November 1766 – 7th GEORGE III.
An act to amend so much of the act for the better regulating and training the militia as relates to the appointment of patrollers, their duty and reward.
WHEREAS so much of an act of assembly, passed in the twenty-ninth year of the reign of his late majesty George the second, intituled, An act for the better regulating and training the militia, as relates to the appointment of patrollers, their duty ,and reward, has been found inconvenient; for remedy whereof, Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governour, Council, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same. That it shall and may be lawful for the chief officer of the militia in every county, and he is hereby required sometime before the tenth day of June, yearly, to appoint an officer, and so many men of the militia, as to him shall appear to be necessary, not exceeding four, once in every month, or oftener if thereunto required by such chief officer, to patrol and visit all negro quarters and other places suspected of entertaining unlawful assemblies of slaves, servants, or other disorderly persons, as aforesaid unlawfully assembled, or any other strolling about from one plantation to another, without a pass from his or her master, mistress or overseer, and to carry them before the next justice of peace; who, if he shall see cause, is to order every such slave, servant; stroller, or other disorderly person as aforesaid, to receive any number of lashes, not exceeding twenty, on his or her bare back, well laid on; and in case one company of patrollers shall not be sufficient, to order more companies for the same service, and once in six months at the least, the officer of each party shall return to the commanding officer of his county, a report in writing, upon oath (which oath such officer is hereby empowered to administer) of the names of those of his party, who were upon duty, and of the proceedings in such patrol, by whom they shall be certified and delivered to the court of the said county some time before laying the county levy; and if the said court shall adjudge the patrollers to have performed their duty according to law, they are hereby impowered and required at the laying of their county levy, to allow to and levy for every one of the patrollers twenty pounds of tobacco, for every twelve hours they shall so patrol.
II. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That if the chief officer of the militia, in any county, shall fail to appoint patrollers according to the directions of this act, such officer shall forfeit and pay the sum of ten pounds; and every person appointed to patrol in pursuance of this act, failing to do his duty therein, shall pay the sum of twenty shillings for every failure; which fines shall be laid by the court martial of the said county, and shall be collected, levied, accounted for, and appropriated as in the said recited act is directed. And whereas it may be necessary at some times to employ a greater number of patrollers than have been appointed at the time before prescribed by this act; Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid. That the chief officer of the militia in every county may appoint as many more patrollers as he shall think proper, who shall be under the like regulations, and subject to the same penalties, and shall also receive the same pay for their services as those before appointed; but the said additional patrollers shall not be continued in office longer than the pressing cause of their appointment shall remain.
III. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That every clause and article of the said recited act, within the purview of this act, be, and the same is hereby repealed and made void.