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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1670/1-1675
Volume 65, Preface 29   View pdf image (33K)
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                          Introduction.                xxix

       the process of obtaining land. Thomas Kerey, who claimed three hundred
       acres for transporting himself and others into Maryland, said that he had
       proved his rights and had had a warrant for the acreage, but that no certificate
       had been filed by the county surveyor. He petitioned the Court for a certificate
       and a patent. George Johnson, the surveyor, said that he had certainly returned
       the certificate to the secretary's office, but that he had spelled Kerey's name
       as Carey. As well he might! The records were searched, and a certificate for
       three hundred acres was found under the name of “Charges Adventure” sur
       veyed for Thomas Carey. The Court was satisfied that it was only a mistake,
       and ordered that a patent for the land issue accordingly. But the Court, like
       the surveyor, spelled the grantee's name as Carey (post, p. 6o). In another case,
       the patent when it was issued said two hundred perches when the certificate
       had said four hundred. The Court looked into the matter and, having been
       convinced that it was an error of the clerk, ordered the faulty patent cancelled
       and another issued according to the certificate (ibid., p. 137). In another case
       the deputy surveyor for Anne Arundel County left one line of the land com
       pletely out of the certificate he made out for Thomas Prat, and, when he con
       fessed this, the Court granted Prat's petition and. ordered that he have a patent
       according to the corrected certificate (ibid., p. 179). In both of these cases
       the Court was exercising equity functions.
         Getting a patent from the Proprietary was sometimes neglected as long as
       the owner could. With the patent, began the quit rents due the Proprietary,
       and the grantee saw no reason to pay them until he must. Sometimes he was
       caught up with and his land taken from him. Samuel Withers of Anne Arundel
       County, gentleman, had had surveyed, for him two hundred acres of land in
       Talbot County. Yet he had not sued forth a patent within the time set in the
       Conditions of Plantation, so that “the said Two hundred acres of land is
       become Escheated to the Right honble the Lord Proprietary”, and the sheriff of
       Talbot was ordered to seize it. The record shows that Sheriff Tully did as he
       was commanded to do (ibid.. p. 96). Nor does it appear that Withers managed
       to get the land back, though he continued to live in Talbot and to hold posi
       tions of trust.
         Since all the land in the Province belonged to the Proprietary until he granted
       it to someone else, it followed that he had the right to reserve for himself
       any land in the Province not already granted. Usually he did this when he
       was not yet ready to have it opened for settlement. On April 15, 1674, for
       instance, the Captain General and Governor, Charles Calvert, delivered up the
       patents for four pieces of land, “The said severall parcells of Land being
       reserved for his Lopps use” (post, p. 271). And a year later, on May 6, 1675,
       an undetermined quantity of Anne Arundel County land adjoining that recently
       surveyed for the Governor was “reserved for his Lopps use. (ibid., p. 584).
       This was only about six months before Cecilius, first Proprietary, died, and
       his son, Governor Charles Calvert succeeded him as Proprietary.
         The great majority of the land cases considered in these proceedings, it
       scarcely needs to be said, concerned two private parties, that is, they did not arise
       out of grants, though, of course, all of them ran back to that source. Many

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Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1670/1-1675
Volume 65, Preface 29   View pdf image (33K)
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