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Volume 662, Page 89   View pdf image (33K)
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the same in his rent roll, and to issue every year a debt book to
the farmer or receiver of each county. 65 This book contained the
name of each land holder, listed the parcels he owned, and
showed the amount of his quit-rent. When signed by the Keeper
it was good evidence in court should the farmer or receiver have
to distrain for the rent. 66

The first two such Keepers, James Carroll and Richard Bennett
III, who acted for both shores, seem to have been paid in an
irregular manner. Carroll had a salary of 10, 000 pounds of
tobacco a year, about £ 40 sterling, and received at one time 4200
acres of land, at another 5800 acres. 67

On resumption of quit-rents Bennett's authority was confined
to the Eastern Shore and Benjamin Tasker, Sr., soon after June
18, 1733, was appointed to the Western Shore. Thereafter both
officers received, in lieu of any salary or fees, five percent of the
net amounts paid the Agent by the farmers and receivers of each
shore. 68 Under a supply act of May, 1756, they had further two
and a half percent of the land tax now levied, which, like the quit-
rents, was to be collected by the farmers. Although the act expired
in November, 1763, collection of arrears was continued to the
following Michaelmas.

The Rent Roll Keeper's income rose as the taking up of vacant
land, and better means of collection, augmented the produce of
quit-rents. As with the Surveyorships, the western office was
increasingly the more valuable after 1733. The incomes in ster-
ling, for the Western and Eastern Keeperships respectively, were
£135. 15. 5 and £125. 6. 7 in 1751, £142. 10. 0 and £ 108. 2. 10 in
1752. 69 By 1774 the total revenue from quit-rents had risen more

65 Cf. Lord Baltimore's additional instructions to Gov. Horatio Sharpe, March 30,
1753 (Portfolio No. 2, folder 4(1), par. 77, Md. Hall of Records).

66 In 1754 Col. Edward Tilghman, the Eastern Shore Rent Roll Keeper, forgot
to sign the debt books so that farmers and receivers were unable to distrain; cf.
Cecilius Calvert to Horatio Sharpe, May 13, 1755, and Horatio Sharpe to Cecilius
Calvert, May. 14, 1758 (Archives, VI, 206; IX, 179). The Maryland Land
Office has a fine collection of these rent rolls and debt books. There are also
rent rolls for each county and a few debt books in the Historical Society's library.

67 Kilty, op. cit., 129, 229. About 1730 Carroll's executors presented an account
for 72, 000 pounds of tobacco, which Baltimore refused to pay (Archives, XXXVII,

68 Cf. Lord Baltimore's instructions to Gov. Samuel Ogle, June 18, 1733;
Baltimore's instructions to Agent Benjamin Tasker, Aug. 2, 1735; and Board of
Revenue's instructions to Agent Bennet Allen, June 30. 1768 (Ibid, XXVIII, 67;
XXXIX, 511; XXXII, 404).

69 Cecilius Calvert to Horatio Sharpe, Dec. 12, 1754, and May 20, 1755
XXXI, 474, 480).


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