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Hanson's Laws of Maryland 1763-1784
Volume 203, Page 25   View pdf image (33K)
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                        18  FREDERICK Lord BALTIMORE.

issued, in the points wherein they are entitled to have such preference; he is likewise to make an abstract
of the executions and other judicial process.  In cases of difficulty he is to be assisted and directed by the 
court; and all his abstracts, made agreeably to this act, are to be as effectual as regular records.
    All causes, depending at the time of the accident, may, at the election of the plaintiffs, be determined
either in a summary way, upon the best evidence the nature of the case will admit, or in the way used in
chancery, bills being filed as in that court.  The said causes may, at the discretion of the court, be
continued from term to term until next March court, and no longer, unless evidence beyond sea may be
    But this act is not to be construed so as to cure any defect or irregularity not owing to the accident

                                            CHAP. IV.
                An ACT for the preservation of the breed of fish.
Preamble.     WHEREAS it is found by experience, that large quantities of young
fish, unfit for use, have been for many years past killed and destroyed
by wears, dams, pots, and other devices, formed and erected in the rivers
of Susquehanna and Patuxent, for the taking of fish, whereby great quantities
of fish, which were formerly to be found and taken in said rivers, and other
rivers in this province, are much diminished, to the great damage and injury of
the public; for remedy whereof,
Persons not to
build or repair
wears, &c.
for destroying

Penalty how
to be recovered
and applied.
    II.  Be it enacted, by the right honourable the lord proprietary, by and with the
advice and consent of his lordship's governor, and the upper and lower houses of assembly,
and the authority of the same,
That if any person or persons whatsoever,
from and after the end of this session of assembly, shall build, set up, repair or
maintain, or shall be aiding, assisting or abetting, in building, setting up, repairing
or maintaining, any such wears, fishing-dams, pots, or any other devices
whatsoever, for the taking of fish within the rivers aforesaid, by which the fish
may be obstructed from going up or coming down the said rivers, or shall take or
destroy any kind of fish whatsoever, in any such wear, fishing-dam, pot, or other
device aforesaid, every such person or persons, so offending, contrary to the true
intent and meaning of this act, being legally convicted thereof, by the oath of one
or more credible witness or witnesses, or by his or their confession, shall forfeit
and pay the sum of twenty pounds current money for every such offence, one
moiety of which sum, so forfeited, to be paid to the informer or prosecutor, and
the other moiety thereof to be paid to the sheriff of the county where the recovery
shall be had, to be by him paid and accounted for to the justices of the several
county courts, respectively, and by them applied towards clearing the navigation
of the said rivers; to be recovered by action of debt, bill, plaint or information,
with full costs of suit, in any county court of this province where such offender
shall be apprehended or reside.
Wears, &c.
may be destroyed.
    III.  And be it enacted, by the authority, advice and consent aforesaid, That it
shall and may be lawful to and for any person or persons whatsoever, to break,
throw down, remove and destroy, all or any such wear or wears, fishing-dam, pot,
or other device, built or set-up, or to be built or set up, in the aforesaid rivers,
for catching of fish as aforesaid.
Persons sued,
may plead the
general issue.
    IV.  And be it further enacted, by the authority, advice and consent aforesaid, 
That if any person or persons shall be sued or impleaded for breaking, throwing
down, removing or destroying, any such wear or wears, fishing-dam, pot or other
device, built or set up contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, it shall
and may be lawful for such person or persons, to plead the general issue, and give
this act and the special matter in evidence; and if upon trial, the plaintiff or
plaintiffs shall be nonsuit, or shall discontinue his or their suits, then, and in
such case, the defendant or defendants shall recover double costs.
Seans may be
drawn in Patuxent,
the 20th of
February, to
the 20th of
May, annually,
4 days in
each week.
    V.  And be it further enacted, That no person or persons whatsoever, shall,
from and after the twentieth day of February next, until the twentieth day of May
ensuing, and so yearly, and every year, during the times aforesaid, hale, draw or
lay across any sean or seans, thereby to catch any fish in the said river of Patuxent,
from Mount-Calvert to the head thereof, except on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
and Friday, in each week, during the times aforesaid and the continuance of

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Hanson's Laws of Maryland 1763-1784
Volume 203, Page 25   View pdf image (33K)
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