42. A Bill for Improving the Breed of Horses
Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that no person shall suffer a stoned horse, of the age of two years, whereof he is owner, or hath the keeping, to run at large, out of the inclosed ground of the owner or keeper; and whosoever shall wilfully or negligently do so, after having been admonished to confine such horse, shall forfeit and pay five pounds, to him who will sue for it, and double that sum for any such transgression after one conviction; and if, after a second conviction, the same horse be found so running at large, it shall be lawful for the person who will take him up to retain him to his own use.
Report description begins Report of the Committee of Revisors Appointed by the General Assembly of Virginia in MDCCLXXVI, Richmond, 1784 description ends , p. 31. MS (ViU); clerk’s copy. Text of Act as adopted is in Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends xii, 172.
Bill presented by Madison 31 Oct. 1785, passed by House 29 Nov., and approved by Senate 3 Dec. (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , Oct. 1785, 1828 edn., p. 12–15, 51, 62, 70, 132). Act as adopted agrees with Bill as proposed save in the addition of a clause putting it into effect 1 Jan. 1787. This Bill is a revision of the 1748 Act to restrain the keeping too great a number of horses and mares, and for amending the breed (Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends vi, 118–20). The preamble of the Act of 1748 stated that “the keeping too many horses or mares, by persons who have no freehold … and suffer the same to run at large upon the lands of other persons, is not only prejudicial to the breed of horses, but also to the stocks of cattle, and sheep, of the freeholders of this colony.”