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Bacon's Laws of Maryland
Volume 75, Page 3   View pdf image (33K)
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PREFACE

    THE Troubles subsisting between the King and Parliament, which like a
furious Inundation had over-run the Mother Country, could not fail to affect
her distant Sons with the Agitation of the contending Waves; whose
violent and repeated Shocks were severely felt in every Part of this hapless
Infant Colony. For tho' Lord Baltimore's Governors continued to act under
his Commission, after the Province was first reduced under the Dominion of
the Common Wealthe in June 1652, until the Government was wholly seized
into the Hands of the protector on the f 22d July 1654, yet the Bickerings
were smart and frequent till they came to an open Rupture, which ended not
without Bloodshed, the two Parties coming to a decisive Engagement, in
which Governor Stone being worsted, was taken Prisoner, and by the Victors
condemned to be Shot: But the Sentence was not executed, by Reason of the
Refusal of their own Soldiers to perform it; to most of whom, tho' opposite
in Party, Mr. Stone had endeared himself by many Acts of Benevolence and
impartial Justice in the Exercise of his delegated Powers. His Execution
was therefore respited to prevent a Mutiny among the Forces which had
vanquished him, who from Enemies were now become his warmest Advocate;
and he continued a long Time under a strict and rigorous
Confinement. In this Situation Matters remained till the 24th March 165, when
the Government was delivered by Oliver's Commissioners, upon certain Articles
previously settled, into the Hands of Josiah Fendall, Esq; appointed his
Lordship's Lieutenant General here, by Commission dated the 18th November
1657. It is more than probable that many Records were lost or destroyed in
this unsettled Period; as, in Fact, few Entries of Public Transactions appear
on the Books during the same.

    IN the Year 1689, the Government was again taken out of the Hands of
Lord Baltimore by the Convention; and in 1692 Mr. Copley was appointed
Governor under their Majesties K. William and Q. Mary: so that a farther
Loss may be supposed to have happened during the Troubles here, till their
Majesties Government was completely settled.

    IN the Removal of the Books and State Papers from St. Mary's to Annapolis,
some Records were greatly damaged; and some Loss also happened by
the Fire, which, in the Year 1704, destroyed the Stadt-House wherein they
were deposited.

    IT hath been usual, on every general Revival of the Laws, to make out or
transcribe a Book of Laws for the use of the Province; which Book

    " Offices; except some Warrants, and some Draughts of Mr. Hill's Time, and some few
    " other Papers of little Consequence; which he promised to deliver me ere long.

                                " Testor. THOMAS HATTON, Secr."

        In Lord CÆCILIUS'S Declaration to both Houses of Assembly, dated the 26th August 1651,
    his Lordship having observed that in the late Rebellion in 1644,m most of the Records of
    Lands formerly granted by him, which might hereafter prove very prejudicial, &c. not only
    to his Lordship, but also to the Patentees and cause may Suits and Controversies in case the
    patens should by any Accident be lost, gives Orders for the bringing in and Enrolment of all
    such patens in the Secretary's office., the Records whereof had been so lost or embezzled.
    Thus, by the provident Care of his Lordship, was private Property secured to the Inhabitants
    by a Renewal of the Records relating thereto; but the Loss of the Public was irreparable.

    eThe Commission from the Council of State for the Common Wealth of England, and their Instructions
    to Richard Bennet, Edmund Curtis, and William Cleyborne, whom they appointed in their
    Commissioners for reducing, settling, and governing of all the Plantations within the Bay of Chesapeak,
    
bear Date at Whitehall, the 26th September 1651. In Consequence whereof, the said
    Commissioners published several Orders relating thereto on the 29th of March and 28th of
    June 1652, which still remain upon Record.

    fOn which Day the aforementioned Richard Bennet and William Cleyborne William Cleyborne, issued their Commission
    to Capt. William Fuller, Mr. Richard Preston, Mr. William Durand, Mr. Edward Lloyd,
    Capt. John Smith, Mr. Leonard Strong, Mr. John Lawson, Mr. John Hatch, Mr. Richard Wells,
    
and Mr. Richard Ewen, or any four of them, whereof Capt. Fuller, Mr. Preston, or Mr.
    Durand to be always One, to be Commissioners for the well ordering, directing, and governing
    the Affairs of Maryland, under his Highness the Lord Protector, &c. and Mr. Durand to
    be Secretary. In Pursuance whereof, the said Bennet and Cleyborne issued their Order of the
    same Date to Mr. Thomas Hatton the late Secretary to deliver up the Records of the Province
    and all Papers relating to the same, unto Mr. William Durand, or whom he should appoint to
    receive them.



 
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Bacon's Laws of Maryland
Volume 75, Page 3   View pdf image (33K)
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