The General Assembly, which met during October and November of 1771,
passed seven private acts which were for the benefit of particular persons. One
of them provided for the naturalization of Charles Frederick Weisenthal (pp.
281-282). The other six laws related to land. One act confirmed title to land
(pp. 247-249), four of the statutes authorized conveyances of land (pp. 283-
287, 287-289, 293-295, 302-303), while another provided for the sale of land
in payment of debts (pp. 257-258). Governor Eden refused to sign a bill for
the sale of John Hawkins' land for the payment of his debts which had been
passed by the Upper and Lower Houses (pp. 74, 236). In one of the statutes
regarding the conveyance of land, which became a law, the name of George
Washington appeared as one of the executors of Thomas Colvill, of Fairfax
County, Virginia (pp. 12, 110, 132-133, 293-295).
Among the petitions which did not receive favorable consideration during
the session of the Assembly in October and November of 1771 was one pre-
sented by Gilbert Barrow, of Talbot County, asking for a divorce. On Novem-
ber 12, after hearing the evidence in this case, the Lower House rejected the
petition (pp. 20, 142, 166).
At the June-July session of the General Assembly in 1773 three private
acts were passed all relating to land (pp. 400-401, 402-404, 405).
ACTS FOR THE RELIEF OF PRISONERS FOR DEBT
At both the fall session of 1771 and the summer session of 1773 an act for
the relief of prisoners for debt was passed. In all about one hundred and twenty
persons in the different county jails were affected by the two laws (pp. 272-277,
406-410). The question of the relief of prisoners for debt has been discussed
in previous volumes of the Archives (LXII, xlii-xliii). One Alexander Sym-
mer, of Prince George's County, in order to avoid the chance of being put in
prison for debt petitioned the Assembly that an act be passed securing his
person and effects from arrests and lawsuits for ten years. Such an act would
enable him, Symmer said, to support himself and five young children. Symmer's
petition was rejected by the Lower House (pp. 190, 192).
I. Order of His Majesty's Council for Robert Eden to qualify as Governor
of Maryland, March 5, 1773. The order was based upon a report received from
the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, dated March 2.
In this report it was stated that Frederick Calvert, late Lord Proprietary of
Maryland, had appointed Robert Eden Governor of Maryland; that Calvert
had died during September, 1771, and by his will had left the province of Mary-
land to Henry Harford, a minor; that the Dean of Canterbury, and Hugh
Hammersley and Peter Prevost had been appointed guardians of Henry Har-
ford; that the guardians, with the approval of Henry Harford, again wanted
Robert Eden appointed Governor of Maryland.