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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Memorial from George Burrington concerning his dispute with some members of the North Carolina Governor's Council
Burrington, George, 1680-1759
November 15, 1732
Volume 03, Pages 373-375

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[B. P. R. O. Am: & W. Ind: No. 592.]

To His Grace the Duke of New Castle Principal Secretary of State.

The Memorial of George Burrington Governor of North Carolina.

Herein humbly begs to lay before your Grace, the great injuries done him by William Smith Esqre late Chief Justice of this Province and his Confederates, who nefariously inverted several matters very false and scandalous against him with design to ruine and destroy his reputation and procure his Dismission from the post in which he has the Honour to serve his Majesty That to compleat their intended wicked projection the said Smith did deliver a Petition to the King consisting of several Articles containing heinous Crimes set forth to be committed by your Memorialist and many Ommissions, and great neglects of his duty charged on him, an Office Copy of that Petition was brought into this Country in the month of May last, your Memorialist having read the same was induced in Vindication of his Character to draw up a hasty answer: several Gentlemen Voluntarily (in Council) upon their Oaths proved the falseness of Smiths accusations which answer and depositions were sent to England in the same Month to be laid before your Grace.

It is not supposed Smith and his Accomplices will attempt to prove their assertions, knowing the whole to be only invented, they expected those complaints would be credited and my ruine compleated by means of a great Interest they boasted to have in England: it was industriously reported throughout this Country, and by many believed I should be turned out of my present Imployment when any complaints were lodged against me.

Notwithstanding one year is past since Mr Smith obtained an Order of Council for examining of Witnesses, in order to prove his allegations, yet nothing has been done in the matter on his side, for that reason your Grace is humbly prayed to prefix a time for him to make out and prove the Charge, or on failure thereof he may suffer according to his demerits.

May it please your Grace

With truth I aver it was oweing to the faults of some men that had the Kings Commissions, the Assembly I held in this Country would do no business, many of the then Members have since owned it and expressed

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their concern for suffering themselves to be misled I was unhappyly deserted by the Persons His Majesty appointed to assist in the administration, had an uncommon task to perform in this Government, which from the beginning continued loose and disorderly under the faint rule of the Lords Proprietors, and came to nothing under Sir Richard Everard their last Governor, who was sunk to so low a degree as to be contemptible and the Government with him.

Quit Rents Publick Levis and Officers Fees were paid in Province Bills at Par: they are of so little Value that to be paid in such manner Men in Officies could not live by their places for which reason pursuant to His Majesties 19th Instruction that Fees should be paid in Proclamation money the Officers received their dues in Bills, four for one, which is the Rate they were issued at and to be received in payments, in respect to Silver Money except in discharge of Publick Levies and Officers Fees, but these Bills are little more than half the Value rated at, extraordinary endeavours were used with the People to persuade them this was a grievous imposition and burthen and is made by Smith a cause of Complaint thō himself and some others his Associates in this Clamour always took their Fees in Bills at four for one and encouraged the inferior Officers to do the Same—for my own part the little inconsiderable perquisites accrueing to me as Governour I offered to give up entirely to the Assembly all this is proved by some depositions in support of my answer to Smiths Calumnies.

The said Smith, Mr Rice the Secretary and Montgomery the Attorney General have not assisted me as the duty of their places required but contrary thereunto, invent and foment all things they believe may prove prejudicial to the Authority of Government and cause uneasiness to myself.

The Inhabitants have been greatly solicited to to raise money by subscription for Mr Ashe one of the Council to go home and manage against me but the People would not be drawn into so great a folly declaring throughout the whole Province their Satisfaction on my conduct and gratitude for the services I had done them, when formerly Governour for the Proprietors and since (by your Graces favour) honoured with the Kings Commission: I cease enlarging on this Subject, designing in a future Paper to trouble your Grace with the exact state of this Province, and how much I have promoted the Welfare thereof at my own expence it is now in a quiet orderly State and flourishing condition.

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May it please your Grace

I have served the crown in every reign since the Abdication of King James, & always was allowed to behave as became a Man of Honour, and the Family whose name I bear; their Services at the Revolution and during the life of King William of glorious memory I hope are not yet in Oblivion.

My Lord Duke

When my Proceedings have been considered I make no doubt but that your Grace will grant I have acted with Zeal and Diligence for his Majesties Service justly and honestly upon all occasions in the Administration of this troublesome unprofitable Government Therefore your Grace is most humbly requested to give such orders as may effectually set in a true light the actions of your Memorialist, and his Accusers

By My Lord Duke your Graces most obedient and most devoted servant

North Carolina the 15th of November 1732.