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North Carolina Higher Court Minutes
Source: NC Higher Court Minutes; Vol. 4. (1702-1708)
Abstracted by Wm. S. Price from North Carolina Colonial Records (Second Series)


1701 - To the honorable Court of chancery Apointed for the County of Albymarle In the Province of north Carrlina.

Your honors humble Orator John BENNET humbly Sheweth that upon the 13th day of July In the yeare of our lord 1699 your honors humble orator Sold unto Bengiman TULLE of the Precinck of Corrowtuck A Servant Girle named Margret BARRIT for eight years And foure month and the Saide TULLE having kept the Said Servant Girle withoute any molestation from mee your honnors humble petitioner or any belonging to mee (illegible) on the 27th day of Aprill Anno 1701 the Saide TULLE Sent a noate to mee your honnors humble petitioner to Acquaint Your honnors that the Saide Servant Girle did Intend to Petition for her freedom which I your honnors humble petitioner knew by law Itt wass Impossible to bee obtained for att The expiration of the Saide Tearme afore Saide the Saide TULLE is obliged To deliver the Saide Servant Girle to your honnors humble Orator or to the heires of your honnors humble Orator to Serve the Remaining Part of her Time butt the Saide Servant Girle Presenting her Petition to the court held for the precinck of Corrowtuck the 28 and 29 dayes of Aprill Anno 1701 wherein which Saide Petition Itt wass falsely Aserted that the Saide Servant Girle wass Transported from Europe to Corrowtuck when ass the Truth is the Saide Servant Girle wass transported from Ireland Into Stafford county In Virginia and there Sold by the mate of the vessel unto Mr. William RICHARDSON to Serve the Saide RICHARDSON or his assines According to the Judgment of Court and accordingly was Ajudged at Princes Ann Court but the aforesaide Court of Corrowtuck not Considdering that According to law your honnors humble orator ought to have bene Summoned to Appeare the next ensuing court to have made Appeare his Titile to the afore Saide Servant Girle did contrary to the Priviledg of a freeborne Subject of England Grant and Order upon the 29th of Aprill Anno 1701 that the Saide Servant Girle Should bee free from her master Bengiman TULLE and that the Saide TULLE Should pay unto the said Servant Girle the useall quantitiy of Corne and Clothers upon the 27th day of May Anno 1701 The afore Saide Bengiman TULLE Sent a noate unto your honnors humble Petitioner to demand a Servant or mone to which your honnors humble Orator Sent an Answer which had bene Sufficient to have Prevented any furder Truble if the Saide TULLE Could butt have understood Common Sence butt not withstanding upon the last day of may 1701 the deputy marshall for the Precinck of Corrowtuck Came to your honnors humble Orator house and Clapped your honnors humble Orator on the Shoulder and Told your honnors humble Orator that hee did arrest your honnors humble Petitioner whereuppon your honnors humble Petitioner did desire of the afore Saide marshall to Shew unto your honnnors humble Petitioner the writt by vertue of which hee ought to bee empowered butt the Saide marshall told your honnors  humble Petitioner that a Sworne officer need not Shew his writt butt your honnors humble Petitioner replied unto the Saide marshall that hee ought to Shew your honnors humble Petitioner the writt or otherwise your honnors humble Petitioner told the Said marshall hee Should Take itt for no arrest whereupon Your honors humble Petitoner drew a Complaint against the Saide marshall but by reason of Siknes was Prevented of Going to the next Court held for the Precinck of Corrowtuck whereupon the afore Said marshall affirmed to the Court that hee had arrested your honnors humble Petitioner upon which Saide Informemation the court Granted an order to the deputy marshall to take the boddy of your honnors humble Petitioner into his Costody to See him att the next Court or otherwise to Pay unto Bengiman TULLE Seaventene pound and not one Peny due hard measure and Please your honnors your honnors humble Petitioner being Informed by Sum of his neabours of the afore Said Illegal proceedings did Promise a Coppy of the order of Court which when your honnors humble Petitioner had Considdered att the orphans Court next ensuing your honnors humble Petitioner did write unto the Court to acquaint theire worships how unconsadart and Repugnant to law theire late order Granted to the marshall was to take the boddy of your honnors humble into his Costody thinking theay would Considder and Countermand not withstanding upon the 22d of October 1701 the depute marshall Came and Served the order afore Saide upon your honors humble petitioner whereupon your honnors humble petitioner being a very aileing man to Lye imprison would bee very hard your honnors humble Petitioner wass forced to procure a keeper and the Saide keeper wass bound In a bond of an hundred Pounds Pennalty that your honnors humble Petitioner did make his personal appearenace according ass the afore Saide order did appoint And upon the 28th day of October Anno 1701 the Court for the Precinck of Corrowtuck being then holden your honors humble Petitioner being Called by the Court to Answar to a Pretended Action of Bengeman TULLY of the afore Saide Precinck whereupon your honnors humble Petitioner Presented a complaint to the court of A Presumtious misdemenour offered by the deputy marshal afore Saide unto your honnors humble Petitioner Pretending to arrest your honnors humble Petitioner butt had no writt therefore no Power neither Any declareation delivered upon which your honnors humble petitioner Declared unto the worshipful Court that there was no way to Injone your honnors humble petitioner by law to Jone Issue butt iff theay Could Presribe any your honnors humble Petitioner wass Ready to Obey Immediately after your honnors humble Petitioner was departed the Rome the Court except Mr. Edward TAYLOR did Consult to Grant an Order against your honnors humble Petitioner which when your honors humble Petitioner understood your honnors humble Peitioner told the court Rather then theay Should Grant an Order against your honnors humble Petitioner would Jone Issue That So your honnors humble Petitioner might have the Priviledg to Appeale to your honnors butt the jury wass epanneled and your honnors humble Petitioner declared unto them that your Said honnors humble petitioner was never arrested in the afore Saide Pretended Action nor no declaration delivered nor no Petition proved nor ever Could bee proved your honnors humble Petitioner Intending theire by to make the Jury Senceable that theire wass no Occasion for theire Going oute upon the afore Said pretended Action ass Indeede the foreman Thomas BRUNT Replyed to your honnors humble Petitioner then Saide the afore Saide BRUNT theire is no Occasion for uss to Go oute not withstanding the afore Saide Jury went oute and brought A verdict against your honnors humble petitioner for which Saide Illegall Proceedings your honnors humble petitioner hath brought his petition of Complaint and Appealed to your honnors humblely Craveing of your honnors To Considder that first upon the aforesaid Servant Girles Petition the aforesaide Court of Corrowtuck Ground theire Order upon the Severall assertions In the Saide petition and other Informations and no Person Appeareing or making any Aligation to the Contrary ass to the Assertions theay are false and the Informations of no validity and for no Person Appeareing to defend and make theire Title appeare to the Saide Servant Girle how Could Itt be expected when never theireunto Required ass the Law Injoines In Such Cases for by the Act made in the Reigne of King Charles the first itt Saith Itt is asserted and Accorded for the Good Government of the commons that no man bee putt to Answer without Presentment before Justises or matter of Record or by due Process and writt Originall according to the old law of the land and iff any thing bee hence forth done to the Contrary Itt Shall bee voide In the law and holden for error butt In this afore Saide Order theire wass no due Process therefore voide In the law and to bee holden for error truly by your honnors humble complainant humbly prayeth your honnors to Considder of the deputy marshalls Pretending to Arest yur honnors Humble petitioner and Refused to Shew any writ when theireunto Required by your honnors humble Petitioner Although the law Saith positively that no freeman of Ingland ought to bee Imprissoned nor otherwise Restrained withoute Cause Shewen for which by law hee ought to bee So Imprissoned butt your honnors humble Petitioner had no Cause Shewen butt only the deputy marshalls Say So therefore a breach of the Law and very Pregidisiall to your honnors humble complainant.

3ly your honnors humble Complainenant humble Prayeth your honnors to Considder the Illegallity of the afore Cited order Granted by the afore Saide Court to the deputy marshall to Take the boddy of your honnors humble Complainenant Into his Costody or otherwise for Your honnors humble Complaineant to pay unto the afore Saide Bengiman TULLE Seaventeene Pound ass for the Sum of mone mentioned your honor humble Complaineant did not nor doeth not Give the Saide TULLE one Pene and ass for your honnors humble Complaineant to bee Committed to prison if your honnors humble Complaineant had bene Really arrested the afore Saide Could by law have only Granted an Attachment to the deputy marshall against your honnors humble Complaineant estate therefore itt must nesesarily bee Concluded to bee false Imprisoment whereupon your honnors humble Complaineant doeth humbly pray your honnors to Grant Ann order for making voide and erroneous the aforesaide order Granted by the afore Saide Court of Corrowtuck to free the aforesaid Servant Girle according as is mentioned In the afore Cited act Parliament and lastly your honnors humble Complaineant humbly prayth your honnors to Command a discharge from Bengiman TULLE for A bill of Seaventene Pound with Cost which John HODGSON wass forced to Give the Saide TULLE to keepe the Boddy of your honnors humble Complaineant from prison with Such Reasonable Sattisfaction ass your honnors Shall find to bee meete and Convenient for So Greate Truble and Charge Causelesly Sustained with Cost of all the courts and yur honnors humble Complaineant ass In duty Bound Shall ever Pray for your honnors Temporall and etternall felisity.

Permission kindly given by Donna E. Kelly, Administrator Historical Publications Section N.C. Office of Archives and History Department of Cultural Resources, Raleigh, NC.  Be sure to visit their publications site at:  These records were submitted by Judy BrickhouseNo part of these records may be used for any commercial purposes. However, please feel free to copy any of this material for your own personal use and family research.




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2007Kay Midgett Sheppard