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Charter Of Connecticut [April 23/May 3, 1662]


Charles the Second, [&c.] Whereas . . . We have byn informed by the humble Petition of our Trusty and welbeloved John Winthrop, John Mason, Samuell. Willis, Henry Clerke, Mathew Allen, John Tappen, Nathan Gold, Richard Treate, Richard Lord, Henry Woolicot, John Talcott, Daniell Clerke, John Ogden, Thomas Wells, Obedias Prewen, John Clerke, Anthony Haukins, John Deming, and Mathew Camfeild, being Persons Principally interested in our Colony or Plantation of Conecticutt in New England, that the same Colony or the greatest parte thereof was purchased and obteyned for greate and valuable considerations, And some other parte thereof gained by Conquest and with much difficulty, and att the onely endeavours, expence and Charge of them and their Associates, and those under whome they Clayme, Subdued and improved, and thereby become a considerable enlargement and addition of our Dominions and interest there,—Now Know yea, that . . . wee . . . by theis presents . . . Doe Ordeine, Constitute and Declare That they, the said John Winthrop . . . [and others] . . .. and all such others as now are or hereafter shall bee Admitted and made free of the Company and Society of our Collony of Conecticut in America, shall . . . bee one Body Corporate and Pollitique in fact and name, by the Name of Governour and Company of the English Collony of Conecticut in New England in America; . . . And further, wee . . . Doe Declare . . . that for the better ordering and manageing of the affaires and businesse of the said Company and their Successors, there shall be one Governour, one Deputy Governour and Twelve Assistants, to bee from tyme to tyme Constituted, Elected and Chosen out of the Freemen of the said Company for the tyme being, in such manner and forme as hereafter in these presents is expressed; which said Officers shall apply themselves to take care for the best disposeing and Ordering of the Generall busines and affaires of and concerning the lands and hereditaments herein after mentioned to bee graunted, and the Plantation thereof and the Government of the People thereof. And . . . Wee doe . . . appoint the aforesaid John Winthrop to bee the first and present Governour of the said Company; And the said John Mason to bee the Deputy Governour; And the said Samuell Willis, Mathew Allen, Nathan Gold, Henry Clerke, Richard Treat, John Ogden, Thomas Tappen, John Talcott, Thomas Wells, Henry Woolcot, Richard Lord and Daniell Clerke to bee the Twelve present Assistants of the said Company; . . . And further, wee . . . Doe Ordaine . . . that the Governour of the said Company for the tyme being, or, in his absence by occasion of sicknes, or otherwise by his leave or permission, the Deputy Governour . . .. shall and may . . . give Order for the assembling of the said Company and calling them together to Consult and advise of the businesse and Affaires of the said Company, And that for ever hereafter, Twice in every yeare, (That is to Say,) on every second Thursday in October and on every second Thursday in May, or oftener, in Case it shall be requisite, The Assistants and freemen of the said Company, or such of them (not exceeding two Persons from each place, Towne or Citty) whoe shall bee from tyme to tyme thereunto Elected or Deputed by the major parte of the freemen of the respective Townes, Cittyes and Places for which they shall bee soe elected or Deputed, shall have a generall meeting or Assembly, then and their to Consult and advise in and about the Affaires and businesse of the said Company; And that the Governour, or . . . Deputy Governour . . .. and such of the Assistants and freemen of the said Company as shall be soe Elected or Deputed and bee present att such meeting or Assembly, or the greatest number of them, whereof the Governour or Deputy Governour and Six of the Assistants, at least, to bee Seaven, shall be called the Generall Assembly, and shall have full power and authority to alter and change their dayes and tymes of meeting or Generall Assemblies for Electing the Governour, Deputy Governour and Assistants or other Officers, or any other Courts, Assemblies or meetings, and to Choose, Nominate and appoint such and soe many other Persons as they shall thinke fitt and shall bee willing to accept the same, to bee free of the said Company and Body Politique, and them into the same to Admitt and to Elect, and Constitute such Officers as they shall thinke fitt and requisite for the Ordering, mannageing and disposeing of the Affaires of the said Governour and Company and their Successors. And wee doe hereby . . . Ordeine, that once in the yeare . . ., namely, the said Second Thursday in May, the Governour, Deputy Governour and Assistants of the said Company and other Officers of the said Company, or such of them as the said Generall Assembly shall thinke fitt, shall bee, in the said Generall Court and Assembly to bee held from that day or tyme, newly Chosen for the yeare ensuing, by such greater part of the said Company for the tyme being then and there present.... And Knowe yee further, That Wee ... Doe . . . Graunt . . . unto the said Governor and Company and their Successors, All that parte of our Dominions in Newe England in America bounded on the East by Norrogancett River, comonly called Norrogancett Bay, where the said River falleth into the Sea, and on the North by the Iyne of the Massachusetts Plantation, and on the South by the Sea, and in longitude as the Iyne of the Massachusetts Colony, runinge from East to West, (that is to say,) from the said Narrogancett Bay on the East to the South Sea on the West parte, with the Islands thereunto adjoyneinge....