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CHAP. XXIII.

An Act for prevention of abuses in

tobacco shipped on freight.

I. BE it enacted, by the Lieutenant Governor, Council, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, Masters of That every master of a ship or vessel in this colony, ships intend. intending to take tobacco on board, before his obtaining to load

tobacco, ing a permit for the same shall give bond, to the king, shall give his heirs and successors, in the sum of two hundred bond, and pounds current money, with condition, That he will make oath, not crop, cut away the bulge, draw the staves, or not to injure otherwise abuse or injure any tobacco cask, freight-cask. ed in his ship or vessel, nor cause or suffer the same to be done, with his knowledge, privity, or procurement, without the approbation and consent of the freighter or freighters; and shall also make oath aidi swear, or being a quaker, solemnly affirm and declare, to the same effect; which bond, and oath or affirmation, the naval officer of the district wherein such ship or vessel rides, is hereby authorized and required to take and administer: And if any naval officer shall Penalty on grant any permit to load tobacco, before such bond officer grantgiven, or oath or affirmation made, he shall forfeit ing permit,

before bond and pay two bundred pounds current money, one and oath atmoiety to the king, his heirs and successors, for and ken. towards the better support of this government, and the contingent charges thereof, the other moiety to the informer, recoverable with costs, by action of debt or information, in any court of record of this dominion.

II. And be it further enacted by the authority afore- On officers said, That if any officer, mariner, or other person, and men on belonging to or hired on board any ship or vessel board, injurtaking in tobacco, shall crop, cut away the bulge, cask.

ing tobacco draw the staves, or otherwise abuse or injure, any tobacco cask freighted on board, without the approbation and consent aforesaid, or shall be aiding or assisting therein, every such offender shall forfeit and pay five pounds current money to the informer, to be recovered with costs, by action of debt, or informatian, in any county court, whereupon the defendant

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Defendant may be held to special bail, and the fact may be laid may be held in any county where the defendant or defendants shall

be arrested, without liberty of traverse: And if there be several offenders in the same fact, each person shall pay the whole penalty, and the master of such ship or vessel shall also be liable to the action of the party

injured, for his or her damages. Parties in III. And that for the better discovery of the truth, the fact may every mariner, summoned and appearing as a witbe evidences or informers, ness, shall be allowed to give evidence, and thereby and thereby discharged of prosecution for the same fact: And if indemnified. any mariner whatsoever, in such offence, sball be the

informer, such information shall indemnify him fron

all accusation or penalty for the same. ·Penalty on IV. And that it shall be lawful for any collector, persons op- naval ollicer, searcher, or any person having tobacco posing a Searcb.

on board, to go on board such ship or vessel, in the day time, during her loading, to search and discover whether any breach has been made of this act: And if any master, officer, or mariner, shall hinder or oppose such search, he shall for every such offence, forfeit and pay ten pounds current money, one half to the king, his heirs and successors, for the better support of this government, and the contingent charges thereof, the other lialf to the informer, recoverablo with costs, by action of debt or information, in any

county court. Repealing V. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforelause. said, That one act made in the ninth year of Queen

Anne, For prevention of abuses in tobacco shipped on freight; and all and every other act and acts, hereto, fore made, for or concerning any matter or thing within the purview of this act, shall be, and are hereby

repealed. Commence

VI. And be it further enacted, That this act shall ment of this commence and be in force, from and immediately after act:

the tenth day of June, which shall be in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-one. CHAP. XXIV.

An Act to prevent the tending of Seconds.

I. WHEREAS the tending and curing tobacco Preamble, slips and suckers, for the making of seconds, is greatly prejudicial to the people of this colony, by debasing the quality and depreciating the value thereof.

II. Be it therefore enacted by the Lieutenant Governor, Council, and Burgesses of this present General As-tending se

Penalty for sembly, and it is hereby enacted, by the authority of the conds. game, That if any person shall weed, top, hill, sucker, house, cure, strip, or pack any seconds, suckers, or slips of tobacco, or shall cause or suffer the saine to be done upon any plantation to him or her belonging, or under his or her direction or management, he or she shall forfeit and pay five hundred pounds of tobacco, for every person employed thereon in that year; and if such plantation shall be under the care of an overseer, being a freeman, such overseer shall be liable and pay the whole forfeiture aforesaid; which shall be recovered by action of debt or information, in any county court of this dominion, with costs; one moiety thereof, to his majesty, his heirs and successors, for the use of the county wherein the offence shall be committeil, towards lessening the levy thereof, and the other moiety to the person who shall inform or sue for the same.

III. Provided nevertheless, That if any plants shall But where a be destroyed by tempest, or otherwise, when growing, plant is deand thrown away without being cured, or housed, stroyed, and

not housed, any person may tend seconds, or slips, upon the same

seconds may stalks, without being liable to the penalty aforesaid. be tended

IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforeupon the said, That every constable within this colony shall same stalk,

Duty of con yearly, between the last day of July, and the tenth stables in day of August, and between the twentieth day of Au- viewing tagust, and the tenth day of September, and at such bacco other times as he shall think proper, repair to all the

grounds. fields and places whereon tobacco shall be planted or tended, within his precinct, and diligently view the same, to discover whether any slips, or suckers, shall be turned out and tended, from the stalks, from which any tobacco plant hath been before cut, or taken; and

Sworn,

if he shall find any such, he shall make information Of county thereof to the next court held for his county: Which courts,

court shall, and is hereby required, upon such inforwhere the constable in

mation to them made, forth with to direct and order forms. the attorney, appointed to prosecute in such court for

his majesty, to bring suit against such offender, for Penalty on the forfeiture aforesaid: And if any owner, or overhindering a

scer of a plantation, shall refuse to shew the constaview.

ble all his tobacco grounds, or shall hinder or obstruct the officer in viewing the same, such owner or overseer, shall be liable for the whole forfeiture aforesaid,

to be recovered and divided in the same manner: And On consta- if any constable shall turn out, or tend any slips or bles tending seconds.

suckers, contrary to this act, he shall incur the like forfeiture, to be recovered and applied as herein be.

fore directed. Constables V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforeshall be

said, That every constable shall, before some justice

of peace of his county, take the following oath, to wit: Their oath. IA. B. do swear, That I will diligently and care

fully view the several fields and places whereupon tobacco shall be planted and tended, within the precinct whereof I am constable, and will make true information of all persons within my precinct, whom I shall know to be guilty of the breach of any law of this colony, made against the tending of slips or seconds, to the next court held for my county, after the same shall come to my knowledge.

So help me God. Which oath such justice is hereby impowered and Penalty for required to administer: And if any constable shall renot taking fuse to take upon him the duty directed by this act, or

or breach of or taking the oath herein before directed; shall neglect duty: his duty, or shall knowingly allow any person within

his precinct to tend any seconds, slips, or suckers, without making information thereof, he shall forfeit one thousand pounds of tobacco, to be recovered and divided in the same manner as the other forfeitures in this act are directed to be.

VI. And that for encouraging the constables to per

form their duty, one pound of nett tobacco shall be Their allow. levied on every tithable in each county, and distribu. ance. ted to the several constables, in proportion to the

number of tithables in their respective precincts; which the court of every county is hereby required to raise annually, and the county collector to pay, to the constables to whom the same shall be dne: But the justices shall not levy any tobacco for such constables as shall neglect to do their duty as required by this act. VII. And be it further enacted, by the authority

Repealing aforesaid, That all and every other act and acts, clause

clause. and clauses, heretofore made for or concerning any matter or thing within the purview of this act, except so much of one act of assembly, made in the fourth year of Queen Anne, intituled, An act for improving the staple of tobacco, and for regulating the size and tare of tobacco hogsheads, as relates to the tending of seconds, sball be, and are hereby repealed.

VIII. And be it further enacted, That this act shall Commence commence and be in force from and immediately after ment of this the tenth day of June, which shall be in the year of act. our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-one.

CHAP. XXV.

An Act prescribing the method of

proving book debts.

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1. WHEREAS the trade of merchandize in this Preamble. colony is chiefly carried on by retail, and the goods and merchandizes are often delivered to the buyer by the retailer himself, and it frequently happens that no body is privy thereto but the buyer and seller, so that in many cases there may be a defect of legal evidence to charge such buyer, and by that means a fair trader may be hindered from recovering a just debt; for preventing disputes and different opinions in the several courts of justice within this dominion, and for determining what shall be lawful evidence in such cases:

II. BE it enacted, by the Lieutenant-Governor, Council and Burgesses of this present General Assembly, and

In what cases

a store book it is hereby enacted, by the authority of the same, That may be given in any action of debt, or upon the case, which hath been in evidence. or shall be brought, where the plaintiff shall declare or has declared upon an Emisset, or Indebitatus Assumpsit, for goods, wares, or merchandizes by him sold, and delivered to any other person or persons,

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