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Charter of the The Province of Maryland
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Charter of the Province of Maryland, 1632

Originally Translated and Published
in the Archives of Maryland, Volume 115, Maryland Manual, 1903,
published in Baltimore by Wm. J. C. Dulany Co., 1904.

Electronic Edition proofed, reformatted and annotated by
USGenNet Patrons Rhoda Fone & Carole Hammett (2001)



Forward
The settlement of Maryland was originally planned by the first Lord Baltimore, George Calvert, a Yorkshireman who had been Secretary of State to James I when he was made Baron of Baltimore in 1624. George Calvert was originally granted land for a colony in Newfoundland named Avalon (a.k.a. Ferryland), but a combination of climate and French raiders made the territory unsupportable. The Calverts attempted to reside there in 1627, but ultimately departed for the warmer climate of Virginia. Upon his return to England, Lord Baltimore persuaded Charles I, successor of James I, to grant him a charter which he had himself authored. When he presented it to the King, he left blanks for its name and date, and it is said that Charles named Terra Marias (Maryland) in honor of his queen, Henrietta Maria. The charter was not dated until 20 Jun 1632, but by then the first Lord Baltimore had died, succeeded by his son, Cecil, who organized the first expedition to Maryland in the two ships, The Ark and The Dove.

Unlike Virginia, Maryland was not chartered as a colony (owned by the King), but as a province. What this meant to Lord Baltimore was that to a great extent, his power and authority in Maryland was in many ways akin to that of the King, including his ownership of all lands within the province. Among the differences was a very important one: The "Advice, Assent, and Approbation" of the freemen (landowners) of the Province was required for passage of any laws that Lord Baltimore, as Proprietor, might wish to enact (See Section VII of the Charter below and also see The First Assembly of Freemen). The fact that Maryland was a Province is also why all Testamentary Proceedings (including probates, inventories and accountings) were conducted at the state (provincial) level in the Prerogative Court (See Maryland Calendar of Wills).


Rhoda Fone
Carole Hammett
July 2001





Charter of the Province of Maryland


CHARLES, by the grace of GOD, of England, Scotland France, and Ireland, KING, Defender of the Faith, &c. TO ALL to whom these Presents shall come, GREETING.

II. WHEREAS our well beloved and right trusty Subject, CAECELIUS CALVERT, Baron of BALTIMORE, in our Kingdom of Ireland, Son and Heir of GEORGE CALVERT, Knight, late Baron of BALTIMORE, in our said Kingdom of Ireland, treading in the Steps of his Father, being animated with a laudable and pious Zeal for extending the Christian Religion, and also the Territories of our Empire, hath humbly besought leave of Us, that he may transport by his own Industry, and Expence, a numerous Colony of the English Nation, to a certain Region, herein after described, in a Country hitherto uncultivated, in the parts of America and partly occupied by Savages, having no Knowledge of the Divine Being, and that all that Region, with some certain Privileges, and Jurisdictions,appertaining unto the wholesome Government. and State of his Colony and Region aforesaid may by our Royal Highness be given, granted, and confirmed unto him and his heirs.

III. KNOW YE therefore that WE, encouraging with our Royal Favour, the pious and noble Purpose of the aforesaid Baron of BALTIMORE, of our special Grace, certain Knowledge, and mere Motion, have GIVEN, GRANTED, and CONFIRMED, and by this our present CHARTER, for US, our Heirs, and Successors, do GIVE, GRANT and CONFIRM, unto the aforesaid CAECILIUS, now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns, all that Part of the Peninsula, or Chersonese lying in the Parts of America, between the Ocean on the East, and the bay of Chesopeake on the West, divided from the Residue thereof by a Right Line drawn from the Promontory, or Head Land, called Watkin’s Point, situate upon the Bay aforesaid, near the river of Wighco, on the West, unto the Main Ocean on the East; and between that Boundary on the South unto that Part of the Bay of Delaware on the North, which lieth under the Fortieth Degree of North Latitude from the Aequinoctial, where New-England is terminated; And all the Tract of that Land within the Metes underwritten, (that is to say,) passing from the said Bay, called Delaware Bay, in a right line, by the degree aforesaid, unto the true Meridian of the first Fountain of the River of Pattowmack [Potomac], thence verging toward the South, unto the further Bank of the said River, and following the same on the West and South, unto a certain place called Cinquack, situate near the Mouth of the said River, where it disembogues into the aforesaid Bay of Chesopeake, and thence by the shortest line unto the aforesaid Promontory, or Place called Watkin's Point; so that the whole Tract of Land, divided by the Line aforesaid, between the Main Ocean and Watkin's Point, unto the Promontory called Cape Charles, and every the Appendages thereof, may entirely remain excepted for ever to US, our Heirs, and Successors.

IV. Also WE do GRANT, and likewise CONFIRM unto the said Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs, and Assigns, all Islands and Islets within the Limits aforesaid, all and singular the Islands, and Islets, from the Eastern Shore of the aforesaid Region, toward the East, which have been, or shall be formed in the Sea, situate within Ten marine Leagues from the said Shore; with all and singular the Ports, Harbors, Bays, Rivers, and Straits belonging to the Region or Islands aforesaid, and all the Soil, Plains, Woods, Mountains, Marshes, Lakes, Rivers, Bays, and Straits, situate, or being within the Metes, Bounds, and Limits aforesaid, with the Fishings of every kind of Fish, as well as of Whales, Sturgeons, and other royal Fish, as of other Fish, in the Sea, Bays, Straits, or Rivers, within the Premisses, and the Fish there taken; And moreover all Veins, Mines, and Quarries, as well opened as hidden, already found, or that shall be found within the Region, Islands, or Limits aforesaid, of Gold, Silver, Gems, and precious Stones, and any other whatsoever, whether they be of Stones, or Metals, or of any other Thing, or Matter whatsoever; And furthermore the PATRONAGES and ADVOWSONS of all churches which, (with the increasing Worship and Religion of CHRIST,) within the said Region, Islands, Islets, and Limits aforesaid, hereafter shall happen to be built; together with License and Faculty of erecting and founding Churches, Chapels, and Places of Worship, in convenient and suitable Places, within the Premisses, and of causing the same to be dedicated and consecrated according to the Ecclesiastical Laws of our Kingdom of England, with all and singular, such, and as ample Rights, Jurisdictions, Privileges, Prerogatives, Royalties, Liberties, Immunities, and royal Rights, and temporal Franchises whatsoever, as well by Sea as by Land, within the Region, Islands, Islets, and Limits aforesaid, to be had, exercised, used and enjoyed, as any Bishop of Durham, within the Bishoprick or County Palatine of Durham, in our Kingdom of England, ever heretofore hath had, held, used, or enjoyed, or of Right, could, or ought to have, hold, use or enjoy.

V. And WE do by these Presents, for US, our Heirs and Successors, MAKE, CREATE and CONSTITUTE HIM, the now Baron of BALTIMORE, and his Heirs, the TRUE and ABSOLUTE LORDS and PROPRIETARIES of the Region aforesaid, and of all other the Premisses (except the before excepted) Saving always the Faith and Allegiance and Sovereign Dominion due to US, our Heirs and Successors; to HAVE, HOLD, POSSESS and enjoy the aforesaid Region, Islands, Islets and other the Premisses, unto the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, and to his Heirs and Assigns, to the sole and proper Behoof and Use of him, the now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns forever. To HOLD of US our Heirs and Successors, Kings of England, as of our Castle of Windsor, in our County of Berks, in free and common SOCCAGE, by Fealty only for all Services, and not in Capite, nor by Knight’s Service, YIELDING therefore unto US, our Heirs and Successors, TWO INDIAN ARROWS of those Parts, to be delivered at the said Castle of Windsor, every Year, on Tuesday in Easter-Week: and also the fifth Part of all Gold and Silver Ore, which shall happen from Time to Time, to be found within the aforesaid Limits.

VI. Now, That the aforesaid Region, thus by us granted and described, may be eminently distinguished above all other Regions of that Territory, and decorated with more ample Titles, KNOW YE, that WE, of our most especial Grace, certain Knowledge, and mere Motion, have thought fit that the said Region and Islands be erected into a PROVINCE, as out of the Plentitude of our royal Power and Prerogative, WE do, for US, our Heirs and Successors, ERECT and INCORPORATE the same into a PROVINCE, and nominate the same MARYLAND, by which Name WE will that it shall from henceforth be called.

VII. And forasmuch as WE have above made and ordained the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, the true LORD and PROPRIETARY of the whole PROVINCE aforesaid, KNOW YE therefore further, that WE, for US, our Heirs, and Successors do grant Unto the said now Baron, (in whose Fidelity, Prudence, Justice, and provident Circumspection of Mind, WE, repose the greatest Confidence) and to his Heirs, for the good and happy Government of the said PROVINCE, free, full and absolute Power, by the Tenor of these Presents, to Ordain, Make and Enact LAWS, of what kind soever, according to their sound Discretion, whether relating to the Public State of the said PROVINCE, or the private Utility of Individuals, of and with the Advice, Assent, and Approbation of the FreeMen of the same PROVINCE, or of the greater Part of them, or of their Delegates or Deputies, whom WE will shall be called together for the framing of LAWS, when, and as often as Need shall require, by the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, and his Heirs, and in the Form which shall seem best to him or them, and the same to publish under the Seal of the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE and his Heirs and duly to execute the same upon all Persons, for the Time being, within the aforesaid PROVINCE and the Limits thereof, or under his or their Government and Power, in Sailing toward MARYLAND, or thence Returning, Outward-bound, either to England or elsewhere, whether to any other Part of Our or of any foreign Dominions, wheresoever established, by the Imposition of Fines, Imprisonment, and other Punishment whatsoever; even if it be necessary, and the Quality of the Offence require it, by Privation of Member or, Life, by him the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, and his Heirs, or by his or their Deputy, Lieutenant, Judges, Justices, Magistrates, Officers, and Ministers, to be constituted and appointed according to the Tenor and true Intent of these Presents, and to constitute and ordain Judges, Justices, Magistrates and Officers, of what Kind, for what Cause, and with what Power soever, within that Land, and the Sea of those Parts, and in such Form as to the said now Baron of BALTIMORE, or his Heirs, shall seem most fitting: And also to Remit, Release, Pardon, and Abolish, all Crimes and Offences whatsoever against such Laws, whether before, or after Judgment passed; and to do all and singular other Things belonging to the Completion of Justice, and to Courts, Praetorian Judicatories, and Tribunals, judicial Forms and Modes of Proceeding, although express Mention thereof in these Presents be not made; and, by Judges by them delegated, to award Process, hold Pleas, and determine in those Courts, Praetorian Judicatories, and Tribunals, in all Actions, Suits, Causes and Matters whatsoever, as well Criminal as Personal, Real and Mixed, and Praetorian: Which said Laws, so to be published as abovesaid, WE will, enjoin, charge and command, to be most absolute and firm in Law, and to be kept in those Parts by all the Subjects and Liegemen of US, our Heirs, and Successors, so far as they concern them, and to be inviolably observed under the Penalties therein expressed, or to be expressed. So NEVERTHELESS, that the Laws aforesaid be Consonant to Reason, and be not repugnant or contrary, but (so far as conveniently may be) agreeable to the Laws, Statutes, Customs and Rights of this Our Kingdom of England.

VIII. AND FORASMUCH as, in the Government of so great a PROVINCE, sudden Accidents may frequently happen to which it will be necessary to apply a Remedy before the Free holders of the said PROVINCE, their Delegates or Deputies, can be called together for the framing of Laws; neither will it be fit that so great a number of People should immediately on such emergent Occasion, be called together, WE THEREFORE, for the better Government of so great a PROVINCE, do Will and Ordain and by these Presents, for US, our Heirs and Successors do grant unto the said now Baron of BALTIMORE, and to his Heirs, that the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, and his Heirs, by themselves, or by their Magistrates and Officers, thereunto duly to be constituted as aforesaid, may, and can make and constitute fit and wholesome Ordinances from Time to Time, to be kept and observed within the PROVINCE aforesaid, as well for the Conservation of the Peace, as for the Better Government of the People inhabiting therein, and publickly to notify the same to all Persons whom the same in any wise do or may effect. Which Ordinances, WE will to be inviolably observed within the said PROVINCE, under the Pains to be expressed in the same. So that the said Ordinances be Consonant to Reason, and be not repugnant nor contrary, but (so far as conveniently may be done) agreeable to the Laws, Statutes, or Rights of our Kingdom of England: and so that the same Ordinances do not, in any Sort, extend to oblige, bind, charge, or take away the Right or Interest of any Person or Persons, of, or in Member, Life, Freehold, Goods or Chattels.

IX. FURTHERMORE, that the New Colony may more happily increase by a Multitude of People resorting thither, and at the same Time may he more firmly secured from the Incursions of Savages, or of other Enemies, Pirates, and Ravagers WE, therefore, for US, our Heirs and Successors, do by these Presents give and grant Power, License and Liberty, to all the Liege-Men and Subjects, present and future, of US, our Heirs and Successors, except such to whom it shall be expressly forbidden, to transport themselves and their Families to the said PROVINCE, with fitting Vessels, and suitable Provisions, and therein to settle, dwell, and inhabit; and to build and fortify Castles, Forts, and other Places of Strength at the Appointment of the aforesaid, now Baron of BALTIMORE, and his Heirs, for the Public and their own Defence; the Statute of Fugitives, or any other whatsover to the contrary of the Premisses in any wise notwithstanding.

X. WE will also, out of our more abundant Grace, for US, our Heirs and Successors, do firmly charge, constitute, ordain and command that the said PROVINCE be of our Allegiance; and that all and singular the Subjects and Liege-Men of US, our Heirs and Successors, -transplanted, or hereafter to be transplanted into tile PROVINCE aforesaid, and the children of them, and of others their Descendants, whether already born there, or hereafter to be born, be and shall be natives and Liege-Men of US, our Heirs and Successors, of our Kingdom of England and Ireland; and in all Things shall be held, treated, reputed, and esteemed as the faithful Liege-Men of US, and our Heirs and Successors, born within our Kingdom of England; also Lands, Tenements, Revenues, Services, and other Hereditaments whatsoever within our Kingdom of England, and other our Dominions, to inherit or otherwise purchase, receive, take, have, hold, buy, and possess, and the same to use and enjoy, and the same to give, sell, alien, and bequeath; and likewise all Privileges, Franchises and Liberties of this our Kingdom of England, freely, quietly and peaceably to have and possess, and the same may use and enjoy in the same Manner as our Liege-Men born, or to be born within our same Kingdom of England, without Impediment Molestation, Vexation, Impeachment, or Grievance of US, or any of our Heirs or Successors; any Statute, Act, Ordinance, or Provision to the contrary thereof, notwithstanding.

XI. FURTHERMORE, That our Subjects may be incited to undertake this Expedition with a ready and chearful Mind; KNOW YE, that WE of our especial Grace, certain Knowledge, and mere Motion, do, by the Tenor of these Presents, give and grant, as well as to the aforesaid Baron of BALTIMORE, and to his Heirs, as to all other Persons who shall from Time to Time repair to the said Province, either for the sake of Inhabiting, or of Trading with the Inhabitants of tile Province aforesaid, full License to Ship and Lade in any the Ports of US, our Heirs and Successors, all and singular their Goods, as well moveable as immoveable, Wares and Merchandize, likewise Grain of what Sort soever, and other Things whatsoever necessary for Food and Cloathing, by the Laws and Statutes of our Kingdoms and Dominions, not prohibited to be transported out of the said Kingdoms; and the same to transport, by themselves, or their Servants or Assigns, into the said PROVINCE without the Impediment or Molestation of US, our Heirs or Successors, of any officers of US, our Heirs or Successors (Saving unto US, our Heirs and Successors, the Impositions, Subsidies, Customs, and other Dues payable for the same Goods and Merchandizes), any Statute, Act, Ordinance or other Thing whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding.

XII. BUT BECAUSE, that in so remote a Region, placed among so many barbarous Nations, the Incursions, as well of the Barbarians themselves, as of other Enemies, Pirates and Ravagers, probably will be feared, THEREFORE WE have Given, and for US, our Heirs and Successors, do Give by these Presents, as full and unrestrained Power as.any Captain General of an Army ever hath had, unto the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, and to his Heirs and Assigns, by themselves or by their Captains or other Officers, to summon to their Standards, or to array all Men, of whatsoever Condition, or wheresoever born for the Time being, in the said Province of MARYLAND, to wage War, and to pursue, even beyond the Limits of their Province, the Enemies and Ravagers aforesaid, infesting those Parts by Land and by Sea, and (if GOD shall grant it) to vanquish and captivate them, and the Captives to put to Death, or, according to their Discretion, to save, and to do all other and singular the Things which appertain, or have been accustomed to appertain unto the Authority and Office of a Captain-General of an Army.

XIII. We also WILL, and by this our CHARTER, do Give unto the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, and to his Heirs and Assigns, Power, Liberty and Authority, that, in Case of Rebellion, sudden Tumult or Sedition, if any (which GOD forbid) should happen to arise, whether upon Land within the PROVINCE aforesaid, or upon the High Sea in making a Voyage to the said PROVINCE of MARYLAND, or in returning thence, they may, by themselves, or by their Captains, or other Officers, thereunto deputed under their Seals (to whom WE, for US, our Heirs and Successors, by these Presents, do Give and Grant the fullest Power and Authority) exercise Martial Law as freely, and in as ample Manner and Form, as any Captain-General of an Army, by virtue of his Office may, or hath accustomed to use the same, against the seditious Authors of Innovations in those Parts, withdrawing themselves from the Government of him or them, refusing to serve in War, flying over to the Enemy, exceeding their Leave of Absence, Deserters, or otherwise howsoever offending against the Rule, Law, or Discipline of War.

XIV. MOREVER, lest in so remote and far distant a Region, every Access to Honours and Dignities may seem to be precluded, and utterly barred, to Men well born, who are preparing to engage in the present Expedition, and desirous of deserving well, both in Peace and War, of US, and our Kingdoms: for this Cause, We, for US, our Heirs and Successors, do give free and plenary Power to the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, and to his Heirs and Assigns, to confer Favours, Rewards, Honours, upon such Subjects, inhabiting within the PROVINCE aforesaid, as shall be well deserving, and to adorn them with whatsoever Titles and Dignities they shall appoint; (so that they be not such as are now used in England,) also to erect and incorporate Towns into Buroughs, and buroughs into Cities, with suitable Privileges and Immunities, according to the Merits of the Inhabitants, and Convenience of the places; and to do all and singular other Things in the Premisses, which to him or them shall seem fitting and convenient; even although they shall be such as in their own Nature, require a more special Commandment and Warrant than in these Presents may be expressed.

XV. WE WILL also, and by these Presents do, for US, our Heirs and Successors, give and grant License by this our CHARTER, unto the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns, and to all Persons whatsoever, who are, or shall be, Residents and Inhabitants of the PROVINCE aforesaid, freely to import and unlade, by themselves, their Servants, Factors or Assigns, all Wares and Merchandizes whatsoever, which shall be collected out of the Fruits and Commodities of the said PROVINCE, whether the Product of the Land or the Sea, into any of the Ports whatsoever of US, our Heirs and Successors, of England or Ireland, or otherwise to dispose of the same there; and, if Need be, within One Year, to be computed immediately from the Time of unlading thereof, to lade the same Merchandizes again in the same or other Ships, and to export the same to any other Countries they shall think proper, whether belonging to US, or any foreign Power, which shall be in Amity with US, our Heirs or Successors; Provided always, that they be bound to pay for the same to US, our Heirs and Successors, such Customs and Impositions, Subsidies and Taxes, as our other Subjects of the Kingdom of England, for the Time being shall be bound to pay, beyond which WE WILL that the Inhabitants of the aforesaid PROVINCE of the said Land, called MARYLAND, shall not be burdened.

XVI. AND FURTHERMORE, of our more ample special Grace, and of our certain Knowledge, and mere Motion, WE do for US, our Heirs and Successors, grant unto the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns, full and absolute Power and Authority to make, erect and constitute, within the PROVINCE of MARYLAND, and the Islands and Islets aforesaid, such, and so many Sea-Ports, Harbours, Creeks, and other Places of Unlading and Discharge of Goods and Merchandizes out of Ships, Boats and other Vessels, and of Lading in the same, and in so many, and such places, and with such Rights, Jurisdictions, Liberties and Privileges, unto such Ports respecting, as to him or them shall seem most expedient: And, that all and every the Ships, Boats and other Vessels whatsoever, coming to, or going from the PROVINCE aforesaid, for the Sake of Merchandizing, shall be laden and unladen at such Ports only as shall be so erected and constituted by the said now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns any Usage, Custom, or any other Thing whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding. SAVING always to US, our Heirs and Successors, and to all the Subjects of our Kingdoms of England and Ireland, of US, our Heirs and Successors, the Liberty of Fishing for Sea-Fish as well in the Sea, Bays, Straits and navigable Rivers, as in the Harbours, Bays and Creeks of the PROVINCE aforesaid; and the Privilege of Salting and Drying Fish on the Shores of the same PROVINCE; and for that Cause, to cut down and take Hedging-Wood and Twigs there growing, and to build Huts and Cabbins, necessary in this Behalf in the same Manner as heretofore they reasonably might, or have used to do. Which Liberties and Privileges, the said Subject of US, our Heirs and Successors shall enjoy without notable Damage or Injury in any wise to be done to the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs or Assigns, or to the Residents and Inhabitants of the same PROVINCE in the Ports Creeks and Shores aforesaid, and especially in the Woods and Trees there growing. And if any Person shall do damage or Injury of this kind, he shall incur the Peril and Pain of the heavy Displeasure of US, our Heirs and Successors, and of the due Chastisement of the Laws, besides making Satisfaction.

XVII. MOREOVER, WE will, appoint, and ordain and by these Presents, for US, our Heirs and Successors, do grant unto the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns, that the same Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns, from Time to Time, for ever, shall have, and enjoy the Taxes and Subsidies payable, or arising within the Ports, Harbours and other Creeks and Places aforesaid, within the PROVINCE aforesaid, for Wares bought and sold, and Things there to be laden and unladen, to be reasonably assessed by them, and the People there as aforesaid, on emergent Occasion; to whom WE grant Power and by these Presents, for US, our Heirs and Successors to assess and impose the said Taxes and Subsidies there, upon just Cause,. and in due Proportion.

XVIII. AND FURTHERMORE, of our special Grace, and certain Knowledge, and mere Motion, WE have given, granted and confirmed, and by these Presents, for US, our Heirs, and Successors, do give, grant, and confirm, unto the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns, full and absolute License, Power and Authority, that he, the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns, from Time to Time, hereafter, for ever, may and can, at his or their Will and Pleasure, assign, alien, grant, demise, or enfeoff so many, such and proportionate Parts and Parcels of the Premisses, to any Person or Persons willing to purchase the same, as they shall think convenient, to have and to hold to the same Person or Persons willing to take or purchase the same, and his and their Heirs and Assigns, in Fee-simple, or Fee-tail, or for Term of Life, Lives or Years; to hold of the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns, by so many, such, and so great Services, Customs and Rents OF THIS KIND, as to the same now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns, shall seem fit and agreeable, and not immediately of US, our Heirs or Successors. And WE do give, and by these Presents, for US, our Heirs or Successors, do grant to the same Person and Persons, and to each and every of them, License, Authority and Power, that such Person or Persons, may take the premises, or any Parcel thereof, of the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns, and hold the same to them and their Assigns, or their Heirs of the aforesaid Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns, of what Estate of Inheritance soever, in Fee-Simple or Fee-tail, or otherwise, as to them and the now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns, shall seem expedient; the Statute made in the Par.liament of Lord EDWARD, son of King HENRY, late King of England, our Progenitor, commonly called the “STATUTE QUIA EMPTORES TERRARUM,” heretofore published in our Kingdom of England, or any other ‘Statute, Act, Ordinance, Usage, Law, or Custom, or any other Thing, Cause, or Matter, to the contrary thereof, heretofore had, done, published, ordained or provided to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.

XIX. WE, also, by these Presents, do give and grant License to the same Baron of BALTIMORE, and to his Heirs, to erect any Parcels of Land within the PROVINCE aforesaid, into Manors, and in every of those Manors, to have and to hold a Court-Baron, and all Things which to a Court’ Baron do belong: and to have and to keep View of Frank Pledge, for the Conservation of the Peace and better Government of those Parts, by themselves and their Stewards, or by the Lords, for the Time being to be deputed, of other of those Manors when they shall be constituted, and in the same to exercise all Things to the View of Frank-Pledge belonging.

XX. AND FURTHER, WE will, and do, by these Presents, for US, our Heirs and Successors, covenant and grant to, and with the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns, that WE, our Heirs and Successors, at no Time hereafter will impose, or make or cause to be imposed, any Impositions, Customs, or other Taxations, Quotas or Contributions whatsover, in or upon the Residents or Inhabitants of the PROVINCE aforesaid, for their Goods, Lands or Tenements within the same PROVINCE, or upon any Tenements Lands, Goods or Chattels within the Province aforesaid, or in or upon any Goods or Merchandizes within the PROVINCE aforesaid, or within the Ports or Harbours of the said PROVINCE, to be, laden or unladen: And WE Will and do, for US, our Heirs and Successors, enjoin and command that this our Declaration shall from Time to Time, be received and allowed in all our Courts and Praetorian Judicatories, and before all the Judges whatsoever of US, our Heirs and Successors, for a sufficient and lawful Discharge, Payment, and Acquittance thereof, charging all and singular the Officers and Ministers of US, our Heirs and Successors and enjoining them, under our heavy Displeasure, that they do not at any Time presume to attempt any Thing to the contrary of the Premisses, or that may in any wise contravene the same, but that they, at all Times as is fitting, do aid and assist the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, and his Heirs, and CHARTER. 11the aforesaid Inhabitants and Merchants of the PROVINCE of MARYLAND aforesaid, and their Servants and Ministers, Factors and Assigns, in the fullest Use and Enjoyment of this our CHARTER.

XXI. AND FURTHERMORE WE WILL, and by these Presents; for US, our Heirs and Successors, do grant unto the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns, and to the Freeholders and Inhabitants of the said PROVINCE, both present and to come, and to every of them, that the said PROVINCE and the Freeholders or Inhabitants of the said Colony or Country. shall not henceforth be held or reputed a member or Part of the Land of Virginia or of any other Colony already transported, or hereafter to be transported, or be dependent on the same, or subordinate in any kind of Government, from which WE do separate both the said PROVINCE, and Inhabitants thereof, and by these Presents do WILL to be distinct, and that they may be im. mediately subject to our Crown of England, and dependent on the same for ever.

XXII. AND if, peradventure, hereafter it may happen that any Doubts or Questions should arise concerning the true Sense and Meaning of any Word, Clause or Sentence, contained in this our present CHARTER, WE will, charge and command, THAT Interpretation to be applied, always, and in all Things, and in all our Courts and Judicatories whatsoever, to obtain which shall be judged to be the more beneficial, profitable, and favourable to the aforesaid now Baron of BALTIMORE, his Heirs and Assigns: PROVIDED always that no Interpretation thereof be made, whereby GOD’s holy and true Christian Religion, or the Allegiance due to US, our Heirs and Successors, may in any wise suffer by Change, Prejudice, or Diminution; although express Mention be not made in these Presents of the true yearly Value or Certainty of the Premisses, or any Part thereof, or of other Gifts and Grants made by US, our Heirs and Predecessors, unto the said now Lord BALTIMORE, or any Statute, Act, Ordinance, Provision, Proclamation or Restraint heretofore had, made, published, ordained or provided, or any other Thing, Cause or Matter whatsoever, to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

XXIII. IN WITNESS whereof WE have caused these our Letters to be made Patent. WITNESS OURSELF at Wesminister [sic], the Twentieth Day of June, in the Eighth Year of our Reign.

_____________________________

NOTES*

* All notes and words enclosed in [brackets] are those of the editors and not part of the original edition.

† The definition of the southern boundary of "New England" being vague, and the charter later granted William Penn being the same, was later the cause of many disputes between Delaware and Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

† The inclusion of the "Eastern Shore" in the charter was also the source of major disputes, this land having already been settled by William Claiborne (See Isle of Kent

† Frankpledge was an ancient system of tithing and self-government by titheholders. See Combs &c.'s Glossary of Words and Phrases for more about this and others of the archaic terms used herein, including Court-barons. See also Combs &c.'s Manor of St. Clements in St. Mary's County, Maryland, for more on the subject of Court Leets and Barons (local manorial judicial systems).

Source: Electronic Edition of The Archives of Maryland, Vol. 115 (proofed from gif files)








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