A Copy of this Charter is in M.r Pratt's hands with the rest of
Lord Baltimore's Papers.
The Legislature of this Province consists of 3. Estates Viz.t The
Governor, And Upper House of Assembly, & a Lower House of
Assembly To which may be added a 4.th Estate in the Person of the
Lord Prop.ry to whom all the Laws are from time to time trans-
mitted after they have rcccd the Gov.rs Assent for his Lordship to
approve or disapprove as he shall think fit & his Lordships at Liberty
if he thinks fit to Signify his Dissent to any Law or Right which
has been frequently Exercised & the Proposed Law thereupon Laid
The Affairs of this Province are at present during the minority
of the Lord Prop.ry transacted under the care & direction of the
Speaker & M.r Sharpe his Lordships Guardians to whom several Acts
of Assembly lately passed in the Province have been transmitted for
the Lord Prop.rys Assent or Dissent & amongst others the 3. Acts
of Assembly herewith left under, the following Titles Viz.t
1.st....." An Act to make the Testimony of Convicted Persons
" Legal ag.f Convicted Persons."
2.d......." An Act for the more Effectual Punishm.t of Negroes
" & other Slaves & for taking away the benefit of Clergy
" from certain Offenders; And a Supplementary Act to
" an Act Entitled "An Act to prevent the tumultuous
" Meeting & other Irregularitys of Negroes & other Slaves
" & directing the manner of Trying Slaves."
3.d...."An Act to aid the Title of Purchasers of Lots in
" Princess Anne Town in Somerset County."
As some doubts have arisen upon the Perusal of these 3. Acts
with respect to the Propriety or Legality of some of the Provisions
contained in each Act The Guard.ns are desirous of your thoughts
upon them Whether the s.d Acts or any & which of them are proper
to receive the Lord Prop.rys Assent or Dissent & for what Reasons.
1.st Act........With respect to the 1.st Act The Doubt extends to
the whole Provision of the Bill which is fully described & Explained
in the Title Viz.t " The making the Testimony of Convicted Per-
sons Legal ag.t Convicted Persons."
The Charter requires the Laws of this Country not to Contravene
but to preserve as near a Conformity as may be to the Laws &
Customs of England.
Now by the Laws & Customs of England It is apprehended That
no Convict/who whilst his Sentence remains in force is Considered
as Dead in Law & the Commutation of that Sentence for transpor-
tation is only a Conditional Pardon not compleat till the Cond.n be
performed/can be reced to give his Testimony in any matter Civil