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Volume 662, Page 81   View pdf image (33K)
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patentee. Then in December each of these officers issued an
account of his tobacco fees to the sheriff, who collected them at
a commission in the following summer. A lease of land within
any proprietary manor or reserve might be had from the local
steward. 20

At the head of the collecting mechanism stood the Rent Roll
Keeper, who kept a roll of all free-holds, with the quit-rents
payable on each, and issued a debt book annually to the collector,
farmer, or receiver of each county, These collected the quit-rents
and paid them to the Agent. In each county the Agent designated
some person, usually the county clerk, to collect alienation fines
at a commission. These were payable at or before the entering
of a deed, the fact of payment being recorded on the original
transfer and in the county land record. 21 Stewards collected and
paid in the rents on lease-holds.


Throughout the early proprietary period the Secretary kept the
land records. His duties here were extended and defined by that
commission of May 5, 1684, which, as we have seen, joined this
officer, the Agent, and one other into a Land Council. 22 Mean-
time a separate Land Office, under the Secretary, had been estab-
lished by the appointment, on April 19, 1680, of John Llewellin
as its Clerk and Register. 23

This office, closed at the beginning of revolutionary troubles,
April 18, 1689, was not reopened until May 23, 1694, when the
dispute between royal and proprietary officers over their land
jurisdiction, was nearing a settlement. 24 Soon thereafter, by an
instruction of December 30, 1695, Lord Baltimore settled on his
Receiver General, Colonel Darnall, those powers and duties which
had belonged to the Land Council. 25

Meantime the new Secretary under the crown, Sir Thomas

20 See Gov. Sharpe's exposition of the land system in a letter to Lord Baltimore,
May 23, 1760 (Archives, IX, 403-15).

21 On alienation fines see the instructions of the Board of Revenue to Agent
Bennet Allen, June 30, 1768 (Ibid., XXXII, 406).

22 Kilty, op, cit., 111-17.

23 Council Book for Land, folio 24 (Land Office); Provincial Court Record,
liber WRC, No. 1, folio 172 (Land Office).

24 McMahon, op. cit., 247, 250.

25 Provincial Court Record, liber WRC, No. 1, folio 761 (Land Office).


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