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ceeding two prize, for any term not exceeding two years, as shall be adjudged against him
or so taking such woman
SECT. 3. If any person or persons, shall so take away, or cause to be taken away as is aforesaid, and dechild and de- flower any such maid or woman child as is aforesaid, or flowering her, shall against the will or knowledge of the father of any such maid or woman child, if the father be in life, or against the will or knowledge of the mother of any such maid or woman child, having the custody or governance of such child, if the father be dead, by secret letters, or contracting messages or otherwise, contract matrimony with any such marriage with maiden or woman child, every person so offending, and being thereof lawfully convicted, shall suffer imprisonto be impri- ment of his body, by the space of five years, without soned 5 years bail or mainprize. without bail or mainprize.
An act concerning a new edition of the Laws of this Commonwealth, reforming certain rules of legal construction, and providing for the due publication of the Laws and Resolutions of each Session.
(Passed the 18th of November, 1789.)
SECT. 1. WHEREAS the great number of the laws of this Commonwealth, dispersed as they are through many different volumes, renders it often questionable, which of them are in force; copies of those laws are procured with difficulty, and only at high prices; and so many of them have been repealed, wholly or in part, were temporary and have expired; were occasional, and have had their effect; were private or local, or have been reenacted in substance, in the laws, taken from the report of the revisors, appointed in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, that scarce a third of them concern the public at large.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That James sons appoint- Mercer, Henry Tazewell, Joseph Prentis, Saint George ed to revise Tucker, Edmund Randolph, James Innes, John Taylor the laws-and and John Marshall, Esquires, be appointed, whose duty it shall be, first, to report to the next session of the Ge
to report to the General Assembly.
neral Assembly, what English statutes, if any there be, are suited to this Commonwealth, and shall not have been enacted in the form of Virginia laws; secondly, What laws or parts of laws, which are of a general concern, shall remain in force at the close of the present session of Assembly; thirdly, What laws on the same subject, ought from their multiplicity to be reduced into. single acts; and fourthly, What laws or parts of laws are either unfit to be continued in force, or unnecessary to be published in any code of the laws; fifthly, To pre- To prepare pare and report as aforesaid, marginal notes and a full marginal index to all the laws of the Commonwealth; sixthly, full index to To note in due order of time and report as aforesaid, the the laws. titles of all those laws, which may be proper to be omitted, in a general compilation of the laws; and seventhly, Copies of to instruct the clerk of the House of Delegates, as far as it may be in their power, how to obtain for the use of whereof are his office, copies of those laws, the rolls whereof are lost, to be prolost.
notes and a
those laws, the rolls
SECT. 2. And for preventing many inconveniencies, which certain rules for the construction of laws have already occasioned, and may hereafter occasion:
ed, not reviv
Be it further enacted by the General Assembly, That A law repealwhensoever one law, which shall have repealed another, ed by repealshall be itself repealed, the former law shall not be re- ing the law vived, without express words to that effect: every act which repealpassed during any stated annual session, shall commence ed the first. in force on the first day of March then next ensuing, unless in the act isself, another day be particularly mentioned, for the commencement thereof.
SECT. 3. As often as a question shall arise, whether in force. a law passed during any session, changes or repeals a Rule of conformer law, passed during the same session, the same passed at the struing laws construction shall be made, as would have been made, same session. if the act entituled "An act concerning election of members of General Assembly" had never been passed.
SECT. 4. This act shall commence and be in force on the fifteenth day of January one thousand seven hundred and ninety.
acts passed at stated sessions
Any person killing another without felony to be acquitted.
An act concerning homicide by misfortune.
(Passed the 18th of November, 1789.)
BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That in case it be found by the country, that any man by misfortune, or in his own defence, or in other manner without felony, did kill another, he shall be acquitted.
An act declaring the law concerning the carnal knowledge and abuse of a woman child under the age of ten years.
(Passed the 18th of November, 1789.)
For a plain declaration of the law; Be it enacted by out clergy to the General Assembly, That if any person shall unlawhave carnal fully and carnally know and abuse any woman child unknowledge of a woman child der the age of ten years, every such unlawful and carnal under the age knowledge shall be felony; and the offender being duly of 10 years. convicted thereof, shall suffer as a felon, without allow
ance of clergy.
bills of 1779, An act allowing a bill of exceptions to be sealed.
(Passed the 18th of November, 1789.)
Bills of ex
BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That when ceptions to be one impleaded before any court and in any cause, where appeal, writ of error or supersedeas lies to a higher court, doth alledge an exception, praying, that the justices will allow it, if they will not allow it, and he that alledgeth the exception, do write the same exception, and require that the justices will put their seals in testimony thereof, the justices, or the greater part of them present shall so do; and if such higher court upon complaint made of
the said justices, cause the record to come before them, If exceptions and the same exception be not found in the roll, and the be omitted in plaintiff shew the exception written, with the seals of the justices to be justices put to it, the justices shall be commanded, that summoned to they appear at a certain day, either to confess or deny confess or deny their seals. their seals, and if the justices cannot deny their seals, they shall proceed to judgment according to the same exception, as it ought to be allowed or disallowed.
An act to amend an act, intitled "An act establishing District Courts, and for regulating the General Court."
(Passed the 17th of December, 1789.)
SECT. 1. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That Certain causes the general court shall no longer have jurisdiction over depending in the general any cause which shall be depending therein on the thir- court transty-first day of December, one thousand seven hundred ferred to the and eighty-nine, by appeal, writ of error, supersedeas, district courts. or on a special verdict found, or a case agreed in the said court, except such cases as may have been removed into the general court from the district courts, since the establishment thereof; but every cause so withdrawn from the general court, if it be an ejectment brought in the said court, shall be sent to and tried in the court of that district wherein the land lieth, or if it be of any other kind to the court of the district in which the county lieth, the court whereof, rendered, gave or made the judgment, sentence or order, upon which the said appeal, writ of error or supersedeas is founded, or where the
writ was served.
SECT. 2. The omission of the plaintiff on the return Omission.on the return of of any writ of supersedeas, to issue another, shall not in a supersedeas any case work a discontinuance, but the district court to to issue anwhich the cause may be sent, may issue other writs of other not to supersedeas in like manner as such writs might have work a disbeen issued by the general court, on the return of any preceding writ.
SECT. 3. Every district court is hereby declared to have the same cognizance and authority over the causes
aforesaid so sent thereto, as the general court now hath, but no tax shall be demanded on the judgments rendered in the causes herein before directed, to be transferred ferred to the from the general court to the district courts. district courts. SECT. 4. The general court shall have jurisdiction Jurisdiction of and authority to hear and determine all causes, matters, the general suits and controversies testamentary which shall be brought before the same, and to examine and take the cerning wills proofs of wills, and to hear and determine the right of adand intestates ministration of the estates of persons dying intestate, and to do all other things concerning wills and administrations according to law.
court in controversies con
SECT. 5. The general court and the district courts jurisdiction of within their respective districts shall have power to grant the general letters of administration during the infancy or absence and district of an executor, or ad colligendum bona defuncti or pengranting ad- dente lite, or until a will which may have once existed, ministrations but is destroyed, shall be established.
Bond and oath
admitted to record,
SECT. 6. The bond and oath of the administrator in such cases shall be changed from the bond and oath of of the admin- an administrator in ordinary cases, in 'such manner as istrator. to the said courts or any of them shall seem necessary. Copies of cer SECT. 7. Authenticated copies of wills proved actain wills to be cording to the laws of any of the United States, or of countries without the limits of the same, and relative to any estate within this commonwealth, may be offered for probate in the general court; or where the estate so dein what courts, vised shall lie altogether in any one county or district, the court of such county or district respectively may admit to record any such authenticated copies, but the bond and oath of the executor or administrator with the administrator, will annexed, shall be changed from the bond and oath now required by law, in such manner as to the said court shall seem necessary, and the proof to be made by the witnesses shall be conformed to the nature of the case. But such will shall be liable to be contested and controverted in the same manner as the original might have been.
Bond and oath of the executor or
No tax to be paid on judg
ments in the
Proof to be made by the witnesses. Such wills may be contested.
SECT. 8. The general court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine motions against the delinquent subscribers of the Powtomack and James river companies, and for securities against their principals, and for sheriffs against their deputies and securities or either of them, to receive the proof of deeds for lands or other estate, and the relinquishment of any feme covert of her
the general court in cer