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1691 Charter of Massachusetts Bay

WILLIAM & MARY by the grace of God King and Queene of England Scotland France and Ireland Defenders of the Faith &c To all to whome these presents shall come Greeting Whereas his late Majesty King James the First Our Royall Predecessor by his Letters Patents vnder the Greate Seale of England bearing date at Westminster the Third Day of November in the Eighteenth yeare of his Reigne did Give and Grant vnto the Councill established at Plymouth in the County of Devon for the Planting Ruleing Ordering and Govcrning of New
England in America and to their Successors and Assignes all that part of America lying and being in Breadth from Forty Degrees of Northerlv Latitude from the Equinoctiall Line to the Forty Eighth Degree of the said Northerly Latitude Inclusively, and in length of and within all the Breadth aforesaid throughout all the Main Lands from Sea to Sea together alsoe with all the firme Lands Soiles Grounds Havens Ports Rivers Waters Fishings Mines and Mineralls as well Royall Mines of Gold and Silver as other Mines and Mineralls Pretious Stones Quarries and all and singular other Comodities Jurisdiccons Rovalties Privileges Franchises and Prehen1inences both within the said Tract of Land vpon the Main and alsoe within the Islands and Seas adjoyning Provided alwayes that the said Lands Islands or any the premises by the said Letters Patents intended or meant to be Granted were not then actually possessed or Inhabited by any other Christian Prince or State or within the bounds Limitts or Territories of the Southern Collony then before granted by the said late King James the First [to be planted (2)] by divers of his Subjects in the South parts To Have and to hold possesse and enjoy all and singular the aforesaid Continent Lands Territories Islands Hereditaments and Precincts Seas Waters Fishings with all.and all manner of their Comodities Royalties Liberties Preheminences and Profitts that should from thenceforth arise from thence with all and singular their appurtenances
and every part and parcell thereof vnto the said Councill and their Successors and Assignes for ever to the sole and proper vse and benefist of the said Councill and their Successors and Assignes for ever To be holden of his said late Majestie King James the First his Heires and Successors as of his Mannor of East Greenwich in the County of Kent in free and Comon Soccage and not in Capite or by Knights Service Yielding and paying therefore to the said late King his Heires and Successors the Fifth part of the Oar of Gold and Silver which should from time to time and at all times then after happen to be found gotten had and obteyned in att or within any of the said Lands Limitts Territories or Precincts or in or within any part or parcell thereof for or in respect of all and all manner of duties demands and services
whatsoever to be done made or paid to the said late King James the first his Heires and Successors (as in and by the said Letters Patents amongst sundry other Clauses Powers Priviledges and Grants therein conteyned more at large appeareth And Whereas the said Councill established at Plymouth in the County of Devon for the Planting Ruleing Ordering and Governing of New England in America Did by their Deed Indented vnder their Comon Seale bearing Date the Nineteenth Day of March in the Third yeare of the Reigne of Our Royall Grandfather King Charles the First of ever Blessed Memory Give Grant Bargaine Sell Enffeoffe Alien and Confirme to Sir Henry Roswell Sir John Young Knights Thomas Southcott John Humphreys John Endicot and Simond Whetcomb their Heires and Assines and their Associats for ever All that part of New England in America aforesd which lyes and extends betweene a great River there comonly called Monomack ats Merrimack and a certaine other River there called Charles River being in a Bottom of a certaine Bay there comonly
called Massachusetts ats Mattachuseetts ats Massatusetts Bay And alsoe all and singular those Lands and Hereditaments whatsoever lying within the space of Three English Miles on the South part of the said Charles River or of any and every part thereof And alsoe all and singular the Lands and Hereditaments whatsoever lying and being within the space of three English Miles to the Southward of the Southermost part of the said Bay called the Massachusetts ats Mattachusetts ats Massatusetts Bay And alsoe all those Lands and Hereditaments whatsoever which lye and be within the space of three English Miles to the Northward of the said River called Monomack ats Merrimack or to the Northward of any and every part thereof And all Lands and Hereditaments whatsoever lying within the Limitts aforesaid North and South in Latitude and in Breadth and in :length and longitude of and within all the Breadth aforesaid throughout the Main Lands there from the Atlantick and Western Sea and Ocean on the East parse to the South Sea on the West part and all Lands and Grounds Place and Places Soile Woods and Wood Grounds Havens Ports Rivers Waters Fishings and Hereditaments whatsoever lying
within the said Bounds and Limitts and every parse and parcell thereof and alsoe all Islands lying in America aforesaid in the said Seas or either of them on the Western or Eastern Coasts or Parts of the said Tracts of Land by the said Indenture menconed to be Given and Granted Bargained Sold Enffeoffed Aliened and Confirmed or any of them And alsoe all Mines and Mineralls aswell Royall Mines of Gold and Silver as other Mines and Mineralls whatsoever in the said Lands and Premisses or any parse thereof and all Jurisdiccons Rights Royalties Liberties Freedoms Imunities Priviledges Franchises Preheminences and Comodities whatsoever which they the said Councill established at Plymouth in the County of Devon for the planting Ruleing Ordering and Governing of New England in America then had
or might vse exercise or enjoy in or within the said Lands and Premises by the same Indenture menconed to be given granted bargained sold enffeoffed and confirmed in or within any part or parcell thereof To Have and to hold the said parse of New England in America which lyes and extends and is abutted as aforesaid and every parse and parcell thereof And all the *aid Islands Rivers Ports Havens Waters Fishings Mines Mineralls Jurisdiccons Franchises Royalties Liberties Priviledges Comodities Hereditaments and premises whatsoever with the appurtenances vnto the said Sir Henry Roswell Sir John Young Thomas Southcott John Humphreys John Endicott and Simond Whetcomb their Heires and Assignes and their Associates for ever to the only proper and absolute vse and behoofe of the said Sir Henry Roswell Sir [John (3)] Joung Thomas Southcott John Humphreys John Endicott and Simond Whetcomb their Heires and Assignes and their Associates for evermore To be holden of Our said Royall Grandfather Icing Charles the first his Heires and Successors as of his Mannor of East Greenwich in the County of Kent in free and Comon Soccage and not in Capite nor by Knights Service Yielding and
paying therefore vnto Our said Royall Grandfather his Heires and Successors the fifth part of the Oar of Gold and Silver which should from time to time and at all times hereafter happen to be found gotten had & obteyned in any of the said Lands within the said Limitts or in or within any part thereof for and in satisfaccon of all manner of duties demands and services whatsoever to be done made or paid to Our said Royall Grandfather his Heires or Successors (as in and by the said recited Indenture may more at large
appeare And Whereas Our said Royall Grandfather in and by his Letters Patents under the Greate Seale of England bearing date at Westminster the Fourth Day of March in the Fourth yeare of his Reigne for the consideracon therein menconed did grant and confirms vnto the said Sir Henry Roswell Sir John Young Thomas Southcott John Humphreys John Endicott and Simond Whetcomb and to their Associates after named (vizt) Sir Ralph Saltenstall Knt Isaac Johnson Samuell Aldersey John Ven Mathew Craddock George Harwood Increase Nowell Richard Berry Richard Bellingham Nathaniell Wright Samuell Vassall Theophilus Eaton Thomas Golfe Thomas Adams John Browne Samuell Browne Thomas Hutchins William Vassall William Pincheon and George Foxcroft their Heires and Assignes All the said part of New England in America lying and extending betweene the bounds and limitts in the said Indenture expressed and all Lands and Grounds Place and Places Soiles Woods and Wood Grounds Havens Ports Rivers Waters Mines Mineralls Jurisdiccons Rights Royalties Liberties Freedomes Imunities Priviledges Franchises Preheminences and Hereditaments whatsoever bargained sold enffeoffed and Confirmed or menconed or intended to be given granted bargained sold enfleoiled aliened and confirmed to the them the said Sir Henry Roswell Sir John Young Thomas Southcott John Humphreys John Endicott and Simond Whetcomb their Heires and Assignes and to their Associates for ever by the said recited Indentu[r]e To Have and to hold the said part of New England in America and other the Premisses thereby menconed to be granted and confirmed and every parse and parcell thereof with the appurtenances to the said Sir Henry Roswell Sir John Young Sir Richard Saltenstall Thomas Southcott John Humphreys John Endicott Simond Whetcomb Isaac Johnson Samuell Aldersey John Ven Mathew Craddock George Harwood Increase Nowell Richard Perry Richard Bellingham Nathaniel Wright
Samuell Vassall Theophilus Eaton Thomas Golfe Thomas Adams John Browne Samuell Browne Thomas Hutchins William Vassall William Pincheon and George Foxcroft their Heires and Assignes for ever to their own proper and absolute vse and behoofe for evermore To be holden of Our said Royall Grandfather his Heires and Successors as of his Mannor of East Greenwich aforesaid in free and comon Soccage and not in Capite nor by Knights Service and alsoe yielding and paying therefore to Our said Royall Grandfather his Heires and Successors the fifth part only of all the Oar of Gold and Silver which from time to time and at all times after should be there gotten had or obteyned for all Services Exaccons and Demands whatsoever according to the tenour and Reservacon in the said recited Indenture expressed And further Our said Royall Grandfather by the said Letters Patents did Give and Grant vnto the
said Sir Henry Roswell Sir John Young Sir Richard Saltenstall Thomas Southcott John Humphreys John Endicott Simond Whetcomb Isaac Johnson Samuell Aldersey John Ven Mathew Craddock George Harwood Encrease Nowell Richard Perrey Richard Bellingham Nathaniel Wright Samuell Vassall Theophilus Eaton Thomas Golfe Thomas Adams John Browne SamueI1 Browne Thomas Hut[c]hins
William Vassall William Pincheon and George Foxcroft their Heires and Assignes All that part of New England in America which lyes and extends betweene a Greate River called Monomack als Merrimack River and a certaine other River there called Charles River being in the Bottom of a certaine Bay there comonly called Massachusetts als Mattachusetts als Massatusetts Bay and alsoe all and singular those Lands and Hereditaments whatsoever lying within the space of Three English Miles on the South part of the said River called Charles River or of any or every part thereof and alsoe all and singuler the Lands and Hereditaments whatsoever lying and being within the space of Three English Miles to the Southward of the Southermost part of the said Bay called Massachusetts als Mattachusetts als Massatusetts Bay And alsoe all those Lands and Hereditaments whatsoever which lye and bee within the space of Three English Miles to the Northward of the said River called Monotnack ads Merrimack or to the Northward of any and every parse thereof And all Lands and Hereditaments whatsoever 1yeing within the limitts aforesaid North and South in Latitude and 1n Breadth and in length and Longitude of and within all the Breadth aforesaid throughout the Main Lands there from the Atlantick or Western Sea and Ocean on the East parse to the South Sea on the West parse And all Lands Grounds Place and Places Soils Wood and Wood Lands Havens Ports Rivers Waters and Hereditaments whatsoever lying within the said bounds and limitts and every part and parcell thereof And alsoe all Islands in America aforesaid in the said Seas or either of them on the Western or Eastern Coasts or parses of the said Tracts of Lands thereby menconed to be given and granted or any of them And all Mines and Mineralls as well Royall Mines of Gold and Silver as other Mines and Mineralls whatsoever in the said Lands and premisses or any parse thereof and free Libertie of Fishing in or within any of the Rivers and Waters within the bounds and 1imitts aforesaid and the Seas thereunto adjoyning and of all Fishes Royall Fishes Whales Balene Sturgeon and o.ther Fishes of what
kind or nature soever that should at any time thereafter be taken in or within the said Seas or Waters or any of them by the said Sir Henry Roswell Sir John Young Sir Richard Saltenstall Thomas Southcroft John Humphryes John Endicott Simond Whetcomb Isaac Johnson Samuell Aldersey John Ven Mathew Craddock George Harwood Increase Nowell Richard Perrey Richard Bellingham
Nathaniel Wright Samuell Vassall Theophilus Eaton Thomas Golfe Thomas Adams John Browne Samuell Browne Thomas Hutchins William Vassall William Pincheon and George Foxcroft their Heires or Assignes or by any other person or persons whatsoever there Inhabiting by them or any of them to be appointed to Fish therein Provided alwayes that if the said Lands Islands or any the premisses before menconed and by the said Letters Patents last menconed intended and meant to be granted were at the time of granting of the said
former Letters Patents dated the third day of November in the Eighteenth yeare of the Reigne of his late Majesty King James the First actually possessed or inhabited by any other Christian Prince or State or were within the bounds Limitts or Territories of the said Southern Colony then before granted by the said King to be planted by divers of his Loveing Subjects in the South parts of America That then the said Grant of Our said Royall Grandfather should not extend to any such parts or parcells thereof soe formerly inhabited or lying within the bounds of the Southern Plantacon as aforesaid but as to those parts or parcells soe possessed or inhabited by any such Christian Prince or State or being within the boundaries afororesaid should be utterly void To Have and to hold possasse and enjoy the said parts of New England in America which lye extend and are abutted as aforesaid and every part and parcell thereof and all the Islands Rivers Ports Havens Waters Fishings Fishes Mines Mineralls Jurisdicons Franchises Royalties Riverties (4) Priviledges Comodities and premisses whatsoever with the Appurtenances vnto the said Sir Henry Roswell Sir John Young Sir Richard Saltenstall Thomas Southcott John Humphreys John Endicott Simond Whetcomb Isaac Johnson Samuell Aldersey John Ven Mathew Craddock George Harwood
Increase Nowell Richard Perrey Richard Bellingham Nathaniell Wright Samuell Vassall Theophilus Eaton Thomas Golfe Thomas Adams John Browne Samuell Browne Thomas Hutchins William Vassall William Pincheon and George Foxcroft their Heires and Assignes for ever To the only proper and absolute vse and behoofe of the said Sir Henry Rosw.ell Sir John Young Sir Richard Saltenstall Thomas Southcott John Humphryes John Endicott Simond Whetcomb Isaac Johnson Samuell Aldersey John Ven Mathew Haddock George Harwood
Increase Nowell Richard Perry Richard Bellingham Nathaniell Wright SamuelI Vassall Theophilus Eaton Thomas Golfe Thomas Adams John Browne Samuell Browne Thomas Hutchins William Vassall William Pincheon and George Foxcroft their Heires and Assignes for evermore To be holden of Our said Royall Grandfather his Heires and Successors as of his Mannor of East Greenwich in the County of Kent within the Realme of England in free and Comon Soccage and not in Capite nor by Knights Service And alsoe yeilding and paying
therefore to Our said Royall Grandfather his Heires and Successors the Fifth part only of all the Oar of Gold and Silver which from time to time and at all times thereafter should be gotten had and obteyned for all services Exacons and demands whatsoever Provided, alwayes and his Majesties expresse Will and meaning was that only one Fifth parse of all the Gold and Silver Oar above menconed in the whole and no more should be answered reserved and payable vnto Our said Royall Grandfather his Heires and Successors by colour or vertue of the said last menconed Letters Patents the double reservacons or recitalls aforesaid or any thing therein conteyned notwithstanding And to the end that the affaires and buisnesse which from time to time should happen and arise concerning the said Lands and the Plantacons of the same
might be the better mannaged and ordered and for the good Government thereof Our said Royall Grandfather King Charles the First did by his said Letters Patents Create and make the said Sir Henry Roswell Sir John Young Sir Richard Saltenstall Thomas Southcott John Humphreys John Endicott Symond Whetcomb Isaac Johnson Samuell Aldersey John Ven Mathew Caddock George Harwood Increase Newell Richard Perry Richard Bellingham Nathaniell Wright Samuell Vassall and Theophilus Eaton Thomas Golfe Thomas Adams John Browne Samuell Browne Thomas Hutchins William Vassal William Pincheon and George Foxcroft and all such others as should thereafter be admitted and made free of the Company and Society therein after menconed one Body Politique and Corporate in fact and name by the Name of the Governour and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England and did grant onto them and their Successors divers powers Liberties and triviledges as in and by the said Letters Patents may more fully and at large appears And whereas the said Governour and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England by vertue of the said Letters Patents did settle a Collony of the English in the said
parts of America and divers good Subjects of this Kingdome incouraged and invited by the said Letters Patents did Transport themselves and their Edects into the same whereby the said Plantacon did become very populous and divers Counties Townes and Places were created erected made setforth or designed within the said parts of America by the said Governour and Company for the time being And Whereas in the Terme of the holy Trinity in the Thirty Sixth yeare of the Reigne of Our dearest Vncle King Charles the Second a Judgment was given in Our Court of Chancery then sitting at Westminster(5) vpon a Writt of Scire Facias brought and prosecuted in the said Court against the Governour and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England that the said Letters Patents of Our said Royall Grandfather King Charles the First bearing date at Westminster the Fourth day of March in the Fourth yeare of his Reigne made and granted to the said Governour and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New F,ngland and the Enrollment of the same should be cancelled vacated and annihilated and should be brought into the said Court to be cancelled (as in and by the said Judgment remaining
vpon Record in the said Court doth more at large appease) And whereas severall persons employed as Agents in behalfe of Our said Collony of the Massachusetts Bay in New England have made their humble application vnto Vs that Wee would be graciously pleased by Our Royall Charter to Incorporate Our Subjects in Our said Collony and to grant and confirms Into them such powers priviledges and Franchises as [in] Our Royall Wisdome should be thought most conduceing to Our Interest and Service and to the Welfare and happy State of Our Subjects in New England and Wee being graciously pleased to gratifie Our said Subjects And alsoe to the end.Our good Subjects within Our Collony of New Plymouth in New England aforesaid may be brought under such a forme of Government as may put them in a better Condicon of defence and considering aswell the granting vnto them as onto Our Subejcts in the said Collony of the Massachusetts Bay Our Royall Charter with reasonable Powers and Priviledges will much tend not only to the safety but to the Flourishing estate of Our Subjects in the said parts of New England and alsoe to the advanceing of the ends for which the said Plantancons were at
first encouraged of Our especiall Grace certaine knowledge and meer Mocon have willed and ordeyned and Wee doe by these presents for Vs Our Heires and Successors Will and Ordeyne Chat the Territories and Collnyes camonly called or known by the Names of the Collony of the Massachusetts Bay and Collony of New Plymouth the Province of Main the Territorie called Accadia or Nova Scotia and all that Tract of Land lying betweene the said Territoritories of Nova Scotia and the said Province of Main be Erected ignited and Incorporated And Wee doe by these presents Vnite Erect and Incorporate the same into one reall Province by the Name of Our Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England And of Our especial Grace certaine knowledge and meer Mocon Wee have given and granted and by these presents for Vs Our Heires and Successors doe give and grant onto Our good Subjects the Inhabitants of Our said Province or Territory of the Massachusetts Bay and their Successors all that parse of New England in America lying and extending from the greate River comonly called Monomack als Merrimack on the Northpart and from three Miles Northward of the said River to the Atlantick
or Western Sea or Ocean on the South part And all the Lands and Hereditaments whatsoever lying within the limits aforesaid and extending as fare as the Outermost Points or Promontories of Land called Cape Cod and Cape Mallabar North and South and in Latitude Breadth and in Length and Longitude of and within all the Breadth and Compass aforesaid throughout the Main Land there from the said Atlantick or Western Sea and Ocean on the East parse towards the South Sea or Westward as far as Our Collonyes of Rhode Island Connecticutt and the Marragansett (6) Countrey all (7) alsoe all that part or porcon of Main Land beginning at the Entrance of Pescata way Harbour and see to pass vpp the same into the River of Newickewannock and through the same into the furthest head thereof and from thence Northwestward till One Hundred and Twenty Miles be finished and from Piscata way Harbour mouth aforesaid NorthEastward along the Sea Coast to Sagadehock and from the Period of One Hundred and Twenty Miles aforesaid to crosse over Land to the One Hundred and Twenty Miles before reckoned vp into the Land from Piscataway Harbour through Newickawannock River and alsoe the North halfe of the Isles and Shoales together with the Isles of Cappawock and Nantukett near Cape Cod aforesaid and also [all (7)] Lands and Hereditaments lying and being in the Countrey and Territory comonly called Accadia or Nova Scotia And all those Lands and Hereditaments lying and extending betweene the said Countrey or Territory of Nova Scotia and the said River of Sagadahock or any
port thereof And all Lands Grounds Places Soiles Woods and Wood grounds Havens Ports Rivers Waters and other Hereditaments and premisses whatsoever lying within the said bounds and limitts aforesaid and every part and.parcell thereof and alsoe all Islands and Isletts lying within tenn Leagues directly opposite to the Main Land within the said bounds and all Mines and Mineralls aswell Royall Mines of Gold and Silver as other Mines and Mineralls whatsoever in the said Lands and premisses or any parse thereof To Have and to hold the said Territories Tracts Countreys Lands Hereditaments and all and singular other the premisses with their and every of their Appurtences to Our said Subjects the Inhabitants of Our said Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England and their Successors to their only proper vse and behoofe for evermore To be holden of Vs Our Heires and Successors as of Our Mannor of East Greenwich in the County of Kent by Fealty only in free and Comon Soccage yielding and paying therefore yearly to Vs Our Heires and Successors the Fifth part of all Gold and Silver Oar and pretious Stones which shall from time to time and at all times hereafter happen to be found gotten had and obtevned in any of the said Lands and premisses or within any part thereof Provided neverthelesse and Wee doe for Vs Our Heires and Successors Grant and ordeyne that all and every such Lands Tenements and Hereditaments and all other estates which any person or
persons or Bodyes-Politique or Corporate Townes Villages Colledges or Schooles doe hold and enjoy or ought to hold and enjoy within the bounds aforesaid by or vnder any Grant or estate duely made or granted by any Generall Court formerly held or by vertue of the Letters Patents herein before recited or by any other lawfull Right or Title whatsoever shall be by such person and persons Bodyes Politique and Corporate Townes Villages Colledges or Schoolss their respective Heires Successors and Assignes for ever hereafter held and enjoyed according to the purport and Intent of such respective Grant vnder and Subject neverthelesse to the Rents and Services thereby reserved or made payable any matter or thing whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding And Provided alsoe that nothing herein conteyned shall extend or be vnderstood or taken to impeach or prejudice any right title Interest or demand which Samuell Allen of London Merchant claiming from and vnder John Mason Esqr deceased or any other person or persons hath or have or claimeth to have hold or enjoy of in to or out of any part or parts of the premisses scituate within the limitts above menconed But that the said Samuel Allen and all and every such person and persons may and shall have hold and enjoy the same in such manner (and no other then) as if
these presents had not been had or made It being Our further Will and Pleasure that no Grants or Conveyances of any Lands Tenements or Hereditaments to any Townes Colledges Schooles of Learning or to any private person or persons shall be judged or taken to be avoided or prejudiced for or by reason of any want or defect of Form but that the same stand and remaine in force and be mainteyned adjudged and have effect in the same manner as the same should or ought before the time of the said recited Judgment according to the Laws and Rules then and there vsually practiced and allowed And Wee doe further for Vs Our Heires and Successors Will Establish and ordeyne that from henceforth for ever there shall be one Goverour One Leivtent or Deputy Governour and One Secretary of Our said
Province or Territory to be from time to time appointed and Commissionated by Vs Our Heires and Successors and Eight and Twenty Assistants or Councillors to be advising and assisting to the Governour of Our said Province or Territory for the time being as by these presents is hereafter directed and appointed which said Councillors or Assistants are to be Constituted Elected and Chosen in such forme and manner as hereafter in these presents is expressed And for the better Execucon of Our Royall Pleasure and Grant in this behalfe Wee doe by these presents for Vs Our Heires and Successors Nominate Ordeyne make and Constitute Our Trusty and Welbeloved Simon Broadstreet John Richards Nathaniel Saltenstall Wait Winthrop John Phillipps James Russell Samuell Sewall Samuel Appleton Barthilomew Gedney (8) John Hawthorn Elisha Hutchinson Robert Pike Jonathan Curwin John Jolliffe Adam Winthrop Richard Middlecot John Foster Peter Serjeant Joseph Lynd Samuell Hayman Stephen Mason Thomas Hinckley William Bradford John Walley Barnabas Lothrop Job Alcott Samuell Daniell and Silvanus Davis Esquires the first and present Councillors or Assistants of Our said Province to continue in their said respective Offices or Trusts of Councillors or Assistants vntill the last Wednesday in May which shall be in the yeare of Our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety and Three and vntill other Councillors or Ass~stants shall be chosen and appointed in their stead in such manner as in these presents is expressed And Wee doe further by these presents Constitute and appoint Our Trusty and welbeloved Isaac Addington Esquier to be Our first and present Secretary of Our said Province during Our Pleasure And 0ur Will and Pleasure is that the Governour of Our said Province from the time being shall have Authority from time to time at his discretion to assemble and call together the Councillors or Assistants of Our said Province for the time being and that the said Governour with the said Assistants or Councillors or Seaven of them at the least shall and may from time to time hold and keep a Councill for the ordering and directing the AfEaires of Our said Province And further Wee Will and by these presents for Vs Our Heires and Successors doe ordeyne and Grant that there shall and may be convened held and kept by the Governour for the time being vpon every last Wednesday in the Moneth of May every yeare for ever and at all such other times as the Governour of Our said Province shall think fitt and appoint a great and Generall Court of Assembly Which said Great and Generall Court of Assembly shall consist of the Governour and Councill or Assistants for the time being and of such-Freeholders of Our said Province or Territory as shall be from time to time elected or deputed by the Major parse of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the respective Townes or Places who shall be present at such Eleccons Each of the said Townes and Places being hereby impowered to Elect and Depute Two Persons and noe more to serve for and represent them respectively in the said Great and Generall Court or Assembly To which Great and Generall Court or Assembly to be held as
aforesaid Wee doe hereby for Vs Our Heires and Successors give and grant full power and authority from time to time to direct appoint and declare what Number each County Towne and Place shall Elect and Depute to serve for and represent them respectively in the said Great and Generall Court or Assembly Provided alwayes that noe Freeholder or other Person shall have a Vote in the Eleccon of Members to serve in any Greate and Generall Court or Assembly to be held as aforesaid who at the time of such Eleccon shall not have an estate of Freehold in Land within Our said Province or Territory to the value of Forty Shillings per Annu at the least or other estate to the
value of Forty pounds Sterl' And that every Person who shall be soe elected shall before he silt or Act in the said Great and Generall Court or Assembly take the Oaths menconed in an Act of Parliament made in the first yeare of Our Reigne Entituled an Act for abrogateing of the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy and appointing other Oaths and thereby appointed to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy and shall make Repeat and Subscribe the Declaracon menconed in the said Act before the Governour and Lievtent or Deputy Governour or any two of the Assistants for the time being who shall be therevnto authorized and Appointed by Our said Governour and that the Governour for the time being shall have full power and Authority from time to time as he shall Judge necessary to adjourns Prorogue and dissolve all Great and Generall Courts or Assemblyes met and convened as aforesaid And Our Will and Pleasure is and Wee doe hereby for Vs Our Heires and Successors Grant Establish and Ordeyne that yearly once in every yeare for ever hereafter the aforesaid Number of Eight and Twenty Councillors or Assistants shall be by the Generall Court or Assembly newly chosen that is to say Eighteen at least of the Inhabitants of or Proprietors of Lands within the Territory formerly called the Collony of the Massachusetts Bay
and four at the least of the Inhabitants of or Proprietors of Lands within the Territory formerly called New Plymouth and three at the least of the Inhabitants of or Proprietors of Land within the Territory formerly called the Province of Main and one at the least of the Inhabitants of or Proprietors of Land within the Territory lying between the River of Sagadahoc and Nova Scotia And that the said Councillors or Assistants or any of them shall or may at any time hereafter be removed or displaced from their respective Places or Trust of Councillors or Assistants by any Great or Generall Court or Assembly And that if any of the said Councillors or Assistants shall happen to dye or be removed as aforesaid before the Generall day of Eleccon That then and in every such Case the Great and Generall Court or Assembly at their first sitting may proceed to a New Eleccon of one or more Councillors or Assistants in the roome or place of such Councillors or Assistants soe dying or removed And Thee doe further Grant and Ordeyne that it shall and may be lawfull for the said Governour with the advice and consent of the Councill or Assistants from time to time to nominate and appoint Judges Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer Sheriffs Provosts Marshalls Justices of the Peace and other Officers to Our Councill and Courts of Justice belonging Provided alwayes that noe such Nominacon or Appointment of Officers be made without notice first given or sumons Issued out seaven dayes before such Nominacon or Appointment onto such of the said Councillors or Assistants as shall be at that time resideing within Our said Province And Our Will and Pleasure is that the Governour and Leivtent or Deputy Governour and Councillors or Assistants for the time being and all other Officers to be appointed or Chosen as aforesaid shall before the Vndertaking the Execucon of their Offices and Places respectively take their severall and respectiveOaths for the due and faithfull performance of their duties in their severall and respective Offices and Places and alsoe the Oaths appointed by the said Act of Parliament made in the first yeare of Our Reigne to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy and shall make repeate and subscribe the Declaracon menconed in the said Act
before such Person or Persons as are by these presents herein after appointed (that is to say) The Governour of Our said Province or Territory for the time being shall take the said Oaths and make repeate and subscribe the said Decleracon before the Leivtent or Deputy Governour or in his absence before any two or more of the said Persons hereby Nominated and appointed the present Councillors or Assistants of Our said Province or Territory to whom Wee doe by these presents give full power and Authority to give and administer the same to Our said Governour accordingly and after Our said Governour shall be sworn and shall have subscribed the said Declaracon
that then Our Leivtent or Deputy Governour for the time being and the Councillors or Assistants before by these presents Nominated and appointed shall take the said Oaths and make repeat and subscribe the said Declaracon before Our said Governour and that every such person or persons as shall (at any time of the Annuall Eleccons or otherwise vpon death or removeall) be appointed to be the New Councillors or Assistants and all other Officers to bee hereafter chosen from time to time shall take the Oaths to their respective Offices and places belonging and alsoe the said Oaths appointed by the said Act of Parliament to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance
and Supremacy and shall make repeate and subscribe the declaracon menconed in the said Act before the Governour or Leivtent or Deputy Governour or any two or more Councillors or Assistants or such other Person or Persons as shall be appointed thereunto by the Governour for the time being to whom Wee doe therefore by these presents give full power and authority from time to time to give and administer the same respectively according to Our true meaning herein before declared without any Comission or further Warrant to
bee had and obteyned from vs Our Heires and Successors in that behalfe And Our Will and Pleasure is and Wee doe hereby require and Comand that all and every person and persons hereafter by Vs Our Heires and Successors nominated and appointed to the respective Offices of Governour or I,eivt or Deputy Governour and Secretary of Our said Province or Territory (which said Governour or Leivt or Deputy Governour and Secretary of Our said Province or Territory for the time being Wee doe hereby reserve full power and Authority
to Vs Our Heires and Successors to Nominate and appoint accordingly, shall before he or they be admitted to the Execucon of their respective Offices take as well the Oath for the due and faithfull performance of the said Offices respectively as alsoe the Oaths appointed by the said Act of Parliament made in the said First yeare of Our Reigne to be taken instead of the said Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy and shall alsoe make repeate and subscribe the Declaracon appointed by the said Act in such manner and before such persons as aforesaid And further Our Will and Pleasure is and Wee doe hereby for Vs Our Heires and Successors Grant Establish and Ordaine That all and every of the Subjects of Vs Our Heires and Successors which shall goe to and Inhabit within Our said Province and Territory and every of their Children which shall happen to be born there or on the Seas in goeing thither or returning from thence shall have and enjoy all Libertyes and Immunities of Free and naturall Subjects within any of the Dominions of Vs Our Heires and Successors to all Intents Construccons and purposes whatsoever as if they and every of them were borne within this Our Realme of England and for the greater Ease and Encouragement of Our Loveing Subjects Inhabiting our said Province or Territory of the Massachusetts Bay and of such as shall come to Inhabit there Wee doe by these presents for vs Our heires and Successors Grant Establish and Ordaine that for ever hereafter
there shall be a liberty of Conscience allowed in the Worshipp of God to all Christians (Except Papists) Inhabiting or which shall Inhabit or be Resident within our said Province or Territory And Wee doe hereby Grant and Ordaine that the Gouernor or leivtent or Deputy Gouernor of our said Province or Territory for the time being or either of them or any two or more of the Councill or Assistants for the time being as shall be "hereunto appointed by the said Gouernor shall and may at all times and from time to time hereafter have full Power and Authority to Administer and give the Oathes appointed by the said Act of Parliament made in the first yeare of Our Reigne to be taken instead of the Oathes of Allegiance and Supremacy to all and every person and persons which are now Inhabiting or resideing within our said Province or Territory or which shall at any time or times hereafter goe or passe thither And wee doe of our further Grace certaine knowledge and meer mocon Grant Establish and Ordaine for Vs our heires and Successors that the great and Generall Court or Assembly of our said Province or Territory for the time being Convened as aforesaid shall for ever have full Power and Authority to Erect and, Constitute Judicatories and Courts of Record or other Courts to be held in the name of Vs Our heires and successors for the Hearing Trying and Determining of all manner of Crimes Odences Pleas Processes Plaints Accons Matters Causes and things whatsoever ariseing or
happening within Our said Province or Territory or between persons Inhabiting or resideing there whether the same be Criminall or Civill and whether the said Crimes be Capitall or not Capitall and whether the said Pleas be Reall personall or mixt and for the awarding and makeing out of Execution thereupon To which Courts and Judicatories wee doe hereby for vs our heirs and Successors Give and Grant full power and Authority from time to time to Administer oathes for the better Discovery of Truth in any matter in Controversy or depending before them And wee doe for vs Our Heires and Successors Grant Establish and Ordaine that the Gouernor of our said Province or Territory for the time being with the Councill or Assistants may doe execute or performe all that is necessary for the Probate of Wills and
Granting of Administracons for touching or concerning any Interest or Estate which any person or persons shall have within our said Province or Territory And whereas Wee judge it necessary that all our Subjects shouId have liberty to Appeale to vs our heires and Successors in Cases that may deserve the same Wee doe by these presents Ordaine that incase either party shall not rest satisfied with the Judgement or Sentence of any Judicatories or Courts within our said Province or Territory in any Personall Accon wherein the matter in difference doth exceed the value of three hundred Pounds Sterling that then he or they may appeale to vs Our heires and Successors in our or their Privy Councill Provided such Appeale be made within Fourteen dayes after ye Sentence or Judgement given and that before such Appeale be allowed Security be given by the party or parties appealing in the value of the matter in Difference to pay or Answer the Debt or Damages for the which Judgement or Sentence is given With such Costs and Damages as shall be Awarded by vs Our Heires or Successors incase the Judgement or Sentence be affirmed And Provided alsoe that no Execution shall be stayd or suspended by reason of such Appeale vnto vs our Heires and Successors in our or their Privy Councill soe as the party Sueing or takeing out Execution doe in the
like manner give Security to the value of the matter in difference to make Restitucion in Case the said Judgement or Sentence be reversed or annul'd upon the said Appeale And we doe further for vs our Heires and Successors Give and Grant to the said Governor and the great and Generall Court or Assembly of our said Province or Territory for the time being full power and Authority from time to time to make ordaine and establish all manner of wholsome and reasonable Orders Laws Statutes and Ordinances Directions and Instructions either with penalties or without (soe as the same be not repugnant or contrary to the Lawes of this our Realme of England) as they shall Judge to be for the-good and welfare of our said Province or Territory And for the Gouernment and Ordering thereof and of the People Inhabiting or
who shall Inhabit the same and for the necessary support and Defence of the Government thereof And wee doe for vs our Heires and Successors Giue and grant that the said Generall Court or Assembly shall have full power and Authority to name and settle annually all Civill Officers within the said Province such Officers Excepted the Election and Constitution of whome wee have by these presents reserved to vs Our Heires and Successors or to the Governor of our said Province for the time being and to Sett forth the severall Duties Powers and Lymitts of every such Officer to be appointed by the said Generall Court or Assembly and the formes of such Oathes not repugnant to the Lawes and Statutes of this, our Realme of England as shall be respectiuely Administered vnto them for the Execution of their severall
Offices and places And alsoe to impose Fines mulcts Imprisonments and other Punishments And to impose and leavy proportionable and reasonable Assessments Rates and Taxes vpon the Estates and Persons of all and every the Proprietors and Inhabitants of our said Province or Territory to be Issued and disposed of by Warrant vnder the hand of the Governor of our said Province for the time being with the advice and Consent of the Councill for Our service in the necessary defence and support of our Government of our said Province or Territory and the Protection and Preservation of the Inhabitants there according to such Acts as are or shall be in force within our said Province and to dispose of matters and things whereby our Subjects inhabitants of our said Province may be Religiously peaceably and Civilly Governed Protected and Defended soe as their good life and orderly Conversation may win the Indians Natives of the Country to the knowledge and obedience of the onely true God and Saviour of Mankinde and the Christian Faith which his Royall Majestie our Royall Grandfather king Charles the first in his said Letters Patents declared was his Royall Intentions And the Adventurers free Possession (9) to be the Princepall end of the said Plantation And for the better secureing and maintaining Liberty of Conscience hereby granted to all persons at any time being and resideing within our said Province or Territory as aforesaid Willing Comanding and Requireing and by these presents for vs Our heires and Successors Ordaining and appointing that all such Orders Lawes Statutes and Ordinances Instructions and Directions as shall be soe made and published vnder our Seale of our said Province or Territory shall be Carefully and duely observed kept and performed and put in Execution according to the true intent and meaning of these presents Provided alwaies and Wee doe by these presents for vs Our Heires and Successors Establish and Ordaine that in the frameing and passing of all such Orders Laws Statutes and Ordinances and in all Elections and Acts of Government whatsoever to be passed made or done by
the said Generall Court or Assembly or in Councill the Governor of our said Province or Territory of the Massachusetts Bay in New England for the time being shall have the Negative voice and that without his consent or Approbation signified and declared in Writeing no such Orders Laws Statutes Ordinances Elections or other Acts of Government whatsoever soe to be made passed or done by the said Generall Assembly or in Councill shall be of any Force effect or validity anything herein contained to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding And wee doe for vs Our Heires and Successors Establish and Ordaine that the said Orders Laws Statutes and Ordinances be by the first opportunity after the makeing thereof sent or Transmitted vnto vs Our Heires and Successors under the Publique Seale to be appointed by vs for Our or their approbation or Disallowance And that incase all or any of them shall at any time within the space of three years next after the same shall have presented to vs our Heires and Successors in Our or their Privy Councill be disallowed and rejected and soe signified by vs Our Heires and Successors under our or their Signe Manuall and Signett or by or in our or their Privy Councill vnto the Governor for the time being then such and soe many of them as shall be soe disallowed and riected(10) shall thenceforth
cease and determine and become vtterly void and of none effect Provided alwais that incase Wee our Heires or Successors shall not within the Terme of Three Yeares after the presenting of such Orders Lawes Statutes or Ordinances as aforesaid signifie our or their Disallowance of the same Then the said orders Lawes Statutes or Ordinances shall be and continue in full force and effect according to the true Intent and meaneing of the same vntill the Expiracon thereof or that the same shall be Repealed by the Generall Assembly of our said Province for the time being Provided alsoe that it shall and may be Lawfull for the said Governor and Generall Assembly to make or passe any Grant of Lands lying within the Bounds of the Colonys formerly called the Collonys of the Massachusetts Bay and New Plymouth and
province of Main in such manner as heretofore they might have done by vertue of any former Charter or Letters Patents which grants of lands within the Bounds aforesaid Wee doe hereby Will and ordaine to be and continue for ever of full force and effect without our further Approbation or Consent And soe as Neverthelesse and it is Our Royall Will and Pleasure That noe Grant or Grants of any Lands lying or extending from the River of Sagadehock to the Gulph of St: Lawrence and Canada Rivers and to the Main Sea Northward and Eastward to be made or past by the Governor and Generall Assembly of our said Province be of any force validity or Effect vntill Wee Our Heires and
Successors shall have Signified Our or their Approbacon of the same And Wee doe by these presents for vs Our Heires and Successors Grant Establish and Ordaine that the Governor of our said Province or Territory for the time being shall have full Power by himselfe or by any Cheif Comander or other Officer or Officers to be appointed by him from time to time to traine instruct Exercise and Governe the Militia there and for the speciall Denfence and Safety of Our said Province or Territory to assemble in Martiall Array and put in Warlike posture the Inhabitants of Our said Province or Territory and to lead and Conduct them and with them to Encounter Expulse Repell Resist and pursue by force of Armes aswell by Sea as by Land within or without the limitts of Our said Province or Territory and alsoe to kill slay destroy and Conquer by all fitting wayes Enterprises and meanes whatsoever all and every such Person and Persons as shall at any time hereafter Attempt or Enterprize the destruccon Invasion Detriment or Annoyance of Our said Province or Territory and to vse and exercise the Law Martiall in time of actuall Warr Invasion or Rebellion as occasion shall necessarily require and alsoe from time to time to Erect Forts and to fortifie any place or Places within Our said Province or Territory and the same to furnish with all necessary Amunicon Provisions and Stores of Warr for Odence or Defence and to comitt from time to time the Custody and Government of the same to such Person or Persons as to him shall seem meet And the said Forts and Fortificacons to demolish at his Pleasure and to take and surprise by all waies and meanes whatsoever all and every such Person or Persons with their Shipps Arms Ammuncon and other goods as shall in a
hostile manner Invade or attempt the Invading Conquering or Annoying of Our said Province or Territory Provided alwayes and Wee doe by these presents for Vs Our Heires and Successors Grant Establish and Ordeyne That the said Governour shall not at any time hereafter by vertue of any power hereby granted or hereafter to be granted to him Transport any of the Inhabitants of Our said Province or Territory or oblige them to march out of the Limitts of the same without their Free and voluntary consent or the Consent of the Great and Generall Court or Assembly or Our said Province or Territory nor grant Comissions for exerciseing the Law Martiall vpon any the Inhabitants of Our said Province or Territory without the Advice and Consent of the Councill or Assistants of the same Provided in like manner and Wee doe by these presents for Vs Our Heires and Successors Constitute and Ordeyne that when and as often as the Governour of Our said Province for the time being shall happen to dye or be displaced by Vs Our Heires or Successors or be absent from his Government That then and in any of the said Cases the Leivtenant or Deputy Governour of Our said Province for the time being shall
have full power and authority to doe and excoute all and every such Acts Matters and things which Our Governour of Our said Province for the time being might or could by vertue of these Our Letter Patents lawfully doe or execute if he were personally present vntill the returne of the Governour soe absent or Arrivall or Constitucon of such other Governour as shall or may be appointed by Vs Our Heires or Sueeessors in his stead and that when and as often as the Governour and Leivtenant or Deputy Governour of Our said Province or Territory for the time being shall happen to dye or be displaced by Vs Our Heires or Successors or be absent from Our said Province and that there shall be no person within the said Province Comissionated by Vs Our Heires or Successors to be Governour within the same Then and in every of the said cases the Councill or Assistants of Our said Province shall have full power and Authority and Wee doe hereby give and grant vnto the said Councill or Assistants of Our said Province for the time being or the Major parse of them full power and Authority to doe and execute all and every such Acts matters and things which the said Governour or Leivtenant of Deputy Governour of Our said Province or Territory for the time being might or could lawfully doe or exercise if they or either of them were personally present vntill the returne of the Governour Leivtenant or Deputy Governour soe absent or Arrivall or Constitucon of such other Governour or Leivtenant or Deputy Governour as shall or mav be appointed by Vs Our Heires or Successors from time to time Provided alwaies and it is hereby declared that nothing herein shall extend or be taken to Erect or grant or allow the Exercise of any Admirall Court Jurisdicon Power or Authority but that the same shall be and is hereby reserved to Vs and Our Successors and shall from time to time be Erected Granted and exercised by vertue of Commissions to be yssued vnder the Great Seale of England or vnder the Seale of the High
Admirall or the Comissioners for executing the Office of High Admirall of England And further Our expresse Will and Pleasure is And Wee doe by these present for Vs Our Heires and Successors Ordaine and appoint that these Our Letters Patents shall not in any manner Enure or be taken to abridge bar or hinder any of Our loveing Subjects whatsoever to vse and exercise the Trade of Fishing vpon the Coasts of New England but that they and every of them shall have full and free power and Libertie to continue and vse their said Trade of Fishing vpon the said Coasts in any of the seas therevnto adjoyning or any Arms of the said Seas or Salt Water Rivers where they have been wont to fish and to build and set vpon the Lands within Our said Province or Collony lying west and not then possesst by perticuler Proprietors such Wharfes Stages and Workhouses as shall be necessary for the salting drying keeping and packing of their Fish to be taken or gotten vpon that Coast And to Cutt down and take such Trees and other Materialls there growing or being or growing (11) vpon any parts or places lying west and not then in possession Of particular proprietors as shall be needfull for that purpose and for all other necessary easments helps and advantages concerning the Trade of Fishing there in such manner and forme as they have been heretofore
at any time accustomed to doe without maketng any Wilfull Wast or Spoile any thing in these presents conteyned to the contrary notwithstanding And lastly for the better provideing and furnishing of Masts for Our Royall Navy Wee doe hereby reserve to Vs Our Heires and Successors all Trees of the Diameter of Twenty Four Inches and upwards of Twelve Inches from the ground growing vpon any soyle or Tract of Land within Our said Province or Territory not heretofore granted to any private persons And Wee doe restrains and forbid all persons whatsoever from felling cutting or destroying any such Trees without the Royall Lycence of Vs Our Heires and Successors first had and obteyned vpon penalty of Forfeiting One Hundred Pounds sterling vnto Ous Our Heires and Successors for every such Tree soe felled cult or destroyed without such Lycence had and (12) obteyned in that behalfe any thing in. these presents contevned to the contrary in any wise Notwithstanding In Witnesse whereof Wee-have caused these our Letters to be made Patents
Witnesse Ourselves att Westminster the Seaventh Day of October in the Third yeare of Our Reigne By Writt of Privy Seale

PIGOTT

Pro Fine in Hanaperio quadragint Marcas
J. TREVOR C. S.
K. W. RAWLINSON C. S.
L. G. HUTCHNS C. S. (13)

(1) The charter of 1629 had been cancelled by a judgment of the high court of chancery of England June 18, 1684.  The Charters and General Laws of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay, Published by order of the General Court, Boston, T. B. Wait and Cc,.,
1814, pp. 18-37
(2) These words occur in the printed copies, but are not in the original. See also colony charter.
(3) Omitted in the original.
(4) Liberties
(5) Winchester, in the Charters and General Laws, Boston: 1814
(6) Naragansett.
(7) In printed copies this is " the," but the omission in the original seems better supplied as above.
(8) Gidney, in the Charters and General Laws. Boston: 1814.
(9) Profession.
(10) Rejected.
(11) The words "or growing " not found in reprint.
(12) " or " in reprint, supra.
(13) Sir John Trevor, Sir William Rawlinson, and Sir George Hutchins were appointed lords commissioners of the great seal May 15, 1690, and were succeeded by Lord Somers as chancellor May 3, 1693.

Source: The Federal and State Constitutions Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Colonies Now or Heretofore Forming the United States of America Compiled and Edited Under the Act of Congress of June 30, 1906 by Francis Newton Thorpe Washington, DC : Government Printing Office, 1909.  USMARC Cataloging Record
The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School - Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy


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