Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Advanced Search Options
Instructions to Samuel Stephens concerning the government of Albemarle County
Carolina. Lords Proprietors.
Volume 01, Pages 165-175

-------------------- page 165 --------------------
[B. P. R. O. Col: Ent: Book. No. 20. P. 25.]

1. Impa you are to take to you 6. Councillors at least 12. at most or any eaven Number betweene 6. and 12. with whose advice and consent, or with at least 3. of the 6. or 4. of a greater Number all being summoned you are to governe according to the Lymitations and Instructions following during our pleasure;

The Cheife Register or Secretary which wee have chosen or shall choose, we fayling that you shall choose, shall keepe exact Enteryes in faire bookes of all publicke affaires of said County and to avoyde deceates and law suites shall record and enter all graunts of Land from the Lords to the planter, and all conveyances of Land, house or houses from man to man, as alsoe all leases for Land, house or houses made or to be made, by the Landlords to any Tennant for more then one yeare, which Conveyance or Lease shalbe first acknowledged by the Grantor or Leaser or owner by the Oath of 2 Witnesses to the Conveyance or Lease before the Governor or some Chiefe Judge of a Court for the time being, who shall under his hand upon the backe side of the said deede or Lease, attest the acknowledgement or proofe as aforesaid, which shalbe a warrant for the Register to record the same, which Conveyance or Lease soe recorded shalbe good and effectuall in Law, notwithstanding any other Conveyance deede or Lease for said land, house or houses or for any parte thereof, although dated before the Conveyance, deede or Lease, recorded as aforesaid and the said Register shall doe all other thing or things, that wee by our Instructions shall direct and the Governor, Councell and assemblye shall ordayne, for the good and welfaire of the said County.

2. Item The Surveyor Generall that we have chosen or shall choose, we faileing that you shall choose shall have power by himselfe or deputy to survey, ley out and bound all such Lands, as shalbe graunted from the Lords to the planters and all other lands within the said County &c which may concerne particuler men, as he shalbe desired to doe, and a particuler thereof certify to the Register, to be recorded as aforesaid, Provided that if the said Register and Surveyor or either of them shall soe misbehave themselves, as that the Governor and Councell or Deputy Governor and Councell or the major parte of them shall find it reasonable

-------------------- page 166 --------------------
to suspend there actings in their respective Imployments it shalbe lawfull for them soe to doe, untill further order from us.

3. Item All choyce of Officers, made by you shalbe for noe longer time then during our Pleasure.

4. Item Yourselfe, Councellors, Assembly men, Secretarys, Surveyors and all other Officers of trust shall sware or subscribe in a booke to be provided for that purpose, that they will bear true allegance to the Kinge of England, his heires and Successors, and that they wilbe faithfull to the Interest of the Lords Propryators of the Province and their heires, executors and assignes and endeavour the peace and wellfaire of the said province, and they will truely and faithfully discharge their respective trusts, in their respective Offices and doe equall justice to all men, according to their best skill and judgment without Corruption, favour or affection, and the names of all that have sworne or subscribed to be entered in a booke, and whoesoever shall subscribe and not sware, and shall vyolate his promise in that subscription shalbe lyable to the same punishment that the persons are or may bee, that hath sworne and broken his oath.

Item That all persons that are or shall become subjects to the King of England, and sware or subscribe alleagance to the Kinge and faithfulness to the Lords as above, shalbe admitted to plant and become fremen of the province, and injoy the freedomes and Immunyties hereafter exprest, untill some stop or contradiction be made by us the Lords, or else by the Governor, Councell and Assembly which shalbe in force untill the Lords see cause to the contrary, provided that such stopp shall not any wayse prejudice the Right or Continewance of any person that hath beene receaved before such stopp or order come from the Lords or Generall assembly.

Item That noe person or persons quallifyed as aforesaid within the province, or all or any of the Countyes before exprest at any time shalbe anywayse molested, punished, disquieted or called in question for any differances in oppinion or practice in matter of religious concernement whoe doe not actually disturbe the civill peace of the said province or County, but that all and every such person and persons may from time to time and at all times freely and fully have and injoy their Judgements and Consiences in matter of religion, throughout all the said province, they behaving themselves peaceably and quietly and not useing this liberty to Lycentiousness, to the Civill Injury or outward disturbance of others, any Law, Statute or Clause contained or to be contained Usuage or Custome of this realme of England to the contrary hereof in any wise notwithstanding;

-------------------- page 167 --------------------

Item And that noe pretence may be taken by us our heirs or assignes, for or by reason of our right of patronage and power of advowson graunted unto us by His Majesties Letters Pattents aforesaid to infringe thereby the Generall clause of Liberty of Contience aforementioned, Wee doe hereby graunt unto the Generall Assembly of the said County Power by act to constitute and appoint such and soe many ministers or preachers as they shall thinke fitt and to establish their maintenance, giveing Liberty besides to any person or persons to keepe and maintayne what Preachers or Ministers they please.

Item That the Inhabitants being freemen or Cheefe agents to others of the County aforesaid doe as soone as this our Commission shall arrive by virtue of a writ in our Names, sealed with our Seale of the County and by you signed, make choyce of 12. deputyes or representatives from amongst themselves, whoe being chosen are to joyne with you our Governor and Councell for the makeing of such Lawes, Ordinances and Constitutions as shalbe necessary for the present good and wellfaire of the County aforesaid, but as soone as parishes, denizions, tribes or districtions of the County are made, that then the Inhabitants or freeholders of the severall and respective parishes, tribes, denizions and districtions of the County aforesaid doe (by your writts under our Seale which wee ingage shalbe in due time ishewed) annually meet on the 10 day of January and choose two freeholders fore each respective denizion, tribe or parish to be the deputyes or representatives of the same, which body of the representatives or the major parte of them shall with the Governor and Councell aforesaid be the Generall assembly of the said County the Governor or his deputy being present unless they shall wilfully refuse, in which case they may appoint themselves a President during the absence of the Governor or his deputy Governor.

Which Assembly are to have power

To appoint their owne times of meeting and to adjorne their Sessions from time to time to such times and places as they shall thinke convenient, as alsoe to assertane the Number of their quorum, provided that such Numbers be not less then ⅓ parte of the whole, in whome or more shalbe the full power of the Generall Assembly vizt:

Item To act and make all such Lawes, acts and constitutions as shalbe necessary for the well government of the said Collony and them to repeale, provided that the same be consonant to reason, and as neare as may be conveniently agreable to the Lawes and Customes of his Majesties Kingdome of England, provided alsoe that they be not against the Interest of us the Lords Proprietors our heires or assignes, nor any of

-------------------- page 168 --------------------
these our present Concessions, espetially that they be not against the artikle for liberty of contience above mentioned, which Lawes &c soe made shall receave publication from the Governor and Councill (but as the Lawes of us and our Generall Assembly) and be in force for the space of 1 yeare and ½ and noe more, (unless confirmed by us.) within which time they are to be presented to us our heires &c for our ratification, and being confirmed by us they shalbe in Continewall force, till expired by their owne Lymitations or by act of repeale in like manner as aforesaid to be passed and confirmed.

Item By act as aforesaid to constitute all Courts togeather with the Lymitts, powers and Jurisdictions of the said Courts as alsoe the severall Officers Number of Officers belonging to each of the said respective Courts togeather with their severall and respective salleryes, fees and perquisites, there appellations and dignityes, with the penaltyes that shalbe due them for breach of their severall and respective dutyes and trusts.

Item By Act as aforesaid to ley equall taxes and assesments equally to rayse monies or goods upon the lands (excepting the Lands of us the Lords Proprietors before setting) or persons within the severall precincts, hundreds, parishes, Mannors or whatsoever other denizions shall hereafter be made and established in the said County, as oft as necessity shall require, and in such manner as to them shall seeme most equall and easye for the said inhabitants, in order to the better supporting of the publicke Charge of the said Government and for the mutuall safety, defence and security of the said County.

Item By act as aforesaid to erect within the said County such and soe many Barronyes and Mannors with their necessary Courts, Jurisdictions, freedoms and priviledges as to them shall seeme convenient, as alsoe to devide the said County into hundreds, parishes, tribes or such other denizions and districtions as they shall thinke fitt, and the said denizions to distinguish by what Names wee shall order or direct, and in default thereof by such Names as they please, as alsoe within any parte of the said County to create and appoint such and soe many ports, harbours, Creekes and other places for the convenient ladeing and unladeing of goods and merchandize out of shipes boates and other vessels, as they shall see expedient, with such Jurisdictions priviledges and franchises to such ports &c belonging as they shall judge most conduceing to the Generall good of the said plantation or County.

Item By their enacting to be confirmed as aforesaid to erect rayse and build within the said County or any parte thereof such and soe many

-------------------- page 169 --------------------
forts, fortresses, Castles Cittyes, Corporations, Burroughs, Townes, Villages, and other places of strength and defence, and them or any of them to incorporate with such Charters and priviledges as to them shall seeme good and our Charter will permitt, and the same or any of them to fortifie and furnish with such proportion of ordinance, powder, shott, armour and all other weapons, ammunition and habilliments of warr both offensive and defensive as shalbe thought necessary and convenient for the safety and welfaire of the said County, but they may not at any time demolish, dismantle or disfurnish the same without the consent of the Governor and Major parte of the Councell.

Item By act as aforesaid to constitute trayne bands and Companies with the number of soldiers for the safety, strength and defence of the said County and province, and of the ports, Castles, Cittyes &c, to suppress all intrigues and Rebellions to make warr offensive and defensive with all Indyans, Strangers and Forreigners as they see cause, and to pursue an Enemy by sea as well as by land, and if needs be out of the Lymits and Jurisdictions of said County, with the particuler consent of the Governor and under the conduct of our Governor or whome he shall appoint.

Item by act as aforesaid to give unto all Strangers as to them shall seeme meete, at Naturallysation and all such freedomes and priviledges within the said County, as to his Majesties subjects doe of right belonge, they swearing or subscribing as aforesaid which Strangers soe naturallised and priviledged shall alsoe have the same immunities from Customes as is granted by the kinge to us, and by us to the said County; and shall not be lyable to any other Customes then the rest of his Majesties subjects in said County are, but be in all respects accompted in that County aforesaid as the King's Naturall Subjects.

Item By act as aforesaid to prescribe the quantityes of land which shalbe from time to time alloted to every head free or sarvant, male or female, and to make and ordaine rules for the casting of Lotts for Land, and leying out of the same, provided that they doe not in their said prescriptions, exceed the severall proportions which are hereby graunted by us, to all persons arriving in the said County or adventuring theither that is to say 60. acres to every freeman, and as much to his wife, the like to each freewoman that arrives in said County and brings servants to settle, and 60. acres to every Master or Mistris for every man sarvant he or they shall bringe or send, armed with a good fierlocke or Matchlocke bore 12 bullets to the pound, 10 pounds of powder and twenty lbs of bullets with Match proportionable, 50 acres for every other sort of sarvant and

-------------------- page 170 --------------------
50. acres for every servant for his or her proper use and behoofe, when their time of servitude is expired, provided that all lands whatsoever soe settled and planted shall afterwards from time to time for the space of 13 years from the date hereof be held upon the condition aforesaid of continewing one able man servant or 2 such weaker servants as aforesaid on every 100. acres, a Master or Mistris shall possess besides what was graunted for his or her owne person, infailer of which upon Notification to the present occupant or his assignes there shalbe 3. yeares time given to such for their compleating said Number of persons or for their sayle or other disposure of such parte of their land as are not soe peopled within which time of 3 yeares if any person holding any Lands shall fayle by himselfe, his agents, executors or assignes or some other way to provide such number of persons, unless the Generall Assembly shall without respect to poverty, judge that it was impossible for the party soe fayleing to keepe or procure his or her number of servants to be provided as aforesaid in such case wee the Lords to have power of disposeing of so much of such Land as shall not be planted, with its due Number of persons as aforesaid to some other that will plant the same.

Except those lands which are decended to Orphants by Inherritance, whome wee hereby allowe 3. yeares time after there comeing to the age of 21. yeares for the peopling of there land as aforesaid and then in case of failer wee the Lords to have power of disposure of their lands, as of the lands of other persons, provided alwayse that any person whoe hath a stocke, of Catle, Sheepe or such like on his hands shall for every greater sort of Catle, which he hath at the time of such forfeiture, as horses, kine &c. retane 2. acres and for every lesser sort as sheepe, hoggs &c. 1. acre, provided alsoe that noe persons arriveing into the said Collony with purpose to setle (they being subjects or natturallised as aforesaid) be denyed a graunt of such proportions of land as at the time of their arriveall are due to themselves or servants by concession from us as aforesaid but have full Lycence to take up and setle the same in such order and manner as is graunted or prescribed, all lands notwithstanding (the power in the assembly aforesaid) shalbe taken up by warrant from the Governor and confirmed by the Governor and Councell under our Seale of the County for that purpose provided, in such order and Meth-hood as shalbe set downe in this declaration and more at large in the Instructions to the Governor and Councell

Lastly To enact, constitute and ordaine all such other Lawes, acts and constitutions as shall or may be necessary for the good, prosperity and setlement of the said County, excepting what by these presents are excepted, and conformeing to the Limitations herein expressed.

-------------------- page 171 --------------------

To see all Courts established by the Lawes of the Generall Assembly and all Ministers and Officers Civill or Millitary doe and execute their severall dutyes and offices respectively according to the Lawes in force, and to punish them for swerveing from the Lawes or acting contrary to their trust; as the nature of their offence shall require.

Item According to the Constitutions of the Generall Assembly to nominate and commissionate the severall Judges Members and Officers of Courts wheither Majestraticall or Ministeryall and all other Civill Officers as Justices, Coroners &c and their Comissions and powers and authorityes to revoake at pleasure, provided they appoint none but such as are freeholders in the County aforesaid unless the Generall Assembly consent.

Item According to the Constitutions of the Generall Assembly to appoint Courts and Officers in cases criminiell and to empower them to inflict penaltyes upon offenders against any of the Lawes in force in the said County as the said Lawes shall ordayne, wheither by fine, Imprisonment, banishment, corporall punishment or to the taking away of Member or of life itselfe.

Item To place Officers and Soldiers for the safety, strength and defence of the forts, Castles, Cittyes &c according to the Number appointed by the Generall Assembly, to nominate, place and commissionate all Military Officers under the Governor whoe as Commander in cheefe is commissionated by us, over the severall trayne bands and companies constituted by the Generall Assembly as Collonels, Captains &c and their Commissions to revoake at pleasure the governor singly or with the advice of his Councill, which we advize him to take, to muster and trayne all the soldiers within the said County to prosecute warr, pursue an Enemy, suppress rebellions and mutinies as well by sea as land, and to exercise the whole Millita as fully as by our Letters Pattents from the Kinge wee cann impower him or them to doe, provided that they appoint noe millitary Officers but what are freeholders in the said County, unless the Generall Assembly shall consent.

Item Where they see cause after condemnation to repreive till the case may be presented with a Coppy of the whole Tryall, proceedings and proofes to the Lords, whoe will accordingly either pardon or command execution of the sentence on the offender whoe in the meane time to be Kept in safe custody till the pleasure of the Lords be knowne.

Item In case of death or other removeall of any of the representatives within the yeare to Ishew summons by Writt to the respective denizion or denizions for which hee or they were chosen commanding the freeholders of the same to choose others in there steade.

-------------------- page 172 --------------------

Item To make warrants and seale graunts for Lands according to our Concessions and prescriptions by the advice of the Generall Assembly in such forme as shalbe at large set downe in our Instructions to the Governor in his Commission and which are hereafter exprest.

Item To act and doe all other thing and things that may conduce to the safety, peace and well government of the said County as they shall see fitt, soe as they be not contrary to the Lawes of the County aforesaid.

For the better securing of the Propryetes of all inhabitants.

You are not to impose nor suffer to be imposed any taxe, Custome, Subsidy, tallage, assessment or any other duty whatsoever upon any cullor or pretence upon the said County and the Inhabitants thereof, other then what shalbe imposed by the authority and consent of the Generall Assembly, and then only in manner as aforesaid.

Item You are to take care that land quietly held planted and possessed 7. yeares after its being first duely surveyed by the surveyor Generall or his order shall not be subject to any review resurvey or alteration of bounds on what pretence soever by any of us, or any Officers or Ministers under us.

Item You are to take care that noe man if his Catle, stray range or graze on any ground within the said County not actually appropriated or set out to perticculer persons shalbe lyable to pay any trespas for the same, our heires &c. provided that custome of Commons be not thereby pretended to, nor any person hindred from takeing up and appropryateing any Lands soe grazed upon, and that noe persons purposely doe suffer his Catle to graze on such lands.

Item It is our will and desire that the Inhabitants of said County and adventurers theither shall enjoy all the same Immunityes from Customs for exporting certine goods, from there Realmes of England &c. theither as the Kinge hath beene graciously pleased to graunt to us, as alsoe for the Incorragement of the manufactors of wine, silke, oyle, Ollives, fruits, almonds &c. mentioned in the pattent have priviledge for bringing them Custome free into any of his Majties Dominions for the same time, and upon the same tearmes, as wee ourselves may by our Pattent doe.

And that the planting of the County aforesaid may be more speedily promoted.

You are to take notice that wee doe hereby graunt unto all persons whoe have already adventured theither or shall transport themselves or servants theither before the 25th day of December which shalbe in the yeare of our

-------------------- page 173 --------------------
Lord 1669 there following proportions of Land vizt: 60. acres English measure, to every freeman and as much to his wife, if he have one, and to every freewoman that already is or shall arrive into the said County with a sarvant or sarvants to plant within the time aforesaid 60. acres like measure to a Master or Mistris for every able man sarvant he or shee shall bringe or send as aforesaid being each of them armed with a good fierlocke or matchlocke bore 12 bullets to the pound 10 lbs. of powder and 20. lbs of bullets with match proportionable, 60 acres, and 50. acres like measure for every other sort of sarvant, he or shee shall bring within the time aforesaid, and to every of there servants soe transported within the time aforesaid, 50. acres like measure to their proper use and behoofe, when their time of servitude is expired, all which lands and all others that shalbe possessed there are to be held on the same tearmes and conditions as is before mentioned, and as is hereafter in the following paragraphes more at large exprest.

And that the lands may be the more regulerly laid out and all persons the better assertained of their tytles and possessions.

You are to take care and direct that all lands be devided by Generall Lotts, none less then 2200. acres nor more then 2200. acres in each lott except in Cittyes, Townes &c. and the neare lotts of Towneships and that the same be undecimally devided 1/11 part by lott to us our heires and assignes, the remainder to persons as they come to plant the same in such proportions as is allowed.

Item That you or whoeme you shall depute in Case of death of absence, if some one be not before commissionated by us as aforesaid doe give to every person to whome land is due, a warrant signed and sealed by yourselfe and the major parte of your Councill, and directed to the surveyor Generall or his deputy, commanding him to ley out lymitt and bound acres of land (as his due proportion is) for such a person in such allotment according to which warrant the Register haveing first recorded the same, and attested the record upon the warrant the Surveyor Generall or his deputy shall proceed and certifie to the Cheefe Secrytary or Register the name of the person, for whome hee hath laid out land, by virtue of what authority, the date of the authority or warrant, the number of acres, the bounds, and on what point of the Compas the severall Lymitts thereof lye, which certificate the Register is likewayse to enter in a booke to be prepared for that purpose, with an alphabetical table refering to the booke, that soe the Certificate may be the easyor found, and then to fyle the Certificate, and the same to keepe safely.

-------------------- page 174 --------------------

The Certificate being entred a warrant comprehending all the particculers of Land mentioned in the Certificate aforesaid is to be prepared by the Secrytary, and signed and sealed by you and your Councell or the major parte of them as aforesaid (they haveing seene the Entery) and directed to the Register or Cheefe Secrytary for his preparing a graunt of the Land to the party for whome it is leyd out, which graunt shalbe in forme following vizt:

The Lords Propryators of the Province of Carolina doe hereby graunt unto, A. B. of the County of        in the province aforesaid a plantation in the said County of       acres English measure bounding (as in the said Certificate) to hold to him (or her) his (or her) heirs or assignes for eaver; yielding and paying yearely to the said Lords Propryators their heires or assignes, every 25th day of March according to the English accompt ½d of lawfull English money for every of the said acres, to be holden of the mannor of        in free and Common Soccage the first payment of which rent to begin on the 25th day of March which shalbe in the yeare of our Lord 1670 according to the English accompt, given under the Seale of the County of        the        day of        in the yeare of our Lord.

To which Instrument the Governor or his deputy hath hereby full Authority to put the Seale of the said County and to subscribe his name, as alsoe the Councell or major parte of them are to subscribe their names, and then the Instrewment or graunt is to be by the Register recorded in a booke of records for that purpose, all which being done according to these Instructions, wee hereby declare the same shalbe effectual in Law for the Injoyment of the said plant and all the benefitts and profitts of and in the same except ½ pt of mynes of gould and silver paying the rent as aforesaid provided that if any plantation soe graunted shall by the space of 3. yeares be neglected to the planted, with a sufficient number of servants as is before mentioned that then it shalbe lawfull for us otherwayse to dispose thereof in whole or in parte this graunt notwithstanding.

Wee doe alsoe grant convenient proportions of Land for highwayes and for streets not exceeding 100 foote in breadth in Cittyes, townes, Villages &c. for Churches, forts, Wharfes, Keyes, harbours and for publicke houses, and to each parish for the use of their Ministers, 100. acres in such places as the Generall Assembly shall appoint.

Item You are to take notice that all such lands leyed out for the uses and purposes in the next proceeding artikle, shalbe free and exempt from all rents, taxes and other charges or dutyes whatsoever, payable to us our heires or assignes.

-------------------- page 175 --------------------

Item That in leying out lands, for Cittyes, Townes, Villages, Burroughs or other hamletts, the said lands be undecimally devided 1/11 parte to be by lott laid out for us, and the rest devided to such as shalbe willing to build thereon, they paying after the rate of ½d per acre yearely to us, as for their other lands as aforesaid which said lands in Cittyes &c is to be assured to each possessor by the same way and Instrewment as is before mentioned.

Item That all rules relating to building of each streete, and quantity of ground to be allotted to each howse, within the said respective Cittyes, Burroughes and Townes, be wholy left by act as aforesaid to the wisdome and discretion of the Generall Assembly.

Item The Inhabitants of said County have free passage thorrough, or by any Seas, Sounds, Creekes, Rivers, Rivelets &c. in the said Province of Carolina, through or by which they must necessaryly pass to come from the mayne Ocean to the County aforesaid or any parte of the province aforesaid.