contained Transcripts of such only as then remained in Force, of which
we have Instances n the Years 1676, 1692, 1699, and 1704. So that
the older Copies or Transcripts being little regarded, as of no farther
Use, have been neglected or suffered to perish or run to Decay; till in the
Year 1716 (the first Year of his Lordship's being reinstated in the Government)
effectual Care was taken to secure what then remained, together with
all future Records by an Act appointing certain Commissioners to inspect
the Condition of the Public Records., and to employ the necessary Clerks
and Workmen for transcribing, binding and repairing the remaining Books,
and for obliging the several officers to keep the same in good Order, &c.
which was farther inforced and secured by sundry subsequent Acts. From
which Neglects, Copies of many old Acts have been intirely lost, nor should
we have the least Knowledge of their Existence, but from subsequent continuing
or repealing Acts, or the imperfect Remains of Proceedings in Assembly;
from which I have collected their Titles, and reduced them to their
proper Places: Which is the Reason of so many Titles, in those dark Periods,
standing without Reference to any Record wherein they may be found.
FROM the foregoing short View of the several Revolutions of Government
in this Province, and the several Periods in which they happened, we may
easily Account for the Acrimony of Stile with which the Right Honble Lords
and Proprietaries have been treated in the Preambles to some particular Acts;
the usual Effect of national Divisions, and contest of Parties struggling for
Superiority. In all which Cafes, tho' for wife and political Motives, the
powers of Government were withdrawn, yet the strictest Regard was always
had to the Real Estates and Properties of their Lordships, which were, in
more Instances than one, attacked with the intemperate Zeal of Party Resentment:
The Proprietaries having never forfeited those private Rights by
any Act of Disloyalty, or illegal Resistance to the established Power.
As it is evident this Collection could never have appeared, in its present
Form, without a diligent and accurate Inspection of the Records; so the
Editor thinks it his especial Duty to return his thanks to his Excellency
HORATIO SHARPE, Esq; our worthy Governor, who, upon the first Application,
granted him free Recourse to the Council and Provincial Records,
which was afterwards confirmed by the Right Honble the present Proprietor,
as well as to the several Gentlemen in Office, who kindly afforded him their
Assistance, not only in permitting him a free Access to their respective Offices,
but also tin pointing out to him the several Books, &c. in which he was most
likely to meet with the information he wanted.
IN a particular Manner, he requests the following Gentlemen, to accept of
his sincere Acknowledgement for their generous Contributions and Subscriptions
towards carrying on this useful Design, without which it never could
have suited the Editor's circumstances to introduce it to Public View, Viz.
C O N T R I B U T O R,
The Rt Honble FREDERICK, Ld Baltimore, £. 100 Sterling.
S U B S C R I B E R S,
His Excellency HORATIO SHARPE, Esq; Governor, £. 100 Currency.