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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Petition from London merchants concerning trade with North Carolina and Virginia
Maynard, John; Buchanan, James, 1696-1758; Hanbury, John, 1700-1758; Et Al.
January 29, 1747
Volume 04, Pages 844-846

[B. P. R. O. North Carolina. B. T. Vol. 11. B. 71.]

To the Right Honoble the Lords Commissioners for Trade & Plantations

The Memorial of the undersigned Merchants of London, in behalf of themselves, and of many others, trading to, and having large debts due in his Majesty's Provinces of North Carolina and Virginia, Sheweth,

That your Memorialists, and other British Merchants, have in the course of their dealings, given very large credit to Planters resident in

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those Colonys who frequently (as the said Colonys lye contiguous to each other) purchaze Lands and propertys in each of the said Provinces; And by your Memorialists mony, and by the credit which they have given, many good Plantations have been cleared, stockt and improved to the particular benefit of the Planters to the advantage of this kingdom and the [inhabitants] thereof, and to the great increase of the Publick revenues.

That your memorialists are exceedingly alarmed, and surprised, at there being lately brought to light, and sett up, an Act of Assembly, as passed under the Proprietors of North Carolina in the latter end of the year 1715. or beginning of 1716. entituled

An Act concerning Attorneys from foreign parts and for giving Priority to Country debts whereby (besides other unreasonable clauses it is most expressly pretended to be enacted that, No foreign debts, of any kind whatsoever, (not even to the Crown) shall have any execution, for the recovery thereof, until all debts to the inhabitants of that Colony, which were sued for, at the time the British Creditor sued, shall be payd; Nor yet, until after some indefinite time, to be appointed by the Courts there (which is to be, at least, six months) shall be given, for all pretended Country Debt, to come in and claim; The reality of which Country Debts, the British Creditor has no possibility of knowing.

That the said pretended Act is most unjust, and illegal, and what no Assembly in the Plantations had any power to enact, and is an open bare-faced fraud, upon the British Merchants, subjects of the Mother Country; Whom it presumes to put, upon an infinitely worse foot, than any sovereign Prince, or State, in Europe, ever put the British Subjects upon. And is so far from being (as is pretended) necessary, or of use and benefit, to the Inhabitants of North Carolina, that no British Merchant can be so imprudent as to give a shilling credit to a Colony under such unjust Terms; The many mischiefs arising from whence, must be very obvious to your Lordships discernment.

Your Memorialists therefore humbly pray of your Lordships in behalf of themselves & all His Majesty's Subjects, to take the most early opportunity to represent the said pretended Act to His Majesty, as very proper for his royal declaration of the same to be null & void—And your Memorialists shall ever pray &c.


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North Carolina. Virginia

Memorial of the British Merchants against a North Carolina Act for giving preference to Country debts, Passed in 1715 or 1716, by the late Lords Proprietors of that Province.

Recd Janry 29th 1746/7