Abbildungen der Seite

Though we may admit the pretence that the government shall be made good to the King that is that the King shall nominate and appoint the Governor. First we find it directly (besides the scope of the part which insists upon the restoring of the company in all formalities next we take it at best but for a falicie and trap not of capacity enough to catch men with eyes and foresight for upon a supposition that a governor shall be named and appointed by his majesty yet his dependance (so far forth as continuing or displacing) will by reason of their power and interest in great men there rest in them which necessarily brings with it conformity to their wills in whatsoever shall be commanded, which how pernicious it will be to the colony according to our assertion in this head we leave to the ablest judgments.

We the Governor, Council and Burgesses of this present Grand Assembly having taken into serious consideration these and many other dangerous effects which must be concometant in and from a company or corporation have thought fit to declare and hereby do declare from ourselves and all the commonalty of this colony that it was never desired, sought after or endeavoured to be sought for either directly or indirectly by the consent of any Grand Assembly or the common consent of the people. And we do hereby further declare and testifie to all the world that we will never admit the restoring of the said company or any for or in their behalfs saving to ourselves herein a most faithful and loyal obedience to his sacred majesty our dread soverain, whose royal and gracious protection and allowance and maintenance of this our just declaration and protestation we doubt not according to his accustomed clemency and benignity to his subjects to find. And we do further enact and be it hereby enacted and manifested per authority aforesaid that what person or persons soever either is or hereafter shall be any planter or adventurer shall go about by any way or means either directly or indirectly to sue for advice, assist, abet countenance or contrive the reducing of this colony to a company or corporation or to introduce a contract or monopoly upon our persons, lands or comodities upon due proof or conviction of any of the premises, (to wit) by going about by any way or means to sue for, advise, assist, abet, countenance or contrive the reducing of this colony to a company or corporati

[ocr errors]

on, or to introduce a contract or monopoly as aforesaid, upon the due conviction as aforesaid shall be held and deemed an enemy to the colony and shall forfeit his or their whole estate or estates that shall be found within the limits of the colony the one half shall be and come to public uses the other moiety or half to the informer. This act to be in force and the penalty therein contained to extend to all the adventurers and planters now residing in the colony upon the publication at James City and to all adventurers and planters now in England or elsewhere out of the limits of the colony within five days after the arrival of this our said declaration, protestation and act within the kingdom of England, signed under our hands and sealed with our seal of the colony at James City the first day of April in the year of our Lord 1642 and in the eighteenth year of the reign of our soverain Lord Charles over England, &c.

The Governor, Council and Burgesses of this present Grand Assembly taking into serious consideration the many and weighty business begun in this present Grand Assembly and which yet do remain unfinished and to prevent all doubts whether the passing of the acts already agreed upon will not be a determination of this Assembly do hereby enact and by the authority of this present Grand Assembly be it enacted that notwithstanding the passing and enacting of divers acts already agreed upon this present Assembly shall lest be determined but that it be adjourned to the Thursday in Whitson week being the second day of June next coming at which time and day the whole body of this present Assembly consisting of the Governor, Council and Burgesses shall repair to James City then and there to determine and finish all such matters as shall be found necessary to be concluded and enacted whether in matters already begun or other business that shall then begin or be proposed that may redound to the glory of God, the honour of his majesty and the good of the Colony.


Fran. Wyat, Sam. Mathews, Cha. Wormely, Wm.
Peirce, Geo: Menefy, Henry Brown, Thos. Pettus,
Rich'd Bennet.

Geo: Ludlowe.

[blocks in formation]

WHEREAS the natural and most wished effects of Assemblys may summarily be comprehended and the ordering and enacting of good and wholesome laws and ratifying and releiving of such disorders and grievances which are incident to all states and republic in which considerations this Assembly may seem to have declined and swerved from those true intents of so happy constitutions if their endeavours and declarations be apprehended either by a bare view of the laws few in number and therefore not answering the expectation of a meeting exceeding customary limits of time in this place used or by comparing the payments and levies now imposed much more free any in respect that in them the grievance of the inhabitants were principally stated,

It is therefore thought fit by them to present and remonstrate to the colony the weighty consequence and benefits redounding thereto by their late consultations.

1st. The first is instanced by repealing the act of four pound per poll yearly to the Gov. which is a benefit

descending unto us and our posterity which we acknowledge contributed to us by our present Gov.

Next by abollishing condemnations and censures (presidental from the time of the corporation) of the inhabitants from colonies service wherein we may not likewise silence the bounty of our present Governor in preferring the public freedom before his particular profit in which act also we may pronounce the inhabitants absolutely to have recorded the birthright of their mother nation and the remains of the late companys oppression to be quite extinguished.

3dly. The near approach which we have made to the laws and customs of England in proceedings of the court and trials of causes.

4thly. The rules and formes set down for deciding of differencies and debates concerning titles of land and otherwise.

5thly. The appropriating and accomodating of parishes with metes and bounds that God Almighty may be the more duly served.

6thly. The treaties and overtures with the Gov. of the province of Mariland requiring much time for maturing and very successful in opening a trade in the Bay of Chessepiake.

7thly. The setling of peace with friendship with the Indians by mutual capitulation and articles agreed and concluded on in writing by many messages and interruptions lengthened.

8thly. The Common grievances releived and removed in assessments proportioning in some measure payments according to mens abilities and estates augmented unto the wealthier sort by the number of the milk kind and in that relief afforded to the poorer sort of the inhabitants which course through the strangness thereof could not but require much time of controverting and debating.

9thly. Lastly the gracious inclination of his majesty ever ready to our protection and now more particularly assured to us together with the concurrence of a

2nd Revisal of the laws.

The MS. from which the acts of this session were printed, is now in the library of Congress at Washington.

happy parliament in England were the greater motives to us to take the opportunity of establishing our liberties and privileges and setling our estates often heretofore assaulted and threatned and was lately invaded by the late corporation and of preventing the future designs of monopolizers contractors and preemptors ever hitherto incessant upon us not only bereaving us of all cheerfulness and alacrety but usurping the benefit and disposition of our labours and we apprehended no time could be mispent or labour misplaced in gaining a firm peace to ourselves and posterity and a future imunity and ease from taxes and impositions which we expect to be the fruits of our endeavours and to which end we have thought it seasonable for us liberally and freely to open our purses not doubting but all well affected persons will with all zeal and good affection embrace the purchase and pray to Almighty God for the success.— Given at a Grand Assembly at James City the first of July 1642.




MARCH, 1642-3.

[From a MS. received from Edmund Randolph, Esq. which was once the property of Sir John Randolph, who transmitted it to his son Peyton Randolph, Esq. after whose death, it was purchased, with his library, by Thomas Jefferson, Esq. from whom it was borrowed by Edmund Randolph, Esq.]

PRESENT Sir William Berkeley, Knight Govern

or, &c.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »