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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from James Reed to Daniel Burton
Reed, James, d. 1777
June 26, 1763
Volume 06, Pages 990-991

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[From North Carolina Letter Book. S. P. G.]
Mr. Reed to the Secretary

Newbern, June 26. 1763

Revd Sir

My last was on the 27 of Decr 1762 by 3 different conveyances & which I hope you have duly received, since that time it has pleased God to restore our Govr to a perfect state of health, his recovery indeed is very surprising, for he had for a considerable time lost the use of both his feet. I am in great hopes that it will please God to prolong his life to hold another Assembly, for the Clergy are still destitute of any legal provision, or encouragement & have nothing to subsist upon but the benevolence of the Society I have not received any stipend at all from my Parish for upwards of 14 months, nor have I the least expectation of receiving one Shilling till some vestry Law be enacted, for as long as there is no vestry Law, no tax can be laid for the Clergys Stipend & tho the Sheriffs have now a whole years collections in their hands yet as there is no vestry to call them to account, they do not choose to part with the money on any terms or security whatsoever, the misfortune is they too often stand in need of it themselves. For the generality of the Sheriffs are very extravagant, to say no more, & very frequently spend the Public money not one in 10 I believe I might say in 20, can ever make up their accounts by which means the Clergy are frequently kept a long time out of their Stipends. The Assembly is to meet I believe about Octr next when our Govr will endeavour if possible to get a better vestry Law enacted than any of the former ones, that have been repealed. It would be much better for the Clergy, than it has been if their Stipends were paid out of the public treasury as in So Carolina. I have had some conversation with our governor about such a Law, who approved of it very much & told me he would write to the Bishop of London to know whether it would be agreeable to his Lordship, which if he has done I doubt not but his Lordship will immediately concur; all our former Laws have laid the Clergy under very great difficulties in receiving their Stipends the Churchwardens used to send us to the Sheriff and the Sheriff to send us back again to the Churchwardens. It is not long ago since I had the misfortune to be sent backwards and forwards & played off in this manner for 12 months successively. The case was this. An

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extravagant Sheriff had spent the Parish money as fast as he had collected it, and I was obliged to shift as well as I could, until he had received another years collection. were the Clergy to be paid out of the Public Treasury, this grievance would be entirely removed & if the Bishop of London should think proper to signify his approbation of such a Law I am sure it would be warmly recommended by our Governor & likewise backed by 1 or 2 Leading members of the assembly and very probably would be enacted; enclosed you have my Not. Parish for 6 months past. I have visited St. John's Parish as usual & baptized 26 white children & administered the sacrament of the Lord's Supper to 42 Communicants. Mr. McDowell of Brunswick lately informed me that the Society had granted my request of some books which he daily expected with some for himself, for which favour I return my sincere & hearty thanks, the receipt of them will be very agreeable to Sir

Your most obliged obdt> & humble servant
JAMES REED Misy in Craven County