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posed that the said George Mercer made a will in wri. ting, as and for his last will, a private copy whereof has been transmited to the said James Mercer, bearing date at London aforementioned, on the first day of September, one thousand seven hundred and sevenly, by which will it appears that the said George Mercer devised all his real and personal estate within this commonwealth, which was at that time very considerable, unto the said James Mercer, in fee-simple, except a few very inconsiderable legacies in the said will mentioned, and also excepting a certain part of his real es. tate, which he devised unto Edward Montague, esq; of Lincoln-Inn-Field, in the said city of London, and un10 James Whyte, esquire, of Bride-street, in the city of Dublin, upon trust, to secure the payment of certain debts, limiting a remainder therein, after those purposes should be answered, to the said James Mercer in see-simple, constituting the aforenamed Edward Montague, James Whyte, and James Mercer, sole executors of the said will. And also whereas it is represented, that the trust devised to the said Montague and Whyte, was by subsequent acts of the said George Mercer in his life time made void, by which the whole estate would, under the will aforesaid, become immediately vested in the said James Mercer, but the said James Mercer being unable to procure the said original will, the same being destroyed or suppressed, he cannot act under the said will, nor can the said James Mercer act in the character of heir at law, lest the said will should hereafter be produced and established, and the trust. interest of the said Montague and Whyte be adjudged to be a subsisting lien on the estate of the said George Mercer, which would render void all the actings of the said James Mercer, as heir at law, to the great detriment of the said James Mercer, and to the manifest prejudice of all the creditors of the said George Mercer, who are said to have claims far beyond the value of the whole estate, of which the said George Mercer died seized. And also, whereas the real estates of which the said George Mercer died seized, yield no profit, being unimproved, and are subject to certain loss for public taxes, and the interest which would arise from their value, in case the same were sold; and the said James Mercer being willing to stand chargeable to any claimant, who may hereafter be proved to have a sper
cific claim on such lands, either by mortgage, or under the will aforesaid, for the value such lands shall actually sell for, deducting reasonable charges attending such sales; and it will be manifestly to the interest of the creditors of the said George Mercer to ensure purchasers by removing all doubts touching the title of the said James Mercer, to sell the said lands, which will greatly enhance the value thereof:
II. Be it enacted, That all the interests, which were of the said George Mercer, deceased, at the time of his death, in real or personal estate within this commonwealth, either in law or equity, be, and the same are hereby vested in the afore-named James Mercer, his heirs and assigns, as heir to the said George Mercer, as fully and absolutely as if the said George Mercer had actually departed this life intestate, and at the time of his death had been actually a resident citizen within this state. Provided always, That so soon as the said will, or any last will of the said George Mercer, shall be proved and established at law, that then and thenceforward such last will shall have the same effect as if this act was then repealed, and the interest of the said James Mercer, as heir at law, shall then cease and determine. .
III. And be it further enacted, That from and after the passing of this act, and until a will of the said George Mercer shall be established, it shall and may be lawful for the said James Mercer to sell and dispose of any or all of the lands, which were the said George Mercer's at the time of his death, and being within this commonwealth, by way of public auction, and upon twelve months credit, and to convey the absolute estate in such lands to the purchaser, such pur. chaser giving bond with sufficient security for the purchase money, payable to ihe said James Mercer, at heir of the said George Mercer. Provided always, That the said James Mercer shall, before any such sale, enter into bond with sufficient security, to be approved of by the corporation court of the town of Fredericksburg, in such penal sum as the said court shall direct, with condition for paying the produce of the sales of such lands to such person or persons as hereafter may be adjudged to have had the best title thereto, either by mortage, or last will of the said George Mercer; which bond shall be made payable to
the justices of the said corporation court and their suc. cessors, and be recorded among the records of the said court; and may be prosecuted in the names of the said justices, at the instance of, and at the risque and costs of any mortgagee or devisee, entitled to such lands respectively, for the recovery of the proceeds of the sales thereof, after deducting the costs and charges of such sales, in the same manner as a sheriff's bond may now by law be sued and prosecuted.
IV. Provided also, and be it enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the said James Mercer to discharge any such claim, by assigning to the claimant the bond actually taken for the purchase of the land to which such claimant makes tiile; and the said James Mercer shall not be chargeable for the money arising froma such sales, unless the security taken for the payment thereof shall be adjudged insufficient at the time of his entering into such bond.
V. And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the said corporation court, and the said court is hereby required, upon the application of the said James Mercer, to grant him a certificate for obtaining administration on the personal estate of the said George Mercer, deceased, within this state, the said court taking bond and security as in ordinary cases.
VI. Provided nevertheless, and be it enacted, That the said court, before granting such certificate, shall administer to the said James Mercer the following
oath, instead of the oath now prescribed to be taken Special oath, by an administrator, td wit: "I James Mercer. do as to admin.' swear that I have been informed, and verily believe, istration. ihat George Mercer, esquire, my elder broiher, died
at London some time in the month of April, one thousand seven hundred and eighty four, single and unmarried, and that I have not in my keeping any original will of the said George Mercer, nor can I obtain the one the said George Mercer is said to have made; and that I will well and truly administer all and singular the goods, chattels, and credits of the said George Mercer, and pay his debts as far as his goods, chaltels and credits will thereunto extend and the law require me; and that I will make a true and perfect inventory of all the said goods, chattels and credits, as also a just account, when thereto required; and that I
will cease to act as administrator of the said George Mercer, as soon as any will of the said George Mercer shall be duly proved and recorded, except as to suits which shall then be depending." Saving to all and every person and persons whatsoever, bodies politic and corporate, other than this commonwealth, and those claiming or to claim under the said George Mercer, as trustee, mortgagee, or devisee, all right, title, and interest, which they or either of them might or sould have to any lands of the said George Mercer, in the same manner as if this act had never been made.
CHAP. LXXIX. An act appointing trustees to sell part of the lands of John Todd, deceased, for the payment of his debls, and for other purposes.
I. WHEREAS John Todd, of the county of Fay- Sale of part ette, died some time in the year one thousand seven of lands of
John Todd, hundred and eighty two, leaving Mary Owen Todd,
', dec'il, autho. an infant, under the age of twenty-one years, his heir rised for the at law, and it being represented to this present gene- payment of ral assembly that the personal estate of the said John his del Todd is by no means adequate to the payment of his debts, and that it will be greatly advantageous to the said Mary Owen Todd, to preserve the said personal estate and the slaves whereof he died possessed, by authorising the executors to sell so much of the lands whereof he died seized, as will be sufficient to diseharge the aforesaid debts, and to purchase three slaves to be vested in the said Mary Owen Todd, and Jane Todd, widow and executris of the said John Todd; and the said Jane Todd and Robert Todd, executor of the said John Todd, deceased, having petitioned this assembly that an acl may pass for that puro pose:
II. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, Phat James Wilkinsoo, Thomas Marshall, Joho Co
burn, and Joseph Crocket, gentlemen, shall be, and
of Charles Washington, in the coun
ly of Berkeley. Town of Charlestown, BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That in Berkeleyne eighty acres of land, the property of Charles Washblished. ington, lying in the county of Berkeley, be laid out