An Act What Persons Shall Be Called to Every General Assembly and an Act Concerning the Calling of General Assemblies

1638

Be it enacted by the Lord Proprietary of this province, of and with the advice and approbation of the freemen of the same, that, from henceforth, everyone being of the council of this province and any other gentlemen of able judgment and quality summoned by writ and the lord of every manor within this province after manors be erected shall or may have his voice, seat, and place in every General Assembly to be hereafter called in this province and shall be called by summons or writ unto the same. And also be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that, from henceforth forever, after such time that any summons or writ shall issue for the calling or summoning a General Assembly of the freemen of this province, the commander or, in defect of a commander, the high constable of every hundred within this province or, in defect of a constable, the sheriff of the county, shall within every hundred summon all the freemen inhabiting within every hundred, as soon as conveniently may be, to assemble at a certain place and time to be by him appointed and prefixed. Which freemen so assembled, or the major part of them, shall elect and chose some one, two, or more able and sufficient men for the hundred, as the said freemen or the major part of them so assembled shall think good, to come to every such General Assembly at the time and place in such writ or summons limited and appointed, then and there, for him or themselves and all the freemen of the hundred and in their names and stead, to consult concerning the affairs of this province; and shall make a return in writing of the name or names of the persons so to be from time to time elected and chosen, and such person and persons so to be from time to time elected and chosen shall and may have a voice, place, and seat in every such General Assembly. And from henceforth such person or persons only so elected and chosen out of and for every hundred within this province, and such persons as shall be personally called by writ as afore, shall have a place, voice, and seat in all or any General Assembly hereafter to be held within this province. And every art and ordinance made in such General Assemblies by persons so called, elected, and chosen as aforsaid, or the major part of them, and assented to by the Lord Proprietary or his heirs, lords and proprietaries of this province, or by his or their lieutenant-general thereunto authorized by special warrant from the said Lord Proprietary or his heirs, shall be judged, deemed, and taken to be of as good force and strength and as effectual to all intents and purposes as if the Lord Proprietary himself and all the freemen within the said province had been personally present at such General Assemblies and had consented to and approved of the making and enacting of such laws and ordinances. Provided, that all acts approved by the freemen and by the Lieutenant-General in the name of the Lord Proprietary, as aforesaid, shall be of force until the Lord Proprietary shall signify his disassent to the same under the great seal, and no further or longer.

AN ACT CONCERNING THE CALLING OF GENERAL ASSEMBLIES, 1638

Be it enacted by the Lord Proprietary of this province, of and with the assent and approbation of the freemen of the same, that from and after this General Assembly shall be dissolved, a General Assembly of the freemen of this province shall be called and summoned once in every three years at the least to consult of the affairs and public good of this province and for the enacting of laws and ordinances for the better government of the same. And that the said freemen so assembled shall, from and after the summoning of such assembly and assemblies until the dissolution of the same, have the like power, privileges, authority, and jurisdiction in all causes and matters arising or to arise or happen within this province as the House of Commons within the realm of England at any time heretofore assembled in that kingdom have had, used, or enjoyed or of right ought to have, use, or enjoy in, about, or concerning any matters, things, and causes whatsoever which have at any time happened or risen within the realm of England. This act to continue till the end of the next General Assembly.

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