Copy of Mr. Walpole's report to the Lords of the Treasury on Widow Johnston's Claim, dated the 10th April 1753.
To the right Honble the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury.
In obedience to your Lordships commands signified to me by Mr. West in his Letter of the 2d of November last, that I should consider the annexed Memorial of the Widow of Gabriel Johnston Esqre the Governor of North Carolina & report to your Lordships a state of the Petitioner's Case with my opinion what is fit to be done therein,
I have considered the said Memorial setting forth that at the time of her late husband's death (vizt) on the 17th of July last there was and still is due unto her said husband from the Quit rents of that Province arrears of Salary to the amount of £13000 sterling and upwards as will hereafter be properly authenticated to your Lordships.
That on the recovery of the said arrears the support of herself and children of the deceased Governor and payment of his numerous creditors both at home and abroad, principally depends.
That the appropriation of the Quit rents of that Province to any new purposes would absolutely deprive her of relief from thence, whereupon she enters this her claim upon the said Quit rents and most humbly entreats your Lordships that the same may be sustained preferable to any subsequent appropriation or appointment of that fund.
Upon which I beg leave to report to your Lordships that in the year 1733. His Majesty was pleased to grant to Governor Johnston £1000 per annum, which was £300 more than was allowed to the former Governor of North Carolina and certain sallarys to the rest of the Officers of the Crown payable out of the revenue of Quit rents amounting in the whole to 1455 as appears by the Establishment under His Majesty's royal sign manual in September 1733, as a proper encouragement to them in ascertaining and supporting the just rights of the Crown and in expectation, as the said Governor alledged that by such an encouragement the Quit rents would not only be made sufficient to answer the said Establishment but produce a considerable overplus for the service of the Crown, now far from answering the purposes for which those sallarys were granted such has been the remissness of the late receiver & I am afraid on the part of the Governor as well as other Officers of the Crown in exerting themselves for the receiving of the Quit rents that there are great arrears due to His Majesty on which the Establishment is charged and also I suppose to all the Officers as well as to the representatives of Governor Johnston: But as Mr. Allen's accounts from 1735 to 1748 were always justly objected to by my Deputy there for want of regularity and sufficient Vouchers & upon Mr. Allen's death the said Governor Johnston appointed Mr. Rowan to act as receiver General of North Carolina till His Majesty's pleasure was known who has never transmitted any account during the time he acted; it is impossible for me to ascertain the exact claim due to the Officers of the Crown out of the Quit rents, and it is possible that the late Governor's arrears may arise to about the sum set forth by the Petitioner & unless there is an additional fund for some other Provision made for Govr Johnston's successor or some other means can be found for procuring a compleat rent roll,th of May 1751, to the 5th of October following, amounting to no more than £161 8s sterling.
As to what your Memorialist alledges that an appropriation of the Quit rents to any new purposes would deprive her from having relief from them is (I apprehend) in the present state of the Quit rents but too true and that is the case of the rest of the Officers, who I must observe to your Lordships seem by the present Establishment equally entitled to their respective proportion of their arrears out of the Quit rents due to the Crown as they are received, in the meantime if those arrears are to be pay'd in course and preferable to any new incumbrance I don't see how the salary of the Govr lately appointed can be charged upon them and payd, until the Quit rents by a new rent roll & a better management & collection of them shall be vastly increased.
All which is submitted by your Lordships Most obedient servant