted and declared, That nothing in this act contained shall extend, or be construed, to let, hinder, or prejudice his majesty, his heirs and successors, in the levying, recovering, or seizing, any debts, fines, penalties, or forfeitures, due, payable, or answerable, to his majesty, his heirs and successors: But that the same may be levied, recovered, and seized, in the same manner as if this act had never been made.||Saving debts due to the king.|
|XIV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all and every other act and acts, clause and clauses, heretofore made, for or concerning any matter or thing within the purview of this act, shall be, and are hereby repealed.||Repealing clause.|
|IX. And be it further enacted, That this act shall commence and be in force, from and immediately after||Commencement.|
|the tenth day of June, which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty-one.|
An Act for the Settlement and Regulation of Ferries, and for the Dispatch of Public Expresses.
|I. BE it enacted, by the Lieutenant-Governor, Council, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted, by the authority of the same, That ferries be constantly kept at the places hereafter named, and that the rates for passing the said ferries be as follows, vis.|| Public ferries appointed |
Rates of ferriage.
|On James River and the Branches thereof.|
|And for the transportation of wheel carriages, tobacco, cattle, and other beasts, at any of the places aforesaid, the ferry keeper may demand and take the following, viz.|
| For every coach, chariot, or waggon, and the driver thereof, the same as for six
For every cart, or four wheel chaise, or chair, as for four horses.
For every two wheel chaise, or chair, as for two horses.
For every hogshead of tobacco, as for one horse.
For every head of neat cattle, as for one horse.
| Wheel carriages. |
| For every sheep, goat, or lamb, one fifth part of the ferriage of one horse.
For every hog, one fourth of the ferriage of one horse.
According to the prices herein before settled at such ferry respectively, and no more.
| Sheep, goat. |
|And if any ferry keeper shall presume to demand and receive, from any person or persons whatsoever, any greater rate than is herein before allowed, for the carriage and ferriage of any thing whatsoever, he or they, for every offence, shall forfeit and pay to the party grieved, the ferriage demanded, and received, and ten shillings, to be recovered with costs, before any justice of the peace, of the county where such offence shall be committed.||Penalty on taking greater rates.|
|II. And that where a ferry is by this act appointed on one side of a river or creek, and none on the other side answerable thereto, it shall be lawful for the respective county courts, to appoint an opposite ferry, and to tallow the respective rates herein before directed, and the said courts are also hereby impowered to appoint a ferry over any river or creek, within their respective counties, where the same shall be found convenient, and to contract with the keeper of such ferry or of any public ferry, to set over the militia of the county, on muster days, and to raise an allowance for the same in their county levy; Provided always, That no such allowance shall be raised for any ferry over a river or creek into another county.|| County courts may
appoint opposite ferries. |
And ferries for their militia.
|III. And that it shall be lawful for the keepers of the several county ferries, herein after mentioned, respectively, to demand and take for ferriage, the following rates, that is to say,||Other ferries.|
| On the river Occoquan in Prince William, for
a man three pence, for a horse the same. |
Nominy, in Westmoreland, for a man four pence, for a horse the same.
Mattox, in the same county, for a man three pence, for a horse the same.
Pappahanock [Rappahanock] creek, in Richmond county, for a man three pence, for a horse the same.
Piscataway, in Essex, for a man three pence, for a horse the same.
On James river, at Branch's in Henrico, for a man three pence, for a horse the same.
From Jacob Micheaux's to Thomas Atkins's, for a man three pence, for a horse the same.
|On the Fluvanna, from Scott's to Battersby's, or Noble Ladd's, in Albemarle, for a man three pence, for a horse the same.|
|And for wheel carriages, the same in proportion to the rates herein last mentioned, as is allowed at public ferries: Provided nevertheless, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to oblige any person or persons to pay for ferriages at any of the said county ferries, who, before the making of this act, was or were exempted from the same, by reason of his, her, or their estate or interest in the county were such ferries are kept.|| Saving to persons exempted.|
|IV. And for the better and more orderly keeping of public ferries, Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the court of every county, wherein such ferries are, or shall be appointed, shall have, and is hereby declared to have authority of ordering and directing, what boat or boats, and the number of hands which shall be kept at each ferry respectively; and the owner of the land, whereon any such ferry is or shall be, shall, within six months after passing this act, give bond with one surety, in the court of the county wherein such ferry is, and in the penalty of twenty pounds, with condition, That he will duly keep such ferry, or cause the same to be kept according to law, and will give immediate passage to all public messengers and expresses, when required from time to time; and in case any such person shall neglect or refuse to give such bond, or to cause the same to be given on his behalf, he shall forfeit and pay forty shillings for every month's refusal or neglect, to the king, his heirs, and successors, for the better support of this government, and the contingent charges thereof, recoverable with costs, by action of debt or information, in any court of record, where the same shall be cognizable.||Regulation of ferry keepers.|
|V. And for ascertaining what shall be accounted public messages and expresses, It is hereby declared, That all expresses sent by the Secretary of this colony, or any member of the council, or by the sheriff of any county, or a commander in chief, colonel, lieutenant-colonel, or major, to the governor or commander in chief of this dominion, for the time being, or sent by such governor or commander in chief, or by the clerk of the council, to any person, or sent by any||What shall be public expresses.|
|chief militia officer, to the governor, or to the chief commanding officer of the militia in the next county, to give intelligence of the approach of an enemy, or which shall come from beyond sea, directed to the governor, or commander in chief of this colony, shall be accounted public messages and expresses, and ferry free, within the condition and meaning of the bond aforesaid, in case such expresses be directed for his majesty's service, and signed upon the superscription by the person or persons sending the same: And his majesty's receiver general for the time being, shall pay such messenger at the seat of this government, out of the revenues of two shillings per hogshead on tobacco, or head money, fort duties, fines, or rights, in ready money, for every mile he shall be sent forward on such public message, four pence per mile, for himself and horse, in full consideration for his going and returning; and where he shall be kept attending by order of the governor or commander in chief, five shillings per day for such attendance. Provided, That such messenger produce, from the superscriber of such express, a certificate of the messenger's name, and distance of miles; and his attendance shall also be certified by the governor, or the clerk of the council, before payment of the said reward: and if such messenger be sent by water, the same shall be paid for, at the rate of fifteen pence per day for the boat, and two shillings per day for each man employed to go in her.|| Messenger's allowance. |
|VI. And it is also hereby enacted, That keepers of ferries within this dominion shall give immediate passage to the adjutant-general of the militia, or his deputy, and one servant, with their horses, ferry free: And also to all constables and their assistants, charged with conducting any runaway servant or slave, either to the public gaol, or to such runaway's master or owner, without charging such constable or assistants for ferriage, either going or returning: But all such ferriages, and the ferriage of such runaways, shall be paid by the county where the respective ferries are kept, and repaid by the public, and levied upon the owners of such runaways.|| Adjutant and his servant, ferry free. |
And constables conducting runaways.
How runaways ferriages shall be discharged.
|VII. And for encouragement of ferry keepers, and in consideration of setting over public messengers, and the persons exempted by this act, Be it further||Encouragements to ferry keepers.|
|enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all the men attending the said ferries be free of public and county levies, and from all other public services of musters, constables, clearing highways, impressment, and other things of like nature: And that keepers of ferries shall not be chargeable with any fee for giving bond: And if the court shall find it requisite or useful that an ordinary be kept at any ferry, they may licence such ferry keeper to keep ordinary, without any fee for the license, or obtaining the same, except half the fee by law allowed to the governor; notwithstanding there be a sufficient number of other ordinaries in the same county: Provided always, That every ferry keeper so licensed to keep ordinary shall give bond and security, and be liable to the same penalties as other ordinary keepers: And that if any other person whatsoever shall, for reward, set any person or persons over any river or creek, whereon public ferries are by this act appointed, he or she so offending shall forfeit and pay five pounds current money, for every such offence, one moiety to the ferry keeper nearest the place where such offence shall be committed, the other moiety to the informer; and if such ferry keeper inform, he shall have the whole penalty, to be recovered with costs by action of debt or information, in any county court of this dominion.|| |
Penalty on other persons taking ferriage.
|VIII. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That all and every other act and acts, clause and clauses heretofore made, for or concerning any matter or thing within the purview of this act, except one act made in the eighteenth year of his present majesty's reign, For enabling the justices of Fairfax and Prince William counties, to levy tobacco on the said counties, to support Occoquan ferry, shall be and are hereby repealed.||Repealing clause.|
|IX. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That his act shall commence and be in force from and immediately after the tenth day of June, which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty one.||Commencement of tnis act.|
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