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His Lordship's Patronage Offices of Profit in Colonial Maryland by Donnell M. Owings
Volume 662, Page 65   View pdf image
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Eight Naval Officers were appointed under the new state govern-
ment in April, 1777. 19

The functions of a province Naval Officer, like those of a
Treasurer, were twofold. He entered and cleared all vessels
within his district; and he collected the provincial and, after
1716/7, the proprietary duties. At all times he collected the duties
for support of government and for the Governor's support, which
were royal under the crown and proprietary after His Lordship's
restoration. He paid the proceeds of provincial duties to the
Treasurer of his shore. All other duties collectable by him were
paid to Baltimore's Agent and Receiver General or, under royal
administration, to the crown Receiver. 20

By an act of June, 1692, the Assembly had given the provincial
Naval Officers forty shillings for entering or clearing any ship
other than the sloops trading to and from Virginia. On these the
fee was to be thirty shillings. A more detailed schedule, enacted
in October, 1694, provided identical fees for province Naval
Officers and crown Collectors. These persisted to the end of
colonial times. 21 They were payable in money, but as the law
had failed to specify sterling, Naval Officers were obliged, soon
after 1743, to accept the local currency, circulating at about half
the value of sterling. 22

Province Naval Officers had also a commission on the duties
they collected. This amounted to eight percent on those pro-
list of 1754 does not mention that of Cecil County; and Gov. Sharpe's account
of the Maryland offices, in 1761, speaks of only five Naval Offices. On these
lists see note 25 below.

19 These new appointees, in the numerical order of their districts, were:
Meverel Lock, George Biscoe, John Davidson, Thomas Sellers, Robert Dennis,
Zachariah Campbell, Jeremiah Banning, and William Geddes.

2 By an act of Parliament " f or Preventing Frauds and Regulating Abuses in
the Plantation Trade " (7 and 8 William III, 1696) a Naval Officer was required
to give security to the Commissioners of the Customs in London (Archives, XXIII,
70, 116). He had also to give bond to the Governor in the penal sum of £ 500
or £ 1000 sterling, depending on the value of his office, for due collection of the
provincial duties. After Henry Darnall's dismissal, as Naval Officer of Patuxent,
in 1761, Baltimore ordered this provincial office bond raised to £ 1500 or £ 2000
and required a separate bond to himself for the collection and payment of pro-
prietary duties (Calvert Paper No. 654, Md. Historical Society). Like customs
officers, Naval Officers were expected to abstain from trade, but in point of fact
they seldom did so. See the case of Philip Lee, Naval Officer of North Potomac,
in June, 1741 (Archives, XXVIII, 242).

21A parliamentary act of 10 George III, c. 37 (1770) removed Naval Officers'
fees from the control of colonial assemblies but did not alter them.

22 Archives, XL, 367; XLII, 662, 670; Portfolio No. 3, folder 30, Hall of


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His Lordship's Patronage Offices of Profit in Colonial Maryland by Donnell M. Owings
Volume 662, Page 65   View pdf image
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