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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1717-April, 1720
Volume 33, Preface 11   View pdf image (33K)
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Preface. xi

words " amused " and " amusements " (pages 483, 485, 572, 574)
are used in the now obsolete sense of beguiled and beguilements.

An important Act at this time was that relating to the Gauge and
Tare of Tobacco Hogsheads and fixing the Duty thereon. By this
measure the duty on tobacco was increased in favor of the Proprietary,
the amount of the increase to be accepted by him in lieu of the quit
rents reserved in the land grants throughout the Province, a provision
which afforded great relief to the poorer tenants. The Act of 1716
was rejected by the Proprietary because it provided that the portion of
the duty intended for the support of government should be paid directly
to the Governor, which was regarded as an invasion of the Propri-
etary's prerogative. In the Act of 1717 it was provided that the pay-
ment should be made to the Proprietary for the support of the govern-
ment. This Act was continued in force by successive renewals until
1732, though somewhat modified in form in 1730.

The question of prerogative also arose over the law for the licensing
of Ordinaries (Inns and Taverns), which the Proprietary claimed as
his right, and refused to accept the revenue from this source from the
Assembly " as a compliment." It required the ingenuity of a com-
mittee of conference of the two houses of the Assembly to frame this
Act in a manner acceptable both to the Proprietary and to the Lower
House. It was eventually so worded as neither to admit nor to deny
the prerogative.

The fees charged by public officers, appointees of the Proprietary
government, were complained of as excessive, and led to much dispute,
the Lower House persisting in efforts for their limitation, which were
resisted by the Upper House and the Governor. A bill for their regula-
tion which was finally passed and signed in 1719, failed to receive the
approval of the Proprietary.

The importation of convict servants into the Province began to
provoke resentment. In 1719 a bill was introduced, the object of which
was to restrict this importation, which the Assembly was powerless
to prohibit, by the imposition of difficulties and obstructions. The bill
finally passed both houses, though the Upper House showed a very
tender regard for the interests of the merchants and ship-owners who
found their profit in the traffic in convict labor. The measure, how-
ever, did not receive the signature of the Governor.

The career of Thomas MacNemara, who was long a disturbing ele-
ment in the Province, and the efforts of the Assembly to deprive him of
the right to practise in the Courts, occupy so much space in the records
as to call for notice.


 

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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1717-April, 1720
Volume 33, Preface 11   View pdf image (33K)
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