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 Benedict Leonard Calvert to Robert Carter, August 22, 1727

     Benedict Leonard Calvert, new governor of the province of Maryland, writes to Robert Carter, August 22, 1727, concerning the steps taken within that colony to ensure that persons accused of robbery of William Thacker in Virginia will appear at their Virginia trial. He notes that Thacker appears to have fled from debts he owned in Maryland, and his debtors rashly pursued him into Virginia.

Letter from Benedict Leonard Calvert to Robert Carter, August 22, 1727

-1 -

               Annapolis, [Maryland]     
Augst. 22d. 1727

To the Honble: Robert Carter Esqr.
President of his Majtys Council in
Vrginia and Commander in cheif
of the Same Colony

     Soon after my Arrival here in the last month invest
ed with my Brother the Lord Proprietor's Command for the Govern
ment of this Province a Certain Richard Thacker came to me
with an hue and cry under the Seal of your province as also a
Letter from your Self to my predecessor here in the Government
both relating to a robbery alleged by the Said Thacker to have
bin on him Committed within your province by Philip Hammond
and other inhabitants of this province therefore desiring
the Seizure of the Said Persons as felons and their Conveyance in
to Virginia in order their further prosecution at law for the
Offence --

     As I was then newly Enterred into the Administration
and the Case in its Circumstances appearing very Extraordinary
to me I could not avoid taking Some time to Consider and Advise
the proper method of proceeding in Such a Case in the which the
variety of Opinions here I could not Easily and readily be Sat
isfied for in our Enquirys we found not any Certain rule of
proceeding in Such a Case Established Either by Law or Practice
but I hope what has here been done in Prosecution of the request
will Entirely answer the Intent of it by proving against a
a [sic ] failure of Justice. Warrants, were Issued for the Apprehension
of the Said Accused Persons upon which they have Surrended them
selves and their Case by many Depositions taken both here

-2 -

and in Virginia appearing more like a trespass than a robbery
they were Admitted to bail they are Severally bound in two re
cognizances one to his Majesty to appear at the next General Court
in Virginia if so required by the Commander in Chief of Virginia
or by the Commander in Chief of this province the other to our Lord
Proprietor to appear here at our next Assizes in Prince Georges
County where the Continuations for the Violence Offered to Thacker
was alledged to be so that Thacker will have full Scope to Pro-
secute if he pleases and I am Satisfied the Gentlemen would no
ways decline Appearing at your Court if so required were
they not bound by recognizances so to do and on the least Intim
ation from your self or Order that their Appearance is required
According to their recognizances you may be Assured they
Shall be forthcoming at your Generalk Court I must only desire
timely notice Adequate to the Distance between us I have
made diligent Enquiry after Thacker to inform him of these
Proceedings but as he Absconds I believe for Debt have not
yet heard of him though I hope a Letter which I gave to a frient [sic ] of
his may have r [e] achd his hands however indiscreet the Car
riage of these Gentlemen may Appear yet it is very Evident
that as they are Merchants and traders here both of Substance
and reputation the Said Thacker was Considerably Indebted
to them on which Account he was flying the Province where
fore they persued him and that when he delivered them his
money he Seemd Satisfied on their promise he should not go
to Gaol it likewise appears on their Carrying him before Colonel
Addison a Provincial Justice Since deceased to Acknowledge
a Deed made to the Said Hammond by the Said Thacke [r] he the Said
Thacker did it very freely without ever declaring any
Violence to have been Offered to him by the Said Gentlemen
though being in a Majestrates house he might Safely have done
it these and many Other Circumstances will Appear on
-3 -

Tryal in Extenuation of the Crime imputed to them which ca [n]
never carry the face of felonius intent to rob it was but an
hasty and indiscreet demanding of their own however let
Justice decide that in due course of Law and I hope what
has been here done Conducive to it will Show that we desire
not [to] Obstruct it,

     I have nothing more to offer at Present but the Sincere
tender of my respects and Services to your Self and Colony
and I hope there will ever be that freindly Correspondence
between the two Governmets as becomes Persons so nearly Allied
in nationel ties of Affinity as the Inhabitants of the two
Provinces are to Each other I must also beg that whenever
this or any thing Else Shall bring me to your remembrence
You will be so good as to consider me in the Quality of

              Honble Sir
                  Your most Obedient
                  & most humble Servant
                  to Command
                  Bentt: Leond: Calvert

the Honble: Robert Carter Esqr.
President of his Majtys Council in
Virginia and Commander in chief
of the Same Colony


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond. Carter probably had the letter copied for his reference because it was an official one that would have to be placed among the records at the capital in Williamsburg. The address has been copied from the foot of the letter into the address line at the head of the letter.

See also Carter's letters of June 21, 1727, to John Randolph and William Robertson, and of June 24, 1727, to the governor of Maryland concerning the case.

[1] Benedict Leonard Calvert (1700-1732) was governor, 1727-1731, under the "Restored Proprietary Government" of Maryland. ("Maryland at a Glance. Historical Chronology, 1700-1799." Posted on the web by the Maryland State Archives. )

[2] Charles Calvert (1699-1751), fifth Lord Baltimore, the colony's fourth proprietor, served as govenor 1732-1733. ("Maryland State Archives. Biographical Files. ")

[3] Hue and cry is a "medieval law requiring that all citizens within earshot give chase to a fleeing criminal." ( "The Free Dictionary" citing the Farlex Trivia Dictionary . Copyright 2012 Farlex, Inc. )

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised November 14, 2013, to strengthen the footnotes and modern language version text.