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Mr. Abra. Wood,
BE it enacted by the authority of the Governour, Council and Burgesses of this present Grand Assembly, That whereas the certain number of Burgesses for the severall countyes of this collony have been divers times augmented and lessened without any certain rule for the same: that hereafter for all ensueing As
*This is the first time that the county of Northumberland appears to have been represented in the General Assembly. The name did not occur till it was mentioned in the 9th act of the preceding session; and the county was probably formed by the Governor and Council during the reoess of the Legislature. See note to act IX. of February, 1644-5.
Number of burgesses for limited.
No county to exceed four members, except Jas. City, which may send 5
and the city
tion to be
Notice to be
Ordinary keepers rated.
Prices of wines and strong waters.
Penalty for fraudulently
or strong waters.
For exceeding the rates.
Inhabitants restrained from hunting in the woods or travelling abroad.
semblies no county shall exceed the number of 4 Burgesses, (except the county of James Cittie onely, which shall elect 5 Burgesses for the said county and one for James Citty) And that the election of all Burgesses be performed in those places where the county courts be held, (those places excepted which are published by act of Assembly ;) also the sherriffs shall give notice of such elections to the severall inhabitants 6 days at least before the time of meeting to that place.
WHEREAS there hath been great abuse by the vnreasonable rates exacted by ordinary keepers, and retailers of wine and strong waters, Be it enacted that no person or persons whatsoever retailing wines or strong waters shall exact or take for any Spanish wines (vizt.) Canary, Mallego, Sherry, Muskadine, Alegant or Tent above the rate of 30 pound of tob'o. per gall. And for Maderea and Fyall wine above 20 pound of tob'o. per gall. And for all french wines above the rate of 15 lb. tob'o, per gall. And for the best sorte of all English strong waters above the rate of 80 lb. of tobacco per gall, and for aqua vitæ or brandy above the rate of 40 lb. tob'o. per gallon.
And if any person or persons retaileing wines or strong waters as aforesaid shall fraudulently mix or corrupt the same, Vpon complaint and due proofe made thereof before two commissioners whereof one to be of the quorum, The said commissioners shall by warrant vnder their hands comand the constables to stave the same, And if any shall take more then such rates sett they to be fined at double the value of such rates soe exacted.
WHEREAS the carelesse stragling of many people bath exposed them to the slaughter of the enemie, Be it enacted, that the Leifts. and deputy Leifts. in the severall precints, shall hereby have power to restraine all such persons (as not being considera
ble party to defend themselves) shall either hunt in the woods or travell abroad, and punish such as shall offend therein according to the nature of the offence.
TO rectifie the great abuse of millers, Be it enacted that no person or persons shall for the grinding any grayne that shall be brought vnto them take above the sixth part thereof for toll.
WHEREAS it hath pleased his most excellent majestie to give instructions to the present Governor for the inlargement of the payment of powder paid by the shipps arriving in this collony, Be it therefore enacted that for this present yeare all shipps which have arrived since the Governor's last comeing in, or that shall arrive before midsumer next shall pay one halfe pound of powder to the publique, for every tunne of there burthen, And be it alsoe enacted, That all shipps arriveing after midsumer next shall pay to the publique 1-2 pound of powder aud three pound of leaden shott or lead for every tunne of their burthen, and that this present act shall be affixed to the masts of all shipps arriving in this collony, to the intent that notice may be taken thereof.
to take more
Millers not than 1-6th part for toll.
This act to
be fixed to the head of
the masts of all ships on
WHEREAS many vexatious suits have happened in this collony and much injury done especially vnto actions on the estates of the deceased, and some absent persons book debts, by the accepting of acco'ts, and booke debts as good to 9 months. evidence and proofe for the recovering of debts which indeed were not justly due, Be it therefore enacted that noe booke debts or acc'ts. (not allready made) Proviso. shall be pleadable in any court or courts of justice within this collony after 9 months from the original of the said debts, without speciality or writing vnder the hand or hands of any person or persons that shall be impleaded for the same, except a suit be commenc't, and a de
To extend to inhabitants of, & debts contracted within the colony only.
All mercenary attornies to be expelled from office.
Sheriff not bound to receive any clerk's fees or ferrymen's wages, &c.
claration entered and fyled in the county court, where the debtor liveth within the said 9 months, Provided that this act shall only extend to such debts as shall be made within this collony, and to such person & persons, debtors and creditors as shall inhabit and dwell within this collony.
WHEREAS many troublesom suits are multiplied by the vnskillfullness and coveteousness of attorneys, who have more intended their own profit and their inordinate lucre then the good and benefit of their clients: Be it therefore enacted, That all mercenary attorneys be wholly expelled from such office, except such suits as they have already vndertaken, and are now depending, and in case any person or persons shall offend contrary to this act to be fined at the discretion of the court.
BE it enacted that no sherriff be compelled to receive any debts of fees of clerks or fferrymens' wages or fees of any other officers which do not properly belong to his place (the secretaries and the clerke of the council their fees for the precedent years only excepted.)
WHEREAS the estates of the deceased persons in this collony have been much wronged by the great charge and expences which have been brought in by the administrators thereof by pretence of their attendance at James Cittye and the distance of their habitations from thence, ffor remedy whereof, and because the abuses may be better knowne and prevented in the place where the decedent dwelt and the estates belonging to orphans and absent men may be better conserved, Be it enacted, That all administrations shall be granted at the county courts where such person or persons did reside or inhabitt, And all probats of wills there made and the wills recorded together with the appraisments,
inventories and acco'ts. belonging to the same there examined and allowed, And accordinglie as the comissioners of the said county courts shall see cause, to give certificate to the secretaries-office at James Citty for a quietus est to be given to the administrators of course, and likewise that all such administrations being granted and made there, be sent vp to the said office to be exemplified vnder the seale of the collony.
plified under the seal of the colony.
ed; if no
WHEREAS the great distance of many parts of County this collony from James Citty hath occasioned much courts to have juristrouble and charge to the inhabitants by their fre- diction of all quent repair thither for the dispatch of their buisnes in causes at suits of law, it is thought fit and accordinglie enacted, common law that all causes of what value soever between party and ty. party shall be tryed in the countie courts by verdict of Juries, how a jurie if either party shall desire it, which jurors shall empannellbe chosen of the most able men of the county who shall To consist of of course be empanelled by the sherriff for that pur- the most able pose: but if the defendant before the hearing of the Deft. before cause shall desire releife in equity, and to be heard in the trial may way of chancery, then the proceedings by the way of be heard in jury at common law shall be stayed vntil the other party have answered the particulars of his petition vpon oath and the cause heard accordingly: Vpon which hearing, The comissioners shall either proceed to make a final end, or decree in the said cause, or else finding noe such cause of releife in equitie as was pretended, then to remit the cause back againe to be tryed by a jury as aforesaid: And the jurors to be kept from food and releife till they have agreed vpon their verdict according to the custome practised in England, Also it shall be lawfull for any person or persons haveing cause of equity to take out sumons vnder the hand of one of how com the comissioners of the quorum in way of subpoena to menced. be entred in the Clerkes booke, commanding the ap- Bill or petipearance of any person or persons to answer the com- tion to be plaint of the plt. who skall exhibitt his petition, to exhibited. which the defendant shall be bound to answer vpon Answer on oath as aforesaid, And the court is hereby authorized oath. to appoint such times and orders as they shall think fitt ffor the hearing of all the aforesaid chancery causes, Be Records to it alsoe enacted, That the clerkes of the courts shall be kept.
equity, and the trial at law suspendcause for lief in equity the suit to to the common law side of the court.
Jurors to be
kept from food, &c.