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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Report by the Lords Proprietors of Carolina concerning rebellion in Albemarle County
Carolina. Lords Proprietors.
November 20, 1680
Volume 01, Pages 326-328

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

In obedience to yor Ldps com̄and in yor ordr of the 19th of July we have perused the petitions of Mr Thomas Miller and Mr Timothy Biggs and some of the Inhabitants of Albemarle in Carolina and according to the best information we can att present gett finde the matter of fact they complaine of to be as followeth.—

Mr Thomas Miller without any legall authority gott possession of the government of the County of Albemarle in Carolina in the yeare 1677 and was for a tyme quyetly obeyed but doeing many illegall and arbitrary things and drinking often to excess and putting the people in generall by his threats and actions in great dread of their lives and estates and they as we suppose getting some knowledge that he had no legall authority tumultuously and disorderly imprison him and suddainly after Mr Biggs and Mr Nixon for adhering to Mr Miller and abetting him in some of his actions and revive an accusation against Mr Miller of treasonable words for which he had been formerly imprison'd but never tryed And appoynt Mr Culpeper to receive the Kings Customes dureing the imprisonment of Mr Miller and did many other tumultuous and irregular things. Mr Bigs makes his escape and comes home to England and gives us information of these disorders upon wch we gott one Mr Seth

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Sothell who is interested with us to undertake the Government who being a sober moderate man and no way concerned in the factions and animosityes of the place we doubt not but would settle all things well there and to whome we gave Instructions to examine into the past disorders and punish the offenders. And the Comissrs of his Majts Customes gave him also a Com̄ission to be Collector of his Majts Customes in Albemarle but Mr Southell in his voyage thither was taken by the Turks and carryed into Argiers.

As soone as we heard of Mr Sothell's misfortune we sent a Comission to one Mr Harvey to be Govr untill Mr Sothel's arrivall there, whose release we speedily expected With this Comission went Mr Robert Holden whoome the Comissioners of the Customes had appoynted Collector of his Majtes Customes in Albemarle in the roome of Mr Sothell; both these Comissions as we are informed were quyetly and cherefully obeyed by the people and Mr Holden hath without any disturbance from the People collected his Majtes Customes there and sent part of it home to the Comissioners here and part of the Customes having been made use of by the people in the tyme of the disorders they have laid a Taxe upon themselves for the repaying it to Mr Holden the present Collector

Not long after the settlemt of the Governmt in Mr Harvey he and the Council (as we are informed) did committ Mr Miller againe in order to the bringing him to a Tryall for the treasonable words he had formerly spoken, But Mr Miller breakes prison and comes for England And not long after Mr Bigs (who is by the Comissioners of the Customes appoynted Surveyor of his Matys dues in Albemarle) and Mr Holden the Collector quarrell among themselves and Mr Bigs withdrawes himself from the Councill and perswades James Hill the Duke of Albemarle's Deputy to doe the same, hopeing thereby as we conceive to make a disturbance in the Governmt Since then Mr Harvey is dead and the Councill have chosen Col. Jenkins to execute the place of Governr untill we shall appoynt another and all things as we are informed by letters from thence beareing date May June & July last are in quyet and his Majtyes Customes quyetly paid by the People, though Mr Bigs hath endeavoured to interrupt the same together with some others who being, as we are informed prosecuted for ayding Mr Miller in his escape and other misdemeanors are withdrawn into Virginia and which we conceive are the persons whose names are to the Petition presented to his Majesty. And this is the truest acctt we are able to give your Lordships how the cases of Mr Miller and Mr Bigs appeares to us. And to prevent the like disorders for the future which hath been in great measure occasioned by factions

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and animosityes in which most or all of the Inhabitants have been engaged

We are sending Capt. Wilkinson thither Governr to whoome we shall give Instructions to examine into the past disorders and who being a Strangr and not concerned in the factions and animosityes we have reason to hope will manage things with moderation and doe equall justice to all partyes and we undertake will take care so to settle all things that his Majtes Customes shall be duely paid to whomsoever shall be appoynted to collect the same.

Notwithstanding we think it our dutye to informe your Lordships that we are of opinion Mr Miller being deeply ingaged in the Animosityes of the place and having by divers unjustifyable actions as we are informed (besides Indictments found against him) renderd himself lyable to the sutes of perticular persons for Injuryes donne them from which he cannot by Law be protected That a Strangr will doe his Majtye better service in that Imployment than Mr Miller and more conduce to the continuation of the quyet of the place which we submit to yor Lordps great prudence and rest

Your Ldps most humble Servts