Charter of Maryland June 1632
CHARLES . . . [ & c.] . . .
IL WHEREAS our well beloved and right trusty Subject CAECILIUS CALVERT, Baron of BALTIMORE, in our Kingdom of Ireland, Son and Heir of GEORGE CALVERT, Knight, late Baron of BALTIMORE, in our said Kingdom of Ireland, treading in the Steps of his Father, being animated with a laudable, and pious Zeal for extending the Christian Religion, and also the Territories of our Empire, hath humbly besought Leave of Us, that he may transport, by his own Industry, and Expence, a numerous Colony of the English Nation, to a certain Region, herein after described, in a Country hitherto uncultivated, in the Parts of America, and partly occupied by Savages, having no Knowledge of the Divine Being, and that all that Region, with some certain Privileges, and Jurisdictions, appertaining unto the wholesome Government, and State of his Colony and Region aforesaid, may by our Royal Highness be given, granted, and confirmed unto him, and his Heirs.
III. KNOW YE therefore, that WE . . . by this our present CHARTER . . . do GIVE, GRANT, and CONFIRM, unto the aforesaid CAECILIUS, now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs, and Assigns, all that Part of the Peninsula, or Chersonese, lying in the Parts of America, between the Ocean on the East, and the Bay of Chesapeake on the West, divided from the Residue thereof by a Right Line drawn from the Promontory, or Head-Land, called Watkin's Point, situate upon the Bay aforesaid, near the River of Wighco, on the West, unto the Main Ocean on the East; and between that Boundary on the South, unto that Part of the Bay of Delaware on the North, which Iyeth under the Fortieth Degree of North Latitude from the AEquinoctial, where New-England is terminated. And all the Tract of that Land within the Metes underwritten that is to say) passing from the said Bay, called Delaware Bay, in a right Line, by the Degree aforesaid, unto the true Meridian of the first Fountain of the River of Pattowmack, thence verging towards the South, unto the further Bank of the said River, and following the same on the West and South, unto a certain Place called Cinquack, situate near the Mouth of the said River, where it disembogues into the aforesaid Bay of Chcsopeake, and thence. by the shortest Line unto the aforesaid Promontory, or Place, called Watkin's Point; so that the whole Tract of Land, divided by the Line aforesaid, between the Main Ocean, and Watkin's Point, unto the Promontory called CapeCharles, and every the Appendages thereof, may entirely remain excepted for ever to US, our Heirs, and Successors.
IV. Also WE do GRANT . . . unto the said Baron of BALTIMORE . . all Islands and Islets within the Limits aforesaid, all and singular the Islands and Islets, from the Eastern Shore of the aforesaid Region, towards the East, which have been, or shall be formed in the Sea, situate within Ten marine Leagues from the said Shore; . . . And further more the PATRONACES, and ADVOWSONS of all Churches which (with the increasing Worship and Religion of CHRIST) within the said Region. . .. hereafter shall happen to be built, together with Licence and Faculty of erecting and founding Churches, Chapels, and Places of Worship, in convenient and suitable Places, within the Premises, and of causing the same to be dedicated and consecrated according to the Ecclesiastical Laws of our Kingdom of England, with all, and singular such, and as ample Rights, Jurisdictions, Privileges, Prerogatives, Royalties, Liberties, Immunities, and royal Rights, and temporal Franchises whatsoever, as well by Sea as by Land, within the Region . . . aforesaid, to be had, exercised, used, and enjoyed, as any Bishop of Durham, within the Bishoprick or County Palatine of Durham, in our Kingdom of England, ever heretofore hath had, held, used, or enjoyed, or of Right could, or ought to have, hold, use, or enjoy.
V. And WE do by these Presents . . . MAKE, CREATE and CONSTITUTE HIM, the now Baron of BALTIMORE, and his Heirs, the TRUE and ABSOLUTE LORDS and PROPRIETARIES of the Region aforesaid, and of all other the Premises (except the before excepted) saving always the Faith and Allegiance and Sovereign Dominion due to US . . .; TO HOLD of US . . .-as of our Castle of Windsor, in our County of Berks, in free and common SOCCAGE, by Fealty only for all Services, and not in capite, nor by Knight's SERVICE, YIELDING therefore unto US . . . two
INDIAN ARROWS of those Parts, to be delivered at the said Castle of Windsor, every Year, on Tuesday in Easter-Week: And also the fifth Part of all Gold and Silver Ore, which shall happen from Time to Time, to be found within the aforesaid limits.
VI. Now, That the aforesaid Region, thus by us granted and described, may be eminently distinguished above all other Regions of that Territory, and decorated with more ample Titles, KNOW YE, that . . . WE do . . . ERECT and INCORPORATE the same into a PROVINCE, and nominate the same MARYLAND.. . .
VII. And forasmuch as WE have above made and ordained the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, the true LORD and Proprietary of the whole PROVINCE aforesaid, . . . WE . . . do grant unto the said r.ow Baron . . . and to his Heirs, for the good and happy Government of the said Province, free, full, and absolute Power, by the tenor of these Presents, to Ordain, Make, and Enact LAWS, of what kind soever, according to their sound Discretions, whether relating to the Public State ot the said PROVINCE, or the private Utility of Individuals, of and with the Advice, Assent, and Approbation of the FreeMen of the same PROVINCE, or of the greater Part of them, or of their Delegates or Deputies, whom WE will shall be called together for the framing of LAWS, when, and as often as Need shall require, by the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE . . ., and in the Form which shall seem best to him or them, and the same to publish under the Seal of the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE . . . and duly to execute the same upon all Persons, for the Time being, within the aforesaid PROVINCE, and the Limits thereof, or under his or their Government and Powers in Sailing towards MARYLAND, or thence Returning, Outward-bound, either to England, or elsewhere, whether to any other Part of Our, or of any foreign Dominions, wheresoever established, by the Imposition of Fines, Imprisonment, and other Punishment whatsoever; even if it be necessary, and the Quality of the Offense require it, by Privation of Member, or Life . . . So NEVERTHELESS that the Laws aforesaid be consonant to Reason and be not repugnant or contrary, but (so far as conveniently may be) agreeable to the Laws Statutes, Customs and Rights of this Our Kingdom of England.
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XVIII. AND FURTHERMORE . . . WE . . . do give . . . unto the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE . . . full and absolute Licence, Power, and Authority . . . [to] assign, alien, grant, demise, or enfeoff so many, such, and proportionate Parts and Parcels of the Premises, to any Person or Persons willing to purchase the same, as they shall think convenient, to have and to hold . . . in Feesimple, or Fee-tail, or for Term of Life, Lives, or Years; to hold of the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE . . . by . . . such . . . Services, Customs and Rents OF THIS KIND, as to the same now Baron of BALTIMORE . . . shall seem fit and agreeable, and not immediately of US....
XIX. WE also . . . do .; . grant Licence to the same Baron of BALTIMORE . . . to erect any Parcels of Land within the PROVINCE aforesaid, into Manors, and in every of those Manors, to have and to hold a Court-Baron, and all Things which to a Court-Baron do belong; and to have and to keep View of FrankPledge, for the Conservation of the Peace and better Government of those Parts, by themselves and their Stewards, or by the Lords, for the Time being to be deputed, of other of those Manors when they shall be constituted, and in the same to exercise all Things to the View of Frank-Pledge belonging.
XXI. AND FURTHERMfORE WE WILL . . . that the said PROVINCE, and the Freeholders or Inhabitants . . . of the said Colony or Country, shall not henceforth be held or reputed a Member or Part of the Land of Virginia, or of any other colony already transported, or hereafter to be transported, or be dependent on the same, or subordinate in anv kind of Government, from which WE do separate both the said PROVINCE, and Inhabitants thereof, and by these Presents do WILL to be distinct, and that they may be immediately subject to our Crown of England, and dependent on the same for ever.
XXII. [The charter to be construed in favor of Baltimore]: PROVIDED always, that no Interpretation thereof be made, whereby GOD'S holy and true Christian Religion, or the Allegiance due to US . . ., may in any wise suffer by Change, Prejudice, or Diminution....