Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

List of Letters | About This Collection

Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library



Letter from Robert Carter to William Cage, Esqr., December 16, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to William Cage, trustee for Thomas Lord Fairfax, December 16, 1727, to inform him that Micajah Perry has written Carter that the Board of Trade has made a decision in the case of the proprietor's rights concerning the "interpretation of the Grant upon the fines and forfetures" and, while does not yet know what decision was reached, he assumes that it was sent to the colony by its attorney general, John Clayton who has just returned from England. He continues that he hopes that Perry has paid his rent for the proprietary for 1726 and that he has instructed Perry to do so, and to pay the current year through Michaelmas. The rent will have deducted from it money owed by the late Edmund Jenings to the proprietors which Carter had paid for him

Letter from Robert Carter to William Cage, Esqr., December 16, 1727

-1 -

William Cage, Esqr: --      Rappa[hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]     
Decemr: 16th. 1727

Sir --

     It is a long time since I had the favour of a letter
from you Mr Perry writes me your case about the interpretation of the Grant upon
the fines and forfetures was refered to the Attorney and Solicitor general who have
now give their Opinions differing in some points to their Opinions sent me some
Years ago and that the Lords of trade have determined thereupon and sent in their
instructions to our Govr: by Mr. Clayton our Attorney general lately returned from
England what these instructions are I do not yet hear Our Attorney has been a stre=
nuous Advocate for the king in this cause all along and I suspect hath been
a main instrument in getting the Lawyers to alter their Opinions for I am sure
they had the case nakedly before them when they gave their Opinions before I
have done my Utmost in this Affair if the proprs: will set still and suffer them
selves to be determined out of their rights one step after another without ever rising
up in defence of their own interest I must patiently set down contented the da=
mage for my time will not be very great -- --

     I Expect Mr Perry hath taken care to pay my rent
to you for the Year 26. there hath some Misunderstanding happened between
us of late however I have never wanted money Sufficient in his hands to ans=
wer this call and now for fear there may have been an Omission I send him a
positive order to pay you for that years rent and if you insist strenuously for
the rent of this present year to Michaelmass last to make payment of that
also deducting only the debt of Collo. Jennings of thirty Odd pounds which
plainly Appears to be Overpd. to me upon a just settlement beyond what was
due from him to you and by me paid to you for which I Stand chargeable here

     I took a great deal of pains and was very Vigi=
lant in getting this money for you else you would have found it very hard to come
by never man left his Estate under greater confusion than that poor gentle=
man and I beleive his Creditors will fall short in getting their Debts above a
thousand if not two thousand pounds after Land and all is gone I hope for my
diligence you will think it proper not to let me be a Sufferer in any respect

-2 -

And in the punctual payment of my own rents I have hitherto given you no un
easiness please to give my humble service to his Lordship from whom and yourself
I should be glad to receive a line Yearly I am

              Sir --
                  Your most humble servant --
                    ROBERT CARTER


Source copy consulted: Fairfax Papers, BR 227, Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California. Printed: Wright. Letters of Robert Carter. . . . pp. 124-25. This is the recipient's copy signed by Carter (indicated by the use of bold italics) and sealed with his arms. The address leaf bears the following: "To | William Cage Esqr | of | Milgate | in The County of Kent," and "under the care | of Mr. Perry." At the foot of the first page is "Wm: Cage Esqr: -- ."

The draft of this letter is in Robert Carter letter book, 1727 May-1728 July, Robert Carter Papers (acc. no. 3807), Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.

Robert Carter generally used a return address of "Rappahannock" for the river on which he lived rather than "Corotoman," the name of his home, on his correspondence, especially to persons abroad. The county and colony have been added for clarity.

[1] Established in 1696 as successor to a similar body, the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations was "an advisory group, subordinate to king and Privy Council, and with no executive, financial, or penalizing powers, the Board of Trade was nevertheless able . . . to exert a far reaching and often determining influence in colonial matters. . . . It prepared the royal instructions for the governors overseas. . . ." ( Henry Hartwell, James Blair, and Edward Chilton. Hunter Dickinson Farish, ed. The Present State of Virginia, and the College. [First published, 1940, by Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., and reprinted Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1964.] pp. xvi-xvii. )

[2] See the discussion of the Northern Neck proprietary on this project's home page.

[3] " The feast of St Michael (St Michael and all Angels), one of the quarter days in England, Ireland, and Wales; the date of this, 29 September." ( Oxford English Dictionary online. )

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised July 25, 2014, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.