Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

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Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library


Letter from Robert Carter to [Benedict Leonard Calvert], Governor of Maryland, June 24, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to [Benedict Leonard Calvert], Governor of Maryland, June 24, 1727, to alert Calvert that he has issued a "hue and Cry" for the apprehension of Philip Hammond, William Hammond, and John Howard who are accused of robbing Richard Thacker in Virginia's King William County. He has directed the victim, Richard Thacker, to report to Calvert for such "process" as Calvert shall direct, and then to appear in a Virginia court with his witnesses to the robbery.

Letter from Robert Carter to [Benedict Leonard Calvert ], Governor of Maryland, June 24, 1727

-1 -

To the Gor: of Maryland         Virg[ini]a,     
June the 24thth: 1727

Sir --

     Upon application of Richd: Thacker complaining of a robbery
committed upon him in this Govermt: by Philip Hammond Wm: Ham
mond and John Howard Inhabitants of your province I have Causd
a hue and Cry to Issue under the Seal of our Colony for the Appre
hension of the robbers and have directed Thacker and his Witness to wait upon Attend
you[r] Excellency for such further process as you Shall think

-2 -

proper to Issue for the taking these felons and Conveying them in
to this Governmt in order to their futher prosecution here Accord
ing to our Laws
. I have also directed Thacker and his Wittness to
attend appear with the Prissioners at their Examination before a Court to be
Called for that purpose according to our Law I am

Yor: Excellencys

Most Obedient
& most humble Sevt.


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond. There is a nineteenth-century copy of this letter in the Minor-Blackford Papers, James Monroe Law Office and Museum, Fredericksburg, Virginia. The text used here is essentially the same as the recipient's copy published in William Hand Browne. Archives of Maryland. Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1698-1731. (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1905.) pp. 471-72. The Maryland Historical Society has not responded to several letters and the editor has thus been unable to determine if the original letter remains in the Society's custody.

Carter had difficulty in composing this letter, and there are two earlier drafts of it in the letterbook:

                             [DRAFT NO. 1]

To the Gor: of Maryland        Virga. June the 24th: 1727
Sir --

Richard Thacker an Inhabitant of yor.
Government hath came before me made Oath before me of a robbery Committed
upon him in [sic ] the Twenty Eight [h] day of Aprill last in King Wm.
County in this Dominion by Philip Hammond Wm: Hamond
and John Howard Inhabitants of your Said Governmt. for the
Apprehending of which Persons I have Issued a hue and Cry
under the Seal of this Govenmt:

                             [DRAFT NO. 2]

Sir --
Upon Application of Ricahrd Thacker of yor
Governmet Complaining of
a roibbery committed upon him in this Governmt by Philip
Hammond William Hammond and John Howard Inhabitants of yor. Province in the County
of King William in this Governmt. I have Issued caused a hue & Cry to Issue
after Philip Hammond under the Seal of this our Colony for the app
rehending of the robbers Philip Hammond William Hammond & Jno: Howard
Inhabitants in your province charged with this robbery and
have directed Thacker to wait upon yor: Excellency for Such
further processes as you r Excellency Shall think proper to Issue for the taking these felons
and bringing them into this Colony in order to their further Prosecution here in this Governmt according to our Law

[1] Benedict Leonard Calvert (1700-1732) was governor, 1727-1731, under the "Restored Proprietary Government" of Maryland. ("Governors under Restored Proprietary Government, 1715-1776." Archives of Maryland Historical List Governors of Maryland, 1715-1776. Posted on the web by the Maryland State Archives.)

[2] Hue and cry" was the "early English legal practice of pursuing a criminal with cries and sounds of alarm. It was the duty of any person wronged or discovering a felony to raise the hue and cry, and his neighbours were bound to come and assist him in the pursuit and apprehension of the offender. All those joining in the pursuit were justified in arresting the person pursued, even if it turned out that he was innocent." ( Britannica Online Encyclopedia 11/13/2012 )

This text, originally posted in 2003, was revised November 14, 2012, to strengthen the footnotes and modern language version text.