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Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 2


This note contained in document ADMS-05-02-02-0006-0001
9. As to the establishment of the Vice Admiralty Courts, see Barrow, Colonial Customs 124–127, 145–150; Wroth, “The Massachusetts Vice Admiralty Court,” in George A. Billias, ed., Law and Authority in Colonial America (Barre, Mass., in press). As to doubts about the scope of the jurisdiction before 1764, see Knollenberg, Origin of the American Revolution 266–268. The various penalties and forfeitures, and the mechanics of suit run through all the statutes and are discussed in most of the cases that follow. See especially No. 46. A search of the records of the Massachusetts Superior Court and the Suffolk County Inferior Court files has revealed no actions at law under the Acts of Trade after 1764. An incomplete search for the earlier period has produced only a few revenue suits, and these were matters in which the power of the Admiralty Court was being tested by writ of prohibition. See, for example, Robinson v. Patriarch, SCJ Rec. 1725–1730, fol. 59 (Suffolk, 1726) (Dismissed on exceptions); Robinson v. Patriarch, SCJ Rec. 1725–1729, fols. 97–99 (Essex, 1726) (Quashed because summons said “Suffolk SS” instead of “Essex SS”); Lambert v. Bardin, SCJ Rec. 1730–1733, fol. 202 (Suffolk, 1732) (Verdict for forfeiture. Vessel ordered sold, with seamen's wages also to be paid). As to distrust of the jury, see No. 46, note 61.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/