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First Charter Of Carolina [March 24/April 3, 1662]

 

CHARLES THE SECOND, [ & c.]....
1st. WHEREAS our right trusty, and right well beloved Cousins and Counsellors, Edward, Earl of Clarendon, our high Chancellor of England, and George, Duke of Albermarle, Master of our horse and Captain general of all our Forces, our right trusty and well beloved William Lord Craven, John Lord Berkley, our right trusty and well beloved Counsellor, Anthony Lord Ashley, Chancellor of our Exchequer, Sir George Carteret Knt. and Baronet, Vice Chamberlain of our household, and our trusty and well beloved Sir William Berkley, Knt. and Sir John Colleton, Knight and Baronet, . . . have humbly besought leave of us by their industry and charge, to transport and make an ample Colony of our subjects, natives of our Kingdom of England, and elsewhere within our Dominions, unto a certain country hereafter described, in the parts of America not yet cultivated or planted, and only inhabited by some barbarous people, who have no knowledge of Almighty God.

2d. And whereas the said Edward, Earl of Clarendon . . . [and others] . . . have humbly besought us to . . . grant . . . unto them and their heirs, the said country, with Priviledges and Jurisdictions requisite for the good government and safety thereof: KNOW YE, therefore, that we, favouring the pious and noble purose of the said Edward Earl of Clarendon . . . [and others] . . . by this our present Charter . . . do Give, Grant and Confirm unto the said Edward Earl of Clarendon . . . [and others] . . . all that territory or tract of ground, scituate, lying and being within our dominions of America, extending from the North end of the Island called Lucke-Island, which lieth in the Southern Virginia Seas, and within six and thirty degres of the Northern Latitude, and to the West as far as the South Seas, and so Southerly as far as the river St. Matthias, which bordereth upon the coast of Florida, and within one and thirty degrees of Northern Latitude, and so west in a direct line as far as the South seas aforesaid....

3d. And furthermore, the Patronage and Advowsons of all the Churches and Chapels, which as Christian Religion shall increase within the Country . . . shall happen hereafter to be erected, together with license and power to build and found Churches, Chappels and Oratories, in convenient and fit places, within the said bounds and limits, and to cause them to be dedicated and consecrated according to the Ecclesiastical laws of our Kingdom Of England, together with all and singular the like, and as ample Rights, Jurisdictions, Priviledges, Prerogatives, Royalties, Liberties, Immunities and Franchises of what kind soever, within the Countries, Isles, Islets, and Limits aforesaid.

4th. To have, use, exercise and enjoy, and in as ample manner as any Bishop of Durham in our Kingdom of England, ever heretofore have held, used or enjoyed, or of right ought or could have, use, or enjoy. And them, the said Edward Earl of Clarendon . . . [and others] . . . their heirs and assigns, We do by these Presents.... constitute, the true and Absolute Lords Proprietors of the Country aforesaid, and of all other the premises; Saving always the faith, allegiance and sovereign dominion due to us . . . for the same, and saving also the right, title, and interest of all and every our subjects of the English nation, which are now planted within the limits and bounds aforesaid, (if any be), . . . yielding and paying yearly to us . . . for the same, the yearly rent of twenty marks of lawful money of England . . . and also the fourth part of all gold or silver ore, which, within the limits aforesaid, shall from time to time happen to be found.

5th. And that the country, thus by us granted and described, may be dignified by us with as large Titles and Priviledges as any other part of our Dominions and territories in that region, Know ye, that we . . . do . . . erect, incorporate and ordain the same into a Province, and call it the Province of Carolina. [The proprietors may make laws with the assent of the freemen.]

6th. [The proprietors may make ordinances;] so as such Ordinances be reasonable, and not repugnant or contrary, but as near as may be, agreeable to the laws and statutes of this our Kingdom of England, and so as the same ordinances do not extend to the binding, charging, or taking away of the right or interest of any person or persons, in their freehold, goods or chattels whatsoever

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9th. Provided nevertheless, . . . and we . . . by these presents . . . do give and grant unto the said Edward Earl of Clarendon ... [and others] .... full and free license, liberty, and authority, at any time or times, from and after the feast of St. Michael the Arch-Angel . . . [I667] . . . as well to import, and bring into any of our Dominions frorn the said Province of Carolina, or any part thereof, the several goods and commodities, hereinafter mentioned, that is to say, silks, wines, currants, raisins, capers, wax, almonds, oyl, and olives, without paying or answering to us . . . any custom, import, or other duty, for and in respect thereof for and during the term and space of seven years, to commence and be accompted, from and after the first importation of four tons of any the said goods, in any one bottom, ship or vessel from the said Province into any of our Dominions; as also to export and carry out of any of our Dominions, into the said Province of Carolina, custom free, all sorts of tools which shall be usefull or necessary for the planters there,.in the accommodation and improvement of the premises, any thing before, in these presents contained, or any law, act, statute, prohibition, or other matter . . . to the contrary, in any wise notwithstanding.

18th. And because it may happen that some of the people and inhabitants of the said Province, cannot in their private opinions, conform to the publick exercise of religion, according to the liturgy form and ceremonies of the Church of England, or take and subscribe the oath and articles, made and established in that behalf, and for that the same, by reason of the remote distances of these places, will, we hope, be no breach of the unity and uniformity established in this nation; . . . we do . . . grant unto the said Edward, Earl of Clarendon . . . [and others] . . . full and free license, liberty and authority, by such legal ways and means as they shall think fit, to give and grant unto such person or persons, inhabiting and being within the said Province, or any part thereof, who really in their judgments, and for conscience sake, cannot or shall not conform to the said liturgy and ceremonies, and take and subscribe the oaths and articles aforesaid, or any of them, such indulgencies and dispensations in that behalf, for and during such time and times, and with such limitations and restrictions as they . . . shall in their discretion think fit and reasonable; and with this express proviso, and limitation also, that such person and persons, to whom such indulgencies and dispensations shall be granted as aforesaid, do and shall, from time to time declare and continue, all fidelity, loyalty and obedience to us, our heirs and successors, and be subject and obedient to all other the laws, ordinances, and constitutions of the said Province, in all matters whatsoever, as well ecclesiastical as civil, and do not in any wise disturb the peace and safety thereof, or scandalize or reproach the said liturgy, forms, and ceremonies, or any thing relating thereunto, or any person or persons whatsoever, for or in respect of his or their use or exercise thereof, or his or their obedience and conformity thereunto.