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Land Office and Prerogative Court Records of Colonial Maryland
Volume 415, Page 38   View pdf image (33K)
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receipt of those books, and errors and defects in the books
themselves; —to enter lands not duly charged; —to demand
arrears of rent, and to consider the discovery of such arrears,
a part of their duty.

In consideration that the rents were payable half yearly by
the tenants, the receivers were required to make a payment of
one third directly after their first receipts, and to make before
the close of the year a full and complete settlement with the
rent roll keeper; —immediately after such settlement, to pro-
duce to the receiver general the debt books, examined by the
keeper, together with the settled account, signed, and pay the
remaining two thirds of the collections, ten per cent being
allowed for their services; —they were to have free access to all
offices, with liberty to take copies or extracts without fee,
unless the attestation of the officer was required, and were to
transfer such copies to their successors: in case of disputes
with the tenants, they were to apply to the attorney general or
his deputies for advice and assistance: they were in all things
to observe the instructions of the board of revenue, and to
return all books and papers in their charge to that board when
called for. 60

It is clear that the Board of Revenue exercised a most effective con-
trol over the collection and book-keeping of the Proprietor's quit
rents. Such then, was the final development in the keeping of rent
rolls and debt books, for the Board of Revenue continued to operate
till the Revolution.

The rent rolls in the present Land Office appear to be a complete,
continuous series from 1639 to 1776 and are frequently so listed, but
this is not exactly the case. The first book of the series—Liber O—
contains the rent rolls of St Mary's, Charles, Calvert and Kent
counties, four volumes, each with individual paging bound together
into one single re-paginated volume. Entries go up to but not
beyond 1659 and at the end of the Charles and Kent County rent
rolls is found the notation "Extrahitur ex Record" with the signa-
ture "Phillip Calvert Sec. " Calvert was Secretary between 1656
and 1660 so it seems permissible to assign 1659 as the definite date
of Liber 0. This book is unique in the series, having much more
detailed entries and a different form from all the other volumes in
addition to a definite date of completion, 1659. It is definitely an
authentic, contemporary rent roll whereas it is difficult to date any
of the other rent rolls until much later. Its uniqueness in this series

60 Arch. Md., XXXII, 391 et seq.; Kilty, pp. 258-260.


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Land Office and Prerogative Court Records of Colonial Maryland
Volume 415, Page 38   View pdf image (33K)
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