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the law, the said letters notwithstanding; and finally, in all things belonging to your said office, during your continuance therein, you shall faithfully, justly and traly, according to the best of your skill and judgment, do equal and impartial justice without fraud.

So help you God. The oath of a Judge of the General Court in Chancery. As judges in

YOU shall swear, that well and truly you will serve chancery. our sovereign lord the king, and his people, in the office of a judge or justice of the general court of Virginia in chancery, and that you will do equal right to all manner of people, great and small, high and low, rich and poor, according to equity and good conscience, and the laws and usages of this colony and dominion of Virginia, without favour, affection, or partiality.

Su help you God.

III. And if any person whatsoever shall presume to

Penalty for sit or execute the said office, without first qualifying executing himself as by this act required, he shall for every such this office,

before sworn offence be fined five hundred pounds current money. in. one moiety thereof to our sovereign lord the king, his heirs and successors, for and towards the better support of this government, and the contingent charges thereof, and the other moiety to the informer.

IV. And be it further enacted, by the authority afire- Jurisdiction said, That the said general court shall take cognisance of this court. of, and are hereby declared to have power and jurisdiction to hear and determine, all causes, matters, and things whatsoever relating to or concerning any personor persons, ecclesiastical or civil, or to any persons or things of what nature soever the same shall be, whether brought before them by original process, appeal from any inferior court, or by any other ways or means whatsoever.

V. Provided always, That no person shall take ori. No original ginal process for the trial of any thing in the general process nor court, of less value than twenty pounds current money, laws, for less or four thousand pounds of tobacco, under penalty of than 201. cur the plaintiff's being non-suit, and paying costs; nei- rent money, ther shall any person be prosecuted in the said court or 4000l. tofor breach of any penal law, where the penalty shall be less than twenty pounds current inoney, or four thousand pounds of tobacco.


Except a- VI. Provided also, That any action may be comgainst coun.menced and maintained in the general court, by or aty courts or vestries.

gainst the justices of any county court, or other inferior court, or the vestry of any parish altho' the sum

sued for shall not exceed twenty pounds. General VII. And be it further enacted, by the authority a. Court to be foresaid, That the said general court shall be held two held twice a times every year, to wit, one of the said courts shall year.

begin upon the tenth day of April, if not Sunday, and then on the Monday thereafter, and shall continue to be held twenty four natural days, Sundays exclusive; and the other court shall begin upon the tenth day of October, if not Sunday, and then on the Monday thereafter, and shall also be held and continue twenty four natural days, Sundays exclusive.

VIII. And that the first five days of every general Rulesofcourt for docket-court be appointed for hearing and determining suits ing causes in chancery, appeals from decrees of the county courts,

or other inferior courts in chancery and writs of supersedeas to such decrees; and that the other days be appointed for trying suits or prosecutions on behalf of his majesty, and all other matters depending in the said court.

IX And that before every general court, the clerk shall enter in a particular docket for that purpose, all such causes, and those only, in which any issue is to be tried, writ of enquiry to be executed, special verdict, case agreed, or demurrer to be argued, and all causes set down for hearing, or argument in chancery, in the same order as they stand in course of proceedings; setting as near as may be, an equal number of such causes to each day.

X. Provided always, That if the business of the said adjourn. court shall be ended in less time than the days herein

before appointed, for the judges or justices to sit, it shall be lawful for them to adjourn to the next succeed

ing general court. Rules'of issu- XI. And for the more regular prosecution and deing returns termination of suits or other processes in the said court, of process. Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That

all original process either by writ, summons or any ther manner or means, and all subsequent process thereupon, to bring any person or persons whatsoever, to answer in any action, real, personal, or mixed, suit, information, bill or plaint in the general court, and all

Court may

attarliments awarded by the said court, at the common
law, and all subpenas and other process in chancery,
shall be sued out and issued from the secretary's office,
returnable on the respective days herein after directed,
and shall bear teste by the governor, or commander in
chief for the time being, and be signed by the clerk of
the said court, and may be executed at any time before
the day of the return thereof; and all such writs and
process shall be returnable to the next succeeding gen-
eral court, on the several days following, to wit, all
writs and other process at the common law, shall be
returnable to the eighth or twenty third day of the next
general court, subpænas and all other process in chan-
cery, to the first ortwenty third day, process at the suit
of his majesty, or criminal prosecutions to the sixth
day, process on petitions for lapsed land to the seventh
day and on no other days or times whatsoever; and all
such writs or process which shall be made returnable
on any other days or times, shall be null and void; and
if any writ or process shall be executed so late, that
the sheriff hath not reasonable time to return the same,
before the day of appearance, herein after limited, and
thereupon an alias or pluries capias, attachment, or o-
ther process, shall be awarded, the sheriff shall not ex-
ecute such subsequent process, but shall return the first
process by him executed, and thereupon the plaintiff
shall declare, and use the same proceedings as herein
after directed, and as if such writ or process had been
returned to the secretary's office, on or before the day
of appearance limited for the return thereof.
XII. And that all appeals from decrees in chancery,

Appeals, obtained in any county court, or other inferior court, shall be made to the third day of the next general court, and all appeals from judgments of any of the said courts, in suits at common law, shall be to the

respective days following, to wit, from the county courts of Henrico, Prince George, Surry, Isle of Wight, Nansemond, Norfolk, Princess Ann, Albemarle, Amelia, Brunswick, Goochland, Cumberland, and Lunenburg, to the eighth day; James City, Charles City, Newa Kent, Warwick, Elizabeth City, York, Hanover, and Louisa, to the ninth day; Gloucester, King William, King and Queen, Middlesex, Essex, Caroline, Augusta, Spotsylvania, and Orange, to the tenth day; Rich. mond, Westmoreland, Northumberland, Stafford, Lan

caster, Fairfax, Frederick, King George, Culpepper, and Prince William to the eleventh day; Accomack, and Nortbampton, to the twelfth day of the next succeeding general court; and no appeal shall be admitted on any other day: Appeals from such judgments of any corporation court, shall be to the same day as appeals

from the county wherein such corporation is; and that Writs of er. all writs of error, supersedeas, and certiorari, shall be ror, superse- returnable to the same days respectively, as appeals deas, certio- from judgments at the court of that county to which rari.

such writ or writs shall be directed. And the clerk of the court is hereby required to regulate the docket accordingly, proportioning the suits and causes to such

of the said days as will be most convenient. Process a. XIII. Anu be it further enacted, by the authority a.

foresaid, That if any action, or other process, shall be cillor.

commenced and prosecuted against any person, being a member of his majesty's council of state, within this dominion, then instead of other process which might be legally taken in like case against any other person, thc clerk of the general court shall issue a summons dipected to the sheriff of the county where such council. lor usually resides, reciting the matter or cause charged against him, and summoning him to appear and answer the same, upon such a certain day of the next general court, as shall be therein mentioned; and if such councillor shall not appear at the day, according to such suwmons, it shall be lawful for the court to award an attachment against the estate of such councillor, so failing to appear, and thereafter the proceedings in such cases shall be in the same manner as up

on the sheriff's returning, non est inventus, upon any Or a sheriff.

ordinary process; and in like manner process against the sheriff of any county, shall be issued and directed to any coroner of the county where such sheriff resides, and thereupon the like proceedings shall be had against hini, as are herein before directed concerning a councillor: And if any councillor, or sheriff, shall fail to answer process in chancery, one or more distringas shall thereupon issue, to compel such de

fendant to answer. Appearance XIV. And be it further enacted, by the authority a. in personal foresaid, That when any writ shall issue whereby the actions,

sheriff is commanded to take the body of any person or where nobail is required. persons, to answer unto any plaintif ur plaintiffs, in

the general court, in any personal action, and no debt or damages shall be mentioned in such writ, or if bail shall not be by law requirable; in every or any such case, the sheriff to whom such writ shall be directed, may take the engagement of any attorney, practising in the general court, under his hand, endorsed upon such writ, that he will appear, or cause an appearance to be entered for the defendant, or defendants, within named, according to the return of the said writ: And such appearance shall be accordingly entered with the clerk of the court, in the secretary's office, on the second day after the end of the general court, to which such process shall be returnable: Which said second day after the end of every general court, shall be accounted, deemed, and taken, and is hereby declared to be the day of appearance, to all process at the common law, or in chancery, returnable to any day of the court next preceding; and if any attorney, or other person practising as an attorney, so engaging to enter, or cause Attorney eran appearance to be entered shall fail so to do, he shall Saging to apforfeit and pay to the plaintiff or plaintiffs, fifty shillings failing for current money, for which judgment shall be immedi- feits 50 s. ately entered, and the plaintiff may take execution thereupon, by capias ad satisfaciendum, or fieri facias.

XV. And be it further enacted, by the authority a- Where bail foresaid, That upon executing any process, whereup-shall be reon bail shall be requirable, the sheriff shall return

quirable. therewith the names of the bail by him taken, and a copy of the bail bond, to the secretary's office, before the day of appearance; and if the defendant shall fail to appear accordingly, or shall not give special bail, In what case. being ruled thereto by the court, the bail so returned the bail, or

sheriff shafi shall be subject to the same judgment, and recovery, be liable: and have the same liberty of defence, as the defendant might have, or be subject to, if he had appeared, and given special bail; and if the sheriff shall not return bail, and a copy of the bail-bond, or the bail so returned shall be judged insufficient by the court, or the defendant shall fail to give special bail, being ruled thereto by the court, then judgment shall be given against the sheriff, in the same manner, and with the same condition, as against the bail: And if the sheriff depart this life, before judgment be confirmed against him, in such case it shall be lawful to confirm such

M 3-Vol. 5.

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