The King's Letter Recognizing the Proprietors' Right to the Soil and Government ; 1683 (1)


WHEREAS his Majesty for divers good causes and considerations him thereunto moving, by Letters Patents bearing date the twenty-ninth day of June, Anno Domini 1674, in the twenty-sixth year of his Majesty's reign, was pleased to give and grant unto his dearest brother James, Duke of York, several territories, islands, and tracts of land in America, part of which were since called by the name of Nova Caesarea or New Jersey, and was vested in John Lord Berkeley, of Stratton, and Sir George Carteret, Knight and Baronet, who were troth of his Majesty's most honourable Privy Council, and in their heirs and assigns: And the east part or portion of the said Province of New Jersey, by a certain deed of partition afterwards made, became the share of the said Sir George Carteret, his heirs and assigns, and was agreed to be called East New Jersey, and was since assigned to the present Proprietors. AND WHEREAS his Royal Highness, James, Duke of York, by his endenture bearing date the fourteenth day of March, Anno Dom. 1682, in the thirty-fifth year of his Majesty's reign (for the consideration therein mentioned) did grant and confirm the said Province of East New Jersey, (extending eastward and northward all along the sea coast and Hudson's river, from Little Egg Harbour, to that part of Hudson's river which is in forty-one degrees of northern lattitude, and otherways bounded and limited as in said grant and confirmation, relation being thereunto had, may more particularly and at large appear) unto James, Earl of Perth, John Drummond of Lundie; as also unto Robert Barckly, of Eury. Esq; Robert Gordon, of Clunie, Esq; and others, his Majesty's loving subjects in England, Scotland, and elsewhere, to the number of twenty-four grantees, and to their heirs and assigns forever; together with all powers and jurisdiction necessary for the good government of the said Province. His Majesty therefore doth hereby declare his royal will and pleasure, and doth strictly charge and command the planters and inhabitants, and all other persons concerned in the said Province of East New Jersey, that they do submit and yield all due obedience to the laws and government of the said grantees, their heirs and assigns, as absolute Proprietors and Governors thereof, (who have the sole power and right derived under his Royal Highness from his said Majesty, to settle and dispose of the said Province upon such terms and conditions as to them shall seem good) as also to their deputy or deputies, agents, lieutenants, and officers, lawfully commssionated by them according to the powers and authorities granted to them. And of this his Majesty's royal will and pleasure, the Governor and Council is required to give publick notice, his Majesty expecting and requiring forthwith a due compliance with this his royal will and pleasure, from all persons as well without the Province as within the same, (who these presents do or may concern) as they will answer the contrary thereof at their peril. Given at the Court of Whitehall, the twenty-third day of November, 1683, in the thirty-fifth year of his Majesty's reign.

By his Majesty's command,


To the Governor and Council of East New Jersey, for the time being, and to the planters, inhabitants, and all others concerned in the said Province.

(1) Verified by " Grants and Concessions of New Jersey." Leaming & Spicer, 2nd ed., pp. 151-152. Back

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
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