Carolina Under the Lords Proprietors' Rule

19th House of Burgesses - 1714-1722

Governor Charles Eden presented his commission and instructions to the Executive Council on May 28, 1714 and took the oaths of office as the next governor of North Carolina that same day.

During Governor Eden's administration the General Assembly, which included the Upper House (Governor and Executive Council) and the Lower House (House of Burgesses), was destined to instigate many legislative measures for the economic and political progress of the province. In 1715, it was during the meeting of the General Assembly that the first direct tax was levied on the inhabitants of North Carolina, at least so far as any record in existence today shows. This took the dual form of a poll tax and a land tax.

This same 1715 General Assembly definitely established the Church of England (Anglican) in North Carolina. This was, no doubt, brought about to a great extent by the influence of Governor Charles Eden, who was interested in aiding the Church of England in its early struggle for survival. This assembly created nine Parishes of the Church of England, the first in North Carolina.

During Governor Eden's administration, the General Assembly also passed what were probably the first "Blue Laws" made in the state. The lawmakers of 1715 hoped "to prevent the grievous sins of cursing and swearing, to check drunkeness, to enforce Sunday observance and in other ways improve public morality."

The 1715 General Assembly is recorded to have met first on November 17, 1715, at the home of Capt. Richard Sanderson in Little River, and it continued via several temporary adjournments until January 19, 1715/16.

To Governor Eden fell the problem of the aftermath of the Tuscarora War of 1711-1712. A number of the Tuscarora tribes had begun migrating to New York to join the Iroquoian group. Chief Thomas Blount and his tribe, however, who proved friendly to the colonists during the conflict, remained in Carolina. At first the government set up a reservation for them between the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. In 1717, at a meeting of the General Assembly under Governor Charles Eden at the town of Queen Anne's Creek (later named Edenton), Chief Thomas Blount and his followers were given a large tract of land to be held forever, north of the Marrotock (Roanoke) River, in present Bertie County. This was the locality known today as "Indian Woods."

On August 1, 1716, the Lords Proprietors sent a letter to Governor Charles Eden, his Executive Council, and the General Assembly. Among other items discussed, the key item is that the Lords Proprietors asserted that they want no more land sold, and that Bath Town was approved to be a Port Town. Click Here to read that letter.

On August 23, 1716, Governor Charles Eden, with approval of his Executive Council, dissolved the sitting General Assembly.

On September 12, 1717, Governor Charles Eden and his Executive Council issued a proclamation for the upcoming General Assembly to meet at the home of Col. John Hecklefield in Little River.

On July 31, 1718, Governor Charles Eden, with approval of his Executive Council, ordered that the General Assembly shall remain adjourned until November 2nd.

On November 11, 1718, Governor Charles Eden, with approval of his Executive Council, issued a Writ for the next General Assembly to meet next March.

On October 18, 1721, Governor Charles Eden, with approval of his Executive Council, ordered the General Assembly to be prorogued until next April.

Governor Charles Eden died on March 26, 1722. Thomas Pollock was once again elected President of the Executive Council to lead the interim government. President Pollock died on August 30, 1722.

Although there are many records from the Executive Council under Governor Charles Eden and President Thomas Pollock available, this Author has found none from the House of Burgesses to date. There are later references back to some of the products created by the General Assembly during Governor Eden's administration, such as considerable dialogue about the 1715 Act establishing the Church of England in North Carolina, and the Lords Proprietors addressing several Acts for them to review and approve.

Precinct

Delegate

Beaufort Precinct

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Chowan Precinct

Edward Moseley*

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Craven Precinct

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Currituck Precinct

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Hyde Precinct

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Pasquotank Precinct

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Perquimans Precinct

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*Edward Moseley was elected as Speaker of the House in 1715. In 1718, he and Maurice Moore were accused of high crimes. In October of 1719, the General Court sentenced Edward Moseley to pay a fine of £100, that he could not hold office for three years, and should give a bond of £200 for good behavior for a year and a day. He was found guilty of speaking ill words. Several sources assert that he retained his title of Speaker of the House all during this time and on into 1723.
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