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the assembling of the said Company and calling them together to Consult and advise of the businesse and Affaires of the said Company, And that for ever hereafter, Twice in every yeare, (That is to say,) on every second Thursday in October and on every second Thursday in May, or oftener, in Case it shall be requisite, The Assistants and freemen of the said Company, or such of them (not exceeding twoe Persons from each place, Towne or Citty) whoe shall bee from tyme to tyme thereunto Elected or Deputed by the major parte of the freemen of the respective Townes, Cittyes and Places for which they shall bee soe elected or Deputed, shall have a generall meeting or Assembly, then and their to Consult and advise in and about the Affaires and businesse of the said Company; And that the Governour, or ... Deputy Governour ..., and such of the Assistants and freemen of the said Company as shall be soe Elected or Deputed and bee present att such meeting or Assembly, or the greatest number of them, whereof the Governour or Deputy Governour and Six of his Assistants, at least, to bee Seaven, shall be called the Generall Assembly, and shall have full power and authority to alter and change their dayes and tymes of meeting or Generall Assemblies for Electing the Governour, Deputy Governour and Assistants or other Officers, or any other Courts, Assemblies or meetings, and to Choose, Nominate and appoint such and soe many other Persons as they shall thinke fitt and shall bee willing to accept the same, to bee free of the said Company and Body Politique, and them into the same to Admitt and to Elect, and Constitute such Officers as they shall thinke fitt and requisite for the Ordering, mannageing and disposeing of the affaires of said Governour and Company and their Successors. AND WEE DOE hereby ... Establish and Ordeine, that once in the yeare ..
namely, the said Second Thursday in May, the Governour, Deputy Governour and Assistants of the said Company and other Officers of the said Company, or such of them as the said Generall Assembly shall thinke fitt, shall bee, in the said Generall Court and Assembly to bee held from that day or tyme, newly Chosen for the yeare ensuing, by such
greater part of the said Company for the tyme being then and there present.
2. Defense of Charter Governments.1 The other Charge in the Bill is, That they have exercised arbitrary Power. If this be aimed at the Proprietary Governments, which however I don't accuse, I have nothing to say, but am sure that the Charter Governments stand clear of it. The Thing speaks loudly for itself. For in the Governments, where there are Charters and those Charters entire, all Officers Civil and Military are elected by the People, and that annually; than which Constitution nothing under Heaven can be a stronger Barrier against arbitrary Rule. For should it be allowed, that the People, corrupted or deceived, might instead of wise Magistrates chuse Tyrants and Oppressors to Lord over them one Year; yet it can't be imagined, that after they have felt the Smart of it, they will do so the next. Nor can there be a greater Obligation on the Rulers themselves to administer Justice, than that their Election depends on it the next Year. Hence the frequent Choice of Magistrates has bin ever a main Pillar, upon which all who have aim'd at Freedom in their Schemes of Government, have depended.
AS the Reason is incontestable, so the Fact is apparent, that these Governments, far from retrenching the Liberty of the Subject, have improved it in some important Articles, which the Circumstances of Things in Great Britain perhaps don't require, or won't easily admit.
To instance in a few: There has bin from the beginning an Office erected by Law in every Country, where all Conveyances of Land are enter'd at large, after the Grantors have first acknowledg'd them before a Justice of Peace; by which means much Fraud is prevented, no Person being able to sell his Estate twice, or take up more Money upon it than it's worth. Provision has likewise bin made for the Security of the Life and Property of the Subject in the Matter of Juries, who are not returned by the Sherriff of the County, but are chosen
1 Jer. Dummer, Defence of the New-England Charters (1721), 35-39.
by the Inhabitants of the Town a convenient Time before the sitting of the Courts. And this Election is under the most exact Regulation, in order to prevent Corruption, so far as Humane Prudence can do it. It must be noted, that Sherriffs in the Plantations are comparatively but little Officers, and therefore not to be trusted as here, where they are Men of ample Fortunes. And yet even here such flagrant Corruptions have bin found in returning Juries by Sherriffs, that the House of Commons thought it necessary in their last Session to amend the Law in this point, and pass'd a Bill for choosing them by Ballot.
REDRESS in their Courts of Law is easy, quick, and cheap. All Processes are in English, and no special Pleadings or Demurrers are admitted, but the general Issue is always given, and special Matters brought in Evidence; which saves Time and Expence; and in this Case a Man is not liable to lose his Estate for a Defect in Form, nor is the Merit of the Cause made to depend on the Niceties of Clerkship. By a Law of the Country no Writ may be abated for a circumstantial Error, such as a slight Mis-nomer or any Informality. And by another Law, it is enacted, that every Attorney taking out a Writ from the Clerk's Office, shall indorse his Sirname upon it, and be liable to pay to the adverse Party his Costs and Charges in Case of Non-Prosecution or Discontinuance, or that the Plaintiff be Nonsuit, or Judgment pass against him. And it is provided in the same Act, That if the plaintiff shall suffer a Nonsuit by the Attorney's mis-laying the Action, he shall be obliged to draw a new Writ without a Fee, in case the Party shall see fit to revive the Suit. I can't but think that every Body except Gentlemen of the long Robe and the Attornies, will think this a wholesome Law, and well calculated for the Benefit of the Subject. For the quicker Dispatch of Causes, Declarations are made Parts of the Writ, in which the Case is fully and particularly set forth. If it be a matter of Account, the Account is annexed to the Writ, and Copies of both left with the Defendant; which being done Fourteen Days before the Sitting of the Court, he is oblig'd to plead directly, and the
Issue is then tryed. Whereas by the Practice of the Court of King's Bench, Three or Four Months Time is often lost after the Writ is served, before the Cause can be brought to Issue.
Nor are the People of New England oppressed with the infinite Delays and Expence that attend the Proceedings in Chancery, where both parties are often ruined by the Charge and Length of the Suit. But as in all other Countries, England only excepted, Jus & Aequum are held the same, and never divided; so it is there: A Power of Chancery being vested in the Judges of the Courts of Common Law as to some particular Cases, and they make equitable Constructions in Others. I must add, that the Fees of Officers of all sorts are setled by Acts of Assembly at moderate Prices, for the Easė of the Subject.
3. The Charter of Maryland-1632.1 CHARLES, by the grace of GOD, of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, KING, Defender of the Faith, &c. TO ALL to whom these Presents shall come, GREETING.
II. WHEREAS our well beloved and right trusty Subject CAECILIUS CALVERT, ... hath humbly besought Leave of Us, that he may transport, by his own Industry, and Expence, a numerous Colony of the English Nation, to a certain Region, herein after described, ... and that all that Region ... be given, granted, and confirmed unto him, and his Heirs.
III. KNOW YE therefore, that WE, ... by this our present CHARTER ... do GIVE, GRANT, and CONFIRM, unto the aforesaid CAECILIUS, now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs, and Assigns, all that part of the Peninsula boundaries defined.)
IV. Also WE DO GRANT . unto the said Baron of BALTIMORE, . . . all Islands and Islets within the Limits aforesaid ...; And furthermore the PATRONAGES, and ADVOWSONS of all Churches which (with the increasing Worship and Religion of CHRIST) within the said Region . hereafter shall happen to be built, together with Licence and Fac
1 Thomas Bacon, Laws of Maryland (1765).
ulty of erecting and founding Churches, Chapels, and Places of Worship, in convenient and suitable Places, within the Premises, and of causing the same to be dedicated and consecrated according to the Ecclesiastical Laws of our Kingdom of England, with all, and singular such, and as ample Rights, Jurisdictions, Privileges, Prerogatives, Royalties, Liberties, Immunities, and royal Rights, and temporal Franchises whatsoever, as well by Sea as by Land, within the Region .. aforesaid, to be had, exercised, used, and enjoyed, as any Bishop of Durham, within the Bishoprick or County Palatine of Durham, in our Kingdom of England, ever heretofore hath had, held, used, or enjoyed, or of Right could, or ought to have, hold, use, or enjoy.
V. And WE do by these Presents . . . MAKE, CREATE and CONSTITUTE HIM, the now Baron of BALTIMORE, and his Heirs, the TRUE and ABSOLUTE LORDS and PROPRIETARIES of the Region aforesaid, and of all other the Premises (except the before excepted) saving always the Faith and Allegiance and Sovereign Dominion due to US . . .; TO HOLD of US .. as of our Castle of Windsor, in our County of Berks, in free and common SOCCAGE, by Fealty only for all Services, and not in capite, nor by Knight's SERVICE, YIELDING therefore unto US . . . two INDIAN ARROWS of those Parts, to be delivered at the said Castle of Windsor, every Year, on Tuesday in EasterWeek: And also the fifth Part of all Gold and Silver Ore, which shall happen from Time to Time, to be found within the aforesaid limits.
VI. Now, That the aforesaid Region, thus by us granted and described, may be eminently distinguished above all other Regions of that Territory, and decorated with more ample Titles, .WE do . . ERECT and INCORPORATE the same into a PROVINCE, and nominate the same MARYLAND, by which name WE will that it shall from henceforth be called.
VII. And forasmuch as WE have above made and ordained the now Baron of BALTIMORE, the true Lord and Proprietary of the whole PROVINCE aforesaid, ... WE ... do grant unto the said now Baron, ... and to his Heirs, for the good