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Acts of the General Assembly hitherto unpublished 1694-1698, 1711-1729
Volume 38, Preface 9   View pdf image (33K)
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PREFACE.

This volume is chiefly composed of acts of the Provincial Assembly
of Maryland, which have never previously been printed, although the Pro-
ceedings of the Assembly for the years covered have already appeared in the
Archives. There were two gaps in the Session Laws available to students
until last year, including some of the Laws passed from 1694 to 1699 and some
of those passed from 1714 to 1729. The story of the recovery of the original
manuscript of the volumes containing the acts of the later period is told in the
preface to volume 37 of the Archives. The acts here printed from 1694 to
1698 were copied for the state, under the supervision of George J. Dowse, Esq.,
of the firm of Edward G. Allen & Son, in London, and are taken from a volume
found among the manuscripts relating to American Colonial History in the
British Public Record Office. Liber LL, 2, in the Maryland Manuscript
Archives, contains the public acts passed from 1694 to 1698, which were in
force in 1699, and the volume was probably copied about the latter date. The
original manuscript session laws of that period had been lost before 1765, so
that Rev. Thomas Bacon could not refer to them in his compilation of Mary-
land Laws. During the most of the Provincial portion of Maryland History,
a duplicate of the laws passed by the General Assembly was sent over to the
Lord Proprietary for his approval. In 1692, however, the control and adminis-
tration of the Province was taken out of his hands by the Crown, and was not
restored to him until 1714. During the period from 1694 to 1698, therefore,
the duplicate copy of these laws was placed in the records of the English Gov-
ernment. The thought occurred to me that these laws might be found there,
and an examination of Professor Charles M. Andrews' " Guide to Material
for American History in the Public Record Office " showed an entry which
seemed to cover the lost statutes. Correspondence was begun, the lacking titles
of the laws were identified, and the material copied from this repository com-
prises the first part of this book.

Obviously, laws of the character of those printed in this volume are not of
the highest importance, yet they should be printed in order to make a complete
Corpus Juris Provinciale Marylandicum. We now have printed in the Archives
practically all the acts of the Provincial Assemblies down to 1732, and this is
no small matter. Furthermore, the historian finds the records of unsuccessful


 

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Acts of the General Assembly hitherto unpublished 1694-1698, 1711-1729
Volume 38, Preface 9   View pdf image (33K)
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