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Land Office and Prerogative Court Records of Colonial Maryland
Volume 415, Page 28   View pdf image (33K)
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quantities intended and declared to be granted. Various attempts
were made, by proclamations, to get people to resurvey their land
and either give up or purchase their surplus. Results being neg-
ligible the Proprietor in 17S3 issued another proclamation giving to
the first discoverers the privilege of making resurveys on the lands
of others and appropriating to themselves the surplusage. The
warrants arising therefrom caused such confusion and dissatisfac-
tion however that they were soon discontinued, and further efforts on
the part of the Lord Proprietor to recover surplus lands met with
increasingly fruitless results. 40

Another widely used instrument was the caveat. This is the name
given to the formal complaint, protesting issuance of patent, which
a person lodged with the Governor or Secretary or other proper
authority in the Land Office whenever such a person discovered that
the survey or warrant of another was going to interfere with his
rights. After the complaint had been formally entered the matter
was brought to a hearing and determined on "principles of equity
and good conscience" by the chief authority of the Land Office. An
irregular use of caveats developed during the years of the Cromwell
protectorate when they were entered in the Land Office for lands
which individuals wanted to secure for themselves till some future
time when they could have it surveyed. The practice was abolished
after the Restoration of Charles II. 41

Manor leases are one other form of record to be mentioned. The
proprietary manors made up a huge amount of land and from the
very beginning were offered to be leased to tenants in small holdings.
Probably because of the abundance of cheap land that could be pri-
vately owned, these leases were not taken up to any great extent
during the seventeenth century. After the restoration of proprie-
tary rights when good vacant land was beginning to become scarce
the manor leasing flourished and became a source of considerable
income to the Proprietor. Rent on these leases in the earlier part of
the eighteenth century was almost uniformly ten shillings per hun-
dred acres, but as the manors became more developed and increased
in value rents were pushed up so that in 1755 rents in Anne Arundel
Manor were increased to five pounds sterling per hundred acres. In
addition to rents, there were often provisions in the leases requiring

40 Ibid p. 197-8.
41 Ibid, p. 215.


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Land Office and Prerogative Court Records of Colonial Maryland
Volume 415, Page 28   View pdf image (33K)
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