THE CHARTER OF THE BAHAMA Islands.

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 YEE That We for divers good Causes and Considerations, us, hereunto especially moving, of our especial Grace, certain Knowledge, and meer Motion: HAVE Given and Granted, and by these Presents, for us, our Heirs and Successors, DO Give and Grant unto our Right trusty and Right intirely Beloved Cosen Christopher Duke of Albemarle; our Right trusty and Right Well-beloved Cosen and Coun­cellour William Earl of Craven; our Right trust and Well-beloved Councellours, John Lord Berkeley, An­thony Lord Ashley, Chancellour and Under-Treasurer [Page 2]of our Exchequer; Sir George Carterett Knight, and Baronet, Vice-Chamberlain of our Houshold; and our Trusty and Well-beloved Sir Peter Colleton Baronet, their Heirs and Assigns. All those Islands called Baha­ma,The BoundsClentheria, Vianis, Providence, Inagua, and all other those Islands lying in the Degrees of Twenty and two, to Twenty and seven North Latitude, com­monly known by the Name of the Bahama Islands, or the Islands of the Lucayes.

Together, with all and singular Ports, Harbours, Bays, Rivers, and Islets belonging unto the Islands afore­said; with the Fishing of all Sorts of Fish; Whales, Sturgeons, and all other Royal Fishes in the Sea, Bays, Islets, and Rivers within the Premises; and the Fish therein taken: Together with the Royalty of the Sea upon the Coast within the Limits aforesaid.

And moreover, All Vains, Mines, and Quarries, as well discovered as not discovered, of Gold, Silver, Gems, precious Stones, and all other whatsoever, be it of Stones, Mettals, or any other thing whatsoever found, or to be found within the Islands and Limits aforesaid.

And furthermore, The Patronage and Avowsons of all the Churches and Chapels (which as Christian Re­ligion shall increase) within the Islands, Isles, Islets, and Limites aforesaid shall happen hereafter to be Erected; together with License and Power to Build and Found Churches, Chapels, 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 with in the Islands, Isles, Islets, and Limits aforesaid.

To Have, Jurisdict. of a Count Palatine. Use, Exercise and Enjoy; the same as amply fully, and in as ample manner as any Bishop of Durham in our Kingdom of England, ever heretofore Held, Used, or Enjoyed; or of Right ought or could Have, Use, or Enjoy.

And them, The said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony [Page 3]Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colle­ton their Heirs and Assigns.

We do by these Presents, for us, our Heirs and Suc­cessors, Make, Create, and Constitute the true and absolute Lords and Proprietors of the said Islands; and of all other, the Premises, saving always the Faith, Al­legiance, and Soveraign Dominion due to us, our Heirs and Successors, for the same.

To Have, and to Hold, Possess, and Enjoy the said Islands, Isles, Islets, and all and singular other the Pre­mises, unto them the said Christopher Duke of Albe­marle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton, their Heirs and Assigns for ever.

To be Holden of us, our Heirs, and Successors, Tenure. as of our Mannor of East-Greenwick in our County of Kent, in free and common Soccage, and not in Capite, or by Knights-service: Yielding and paying yearly to us, our Heirs and Successors for the same, the Fourth part of all Gold and Silver Oar, which within the Li­mits hereby granted, shall from time to time happen to be found. And also Yeilding and paying to us, our Heirs and Successors as often as we or they shall hap­pen to come or enter in to the said Islands, one Pound of fine Silver.

And forasmuch as we have Made and Ordained the aforesaid Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton, their Heirs and Assigns, the True Lords and Proprietors of the Islands aforesaid: Know ye therefore moreover that we reposing especial Trust and Confidence in their Fideli­ty, Wisdom, Justice, and Provident Circumspection for us, our Heirs and Successors. Do Grant full and abso­lute Power by Vertue of these Presents, to them the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton, and their Heirs and Assigns, for the good and happy Government of the said Islands, full Power and Authority to Erect, Constitute, and make several Counties, Baronies, and [Page 4]Colonies, of, and within the aforesaid Islands, Lands, and Hereditaments, in, and by these Presents granted, or mentioned to be granted as aforesaid, with several and distinct Jurisdictions, Power, Liberties and Privi­ledges: And also to Make, Ordain, and Enact, and un­der their Seals to publish any Laws and Constitutions whatsoever, either appertaining to the Publick Estate of the said Islands, or of any distinct or particular Coun­ty, Barony, or Colony, of or within the same, or to the private Utility of particular Persons, according to their best Discretion, by and with the Advice, Assent and Ap­probation of the Free-Men of the said Islands, or of the Free-Men of the County, Barony, or Colony for which such Laws or Constitution shall be made, or of the grea­ter part of them, or of their Delegates or Deputies, whom for Enacting of the said Laws, When, and as often as need shall require. We Will, that the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Cra­ven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton, and their Heirs and Assigns, shall from time, to time, Assembled in such Manner and Form as to them shall seem best; and the same Law duely to Execute upon the People within the said Islands, County, Barony, or Colony, and the Li­mits thereof for the time being, or which shall be Con­stituted under the Power or Government of them, or any of them; either sailing towards the said Islands, or returning from thence towards England, or any other of ours or Forreign Dominions, by Imposition of Pen­alty, Imprisonment, or any other Punishment. Yea, if it shall be needful, and the quality of the Offence re­quire it, by taking away Member and Life, either by them the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir Georege Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton, and their Heirs, or by them or their Deputies, Lieute­nants, Judges, Justices, Magistrates, Officers and Mi­nisters to be Ordained or Appointed according to the Tenor and true intention of these Presents. And like­wise to Erect and make any Court or Courts whatsoever of Judicature or otherwise, as shall be requisite; and to [Page 5]Appoint and Establish any Judges, or Justices, Magi­strates, or Officers whatsoever, as well within the said Islands as at Sea, in such Manner and Form as unto the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton, or their Heirs shall seem most convenient: Also to Remit, Release, Pardon and Abolish, either before Judgment or after, all Crimes and Offences whatsoever against the said Laws, and to do all and every other thing and things which unto the compleat Establishment of Justice unto Courts, Sessions, and Forms of Judicature and Manners of proceedings therein do belong, although in these Presents express Mention is not made thereof, and by Judges by him or them delegated to Award, Process, hold Pleas, and determine in all the said Courts and Places of Judicature, all Actions, Suits, and Causes what­soever, as well Criminal as Civil, Real, Mixt, Personal, or of any other kind or nature whatsoever; which Laws so as aforesaid to be Published. Our will and plea­sure is, and we do enjoyn, require and command, shall be absolute, Firm, and Available in Law; and that all the Leige People of us, our Heirs and Successors within the said Islands; do observe and keep the same inviol­ably in those Parts so far as they concern them, under the Pains and Penalties therein expressed, or to be ex­pressed: Provided nevertheless that the said Laws be consonant to Reason, and as near as may be convenient­ly agreeable to the Laws and Customs of this our Kingdom of England.

And because such Assemblies of Free-holders cannot be so suddainly called as there may be occasion to require the same: We do therefore by these Presents, Give and Grant unto the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; their Heirs and Assigns by themselves or their Magist­rates in that behalf lawfully Authorized, full Power and Authority from time to time, to make and ordain fit and wholsome Orders and Ordinances within the a­foresaid Islands, or any County, Barony or Province, of, [Page 6]or within the same, to be kept and observed as well for the keeping of the Peace, as for the better Government of the People there abiding, and to publish the same to All to whom it may concern, which Ordinance we do by these Presents strictly Charge and Command to be inviolably observed within the said Islands under the Penalties therein expressed, 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 Rights or Interest of any Person or Persons, in their Free-hold, Goods, or Chattels, whatsoever.

And to the end, the said Islands may be the more happily encreased by the multitude of People resorting thither, and may likewise be the more strongly defend­ed from the Incursions of Salvages and other Enemies, Pirates and Robbers: Therefore, we for us, our Heirs, and Successors, do Give and Grant by these Presents, Power, License, and Liberty unto all the liege People of us, our Heirs, and Succenors, in our Kingdom of Eng­land or elsewhere within any other our Dominions, Islands, Colonies, or Plantations, (excepting those who shall be especially forbidden) to transport themselves and Families into the said Island with convenient Ship­ping and, fitting Provisions, and there to settle them­selves, Dwell, and Inhabit any Law, Act, Statute, Or­dinance, or other Thing to the contrary in any wife notwithstanding.

And we will also, and of our more especial Grace, for us, our Heirs, and Successors, do strictly Enjoyn, Ordain, Constitute and Command, that the said Islands, shall be of our Allegiance, and that all and singular the Sub­jects and Liege People of us, our Heirs and Successors, transported, or to be transported into the said Islands, and the Children of them, and such as shall descend from them, there born, or hereafter to be born, be, and shall be Denizons and Leiges of us, our Heirs, and Suc­cessors, of this our Kingdom of England, and be in all things Held, Treated, and Reputed as the leige faithful People of us, our Heirs and Successors, born within this [Page 7]our said Kingdom, or any other of our Dominions, and may inherit, or otherwise purchase and receive take, have, hold, buy and possess any Lands, Tenements, or Hereditaments within the said Places, and them may Occupy, and Enjoy, Give, Sell Alien, and Bequeath: As likewise, all Liberties, Franchises, and Privileges, of this our Kingdom of England and of other our Do­minions aforesaid; may freely and quietly have, Possess, and Enjoy, as our leige People, born within the same, without the molestation, lett, vexation, trouble or grievance, of us, our Heirs and Successors, any Statute, Act, Ordinance, or Provisions to the contrary not­withstanding.

And farthermore, that our Subjects of this our said Kingdom of England, and other our Dominions, may be the rather incouraged to undertake this Expedition, with ready and cheerful mind; Know Yee, That we of our especial Grace, certain Knowledg, and meer Motion, do Give and Grant, by vertue of these Presents, as well as to the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton, and their Heirs, as unto all others as shall from time to time repair unto the said Islands, with a purpose to inhabit there, or to trade with the Natives thereof, free Liberty and License to Lade and Fraight in any Ports whatso­ever, of us, our Heirs and Successors, License to transport Goods and Merchan­dise. and into the said Islands, by them then Servantsand Assigns, to transport, all and singular their Goods, Wares, and Merchandizes; as likewise all sorts of Grain whatsoever, and any other Thing whatsoever, necessary for their Food and Cloath­ing (not prohibited by the Laws and Statutes of our Kingdoms and Dominions to be carried out of the same without any lett, or molestation of us, our Heirs and Successors, or of any other our Officers and Ministers whatsoever) saving also, to us, our Heirs and Successors, the Customs, and other Duties and Payments due for the said Wares and Merchandizes, according to the several Rates of the Places from whence the same shall be Transported.

We will also, and by these Presents, for us, our Heirs and Successors, do give, and grant License by this our Charter, unto the said Christopher Duke of Albermarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton, their Heirs and Assigns, and to all the Inhabitants and Dwellers in the Islands aforesaid, both present and to come, full Power, and absolute Authority to import or unlade by themselves, or their Servants, Factors, or Assigns, all Merchandizes and Goods whatsoever that shall arise of the Fruits and Commodities of the said Islands, either by Land, or Sea, into any the Ports of us, our Heirs and Successors, in our Kingdom of England, Scotland and Ireland, or otherwise to dispose of the said Goods in the said Ports; and if need be, within one Year next after the unlading to lade the said Merchan­dizes and Goods again into the same, or other Ships, and to Export the same into any other Countries, either of our Dominions or Forreign, (being in Amity with us, our Heirs and Successors) so as they pay such Cu­stoms, Subsidies, and other Duties for the same, to us, our Heirs and Successors, as the rest of the Subjects of this our Kingdom for the time being shall be bound to pay, beyond which, we will not that the Inhabitants of the said Islands shall be any way Charged: Provided nevertheless, and our Will and Pleasure is, and we have further for the considerations aforesaid, of our especial Grace, Certain Knowledg, and meer Motion, given and Granted, and by these Presents, for us, our Heirs and Successors. Do Give and Grant unto the said Christo­pher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; their Heirs and Assigns, full and free License, Liberty, Power and Au­thority at any time or times, from and after the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, next ensuing, the date hereof to Export and carry out of any of our Dominions into the said Islands Custom free, all Sorts of Tools which shall be useful and necessary for the Planters there in the Accommodation and Improvement of the Premises, any thing before in these Presents contained, [Page 9]or any Law, Act, Statute, Prohibition, or other Matter or Thing heretofore Had, Made, Enacted, or Provided; or hereafter to be Had, Made, Enacted, or Provided, or the contrary in any wise Notwithstanding.

And Furthermore, of our more ample and especial Grace, certain Knowledg, and meer Motion, we do for us, our Heirs and Successors, Grant unto the said Chri­stopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; their Heirs and Assigns, full and absolute Power and Authority to Make, Erect, and Constitute within the said Islands, and the Isles and Islets aforesaid, such and so many Sea Ports, Harbours, Creeks, and other Places for discharge and unlading of Goods and Merchandizes out of Ships, Boats, and other Vessels; and for lading them in such and so many Places, and with such Jurisdictions, Priviledges, and Franchises unto the said Ports belonging as to them shall seem most expedient: And that all and singular the Ships, Boats, and other Vessels, which shall come for Mer­chandizes and Trade into the said Islands, or shall de­part out of the same, shall be laden and unladen at such Ports only as shall be Erected and Constituted by the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton, their Heirs and Assigns, and not elsewhere any Use, Custom, or any thing to the contrary in any wise Notwithstanding.

And we do furthermore Will, Appoint and Ordain, and by these Presents for us, our Heirs and Successors, do Grant unto the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Authony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colle­ton; their Heirs and Assigns. That they the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Cra­ven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; their Heirs and Assigns, may from time to time for ever, Power to Assess Cu­stoms. have and en­joy the Customs and Subsidies in the Ports. Harbours, Creeks, and other places within the aforesaid Islands, payable for Goods, Merchandizes, and Wares there [Page 10]laded, or to be laded, or unladed, the said Customs to be reasonably Assessed upon any occasion by themselves, and by and with the consent of the Free People there, or the greater part of them as aforesaid. To whom we give Power by these Presents, for us, our Heirs and Successors, upon just Cause and in a due proportion to Assess and Impose the same.

And further, of our especial Grace, certain Know­ledg, Power to Create Te­nures. and meer Motion, we have Given, and Granted, and by these Presents for us, our Heirs and Succes­sors, do Give, Grant, unto the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; their Heirs and Assigns, full and absolute License, Power and Authority. That they the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Lord Craven, John Lord Berkely, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; their Heirs and Assigns, from time to time hereafter for ever, at his, and their Will and Pleasure, may Assign, Alien, Grant, Demise, or Enfeoff the Pre­mises or any part or parcel thereof, to him or them, that shall be willing to purchase the same, and to such Person, and Persons as they shall think fit, To have and to hold to them the said Person, or Per­sons, their Heirs and Assigns in Fee Simple, or Fee Tail or for Term of Life, or Lives, or Years, to be held of them the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, An­thony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton, their Heirs and Assigns, by such Rents, Services, and Customs, as shall seem fit to the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Cra­ven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; their Heirs and Assigns; and not immediately of us, our Heirs and Successors: And to the same Person, or Persons, and to all and every of them, we do Give and Grant by these Presents for us, our Heirs and Successors, License, Authority, and Power, that such Person, or Persons may have and take the Premises, or any [Page 11]Parcel thereof, of the said Christopher Duke of Albe­marle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; their Heirs and Assigns, and the same to hold to themselves, their Heirs or Assigns, in what Estate of Inheritance soever, in Fee Simple, or in Fee Tail, or otherwise, as to them, the said Christo­pher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; their Heirs and Assigns shall seem expedient: The Statute in the Parliament of Edward Son of King Henry, hereto­fore King of England, our Predecessor, commonly called the Statute of Quia emptores terrarum, or any other Statute, Act, Ordinance, Use, Law, Custom, or any other Matter, Cause, or thing heretofore Published or Provided to the contrary, in any wise notwithstanding: And because many Persons born or inhabiting in the said Islands for their Desert and Services, may expect and be capable of Marks of Ho­nour and Favour, which in respect of the great Di­stance cannot conveniently be conferred by us. Our Will and Pleasure therefore is, and we do by these Presents, Give, and Grant, unto the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, Power to Confer Ho­nour.John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Car­terett, and Sir Peter Colleton; their Heirs and Assigns, full Power and Authority to Give, and Confer unto, and upon such of the Inhabitants of the said Islands, as they shall think, do, or shall Merit the same, such Marks of Favour and Titles of Honour as they shall think fit, so as those Titles or Honour be not the same as are enjoyned by, or conferred upon any the Subjects of this our Kingdom of England.

And further, also we do by the Presents, for us, our Heirs and Successors, Give, and Grant License to them the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colle­ton; their Heirs and Assigns, full Power, Liberty, and License to Erect, Raise, and Build within the said [Page 12]Islands and Places aforesaid, or any Part, or Parts thereof, such and so many Forts, Fortresses, Castles, Cities, Boroughs, Towns, Villages, and other Forti­fications whatsoever; and the same or any of them to fortifie and furnish with Ordinance, Powder, Shot, Armour, and all other Weapons, Amunition, and Ha­biliments of War, both Offensive, and Defensive, as shall be thought fit and convenient for the safety and welfare of the said Islands, or any part thereof, and the same or any of them from time to time, as oc­casion shall require to Dismantle, Disfurnish, Demo­lish and pull down. And also to Place, Constitute, and Appoint, in, or over all or any of the said Castles, Forts, Fortifications, Cities, Towns, and Places a­foresaid; Governours, Deputy-Governours, Magi­strates, Sheriffs, and other Officers, Civil, and Milli­tary, as to them shall seem meet. And to the said Cities, Boroughs, Towns, Villages, or any other Place, or Places within the said Islands, to Grant Let­ters or Charters of Incorporation; with all Liberties, Franchises and Priviledges requisite and usual, or to, or within any Corporations within this our Kingdom of England, granted or belonging, and in the same Cities, Boroughs, Towns, and other Places, to Con­stitute, Erect, and Appoint such, and so many Mar­kets, Marts and Fairs, as shall in that behalf be thought fit and necessary.

And further, also to Erect and Make in the Islands aforesaid, or any part thereof, so many Mannors with such Seigniories as to them shall seem meet and con­venient, and in every of the said Mannors To Have and hold a Court Baron, with all things whatsoever, which to a Court-Baron do belong. And To Have and to hold Viewes of Franck-Pledge and Court-Leet for the Conservation of the Peace, and better Go­vernment of those Parts with such Limits, Jurisdicti­ons, and Precincts as by the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven John Lord Ber­keley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; or their Heirs shall be Appointed for that purpose, with all things whatsoever, which [Page 13]to a Court-Leet, or View of Franck-Pledge do belong, the same Courts to be Holden by Stewards to be de­puted and Authorized by the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; or their Heirs, or by the Lords of the Mannors and Leets for the time being, when the same shall be Erected; and because that, in so remote a Country, and situate among so many bar­barous Nations, the Invasions as well of Salvages or other Enemies, Pirats, and Robbers, may probably be feared: Therefore we have given, and for us, our Heirs and Successors, do give Power by these Prsents, unto the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, Power to make War.William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; their Heirs and Assigns by themselves, or their Cap­tains, or other Officers, to Leavy, Muster, and Train all sorts of Men, of what Condition soever, or where­soever born, whether in the said Islands or elsewhere for the time being; and to make War, and to pursue the Enemies aforesaid, as well by Sea as by Land; Yea, even without Limits of the said Islands, (and by Gods assistance) to vanquish and take them, and be­ing taken, to put them to Death by the Law of War, and to save them at their pleasure, and to do all and every other thing which to the Charge and Office of a Captain General of any Army belongeth, or hath accustomed to belong, as fully and freely, as any Cap­tain General of an Army hath ever had the same.

Also, our Will and Pleasure is, and by this our Charter, we do give unto the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; their Heirs and Assigns, full Power, Liberty, and Authority, in case of Rebellion, Tumult, or Sedition, (if any should happen, which God forbid) either upon the Land within the Islands aforesaid, or upon the Main Sea, in making a Voyage thither, or returning from thence, by him and them­selves, their Captains, Deputies, or Officers, to be [Page 14]authority under his, or their Seals for that purpose. To whom also, for us, our Heirs and Successors, we do Give and Grant by these Presents, full Power and Authority to Exercise Martial Law against mutinous and seditious Persons of those parts, such as shall re­fuse to submit themselves to their Government, or shall refuse to serve in the Wars, or shall fly to the Enemy, forsake their Colours, or Ensigns, or be Loy­terers, or Straglers, or otherwise howsoever offending against Law, Custom, or Discipline Military, as freely, and in as ample manner and form, as any Captain Ge­neral of an Army by vertue of his Office, might, or hath accustomed to use the same.

And our further pleasure is, and by these Presents, for us, our Heirs and Successors: We do Grant unto the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord; Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton their Heirs and Assigns, and to the Tenants and Inha­bitants of the said Islands, both present and to come, and to every of them, that the said Islands, and the Tenants and Inhabitants thereof shall not from hence­forth be held or reputed any Member or Part of any Colony whatsoever, in America, or elsewhere, now Transported or made, or hereafter to be Transported or made; nor shall be depending on, or subject to their Government in any thing, but be absolutely se­perated and divided from the same: And our Will and Pleasure is, by these Presents that they be seperated, and that they be subject immediately to our Crown of England, as depending thereof for ever.

And that the Inhabitants of the said Islands nor any of them shall at any time hereafter be compelled or compellable, or by any ways subject or liable to appear or answer to any Matter, Suit, Cause, or Plaint what­soever out of the Islands aforesaid, in any other of our Islands, Colonies, or Dominions in America or else­where, other than in our Realm of England, and Do­minion of Wales. And because it may happen that some of the People and Inhabitants of the said Islands, cannot in their private Opinions Conform to the Pub­lick [Page 15]Exercise of Religion according to the Liturgy, Forms, and Ceremonies of the Church of England, or take or subscribe the Oaths and Articles made and established in that behalf; and for that the same by reason of the remote Distances of these Places, will as we hope, be no Breach of the Unity and Uniformity Established in this Nation. Our Will and Pleasure therefore is, and we do by these Presents, for us, our Heirs and Successors, Give and Grant unto the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Cra­ven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; their Heirs or Assigns, full and free License, Liberty, and Autho­rity by such ways and means as they shall think fit to Give and Grant to such Person and Persons inhabiting and being within the said Islands hereby, mentioned to be Granted as aforesaid, or any part thereof, such Indulgencies and Dispensations in that behalf, for, and during such time and times, and with such Limitati­ons and Restrictions as they the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; their Heirs and Assigns, shall in their discretion think fit and reasonable: And that no Person or Persons unto whom such Liberty shall be given, shall be any way molested, punished, dis­quieted, or called in question for any differences in Opinion, or Practice in matters of Religious Concern­ment, who do not actually disturb the Civil Peace of the Island, County, or Colony, that he or they shall make their Aboad in. But all and every such Person or Persons may from time to time and at all times, freely and quietly have and enjoy his and their Judg­ments and Consciences in Matters of Religion through­out all the said Islands, they behaving themselves peaceably, and not using the Liberty to Licentiousness, nor to the Civil Injury nor outward disturbance of others; any Law, Statute, or Clause contained, or to be contained, Usuage or Custom of our Realm of England to the contrary hereof in any wise notwith­standing. And in case it shall happen that any Doubt [Page 16]or Question should arise concerning the true Sense and Understanding of any Word, Clause, or Sentence con­tained in our present Charter.

We will Ordain and Command, That at all times, and in all things, such Interpretations be made there­of, and allowed in all and every of our Courts what­soever as lawfully may be adjudged most advantageous and favourable to the said Christopher Duke of Albe­marle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; their Heirs and Assigns.

Although express mention of the true yearly Value, or certainty of the Premises, or of any of them, or of any other Gifts or Grants, by us, or by any of our Progenitors or Predecessors heretofore made by the said Christopher Duke of Albemarle, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkeley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir George Carterett, and Sir Peter Colleton; in these Presents is not made, or any Statute, Act, Ordinance, Proviso, Proclamation, or Restriction heretofore Had, Made, Enacted, Ordained or Provided, or any other Matter, Cause, or Thing whatsoever, to the contrary hereof in any wise notwithstanding.

By Writ of Privy Seal. PIGOTT.
FINIS.

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