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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Deposition of Christopher Gale concerning threats made by George Burrington
Gale, Christopher, ca. 1679-1735
January 27, 1725
Volume 02, Pages 560-561

[B. P. R. O. Proprieties. B. T. Vol. XI. R. 51.]


Christopher Gale Chief Justice of the Province of North Carolina in America and one of the Collrs of his Majesty's Customs within the said Province, who being sworn upon the Holy Evangelists declares as followeth. viz.

That George Burrington Esqre the present Govr hath sundry times threatened grievously insulted and abused the Depont Chr: Gale and particularly the said Governor at his first arrival in the said Province which was neare two months before he saw the Depont (as he is credibly informed) gave out several menaceing speeches against him saying, he would slitt his nose, crop his ears and lay him in irons, and that agreable to these abusive threats he told the Depont he was his enemy and would ever continue soe. That at the last general Court held by the Depont, which began the last Tuesday in July past, the said Governor grosely reviled and insulted the said Depont in open Court and then in the execution of his office, and soe disturb the Deponent and the Assistant Judges, by abusive interruptions that for fear of worse consequences the business they were upon was put off till next Court and the Court abjourned. That the said Governor hath at times ever since (as the Depont has been informed continued to revile and by scandalous reflections to render the Depont mean and contemptible to the people, so that in both his Capacitys of Chief Justice and Collr of his Majesty's Customs his Authority is thereby weakened and discouraged and he rendered incapable of executing his said offices. And further that

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early on Sunday evening the 23d of August last The said Governor attempted to break into the Deponts house in Edenton in a violent manner and with intent as he verily believes to murder him, to the very great terror of his family, but finding he could not break open the Door, he broke the window all to pieces, cursing and threatning him in a grievous manner, swearing a great many oaths, that he would lay him by the heels, nay would have him by the throat speedily, and burn his house or blow it up with gunpowder often repeating that this was but the beginning of sorrow to him soe that the said Depont being thus insulted and threatned by the said Govr armed with the Authority of Governmt could not stay in the said Province to execute his said Offices for that he was in bodily fear of his life or some personal injury from the said Govr and this oath he takes not out of malice or revenge, but truly and really for the reasons aforesaid. And this Depont further sais that he knows of no reason he has ever given the said Govr for such his insupportable behaviour, unless it be his supporting the Officers of his Majtys Customs for the Port of Roanoke and advising them when applyed to as Chief Justice for the Interest & support of Trade at ye time when the naval Officer of the sd Port was imprisoned and the Collr (Adam Cockburn Eqre) publickly insulted and threatned for only doing what the Deponent believed the Duty of their office required.

Jurat xxviith die January 1724 coramne