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Petition From Philemon Hawkins Concerning Justices in Bute County

Philemon Hawkins, 1717-1801
December 19, 1771

To his Excellency Josiah Martin Esqr Captain General, Governor & Commander in Chief in and over the Province of North Carolina-

The Petition of Philemon Hawkins sheweth That Thomas Bell, and Henry Hill Esqs are not proper and fit persons to be Honoured with the Comission of Justices of the Peace in the county of Bute or Elsewhere, for that the said William Tabb, Thomas Bell, and Henry Hill are Extremely Ignorant of the principles of common Justice, or Guilty of Gross partiallity and want of rectitude in many of their proceedings, particularly in the Cases contained in the paper hereunto annexed, and many more which your petitioner when called upon will prove to the entire satisfaction of your Excellency and the members of his Majesty's Honorable Council

Therefore your petitioner most humbly prays that the Conduct of the Said Justices may be Examined and such measures taken thereon as may to you seem most Just and your petitioner as in duty shall ever pray.

Newbern Decr 19th 1771

Mr Thomas Bell gave Judgement for forty shillings and cost against Thomas Jones at the Instance of Lodowice Alford where there was not the Least collour of Justice or pretention to a Legal Demand.

Mr William Tabb in a case where one Thomas Smith was Plaintiff against one Thomas Byrd, notwithstandg the fact on which the Complaint was founded appeared to be fully proved, gave Judgement that the Plantiff should pay Costs, and on the plantiffs refusing to Comply altered his Judgement, and made an order that a third person should pay such Cost.

In a Case where one Francis Mabry was plantiff against one Byreson, Mr Tabb would not admit testimonies who were offered to prove the Justice of the Plantiffs Demand, and gave Judgement against him, which Drove the Plantiff to the necessity of appealing to Court or to loos his Debt, he Choosed the Later and succeeded

Mr Tabb Issued a Warrant in the name of one Anne Jones against William Green, and Caused Evidences to be summoned, and the Warrant Served without her Consent or Knowledge

Mr Tabb used his utmost Influence to procure one Francis Mabry to sware falsly in a Case where the said Tabb was Interested
In a Case where one Thomas Jackson was Plantiff against William Tabb Mr Henry Hill gave Judgement in favour of his Brother Justice, alltho the Demand was Just and fully proved by Indifferent witnesses
Mr Thomas Bell and Henry Hill give Judgement against one Benjeman Hill at the suit of -- and on Hill's offering to appeal from their Judgement, they not Willing that their doings should be made publick altered the Judgement in Hill's Favour,
Henry Hill frequently Issues Warrants in Cases of slander and in particular one Joseph Martin was on his said Hill's Warrant brought before Mr Bell for speaking Defamatory words of one Tyrrel, and on Martins not being able to Justify to Mr Bells Satisfaction he was Committed by him to prison These and Numberless other similar Cases of Ignorant, arbitrary, and partial Conduct, Can be made appear by Incontestable proofs
Newbern Decr 19th 1771

(from the Colonial and State Records of North Carolina, Vol. 9, Pgs. 70-71)



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