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Proceedings of the General Assembly held for the Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, the 30th day of April, 1678.

Mr. Benedict Arnold, Governor.

Major John Cranston, Deputy Governor.


Mr. James Barker,
Capt'n Peleg Sanford,
Mr. Joseph Clarke,
Mr. John Whipple, Jun'r,
Mr. Stephen Arnold,

Mr. Thomas Olney, Jun'r,
Capt'n Samuel Wilbore,
Capt'n John Albro,
Capt'n John Greene,
Mr. Samuel Gorton,


For Newport.
Mr. Caleb Carr,
Mr. Thomas Ward,
Mr. Edward Richmond,
Mr. John Greene,
Mr. James Barker, Jun'r,
Mr. John Rogers,

For Providence.
Mr. Edward Enman,
Mr. Samuel Bennitt,
Mr. Thomas Arnold,
William Hawkins, Jun'r.

For Portsmouth.
Mr. John Sanford,
Mr. Hugh Parsons,

Lieut. William Correy,
Mr. William Wilbore.

For Warwick.
Mr. Walter Todd,
Mr. Thomas Greene,
Mr. Elza Collins,
Mr. John Carder.

For New Shoreham.
Capt'n John Sands.

For East Greenwich. Seargent Clement Weaver, Sergeant Thomas Dungin.

The Deputy Governor chosen Moderator.

John Sanford chosen Clerke.

Voted, John Remington, Jun'r, Thomas Coddington, Richard Barnes, Josias Arnold, Henry Timberlake, and Philip Long, all freemen of the towne of Newport, are admitted freemen of this Collony.

Voted, William Coggeshall, Joseph Nicolson, Sen'r, Joshua Coggeshall, Jun'r, Benjamin Hall, Thomas Cornell, Robert Havens, William Wilbore, Jun'r, John Cooke, son of Thomas Cooke, Stephen Brayton, Gyles Slocum, Jun'r, and Thomas Brigs, freemen of the towne of Portsmouth, are admitted freemen of this Collony.

Voted, Malachi Roades, Thomas Hopkins, Joseph Stafford, Peter Green, Jonathan Knight, John Houldon, James Carder, Henry Knowles, and Hugh Stone, all freemen of the towne of Warwick, are admitted freemen of this Collony.

Voted, This assembly is dissolved.

At the Generally Assembly and Election held for the Collony at Newport, the 1st of May, 1678.

The above named Magistrates and Deputyes, members of this Assembly.

Voted, That Mr. Samuel Gorton and Mr. Caleb Carr are appointed to receive the votes from each person, and if any votes be brought double, they may open them, and soe deliver but one into the hat from each man.

Voted, Capt'n Peleg Sanford and Mr. Stephen Arnold are appointed to open the proxies.

Voted, John Sanford and Lieut. Edward Richmond are appointed to write the names of those that vote.

By the Election, was chosen the following, who were severally engaged.


Mr. Benedict Arnold, Sen'r. Major John Cranston.


Mr. James Barker, John Sanford.
Capt'n Peleg Sanford, General Sergeant.

Mr. Joseph Clarke, Thomas Fry.
Mr. Stephen Arnold, General Treasurer.

Mr. Thomas Olney, Jun'r, Capt'n Peleg Sanford.
Mr. John Whipple, Jun'r, General Attorney.

Cape n Samuel Wilbore, Lieut, Edward Richmond.
Capt'n John Albro, Solicitor.

Mr. Samuel Gorton, Mr. Edmund Calverlye.
Mr. Thomas Greene. Major.

Deputy Governor Cranston.

Voted, That whereas Mr. Benedict Arnold, Sen'r, is by free vote of the people chosen Governor, and he being soe ill that he cannot come to the Assembly, the Deputy Governor, with Mr. James Barker and Capt'n Peleg Sanford, Assistants, and the Recorder, are empowered to goe to him and receive the engagement from the said new elected Governor.

Voted, Whereas in the late unhappy war with the Indians in the year 1676, there appearing great a necessity of calling a Court Martiall in Newport, in his Majesties Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, the 23d of August, for the then present tryall of a certain number of rebellious and trayterous Indians, prisoners, then in safe custody of prison, which with great care and prudence of his Majesties Justices of this Collony, together with the commissioned officers of the several traine bands, was held in Newport, aforesaid, a Court Martiall for the tryall of the said Indian rebells, and such of them as were found guilty qf such crimes as deserved death were by order of the said Court executed. And whereas, all the writ ings and papers that doe concerne the said Court Martiall, are in the custody of Lieut. Edward Richmond, who was Clerke of the said Court, should have been delivered unto the then Secretary, Mr. Richard Bailey, to record in the Booke of the Generall Councill, which hath not been done, and the said Mr. Richard Bailey being deceased: This Assembly doe order, that the said papers shall be delivered unto the Generall Recorder, to be recorded in the Booke of the Generall Court of Tryalls. And alsoe the Recorder shall draw out and give unto Major John Cranston, who was president of the said Court Martiall, copys of all the said Court's proceeds, and the charge thereof to be borne by the Collony; and the said copy to be delivered within tenn days after the publication of these orders. Alsoe, that the proceeds of the Court Martiall held the 21st of June, 1677, shall, after the recording of the forementioned acts, be recorded by the Recorder in the said Booke of Tryalls, on publick charge.

Voted, Whereas, his Majestie in his most gracious Pattent hath bountifully been pleased to declare, order and command, that the Generall meetings or Assembly of this Collony shall consist of the Governor, or Deputy Governor, and six of the Assistants, at least to be seven, with soe many of the freemen which shall be elected by the freemen of the respective townes, according to the Charter, and then present at such Assembly. And not in the least doubtinge his Royall Majesty's reall meaninge and intent therein was, and still is according unto his express words of his Pattent: It is therefore ordered by this Court and the authority thereof, That the Generall Assembly of this Collony shall be the Governor, or in his absence the Deputy Governor, with six of the Assistants, and soe many of the freemen as shall be elected in each respective towne, according to the Charter, or the major part of them then present, who shall have full power and authority to make, constitute and enact such laws, orders and ordanences as to them shall be duly judged to bee for the good and weall of this said Collony and the inhabitants therein, according to the Charter; and to lay such mulcts and rates upon the inhabitants thereof as shall be necessary for the payment of debts or otherwise, for the maintaininge, preserveinge and upholding the Charter, and the great priviledges and libertys therein so graciously granted. Yett it is the real intent and meaning hereof and hereby enacted, that noe rate, tax or mulct shall be laved or imposed upon the inhabitants of this Collony, before that each respective towne within the same have legall notice by warrant from the Governor, or in his absence or by his permission, the Deputy Governor, that such rate, tax or mulct is to be assessed, that see the respective townes may accordingly by their representatives give their due attendance; any law, act, usage or custom to the contrary in any wise heretofore, notwithstanding; and in particular the law made at the Generall Assembly the 30th of October, 1672.

Voted, That a petition presented by John Spencer, Clement Weaver and Philip Long, is granted by this Assembly; and they haveing therein desired that men shall be appointed to lay out the lands of East Greenwich, this Assembly doe give power to the petitioners and partners in said Greenwich to appoint one or more to lay out the said towneship, and devide the great devisions, and when said land is survayed and layed out, it is desired that Mr. Samuel Gorton and others of Warwick, and any other place, may be present if they will take the paines, to see that the said land be fairly layd out, soe as not to intrude upon the lawfull rights of any others.

Voted, Upon a petition of Samuell Bennitt, for to be accommodated with an equall right or share of one hundred acres of land in the township of East Greenwich, with the rest of the freemen of said towne, the said land is granted unto the said Samuell Bennitt on the same conditions as it was formerly granted to others the freemen of the said towne; if any of the said former freemen relinquish their grant, and if it soe shall fall out that he cannot be accomodated there, he is to have the. like proportion in the next township, of five thousand acres to be layd out.

Voted, Whereas, there is a petition presented to this Assembly relating to the securing the estate of bankrupts, to the end it might be equally distributed to pay all just debts due out of the same, according to proportion, and that the estate of bankrupts may not be privately concealed, or fraudulently iuipropri. ated to wrong, abuse and injure the true creditors of such bankrupts' estates, contrary unto the statutes of Queen Elizabeth and King James in such cases made and provided.

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