May it please your Excellency
By a copy of an order of the court of Cumberland dated July term 1777 & certified by Willm. Rand clerk of said Court, produced before us justices of the peace in and for said county of Mecklenburg by the bearer Duncan Ochiltree an inhabitant of this county we understand that the said Duncan Ochiltree hath been cited to & appeared before the said Court of Cumberland and was there required to take and subscribe the Oath prescribed by act of Assembly to be taken by the late Officers of the crown of Great Brittain &c. and upon his refusing to take the same was compelled to give Bond with bail in the Sum of Five hundred pounds currency for his departure out of this State within Sixty days from the date of said order.
Now as we Judging of the words of the law to the best of our understanding think that the above said bond was illegally taken and of consequence not binding and, lest the Said Duncan Ochiltree should escape the opperation of the aforesaid Act of Assembly we have cited him and taken Sureties on recognisance in the Sum of Two Thousand pounds currency to appear at the next court to be held for this county, to be dealt with as the law directs—and whereas this circumstance of his being cited to the court of Cumberland and there refusing to take the oath is the only reason we ever had to suspect the said Duncan Ochiltree liable to be Called upon by Virtue of said act he being now and for near four years last past a Constant resident of this County and has always behaved himself as a peacefull orderly Subject and since the beginning of the present war hath freely Contributed to and encouraged the carrying on the same:
We think it Just and necessary to petition your Excellency and the Honourable Council if the aforesaid order of the Court of Cumberland shall also appear to you to be illegally taken that you would adopt such measures as in your wisdom you may think necessary to prevent the said Court of Cumberland from enforcing the said order or Compelling the Said Duncan Ochiltree or his Sureties to forfeit or pay the penalty of the bond aforesaid. we are