Charles II's Grant of New England to the Duke of York, 1676
King Charles II granted his younger brother James, then Duke of York and future king of England, the territory of New England.
Anne, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, &c. To all to whom these our present letters shall come greeting: Know ye that among the records remaining in our Secretary's Office of our Province of New York, in America, at our fort at New York, We have inspected certain Letters Patents granted unto his late Royal Hiness James, Duke of York, deceased, which followeth in these words.
Charles the Second, by the grace of God King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To all to whom these presents shall come greeting: Know ye, that we for divers good causes and considerations us "hereunto moving, have of our especial grace, certain knowledge, and meer motion, given and granted, and by these presents for us, our heirs and successors, do give and grant unto our dearest brother James, Duke of York, his heirs and assigns, all that part of the main land of New England, beginning at a certain place called or known by the name of St Croix, next adjoining to New Scotland in America; and from thence extending along the sea coast unto a certain place called Petuaquine or Pemaquid, and so up the river thereof to the farthest head of the same as it tendeth northward; and extending from thence to the river of Kenebeque, and so upwards by the shortest course to the river of Canada northward. And also all that Island or Islands, commonly called by the several name or names of Matowacks or Long Island, scituate, lying and being towards the west of Cape Codd and the Narrow Higansetts, abutting upon the main land between the two rivers there, called or known by the several names of Conecticut or Hudsons river; together also with the said river called Hudsons river, and all the lands from the west side of Conecticut, to the east side of Delaware Bay. And also all those several islands called or known by the names of Martin's Vineyard and Nantokes or otherwise Nantokett; together with all the lands, islands, soiles, rivers, harbours, mines, minerals, quarries, woods, marshes waters, lakes, fishings, hawkings, buntings and fowling; and all other royalty's, profits, commodities and hereditaments to said several islands, lands and premises belonging and appertaining, with their and every of their apurtenances; and all our estate, right, title, interest, benefit, advantage, claim and demand of, in or to the said lands and premises, or any part or parcel thereof, and the reversion and reversions remainder and remainders; together with the yearly and other the rents, revenues and profits of all and singular the said premises, and of every part and parcel thereof; to have and to hold all and singular the said lands, islands, heriditaments, and premisses, with their and every of their appurtenances, hereby given and granted, or herein before mentioned to be given and granted unto our dearest brother James Duke of York, his heirs and assigns forever; to the only proper use and behoof of the said James Duke of York, his heirs and assigns forever; to be holden of us, our heirs and successors as of our mannor of East (Greenwich in our County of Kent, in free and common soccage, and not in capitie, nor by night service yielding and rendering. And the said James Duke of York, doth for himself, his heirs and assigns, covenant and promise to yield and render unto our heirs and successors, of and for the same and every Year, forty beaver skins when they shall be demanded, or within ninety days after. And we do further of our special grace, certain knowledge and meer motion, for us, our heirs and successors, give and grant unto our said dearest brother James Duke of York, his heirs, deputies, agents, commissioners and assigns, by these presents, full and absolute power and authority to correct, punish, pardon, govern and rule all such the subjects of us, our heirs and successors, as shall from time to time adventure themselves into any the parts or places aforesaid; or that shall or do at any time hereafter inhabit within the same, according to such laws, orders, ordinances, directions and instruments as by our said dearest brother, or his assigns, shall be established; and in defect thereof, in case of necessity, according to the good discretions of his deputy's, commissioners, officers or assigns respectively; as well in all causes and matters capital and criminal, as civil both marine and others; so always as-the said statutes, ordinances and proceedings be not contrary to, but as near as conveniently may be, agreeable to the laws, statutes and government of this our realm of England; and saving and reserving to us, our heirs and successors, the receiving, hearing, and determining of the appeal and appeals of all or any person or persons of, in or belonging to the territories or islands aforesaid, in or touching any judgment or sentence to be there made or given. And further, that it shall and may be lawful to and for our said dearest brother, his heirs and assigns, by these presents from time to time, to nominate, make, constitute, ordain and confirm, by such name or names, stile or stiles, as to him or them shall seem good, and likewise to revoke discharge, change and alter as well and singular governor's, officers and ministers which hereafter shall be by him or them thought fit and needful to be made or used within the aforesaid parts and islands: And also to make, ordain and establish all manner of orders, laws, directions, instructions, forms and ceremonies of government and magistracy fit and necessary for and concerning the government of the territories and islands aforesaid; so always that the same be not contrary to the laws and statutes of this our realm of England, but as near as may be agreeable thereunto; and the same at all times hereafter to put in execution or abrogate, revoke or change, not only within the precincts of the said territories or islands, but also upon the seas in going and coming to and from the same, as he or they in their good discretions shall think to be fitest for the good of the adventurers and inhabitants there. And we do further of our special grace, certain knowledge, and meer motion, grant, ordain and declare, that-such governors, officers, and ministers as from time to time shall be authorized and appointed in manner and form aforesaid, shall and may have full power and authority to use and exercise marshall law in cases of rebellion, insurrection and mutiny, in as large and ample manner as our lieutenants in our counties within our realm of England have or ought to have, by force of their commission of lieutenancy, or any law or statute of this our realm. And we do farther by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, grant undo our said dearest brother James Duke of York, his heirs and assigns, that Shall and may be lawful to and for the said James Duke of York, his heirs and assigns, in his or their discretion from time to time, to admit such and so many person or persons to trade and traffique unto and within the said territories and islands aforesaid, and into every or any part and parcel thereof; and to have, possess and enjoy any lands or hereditaments in the parts and places aforesaid, as they shall think fit, according to the laws, orders, constitutions and ordinances by our said brother, his heirs, deputies, commissioners and assigns from time to time to be made and established by virtue of, and according to the true intent and meaning of these presents; and under such conditions, preservations and agreements as our said brother, his heirs or assigns shall set down' order, direct and appoint and not otherwise as aforesaid. And we do further of our especial grace, certain knowledge, and meer motion for us, our heirs and successors, give and grant unto our said dearest brother, his heirs and assigns, by these presents, that it shall and may be lawful to and for him, them or any of them, at all and every time and times hereafter, out of any our realms or dominions whatsoever, to take, lead, carry and transport in and into their voyages, and for and towards the plantations of our said territories and islands, all such and so many of our loving subjects, or any other strangers, being not prohibited or under restraint, that will become our loving subjects and live uncle' our allegiance, as shall willingly accompany them in the said voyages; together with all such cloathing, implements, furniture and other things usually transported, and not prohibited, as shall be necessary for the inhabitants of the said islands and territories, and for their use and defence thereof, and managing and carrying on the trade with the people there; and in passing and returning to and fro, yielding and paying to us, our heirs and successors, the customs and duties therefor due and payable, according to the laws and customs of this our realm. And we do also for us, our heirs and successors, grant to our said dearest brother James Duke of York, his heirs and assigns, and to all and every such governor or governors, or other officers or ministers as by our said brother, his heirs or assigns, shall be appointed; to have power and authority of government and command in or over the inhabitants of the said territories or islands, that they and every of them shall and lawfully may from time to time, and at all times hereafter for ever, for their several defence and safety, encounter, expulse, repell, and resist, by force of arms as Sell by sea as by land, and all ways and means whatsoever all such person and persons as without the special license of our said dearest brother, his heirs and assigns, shall attempt to inhabit within the several precincts and limits of our said territories and islands. And also, all and every such person and persons whatsoever, as shall enterprise or attempt at any time hereafter the destruction, invasion, detriment or annoyance to the parts, places or islands aforesaid or any part thereof. And lastly, our will and pleasure is, and we do hereby declare and grant, that these our letters patents, or the inrollment thereof, shall be good and effectual in the law to all intents and purposes whatsoever, notwithstanding the not reciting or mentioning of the premises or any part thereof, or the meets or bounds thereof, or of any former or other letters patents or grants heretofore made or granted of the premises, or of any part thereof, by us or of an, of our progenitors, unto any other person or persons whatsoever, bodies politick or corporate, or any act, law or other restraint, incertainty, or imperfection whatsoever to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding; altho' express mention of the yearly value or certainty of the premises, or any of them, or of any other gifts or grants by us, or by any of our progenitors or predecessors heretofore made to the said James Duke of York, in these presents is not made, or any statute, act, ordinance, provision, proclamation or restriction, heretofore had, made, enacted, ordained or provided, or any other matter, cause or thing whatsoever to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding. In witness whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patent. Witness ourself at Westminster, the twelfth day of March, in the sixteenth year of our reign. By the King, Howard.
All which by the tennor of these presents we have caused to be exemplyfied. In testimony whereof we have caused our seal of our said Province of New York to be hereunto affixed. WITNESS our trusty and well beloved Robert Hunter, Esq.; our Captain General and Governor in Chief of our Provinces of New York, New Jersey and Territories thereon depending in America, and Vice Admiral of the same, and at our Fort at New York, this thirtieth day of October, in the tenth year of our reign.
H. WILEMAN, Dep. Scry.