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The American Founding

Founding Documents


The Magna Carta

JOHN, by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and of Aquitaine, and Earl of Anjou:  To the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Earls, Barons, Justiciaries, Foresters, Sheriffs, Reeves, Ministers, and all Bailiffs and others, his faithful subjects, Greeting.  Know ye that We, in the presence of God, and for the health of Our soul, and the souls of Our ancestors and heirs, to the honour of God, and the exaltation of Holy Church, and amendment of Our kingdom, by the advice of Our reverend fathers...and others,

1.  Our liegemen, have, in the first place granted to God, and by this Our present Charter have confirmed for Us and Our heirs for everThat the English Church shall be free and enjoy all her rights in their integrity and her liberties untouched. And that We will this so to be observed appears from the fact that We of our own mere and free will, before the outbreak of the dissensions between Us and Our Barons, granted, confirmed and procured to be confirmed by Pope Innocent III., the freedom of elections which is considered most important and necessary to the English Church, which Charter We will both keep Ourself and will it to be so kept by Our heirs for ever. We have also granted to all the free men of Our kingdom, for Us and our heirs for ever, all the liberties underwritten, to have and to hold to them and their heirs of Us and Our heirs.

2.  If any of Our Earls, Barons, or others who hold of Us in chief by Knight's service shall die, and at the time of his death his heir shall be of full age and owe a relief, he shall have his inheritance by ancient relief; to wit, the heir or heirs of an Earl of an entire Earl's Barony, £100, the heir or heirs of a Baron of an entire Barony, £100; the heir or heirs of a Knight of an entire Knight's fee, 100s. at the most; and he that oweth less shall give less, according to the ancient custom of fees.

3.  If, however, the heir of any such shall be under age and in ward, he shall, when he comes of age, have his inheritance without relief or fine.

4.  The guardian of the land of any such heir so under age shall take therefrom reasonable issues and customs and services only, and without destruction and waste of men or property; and if We shall have committed the custody of any such land to the sheriff or any other person who ought to be answerable to Us for its issues thereof he commit destruction or waste upon the wardlands, We will take an emend from him, and the land shall be committed to two lawful and discreet men of that fee, who shall be answerable for the issues to Us or to whomever We shall have assigned them. And if We shall give or sell the wardship of any such land to any one, and he commit destruction or waste upon it, he shall lose wardship, which shall be committed to two lawful and discreet men of that fee, who shall, in like manner, be answerable unto Us as hath been aforesaid.

5.  But the guardian, so long as he shall have the custody of the land, shall keep up and maintain the houses, parks, fish ponds, pools, mills, and other things pertaining thereto, out of the issues of the same, and shall restore the whole to the heir when he comes of age, stocked with ploughs and wainage, according as the season may require and the issues of the land can reasonably bear.

6.  Heirs shall be married without disparagement, to which end the marriage is made known to the heir's nearest of kin before it be contracted.

7.  A widow, after the death of her husband, shall immediately and without difficulty have her marriage portion and inheritance, nor shall she give anything for her marriage portion, dower, or inheritance which inheritance her husband and her held on the day of his death; and she may remain in her husband's house for forty days after his death, within which her dowry shall be assigned to her.

8.  No widow shall be distrained to marry so long as she has a mind to live without a husband; provided, however, that she give security that she will not marry without Our assent if she holds of Us, or that of the Lord of whome she holds, if she holds of another.

9.  Neither We nor Our bailiffs shall seize any land or rent for any debt so long as the debtor's chattels are sufficient to discharge the same; nor shall the debtor's sureties  be distrained so long as the chief debtor hath sufficient to pay the debt, and if he fail in the payment thereof, not having wherewithal to discharge it, then the sureties shall answer it, and, if they will, shall hold the debtor's lands and rents until satisfaction of the debt which they have paid for him be made them, unless the chief debtor can show himself to quit thereof against them.

10.  If any one shall have borrowed money from the Jews, more or less, and die before the debt satisfied, no interest shall be taken upon such debt so long as the heir be under age, of whomsoever he may hold; and if the debt shall fall into Our hands We will only take the chattel mentioned in the Charter.

11.  And if any one die indebted to the Jews his wife shall have her dower and pay nothing on that debt; and if the children of the said deceased be left under age they shall have necessities provided for them according to the condition of the deceased, and the debt shall be paid out of the residue, saving the Lord's service; and so shall it be done with regard to debts owed to others than Jews.

12.  No scutage or aid shall be imposed in Our kingdom unless by the common council thereof, except to ransom Our person, make Our eldest son a Knight, and once to marry Our eldest daughter, and for this a reasonable aid only shall be paid so shall it be with regard to aids from the City of London[.]

13.  [And] the City of London shall have all her ancient liberties and free customs, both by land and water.  Moreover we will and grant that all the other cities, boroughs, towns, and ports shall have all their liberties and free customs.

14.  And for obtaining the common council of the kingdom concerning the assessment of aids other than in the three cases aforesaid of scutage, We will cause to be summoned, severally by our letters the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Earls and great Barons; and in addition, We will also cause to be summoned, generally, by Our Sheriffs and bailiffs, all those who hold of Us in chief, to meet at a certain day, to wit, at the end of forty days at least, and at a certain place; and in all letters of such summons We will explain the cause thereof, and the summons being thus been made the business shall proceed on the day appointed, according to the advice of those who shall be present, notwithstanding that the whole number of persons summoned shall not have come.

15.  We will not, for the future, grant permission to any man to levy an aid upon his freemen, except to ransom his person, make his eldest son a Knight, and once to marry his eldest daughter, for which a reasonable aid only shall be levied.

16.  No man shall be distrained to perform more service for a knight's fee or other free tenement than is due therefrom.

17.  Common pleas shall not follow our Court, but be beholden in some definite place.

18.  Recognisances of Novel Disseisin, Mort d'Ancestor, and Darrein Presentment shall be taken in their proper countries only, and in this wise;We  Ourself, or, if We be absent from the realm, Our Chief Justiciary, shall send two justiciaries through each county four times a year; who, together with four knights elected out of each shire by the people thereof, shall hold the said assizes on the day and in the place aforesaid.

19.  And if the said assizes cannot be held on the day appointed, so as many of the knights and free holders as shall have been present thereat on that day shall remain as will be sufficient for the administration of justice, according as the business to be done be  greater or less.

20.  A free man shall not be amerced for a small fault, but according to the measure thereof; and for a great crime according to its magnitude, in proportion to his degree; and in a like manner a merchant  in proportion to his merchandise, and a villein in proportion to his wainage if he should fall under Our mercy; and none of the said amercements shall be imposed unless by the oath of honest men of the venue.

21.  Earls and Barons shall only be amerced by their peers, in proportion to the measure of the offence.

22.  No clerk shall be amerced for his lay tenement, except after the manner of the other persons aforesaid, and not according to the value of his ecclesiastical benefice.

23.  Neither shall any vill or person be distrained to make bridges over rivers, but they who are bound to do so by ancient custom and law.

24.  No sheriff, constable, coroners, or other Our bailiffs shall hold pleas of Our Crown.

25.  All counties, hundreds, tithings and wapentakes shall stand at the old farms, without any increased rent, except Our demesne manors.

26.  If any one dies holding a lay fee of Us, and the sheriff or Our bailiff show Our letters patent of summons touching the debt due to Us from the deceased, it shall be lawful to such sheriff or bailiff to attach and register the chattels of the deceased found in the lay fee to the value of that debt, so that, by view of lawful men, so that nothing be removed therefrom until Our whole debt be paid; and the residue shall be given up to the executors to carry out the will of the deceased. And if there be nothing is due from him to Us, all his chattels shall remain to the deceased, saving to his wife and children their reasonable shares.

27.  If any free man shall die intestate his chattels shall be distributed by the hands of his nearest kinfolk and friends by view of the Church saving to every one the debts due to him from the deceased.

28.  No constable or other Our bailiff shall take corn or other chattels of any man without immediate payment for the same, unless he hath a voluntary respite of payment from the seller.

29.  No constable shall distrain any knight to give money for castleguard, if he will perform it either in his proper person or some other fit man, if he himself be prevented from doing so by reasonable cause; and if We lead or send him into the army, he shall be quit of castleguard for the time he shall remain in the army by Our command.

30.  No sheriff or other Our bailiff or any other man, shall take the horses or carts of any free man for carriage except with his consent.

31.  Neither shall We or Our bailiffs take another man's timber for Our castles or other uses, unless with the consent of the owner thereof.

32.  We will only retain the lands of persons convicted of felony for a year and a day, after which they shall be restored to the lords of the fees.

33.  From henceforth, all weirs shall be entirely removed from the Thames and  Medway, and throughout England, except upon the seacoast.

34.  The writ called "Praecipe” shall not for the future issue to any one of any tenement whereby a freeman may lose his court.

35.  There shall be one measure of wine throughout Our entire kingdom, and one of ale; and one measure of corn, to wit, the London quarter, and one breadth of dyed cloth, russetts, and haberjects, to wit, two ells within the lists.  And as with measure, so shall it be also with weights.

36.  From henceforth nothing shall be given for a writ of inquisition upon life or limbs, but it shall be granted gratis, and shall not be denied.

37.  If any one hold of Us by feefarm, socage or burgage, and hold land of another by Knight's service, We will not have the wardship of his heir, or the land which belongs to another man's fee, by reason of that feefarm, socage or burgage; nor will We have the wardship of such feefarm, socage, or burgage, unless such feefarm owe Knight's service.  We will not have the wardship of any man's heir, or the land which he holds of another by Knight's service, by reason of any petty serjeanty which he holds of Us by service of rendering Us daggers, arrows, or the like.

38.  No bailiff shall for the future put any man to trial upon his simple accusation without producing credible witnesses to the truth thereof.

39.  No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him except by lawful judgment of his peers or the law of the land.

40.  To no one will We sell, to none will We deny or defer right or justice.

41.  All merchants shall have safe conduct to go and come out of and into England, and to stay in and travel through England by land and water for purchase or sale without maltolt,  by ancient and just customs, except in time of war or if they belong to a country at war with Us. And if any such be found in Our domain at the outbreak of war, they shall be attached, without injury to their persons or goods, until it be known to Us or Our Chief Justiciary, after what sort Our merchants are treated who shall be found at that time in the country at war with Us, and if they be safe there then these shall be also with Us.

42.  It shall be lawful in future, unless in time of war, for any one to leave and return to Our kingdom safely and securely by land and water, saving his fealty to Us, for any short period, for the common benefit of the realm, except prisoners and outlaws according to the law of the land, people of the country at war with Us, and merchants who shall be dealt with as is aforesaid.

43.  If any one die holding of any escheat   as of the honour of Wallingford, Nottingham, Boulogne, Lancaster, or other escheats which are in Our hands and are baronies, his heir shall not give any relief or do any service to Us other than he would owe to the baron if such barony should have been in the hands of a baron, and We will hold it in the same manner in which the baron held it.

44.  Persons dwelling without the forest shall not for the future come before Our justiciaries of the forest by common summons, unless they are be impleaded or are bail for any person or persons attached for breach of forestlaws.

45.  We will only appoint such men to be justiciaries, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs as know the law of the land and will keep it well.

46.  All barons, founders of abbies, by charters of English Kings or ancient tenure, shall have the custody of the same during vacancy as is due.

47. All forests which have been afforested in Our time shall be forthwith disafforested, and so shall it be done with regard to rivers which have been placed in fence in Our time.

48.  All evil customs concerning forest and warrens, foresters, warreners, sheriffs, and their officers, rivers and their conservators, shall be immediately inquired into  in each county by twelve sworn knights of such shire, who must be elected by honest men thereof, and within forty days after making the inquisition they shall be altogether and irrevocably abolished, the matter having been previously brought to Our knowledge or that of Our Chief Judiciary if We Ourself, shall not be in England.

49.  We will immediately given up all hostages and charters delivered to Us by the English for the security of peace and the performance of loyal service.

50.  We will entirely remove from their bailiwicks the kinsmen of Gerard de Atyes, so that henceforth they shall hold no bailiwick in England, Engelard de Cygoyney, Andrew, Peter and Gyon de Cancelles, Gyon de Cygoyney, Ralph de Martiny and his brothers, Philip Marc and his brothers, and his grandson Ralph, and all their followers[.]

51.  and directly after the restoration of peace We will dismiss out of our kingdom all foreign soldiers, bowmen, serving men, and mercenaries, who come with horses and arms to the nuisance thereof.

52.  If any one have been disseised or deprived by Us without the legal judgment of his peers, of his lands, castles, liberties, or rights, We will instantly restore the same, and if a dispute shall arise thereupon, the matter shall be decided by judgment of the twentyfive barons, mentioned below for the security of peace. With regard to all those things, however, whereof any person shall have disseised or deprived without the legal judgment of this peers, by King Henry Our Father, or by Our Brother King Richard, and which remain in Our hands or are held by others under Our warranty, We will have respite thereof till the term commonly allowed to the crusaders, except as to those matters on which a plea shall have arisen, or an inquisition have been taken by Our command prior to Our assumption of the Cross, and immediately after Our return from Our pilgrimage, or if by chance We should remain behind from it We will do full justice therein.

53.  We will likewise have the same respite and in like manner shall justice be done with respect to forests to be disafforested or let alone, which Henry Our Father or Richard Our Brother afforested, and to wardships of lands belonging to another's fee, which We have hitherto held by reason of the fee which some person has held of Us by Knight's service, and to abbies founded in another's fee than Our own, and whereto the lord of that fee asserts his right.  And when We return from Our pilgrimage, or if We remain behind therefrom, We will forthwith do full justice to the complainants in these matters.

54.  No one shall be taken or imprisoned upon a woman's appeal for the death of any other person than her husband.

55.  All fines unjustly and unlawfully made with Us, and all amercements levied unjustly and against the law of the land, shall be entirely condoned or the matter settled by judgment of the twentyfive barons of whom mention is made below; for the security of peace, or the majority of them, together with the aforesaid Stephen, Archbishop of Canterbury, if he himself can be present, and any others whom he may wish to summon for the purpose, and if he cannot be present the business shall nevertheless proceed without him.  Provided that if any one or more of the said twentyfive barons be interested in a plaint of this kind, he or they shall be set aside, as to this particular judgment, and another or others elected and sworn by the rest of the said barons for this purpose only be substituted in his or their stead.

56.  If We have disseised or deprived the Welsh of lands, liberties, or other things without legal judgment of their peers in England or Wales, they shall be instantly be restored to them, and if a dispute arise thereon, the questions shall be determined on the Marches by judgment of their peers according to the law of England with regard to English tenements, the law of Wales respecting Welsh tenements, and the law of the Marches as to tenements in the March.  The same shall the Welsh do to Us and Ours.

57.  But with regard to all those things whereof any Welshman shall have been disseised or deprived without legal judgment of his peers by King Henry Our Father or  Our Brother King Richard, and which We hold in Our hands or others hold under Our warranty.  We will have respite thereof till the term commonly allowed to the crusaders, except as to those matters whereon a plea shall have risen or an inquisition have been taken by Our command prior to Our assumption of the Cross, and immediately after Our return from Our pilgrimage, or if by chance We should remain behind from it We will do full justice therein, according to the laws of the Welsh and the parts aforesaid.

58.  We will immediately give up the son of Lewelyn and all the Welsh hostages, and the charters which were delivered to Us for the security of peace.

59.  We will do the same with regard to Alexander, King of the Scots, in the matter of giving up his sisters and hostages, and of his liberties and rights, as We would with regard to Our other barons of England, unless it should appear by the charters which We hold of William his father, late King of the Scots, that it ought to be otherwise, and this shall be done by judgment of his peers in Our court.

60.  All which customs and liberties aforesaid, which We have granted to be enjoyed, as far as in Us lies, by Our people throughout our kingdom, let all Our subjects, clerks and laymen, observe, as far as in them lies, toward their dependents.

61. And whereas We, for the honour of God, and the amendment of Our realm, and in order the better to allay the discord arisen between Us and Our barons, have granted all these things aforesaid, We, willing that they be for ever enjoyed wholly and in lasting strength, do give and grant to Our subjects the following security; to wit, that the barons shall elect any twentyfive barons of the kingdom at will, who shall, with their utmost power, keep hold, and cause to be holden the peace and liberties which We have granted unto them, and by this Our present Charter  confirmed, so that, for instance, if We Our Justiciary, bailiffs or any of Our ministers, offend in any respect against any man, or shall transgress any of these articles of peace or security, and the offense be brought before four barons of the said five and twenty barons, those four barons shall come before Us, or Our Chief Justiciary if We are out of the kingdom, declaring the offence, and shall demand speedy amends for the same.  And if We, or in case of Our being out of the Kingdom, Our chief Judiciary, fair to afford redress within the space of forty days from the time the case was brought before Us or Our Chief Judiciary, or to  the aforesaid four barons shall refer the matter to the rest of the twentyfive barons, who, together with the commonality of the whole country, shall distrain and distress Us to the utmost of their power, to wit, by capture of Our castles, lands, possessions, and all other possible means, until compensation be made according to their own decision, saving Our person and that of Our Queen and children, and as soon as that be done they shall return to their former allegiance.  Any one whatsoever in the kingdom may take oath that, for the accomplishment of the aforesaid matters, he will obey the orders of the said twentyfive barons, and distress Us to the utmost of his power; and We give public and free leave to every one wishing to take such oath to do so, and to none will We deny the same.  Moreover, We will compel all such of Our subjects who shall decline to swear to, and together with the said twentyfive barons, to distrain and distress of their own free will and accord, to do so by Our command as is aforesaid.  And if any one of the twentyfive barons shall die or leave the country, or be in any way hindered from executing the said office, the rest of the said twentyfive barons shall choose another in his stead at their discretion, who shall be sworn in as the others.  And in all the cases referred to the twentyfive barons to execute, and in which a difference shall arise among them, supposing them all to be present, or that all who have been summoned are unwilling or unable to appear, the verdict of the majority shall be considered as firm and binding as if the whole number should have been of one mind. And the aforesaid twentyfive shall swear to keep faithfully all the aforesaid articles, and, to the best of their power, neither of Ourself cause them to be kept by others.  And we will not procure, either by Ourself or any other, anything from any man whereby any of the said concessions or liberties may be revoked or abated; and if any such procurement be made let it be null and void; it shall never be made use of either by Us or any other.

62.  We have also wholly remitted and condoned all illwill, wrath, and malice which have arisen between Us and Our subjects, clerk and laymen, during the disputes, to and with all men; as WE have moreover fully remitted, and as far as in Us lies, wholly condoned to and with all clerks and layman of the said disputes from Easter in the sixteenth year of Our reign till the restoration of peace; and, over and above this, we have caused to be made in their behalf letters patent by testimony of Stephen, Archbishop of Canterbury, Henry, Archbishop of Dublin, the Bishops above mentioned, and Master Pandulph upon the security and concession aforesaid.

63.  Wherefore We will, and firmly charge, that the English Church be free, and that all men in Our Kingdom have and hold all the aforesaid liberties, rights, and concessions, well and peaceably freely, quietly, fully and wholly, to them and their heirs, of Us and Our heirs, in all things and places for ever, as is aforesaid.  It is, moreover sworn, as well on Our part as on the part of the Barons, that all these matters aforesaid shall be kept in good faith and without malengine.  Witness the abovementioned Prelates and Nobles and many others.  Given by Our hand in the meadow which is called Runnymede between Windsor and Staines, on the Fifteenth day of June in the Seventeenth year of Our reign.

 

FIRST CHARTER OF VIRGINIA,

1606

 

I.  JAMES, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. WHEREAS our loving and welldisposed Subjects, Sir Thomas Gates, and Sir George Somers, Knights, Richard Hackluit, Clerk, Prebendary of Westminster, and EdwardMaria Wingfield, Thomas Hanham, and Ralegh Gilbert, Esqrs. William Parker, and George Popham, gentlemen, and divers others of our loving subjects, have been humble Suitors unto us, that we would vouchsafe unto them our licence, to make Habitation, Plantation, and to deduce a colony of sundry of our People into that part of America commonly called Virginia, and other parts and territories in America, either appertaining unto us, or which are not now actually possessed by any christian prince or people, situate, lying, and being all along the sea coasts, between four and thirty degrees of Northerly latitude from the Equinoctial line, and five and forty degrees of the same latitude, and in the main land between the same four and thirty and five and forty degrees, and the Islands thereunto adjacent, or within one hundred miles of the coast thereof.

II.  And to that end, and for the more speedy accomplishment of their said intended plantation and habitation there, are desirous to divide themselves into two several colonies and companies; the one consisting of certain knights, gentlemen, merchants, and other adventurers, of our city of London and elsewhere, which are, and from time to time shall be, joined unto them, which do desire to begin their plantation and habitation in some fit and convenient place, between four and thirty and one and forty degrees of the said latitude, alongst the coasts of Virginia, and the coasts of America aforesaid; and the other consisting of sundry knights, gentlemen, merchants, and other adventurers, of our cities of Bristol and Exeter, and of our town of Plimouth, and of other places, which do join themselves unto that Colony, which do desire their Plantation and habitation in some fit and convenient place, between eight and thirty degrees and five and forty degrees of the said latitude, all alongst the said coasts of Virginia and America, as that coast lyeth.

III.  We greatly commending and graciously accepting of, their desires for the furtherance of so noble a work, which may, by the providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the glory of his divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian religion to such people, as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God, and may in time bring the infidels and savages, living in those parts, to human civility, and to a settled and quiet government; Do, by these our letters pattents, graciously accept of, and agree to, their humble and wellintended desires;

IV.  And do therefore, for us, our heirs and successors, grant and agree, that the said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, Richard Hackluit, and EdwardMaria Wingfield, adventurers of and for our city of London, and all such others, as are, or shall be joined unto them of that colony, shall be called the first Colony; and they shall and may begin their said first plantation and habitation, at any place upon the said coast of Virginia or America, where they shall think fit and convenient, between the said four and thirty and one and forty degrees of the said latitude; And that they shall have all the lands, woods, soil, grounds, havens, ports, rivers, mines, minerals, marshes, waters, fishings, commodities, and hereditaments, whatsoever, from the said first seat of their Plantation and Habitation by the space of fifty miles of English statute measure, all along the said coast of Virginia and America, towards the west and southwest, as the coast lyeth, with all the islands within one hundred miles directly over against the same sea coast; and also all the lands, soil, grounds, havens, ports, rivers, mines, minerals, woods, waters, marshes, fishings, commodities, and hereditaments, whatsoever, from the said place of their first plantation and habitation for the space of fifty like English miles, all alongst the said coasts of Virginia and America, towards the east and northeast, or towards the north, as the coast lyeth, together with all the islands within one hundred miles, directly over against the said sea coast; and also all the lands, woods, soils, grounds, havens, ports, rivers, mines, minerals, marshes, waters, fishings, commodities, and hereditaments, whatsoever, from the same fifty miles every way on the sea coast, directly into the main land by the space of one hundred like English miles; and shall and may inhabit and remain there; and shall and may also build and fortify within any the same for their better safeguard and defence, according to their best discretion, and the discretion of the council of that colony; and that no other of our subjects shall be permitted, or suffered to plant or inhabit behind, or on the backside of them, towards the main land, without the express license or consent of the council of that colony, thereunto in writing first had and obtained.

V.  And we do likewise, for us, our heirs, and successors, by these presents, grant and agree, that the said Thomas Hanham, and Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, and all others of the town of Plimouth in the county of Devon, or elsewhere, which are, or shall be, joined unto them of that colony, shall be called the second colony; and that they shall and may begin their said Plantation and seat of their first abode and habitation, at any place upon the said coast of Virginia and America, where they shall think fit and convenient, between eight and thirty degrees of the said latitude, and five and forty degrees of the same latitude; and that they shall have all the lands, soils, grounds, havens, ports, rivers, mines, minerals, woods, marshes, waters, fishings, commodities, and hereditaments, whatsoever, from the first seat of their plantation and habitation by the space of fifty like English miles, as is aforesaid, all alongst the said coasts of Virginia and America, towards the west and southwest, or towards the south, as the coast lyeth, and all the Islands within one hundred miles, directly over against the said sea coast; and also all the lands, soils, grounds, havens, ports, rivers, mines, minerals, woods, marshes, waters, fishings, commodities, and hereditaments, whatsoever, from the said place of their first plantation and habitation for the space of fifty like miles, all alongst the said coast of Virginia and America, towards the east and northeast, or towards the north, as the coast lyeth, and all the Islands also within one hundred miles directly over against the same sea coast; and also all the lands, soils, grounds, havens, ports, rivers, woods, mines, minerals, marshes, waters, fishings, commodities, and hereditaments, whatsoever, from the same fifty miles every way on the sea coast, directly into the main land, by the space of one hundred like English miles; and shall and may inhabit and remain there; and shall and may also build and fortify within any the same for their better safeguard, according to their best discretion, and the discretion of the council of that colony; and that none of our subjects shall be permitted, or suffered, to plant or inhabit behind, or on the back of them, towards the main land, without express licence of the council of that colony, in writing thereunto first had and obtained.

VI.  Provided always, and our will and pleasure herein is, that the plantation and habitation of such of the said colonies, as shall last plant themselves, as aforesaid, shall not be made within one hundred like English miles of the other of them, that first begin to make their plantation, as aforesaid.

VII.  And we do also ordain, establish, and agree, for us, our heirs, and successors, that each of the said colonies shall have a council, which shall govern and order all matters and causes, which shall arise, grow, or happen, to or within the same several colonies, according to such laws, ordinances, and instructions, as shall be, in that behalf, given and signed with our hand or sign Manuel, and pass under the privy seal of our realm of England; each of which councils shall consist of thirteen persons, to be ordained, made, and removed, from time to time, according as shall be directed and comprised in the same instructions; and shall have a several seal, for all matters that shall pass or concern the same several councils; each of which seals, shall have the king's arms engraven on the one side thereof, and his portraiture on the other; and the seal of the council of the said first colony shall have engraven round about, on the one side, these words: Sigillum  Regis Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ,  & Hiberniæ:  on the other side this inscription round about; Pro Concilio primæ Coloniæ Virginiæ.  And the seal for the council of the said second colony shall also have engraven, round about the one side thereof, the aforesaid words: Sigillum Regis Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ, & Hiberniæ; and on the other side; Pro Concilio secunoæ Coloniæ, Virginiæ:

VIII.  And that also there shall be a Council, established here in England, which shall, in like manner, consist of thirteen persons, to be, for that purpose, appointed by us, our heirs and successors, which shall be called our Council of Virginia; and shall, from time to time, have the superior managing and direction, only of and for all matters that shall or may concern the government, as well of the said several colonies, as of and for any other part or place, within the aforesaid precincts of four and thirty and five and forty degrees abovementioned; which council shall, in like manner, have a seal, for matters concerning the council or colonies, with the like arms and portraiture, as aforesaid, with this inscription, engraven round about on the one side; Sigillum Regis Magnæ  Britanniæ, Franciæ, & Hiberniæ,  and round about on the other Side, Pro Concillio suo Virginiæ.

IX.  And moreover, we do grant and agree, for us, our heirs and successors; that the said several councils, of and for the said several colonies, shall and lawfully may, by virtue hereof, from time to time, without any interruption of us, our heirs or successors, give and take order, to dig, mine, and search for all manner of mines of gold, silver, and copper, as well within any part of their said several colonies, as of the said main lands on the backside of the same colonies; And to have and enjoy the gold, silver, and copper, to be gotten thereof, to the use and behoof of the same colonies, and the plantations thereof; yielding therefore to us, our heirs and successors, the fifth part only of all the same gold and silver, and the fifteenth part of all the same copper, so to be gotten or had, as is aforesaid, without any other manner of profit or account, to be given or yielded to us, our heirs, or successors, for or in respect of the same:

X.  And that they shall, or lawfully may, establish and cause to be made a coin, to pass current there between the people of those several colonies, for the more ease of traffick and bargaining between and amongst them and the natives there, of such metal, and in such manner and form, as the said several councils there shall limit and appoint.

XI.  And we do likewise, for us, our heirs, and successors, by these presents, give full power and authority to the said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, Richard Hackluit, EdwardMaria Wingfield, Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, and to every of them, and to the said several companies, plantations, and colonies, that they, and every of them, shall and may at all and every time and times hereafter, have, take, and lead in the said voyage, and for and towards the said several plantations, and colonies, and to travel thitherward, and to abide and inhabit there, in every the said colonies and plantations, such and so many of our subjects, as shall willingly accompany them, or any of them, in the said voyages and plantations; with sufficient shipping, and furniture of armour, weapons, ordnance, powder, victual, and all other things, necessary for the said plantations, and for their use and defence there: Provided always, that none of the said persons be such, as shall hereafter be specially restrained by us, our heirs, or successors.

XII.  Moreover, we do, by these presents, for us, our heirs, and successors, give and grant licence unto said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, Richard Hackluit, EdwardMaria Wingfield, Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, and to every of the said colonies, that they, and every of them, shall and may, from time to time, and at all times forever hereafter, for their several defences, encounter, expulse, repel, and resist, as well by sea as by land, by all ways and means whatsoever, all and every such person and persons, as without the especial licence of the said several colonies and plantations, shall attempt to inhabit within the said several precincts and limits of the said several colonies and plantations, or any of them, or that shall enterprise or attempt, at any time hereafter, the hurt, detriment, or annoyance, of the said several colonies or plantations:

XIII.  Giving and granting, by these presents, unto the said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, Richard Hackluit, EdwardMaria Wingfield, and their associates of the said first colony, and unto the said Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, and their associates of the said second colony, and to every of them, from time to time, and at all times forever hereafter power and authority to take and surprise, by all ways and means whatsoever, all and every person and persons, with their ships, vessels, goods, and other furniture, which shall be found trafficking, into any harbour or harbours, creek or creeks, or place, within the limits or precincts of the said several colonies and plantations, not being of the same colony, until such time, as they, being of any realms, or dominions under our obedience, shall pay, or agree to pay, to the hands of the treasurer of that colony, within whose limits and precincts they shall so traffick, two and a half upon every hundred, of any thing, so by them trafficked, bought, or sold; and being strangers, and not subjects under our obeysance, until they shall pay five upon every hundred, of such wares and merchandises, as they shall traffick, buy, or sell, within the precincts of the said several colonies, wherein they shall so traffick, buy, or sell, as aforesaid; which sums of money, or benefit, as aforesaid, for and during the space of one and twenty years, next ensuing that date hereof, shall be wholly emploied to the use, benefit, and behoof of the said several plantations, where such traffick shall be made; and after the said one and twenty years ended, the same shall be taken to the use of us, our heirs, and successors, by such officers and ministers as by us, our heirs, and successors, shall be thereunto assigned or appointed.

XIV.  And we do further, by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, give and grant unto the said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, Richard Hackluit, and EdwardMaria Wingfield, and to their associates of the said first colony and plantation, and to the said Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, and their associates of the said second colony and plantation, that they, and every of them, by their deputies, ministers, and factors, may transport the goods, chattels, armour, ammunition, and furniture, needful to be used by them, for their said apparel, food, defence, or otherwise in respect of the said plantations, out of our realms of England and Ireland, and all other our dominions, from time to time, for and during the time of seven years, next ensuing the date hereof, for the better relief of the said several colonies and plantations, without any customs, subsidy, or other duty, unto us, our heirs, or successors, to be yielded or payed for the same.

XV.  Also we do, for us, our heirs, and successors, declare, by these presents, that all and every the persons being our subjects, which shall dwell and inhabit within every or any of the said several colonies and plantations, and every of their children, which shall happen to be born within any of the limits and precincts of the said several colonies and plantations, shall have and enjoy all liberties, franchises, and immunities, within any of our other dominions, to all intents and purposes, as if they had been abiding and born, within this our realm of England, or any other of our said dominions.

XVI.  Moreover, our gracious will and pleasure is, and we do, by these presents, for us, our heirs, and successors, declare and set forth, that if any person or persons, which shall be of any of the said colonies and plantations, or any other, which shall traffick to the said colonies and plantations, or any of them, shall, at any time or times hereafter, transport any wares, merchandises, or commodities, out of any of our dominions, with a pretence to land, sell, or otherwise dispose of the same, within any the limits and precincts of any the said colonies and plantations, and yet nevertheless, being at sea, or after he hath landed the same within any of the said colonies and plantations, shall carry the same into any other foreign country, with a purpose there to sell or dispose of the same, without the licence of us, our heirs, and successors, in that behalf first had and obtained; that then, all the goods and chattels of such person or persons, so offending and transporting, together with the said ship or vessel, wherein such transportation was made, shall be forfeited to us, our heirs, and successors.

XVII.  Provided always, and our will and pleasure is, and we do hereby declare to all Christian kings, princes, and states, that if any person or persons, which shall hereafter be of any of the said several colonies and plantations, or any other, by his, their, or any of their licence and appointment, shall, at any time of times hereafter, rob or spoil, by sea or land, or do any act of unjust and unlawful hostility, to any the subjects of us, our heirs, or successors, or any the subjects of any king, prince, ruler, governor, or state, being then in league or amity with us, our heirs, or successors, and that upon such injury, or upon just complaint of such prince, ruler, governor, or state, or their subjects, we, our heirs, or successors, shall make open proclamation, within any of the ports of our realm of England, commodious for that purpose, that the person or persons, having committed any such robbery or spoil, shall, within the term to be limitted by such proclamations, make full restitution or satisfaction of all such injuries done, so as the said princes, or others, so complaining, may hold themselves fully satisfied and contented; and that, if the said person or persons, having committed such Robbery or spoil, shall not make, or cause to be made, satisfaction accordingly, within such time so to be limited, that then it shall be lawful to us, our heirs, and successors, to put the said person or persons, having committed such robbery or spoil, and their procurers, abetters, and comforters, out of our allegiance and protection; and that it shall be lawful and free for all Princes and others, to pursue with hostility the said offenders, and every of them, and their and every of their procurers, aiders, abetters, and comforters, in that behalf.

XVIII.  And finally, we do for us, our heirs, and successors, grant and agree, to and with the said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, Richard Hackluit, EdwardMaria Wingfield, and all others of the said first colony, that we, our heirs and successors, upon petition in that behalf to be made, shall, by letters, patent under the great seal of England, given and grant unto such persons, their heirs and assigns, as the council of that colony, or the most part of them, shall, for the purpose nominate and assign, all the lands, tenements, and hereditaments, which shall be within the precincts limited for that colony, as is aforesaid, to be holden of us, our heirs and successors, as of our manor at EastGreenwich in the County of Kent, in free and common soccage only, and not in Capite:

XIX.  And do, in like manner, grant and agree, for us, our heirs and successors, to and with the said Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, and all others of the said second colony, that we, our heirs, and successors, upon petition in that behalf to be made, shall, by letters patent, under the great seal of England, give and grant unto such persons, their heirs and assigns, as the council of that colony, or the most part of them, shall, for that purpose, nominate and assign, all the lands, tenements, and hereditaments, which shall be within the precincts limited for that colony, as is aforesaid, to be holden of us, our heirs, and successors, as of our manor of EastGreenwich in the colony of Kent, in free and common Soccage only, and not in Capite.

XX.  All which lands, tenements, and hereditaments, so to be passed by the said several letters patent, shall be sufficient assurance from the said patentees, so distributed and divided amongst the undertakers for the plantation of the said several colonies, and such as shall make their plantations in either of the said several colonies, in such manner and form, and for such estates, as shall be ordered and set down by the council of the said colony, or the most part of them, respectively, within which the same lands, tenements, and hereditaments shall lye or be; although express mention of the true yearly value or certainty of the premises or any of them, or of any other gifts or grants, by us or any of our progenitors or predecessors, to the aforesaid Sir Thomas Gates, knight, Sir George Somers, knight, Richard Hackluit, EdwardMaria Wingfield, Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, or any of them, heretofore made, in these presents, is not made; or any statute, act, ordinance, or provision, proclamation, or restraint, to the contrary hereof had, made, ordained, or any other thing, cause, or matter whatsoever, in any wise notwithstanding.  In witness whereof, we have caused these our letters to be made patents; witness ourself at Westminster, the tenth day of April, in the fourth year of the reign of England, France, and Ireland, and of Scotland the nine and thirtieth.

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