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of the proprietors hath not, in his absence out of Carolina, a deputy, commissioned under his hand and seal, the eldest nobleman of his court shall of course be his deputy.
- LXI. In every county there shall be a court, consisting of a sheriff and four justices of the county, for every precinct one. The sheriff shall be an inhabitant of the county, and have at least five hundred acres of freehold within the said county; and the justices shall be inhabitants, and have each of them five hundred acres a-piece freehold within the precinct for which they serve respectively. These five shall be chosen and commissioned from time to time by the palatine's court.
LXII. For any personal causes exceeding the value of two hundred pounds sterling, or in title of land, or in any criminal cause: either party, upon paying twenty pounds sterling to the lords proprietors' use, shall have liberty of appeal from the county-court unto the respective proprietor's court.
LXIII. In every precinct there shall be a court, consisting of a steward and four justices of the precinct, being inhabitants, and having three hundred acres of freehold within the said precinct, who shall judge all criminal causes, except for treason, murder, and any other offences punishable with death, and except all criminal causes of the nobility; and shall judge also all civil causes whatsoever; and in all personal actions, not exceeding fifty pounds sterling, without appeal; but where the cause shall exceed that value, or concern a title of land, and in all criminal causes, there either party, upon paying five pounds sterling to the lords proprietors' use, shall have liberty of appeal to the county-court.
LXIV. No cause shall be twice tried in any one court, upon any reason or pretence whatsoever.
LXV. For treason, murder, and all other offences punishable with death, there shall be a commission, twice a year at least, granted unto one or more members of the grand council, or colleges, who shall come as itinerant judges to the several counties, and, with the sheriff and four justices, shall hold assizes to judge all
such causes; but, upon paying of fifty pounds sterling to the lords proprietors' use, there shall be liberty of appeal to the respective proprietor's court.
LXVI. The grand jury at the several assizes shall, upon their oaths, and under their hands and seals, deliver in to the itinerant judges a presentment of such grievances, misdemeanors, exigencies, or defects, which they think necessary for the public good of the country; which presentments shall, by the itinerant judges, at the end of their circuit, be delivered in to the grand council at their next sitting. And whatsoever therein concerns the execution of laws already made, the several proprietors' courts, in the matters belonging to each of them respectively, shall take cognizance of it, and give such order about it as shall be effectual for the due execution of the laws. But whatever concerns the making of any new law shall be referred to the several respective courts to which that matter belongs, and be by them prepared and brought to the grand council.
LXVII. For terms, there shall be quarterly such a certain number of days, not exceeding one-and-twenty at any one time, as the several respective courts shall appoint. The time for the beginning of the term, in the precinct-court, shall be the first Monday in January, April, July, and October; in the county-court, the first Monday in February, May, August, and November; and in the proprietors' courts, the first Monday in March, June, September, and December.
LXVIII. In the precinct-court no man shall be a juryman under fifty acres of freehold. In the countycourt, or at the assizes, no man shall be a grand juryman under three hundred acres of freehold; and no man shall be a petty juryman under two hundred acres of freehold. In the proprietors' courts no man shall be a juryman under five hundred acres of freehold.
LXIX. Every jury shall consist of twelve men; and it shall not be necessary they should all agree, but the verdict shall be according to the consent of the majority.
LXX. It shall be a base and vile thing to plead for money or reward; nor shall any one (except he be a near kinsman, not farther off than cousin-german to the
party concerned) be permitted to plead another man's cause, till before the judge, in open court, he hath taken an oath, that he doth not plead for money or reward, nor hath, nor will receive, nor directly, nor indirectly, bargained with the party whose cause he is going to plead, for money or any other reward, for pleading his cause.
LXXI. There shall be a parliament, consisting of the proprietors, or their deputies, the landgraves and cassiques, and one freeholder out of every precinct, to be chosen by the freeholders of the said precinct respectively. They shall sit all together in one room, and have every member one vote.
LXXII. No man shall be chosen a member of parliament who hath less than five hundred acres of freehold within the precinct for which he is chosen; nor shall any have a vote in choosing the said member that hath less than fifty acres of freehold within the said precinct.
LXXIII. A new parliament shall be assembled the first Monday of the month of November every second year, and shall meet and sit in the town they last sat in, without any summons, unless, by the palatine's court, they be summoned to meet at any other place. And if there shall be any occasion of a parliament in these intervals, it shall be in the power of the palatine's court to assemble them in forty days' notice, and at such time and place as the said court shall think fit; and the palatine's court shall have power to dissolve the said parliament when they shall think fit.
LXXIV. At the opening of every parliament, the first thing that shall be done shall be the reading of these Fundamental Constitutions, which the palatine and proprietors, and the rest of the members then present, shall subscribe. Nor shall any person whatsoever sit or vote in the parliament, till he hath that session subscribed these Fundamental Constitutions, in a book kept for that purpose by the clerk of the parliament.
LXXV. In order to the due election of members for the biennial parliament, it shall be lawful for the freeholders of the respective precincts to meet the first Tuesday in September every two years, in the same
town or place that they last met in to choose parliament-men; and there choose those members that are to sit the next November following, unless the steward of the precinct shall, by sufficient notice thirty days before, appoint some other place for their meeting, in order to the election.
LXXVI. No act, or order of parliament, shall be of any force, unless it be ratified in open parliament, during the same session, by the palatine or his deputy, and three more of the lords proprietors, or their deputies; and then not to continue longer in force but until the next biennial parliament, unless, in the mean time, it be ratified under the hands and seals of the palatine himself, and three more of the lords proprietors themselves, and by their order published at the next biennial parliament.
LXXVII. Any proprietor, or his deputy, may enter his protestation against any act of the parliament, béfore the palatine or his deputy's consent be given as aforesaid; if he shall conceive the said act to be contrary to this establishment, or any of these Fundamental Constitutions of the government. And in such case, after full and free debate, the several estates shall retire into four several chambers: the palatine and proprietors into one; the landgraves into another; the cassiques into another; and those chosen by the precincts into a fourth; and if the major part of any of the four estates shall vote that the law is not agreeable to this establishment, and these Fundamental Constitutions of the government, then it shall pass no farther, but be as if it had never been proposed.
LXXVIII. The quorum of the parliament shall be one-half of those who are members, and capable of sitting in the house that present session of parliament. The quorum of each of the chambers of parliament shall be one-half of the members of that chamber.
LXXIX. To avoid multiplicity of laws, which by degrees always change the right foundations of the original government, all acts of parliament whatsoever, in whatsoever form passed or enacted, shall at the end of an hundred years after their enacting, respectively cease
and determine of themselves, and without any repeal become null and void, as if no such acts or laws had ever been made.
LXXX. Since multiplicity of comments, as well as of laws, have great inconveniencies, and serve only to obscure and perplex; all manner of comments and expositions, on any part of these Fundamental Constitutions, or any part of the common or statute law of Carolina, are absolutely prohibited.
LXXXI. There shall be a registry in every precinct, wherein shall be enrolled all deeds, leases, judgments, mortgages, and other conveyances, which may concern any of the land within the said precinct; and all such conveyances, not so entered or registered, shall not be of force against any person or party to the said contract or conveyance.
LXXXII. No man shall be register of any precinct who hath not at least three hundred acres of freehold within the said precinct.
LXXXIII. The freeholders of every precinct shall nominate three men; out of which three, the chief justice's court shall choose and commission one to be register of the said precinct, whilst he shall well behave himself.
LXXXIV. There shall be a registry in every signiory, barony, and colony, wherein shall be recorded all the births, marriages, and deaths, that shall happen within the respective signiories, baronies, and colonies.
LXXXV. No man shall be register of a colony that hath not above fifty acres of freehold within the said colony.
LXXXVI. The time of every one's age, that is born in Carolina, shall be reckoned from the day that his birth is entered in the registry, and not before.
LXXXVII. No marriage shall be lawful, whatever contract and ceremony they have used, till both the parties mutually own it before the register of the place where they were married, and he register it, with the names of the father and mother of each party.
LXXXVIII. No man shall administer to the goods, or have right to them, or enter upon the estate of any