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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1771 to June-July, 1773
Volume 63, Preface 36   View pdf image (33K)
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xxxvi Introduction.

GENERAL ACTS EXPIRING, MODIFIED OR CONTINUED

The committee appointed by the Lower House of the General Assembly,
which met in October and November of 1771, to enquire what laws would
expire at the close of that session reported, on October 14, that four acts would
come under that classification. Three of these were general acts and the other
a local act to which reference will later be made. The three general laws were
"An Act for the Preservation of the Breed of Fish,"An Act for licensing
Ordinary Keepers, Hawkers, Pedlars and Petty Chapmen," and "An Act for
amending and declaring the Law in the Cases therein mentioned." All these
statutes had been passed at the May—June session of the General Assembly in
1768 (pp. 85, 102). A discussion of all three laws can be found in the Intro-
duction to Volume LXI of the Archives. These same statutes were reenacted
by the Assembly during the fall of 1771 (pp. 241-242, 271-272, 295-299).

It has already been explained elsewhere that when the General Assembly met
in June and July of 1773 an attempt was made to pass a law which would make
valid the acts passed at the October-November session of 1771. Had it been
known that Frederick Calvert, the Lord Proprietary, had died the Assembly
which met during the fall of 1771 would have been dissolved and plans made
for the election of a new Lower House. Since this was not the case all the acts
passed by that General Assembly were considered invalid. The Lower House of
the Assembly during the summer of 1773 tried in vain to have the laws passed
in 1771 reenacted, but the opposition of the Upper House prevented this.

As was the usual custom, the Lower House of the Assembly, which met in
June-July, 1773, appointed a committee to find out what laws would expire
with the end of that session (p. 344). On June 21 they reported that nineteen
laws, all of them general acts but two, would lapse with the close of that session
unless reenacted (pp. 349-351). All of these laws were continued in force as
well as another act not mentioned in the committee's report. Space will not
permit the enumeration or discussion of all these laws. The reader, if interested,
by referring to the two continuing acts can find not only the exact titles of the
laws reenacted, but also the date when they were first passed (pp. 393-397, 400).
Except for the act for licensing ordinary keepers, hawkers, peddlers and petty
chapmen and a local act for repairing the public roads in Baltimore County,
none of the acts passed by the General Assembly which met during the fall of
1771 were reenacted. The Upper House, as has been stated, blocked the lower
chamber's attempt to do this.

LOCAL ACTS

At the session of the General Assembly during October—November, 1771,
sixteen new local acts were passed, one local act was revived and continued and
another was continued. As the name indicates local acts did not apply to the
province as a whole. The law which was revived and continued was entitled
"An Act for amending & repairing the Publick Roads in Baltimore County"
(pp. 250-251 ; Arch. Md. XLII, xlii). The statute which would have expired
had it not been continued was "An Act to establish a Market at the Market
House in Chester Town in Kent County, & for the Regulation of the said Mar-
ket" (p. 241).


 

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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1771 to June-July, 1773
Volume 63, Preface 36   View pdf image (33K)
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