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Volume 662, Page 27   View pdf image (33K)
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THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE 27

again became the great seal of the province. The Chancellor,
once more a proprietary official, then recovered it and had again
the whole fee for its use. 37

The revenues of this officer were however in some part reduced
by a law of June, 1715, which excluded from his Chancery Court
all cases involving a damage of less than 1201 pounds of tobacco
or £ 5. 0. 1 sterling. A later act, in November, 1763, gave the
county courts concurrent jurisdiction whenever the sum involved
was not above 5000 pounds of tobacco or £ 20 sterling.

No saddle was levied upon the Chancellor as such, but out of
his profits he had to bear the expenses of his office. He had to
maintain his court, to purchase wax, and, after May, 1695, to pay
his clerk, called the Register in Chancery, a salary of £ 80 or £ 100
sterling. 38

As the Chancellor's office was normally attached to that of
Governor, we have but two estimates of its separate value. In
1715, when he was getting only half the revenue from land
patents, Governor Hart declared that the " Fees have in some
Years amounted to fifty Thousand pounds of Tobacco per Annum
[about £ 200 sterling] Seldom more but very of ten less.... " 39
In the midst of the French and Indian War Governor Sharpe,
who complained of " the prodigious Decrease of my Revenue
since these Disturbances began in America, " wrote to Baltimore:
" I have been told that the Tobacco which has been paid the
Chancellor in one Year for signing Patents for Land... in
Frederick County has been worth near a hundred Pounds & I can
assure your Lordship that all the Fees which I receive in a year
as Chancellor do not amount to the sum that I am ordered to pay
annually to Mr. Calvert [that is, £ 200]. " 40

The post of Surveyor General, a private office attached to the
proprietary revenue establishment, will be examined at length in

37 Ibid., XXV, 323.

38 Prior to this date the Clerk of the Secretary's Office was also Register in
Chancery. The registry then became a separate place of profit on the appointment
of John Freeman (Chancery Record, liber 2, folio 295, Md. Land Office; Archives,
XX, 233). The last colonial Register, James Brooks, appointed Dec. 10. 1767.
resigned in September, 1776. In 1715 the usual salary or a superior clerk, paid
in tobacco, amounted to about £ 80 or £ 90 sterling. By 1760 it was more apt
to be £ 100. a. Ibid., XXV, 321; IX, 414.

39 See his report to Lords Baltimore and Guilford, Sept. 3, 1715 (Ibid., XXV,

40 Horatio Sharpe to Lord Baltimore, Aug. 1, 1757 (Ibid., IX, 65).


 

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Volume 662, Page 27   View pdf image (33K)
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