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Alexander Spotswood His Majts. Lt. Governor and Commandor in Chief of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia - To Samuel Bough James Wilson George Newton William Crawford Robert Tucker Samuel Bough jun'r Lemuel Newton Richard Cheshire Edward Thurston George Burgess and Walter Bailey all of the County of Norfolk Gentlemen Greeting - Whereas by an act of the General Assembly begun at the Capitol this twenty third day of October in the fourth year of the Reign of Her late Majesty Queen Anne anno Domini 1705 Entituled An Act for the Speedy and easy prosecution of Slaves Committing Capital Crimes It is Enacted "That every slave committing such offense as by the Law ought to be satisfied by the death of the offender or loss of member shall be forewith committed to the common Gaol of the County within which such offense shall be committed there to be safely kept and that the Sheriff of such County upon such Commitment shall forthwith Certifie Such commitment with the cause thereof to the Governor or Commander in Chief of this Her Majts. Colony and Dominion for the time being who is thereupon desired and Empowered to issue out a Commission of Oyer and Terminer directed to such persons of the County as he shall think fit which persons forthwith after the receipt of such Commission are Empowered and required to cause the offender to be Publickly Indicted and arraigned at the Countyhouse of the said County and to take for evidence the confession of the party or the oath of two Credible Witnesses or of one with Pregnant Circumstances without the Solemnity of a jury & the offender being by them found guilty to pass such Judgment upon such offender as the Law Provides in the like cases and on such Judgment to award Execution. And whereas It hath been represented to me by John Wilson Gent Sheriff of the said County of Norfolk that Luke a negro man Slave belonging to Mr Thurston of the said County is Committed to and remains in the Common Goal of the Said County on Supervision of his being Guilty of felony and burglary in breaking and entering the Storehouse of Samuel Smith of the Said County Gentleman and Stealing Sundry Goods, and other felonious Crimes and hath prayed that a Commission May issue for the Tryal of the said Slave according to the aforerecited out of the General Assembly Know ye therefore that I the said Alexander Spotswood Lt. Governor by virtue of the power and authority to me granted by His Majty as Commander in Chief of this Dominion do assign and Empower you the said Samuel Bough James Wilson George Newton William Crawford Robert Tucker Samuel Bough jun'r Lemuel Newton Richard Cheshire Edward Thruston George Burgess and Walter Bailey or any four or more of you whereof any of you Samuel Bough James Wilson George Newton William Crawford Robert Tucker or Samuel Bough jun'r shall be one Justices in Such manner and by such ways and methods as in the said act of the General assembly is directed prescribed and set down to enquire of and to hear and determine all Treasons Pettit Teasons or misprisions whereof felonys Murders or other offences or Crimes whatsoever Committed or perpetrated within the said County of Norfolk by the said Slave named Luke and more especially the Crimes aforesaid For the better performance whereof you or any four or more of you as aforesaid are hereby required and Commanded Sometime between this day and the fourth day of March next Publickly at the Courthouse of the said County to cause the said Negro Slave to be Indicted and arraigned for the Said offence or offences or any of them whereof he shall be accused and the said Negro Slave being found guilty in Such manner as the Said act of the General Assembly doth direct to pass Judgment as the law of great Britain Provides in the like case and a such Judgment to award execution or otherwise him to acquit as of right ought to be done. Given under my hand and the Seal of the Colony at Williamsburg the Ninth day of February 1719 in the Sixth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King George. A Spotswood