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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Petition from Thomas Miller concerning rebellion in Albemarle County
Miller, Thomas, ca. 1649-ca. 1685
June 29, 1680
Volume 01, Pages 303-304

[B. P. R. O. Colonial Papers.]

To the Kings most Excellent Majestie The humble Petic̄on of Thomas Miller Sheweth

That yor Matie having been pleased upon ye Report of ye Comtee of Lords for ye Plantac̄ons to direct prosecution of John Culpeper for Treasons acted by him in ye late Rebellion in Carolina at wch Comtee severall of ye Lords Propriators did appear and declare that ye same was a notorious Rebellion & that their taking Armes, seizing ye Records in ye Country, imprisoning foure or 5 of ye Lords Deputyes & seizing all ye Tobacco Bonds & Bills in their hands relating to your Maties Customes & all ye private Estates of ye persons imprisoned and calling and choosing a pretended Parliamt & setting up a pretended Court of Justice to try yor Petr & ye rest of ye persons imprisoned wth all ye proceedings therein & going with Armes to oppose ye entrance of Mr. Eastchurch ye then Govr coming from Virginia thither (in all which proceedings ye said Culpeper was a notorious Ringleader) were undoubted treasons without any authority & against all ye Lawes & Constitutions of Carolina & particularly yt Parliament there was illegall in its call, choice &c. And ye said Culpepers plea of acting by their authority not good & ye said Lords Proprietors did there undertake to manage ye said Prosequtions & reducing ye Country to ye obedience of ye Lawes wch was also refered to them among other things by order of ye Comtee Nevertheless may it please yor Matie at ye said Tryal ye Earle of Shaftesbury who had been present at ye aforesd Transactions of ye Comtee & had beene ye mouth of ye Lords Propriators in ye whole affaire unexpectedly appeared at ye Tryall as a witness for ye Deft & after that by 5 witnesses ye said Culpeper had bene proved guilty of all ye said Treasons before numerated to ye satisfaction both of ye Court and Jury, ye said Lord Shaftesbury in his Testimony for ye prisonr declared that there hath beene no legall Governmt ever settled in Albemarle & that neither ye said Govr nor Governmt were

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legall according to ye Constitutions of Carolina and that therefore ye taking of Armes & acting against them could not amount to Treason, But that ye Parliamt thus called by ye Rabble was a legall Parliamt by the Constitutions of Carolina ye people having a right to choose them at two years end wthout any call and yt these matters were only feuds between ye Planters & could amount to but a Riott whereupon ye prisonr was acquitted by ye Jury and Court And yor Petr with many others yor Maties loyall subjects after all their sufferings not only left without remedy, but ye authority of ye pretended Parliamt being thus justified ye illegall proceedings against their lives & fortunes like to go on especially under ye present Rebells yt have usurped ye authority. And one Robert Holden whom ye Lords have sent to supply yor Petrs place who being one of ye persons condemned as a Ringleader in ye late rebellion in Virginia has made it his business to close with ye rebells there to countenance their authority & proceeding in ye late Rebellion, espetially against yor petr and all others yt continued faithfull having at his first coming procured an Act of Oblivion to be procured by ye Govr himselfe & twoe of them yt were Ringleaders in ye late Rebellion. And also hath proceeded against your Petr in his absence for his escape and in an unhearde of way returned Jurys to try him and condemne him & transmitted copyes of ye pretended proofs against him to ye Comrs of yor Majties Customes & alsoe proceeded to ye banishing fineing & imprisoning of all those that were sufferers & had opposed ye late Rebellion And further ye Comrs of ye Customes in pursuance of an Order of ye said Comtee having long since made Proposealls to ye Lords Propriatrs for ye recovering Arrears of ye Customes & reparation of yor Petr their Collector and his Deputies & for ye better settlemt of ye Collection for ye future & prest their concurrence therein And yt their Lordsps would take some effectuall course for reducing ye country to ye obedience of ye Law Neverthelesse there hath beene nothing done therein But their Lordps seeme rather to countenance ye present settlement of things under ye Rebells by wch not only yor Petr & ye other sufferers here but also all those yt have opposed ye Rebellion there (whose petic̄ons also are sent home) are brought to their utmost dispair

In tender Considerac̄on whereof most humbly Implores that yor Majtie would vouchsafe to take ye condition of yor Petr wth ye rest of yor Majties distressed subjects in Albemarle aforesaid into yor Princely Consideration & direct such course thereupon for their Reliefe as yor Matie in yor Princely wisdome shall thinke meete. And yor Petr (as in duty bound) shall ever pray &c.


June 29. 1680.

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Read in Councill, June 30th 1680 Nothing done. Read ye 20 Nov. 1680.