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For establishing Tobacco Payments during the discontinuance of the Inspection Law


V. An Ordinance for establishing Tobacco Payments during the discontinuance of the Inspection Law, and for other purposes therein mentioned.

Whereas, by reason of the expiration of an Act of General Assembly, for improving the staple of Tobacco, and preventing frauds in His Majesty' s Customs, the people in this Colony may be subjected to great difficulties for want of a certain mode of making Tobacco Payments for levies or other debts, and sundry disputes may arise between them and the officers or creditors, which may increase the confusions


in the Colony, already too much convulsed by the unhappy disputes with Great Britain:

For remedy whereof, Be it ordained, by the Delegates and Representatives of the people of this Colony, now met in General Convention, and by the authority of the same, That it shall and may be lawful for any person who shall be indebted for levies or other demands, payable in Tobacco, to discharge the same by good, sound, and merchantable Tobacco, leaf or stemmed, tied up in bundles, and clear of trash and dirt; and if the collector or creditor shall refuse to receive Tobacco tendered in such payment, on account of its not being clean, sound, or merchantable, it shall be referred to two judicious neighbours, to be chosen one by each of them, (or if one shall refuse to nominate, the other may choose them both,) who, being sworn to give an impartial judgment, shall determine the point between the parties; and if they disagree, they shall choose a third person, who shall be sworn in like manner, and his judgment shall be final; the payments of levies and rents to be made on the plantation of the debtor, with a reasonable allowance, in cases of rents, for the charge of carrying the same to the next inspection; in other cases, at the place appointed by the contract.

And be it further ordained, That where the Vestries shall not have compounded with their Ministers for his receiving money in lieu of Tobacco for his salary, according to a late Act of Assembly, in such case the Collector of the Parish Levy shall convey the Tobacco, so to be received for levies, to the house of the Minister, who shall receive the Tobacco, so brought from time to time, until his full salary of sixteen thousand pounds of Tobacco, with the allowance of four per cent, for cask, and four per cent, for shrinkage, with the usual expense for transporting the same to the nearest publick landing, on some navigable river, is fully paid; and the residue of the Tobacco, so to be received, shall be by the Collector carefully prized up into hogsheads, and sold, according to the directions of the last mentioned act; but this is not to extend to or affect such Counties or Parishes where by law the, inhabitants are allowed to pay their levies at a certain price in money.

And be it further declared and ordained, That the several Vestries shall be empowered to levy for the Collector of their several levies, such additional allowance for his trouble in collecting the Tobacco in manner aforesaid, as to them shall seem reasonable, according to the extent of the Parish; and shall also allow the Minister two Shillings and six Pence for every thousand pounds of Tobacco by him received for his salary as aforesaid, for prizing up the same.

And whereas five of the members of the Vestry of the Parish of Frederick, in the County of Frederick, have resigned their said offices, and another of the members being dead, there doth not remain a sufficient number to hold a Vestry for the purpose of electing others to fill up the said vacancies, by reason whereof the maintenance of the Poor, and other parochial affairs in the said Parish, are wholly neglected: Be it therefore further ordained, That it be, and is hereby recommended to the several members of the said Vestry, who have so resigned their offices, to resume the same; and upon their so doing, or so many of them as with the resuming members will make a Vestry, that such resumption be entered in the Vestry-book, and from thenceforth the Vestrymen, so remaining, shall have the same power to act in all things pertaining to the said office, as if they had never resigned the same.

And be it further ordained, That if a sufficient number of the said resigning members, as with the others will make a Vestry, shall not agree to resume their offices within two months from the passing hereof, that then the said Vestry shall be dissolved, and the Freeholders and Housekeepers of the said Parish, at such time and place as shall be appointed by the Sheriff of the said County, shall proceed to elect twelve able and discreet persons, in the usual and accustomed, manner, to be Vestrymen of the said Parish; and the persons so elected, having taken an oath before the County Court well and truly to execute their office as Vestrymen, and subscribed to be conformable to the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England, shall be, to all intents and purposes, the Vestry of the said Parish.