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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Urmston to William Taylor
Urmston, John
February 28, 1716
Volume 02, Pages 223-224

[From N. C. Letter Book of S. P. G.]

North Carolina Feby 28th 171⅚


Since the delivery of mine pr. this same opportunity and the Copy thereof per via Boston, I understand that a Copy of our law is sent per Godfrey so that if the Society think fit to procure a sight of the Vestry Act there must be no delay. I presume they'll not approve of it what I think most material to be added is that it be not in the power of the Vestry to remove their Minister at pleasure. that the Ministers Salary be paid in spetie of the Country produce at his own house: that a Table of Fees belonging to the Surplice, as Weddings, Burials, Funeral Sermons &c be agreed on by the Vestry and made publick: but nobody be burried but by the Minister nor marryed; that the Minister be exempt from all taxes, Imprests or Levyes upon him or any belonging to him; all liberties & privileges, as is practised in England be continued and observed, as far forth as is consistent with the Country, that the choice of one Church Warden yearly be allowed him, that the Vestry do meet at least once every Quarter, in Easter week especially and chuse Churchwardens and whatever else the Honorable Society may think fit and can be obtained of the Lords Proprietors.

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The Proprietors must be prest to use their Interest with the Colony to have all such amendments made the next assembly after the return of the Laws, for the proprietors have not Authority enough to ratify them without the Consent of an Assembly. This sending of the Acts to be perpetuated by the Proprietors is the only Step made since the settlement of the Colony to make it a regular place, soon after the grant of this Colony to the proprietors they made several laws and constitutions which are in Print but these have been little regarded for many years, if not quite set aside and the Lords power of little Force, they were wont to have all Acts of Assembly confirmed by the Lords or else they were not in force above two years; but of late they never trouble the proprietors at all but passed and annul'd Laws at pleasure and at the first meeting of every Biennial the old laws were confirm'd and to be continued for the two years following and by that means. evaded the Lords, approving or disallowing their Laws, according to the power they reserved to themselves on the Fundamental Constitutions I suppose the Lords will scarce approve of all the Acts.

This comes per a friend passenger in Captn Godfrey; I pray acquaint if mine by him and the Copy per Boston come to hand under the Seal of Sir

Your humble Servt