Colonial America Collage 5

Grant of Laconia to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason by the Council for New England – November 17, 1629

This Indenture made the seventeenth day of November Anno Dom. 1629, and in the fifth year of the reign of our sovereign lord Charles, by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c., between the President and Council of New England in the one party and Sir Ferdinando Gorges of London, Knight, and Captain John Mason of London, Esquire, on the other party. Witnesseth, that whereas our late sovereign lord of famous memory, King James, for the making a plantation and an establishing of a colony or colonies in the country called or known by the name of New England in America, did by his Highness’ letters patent under the great seal of England bearing date at Westminster the third day of November in the eighteenth year of his reign, give, grant, and confirm unto the Right Honorable Lodowick, Duke of Lenox, George, Marquis of Buckingham, James, Lord Marquis of Hamilton, Thomas, Earl of Arundel, Robert, Earl of Warwick, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Knight, and divers others whose names are expressed in the said letters patent, their heirs and assigns, that they shall be one body politic and corporate perpetual and that they should have perpetual succession and one common seal or seals to serve for the said body and that they and their successors shall be known, called, incorporated by the name of the President and Council established at Plymouth for the planting, ruling, and governing of New England in America, and also did of his special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, for him, his heirs, and successors, give, grant, and confirm unto the said President and Council and their successors, under the reservations and limitations and declarations in the said letters patent expressed, all that part and portion of that country now commonly called New England which is situate, lying, and being between the latitude of forty degrees and forty eight of northerly latitude together with the seas and islands lying within one hundred miles of any part of the said coast of the country aforesaid, and also all the lands, soils, grounds, havens, ports, rivers, mines as well royal mines of gold and silver, and other mines, minerals, pearls and precious stones, woods, quarries, marshes, waters, fishing, hunting, hawking, fowling, commodities, and hereditaments whatsoever, together with all perogatives jurisdictions, royalties, privileges, franchises, and preheminences within any of the said territories and precincts thereof whatsoever. To have, hold, possess, enjoy all and singular the said lands and premises in the said letters patent granted or mentioned to be granted unto them the said president and council, their successors and assigns forever. To be holden of his Majesty, his heirs and successors, as of his Highness’ manor of East Greenwich in the county of Kent, in free and common soccage, and not in capite or by knight’s service, yielding and paying to his Majesty, his heirs and successors, the one-fifth part of all gold and silver ore that from time to time, and at all times from the date of the said letters patent, shall be there gotten, had, or obtained for all services, duties, or demands as in and by his Highness’ said letters patent amongst divers other things therein contained more full and at large it does and may appear. And whereas the said president and council have upon mature deliberation thought fit for the better furnishing and furtherance of the plantation in those parts to appropriate and allott to several and particular persons divers parcels of lands within the precincts of the aforesaid granted premises by his Majesty’s said letters patent, now this Indenture witnesseth that the said president and council of their full, free, and mutual consent as well to the end that all the lands, woods, lakes, locks, rivers, waters, islands, and fishings with all other the traffics, profits, and commodities whatsoever to them or any of them belonging and hereafter in these patents mentioned may be wholly and entirely invested, appropriated, severed, and settled in and upon the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, their heirs and assigns, forever as for divers special services for the advancement of the said plantation and other good and sufficient causes and considerations them especially thereunto moving have given, granted, bargained, sold, assigned, alienated, set over, enfeoffed, and confirmed by these presents do give, grant, bargain, sell, assign, alien, set over, enfeoff, artd confirm unto the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason their heirs and assigns, and to their associates and such as they shall allow of and take in to adventure and join with them in their plantation, traffics, and discoveries in the parts hereafter expressed and their heirs and assigns according to contracts with them to be made. All those lands and countries lying adjacent or bordering upon the great lake or lakes or rivers commonly called or known by the name of the River and Lake, or Rivers and Lakes, of the Iroquois, a nation or nations of savage people inhabiting into the landwards between the lines of west and northwest, conceived to pass or lead upwards from the rivers of Sagadahock and Merimack in the country of New England aforesaid, together also with the lakes and rivers of the Iroquois and other nations adjoining the middle part of which lakes situate and lying near about the latitudes of forty four or forty five degrees reckoned from the equinoctial line northwards, as also all the lands, soils, and grounds within ten miles of any part of the said lakes or rivers on the south or east part thereof and from the west end or sides of the said lakes or rivers so far forth to the west as shall extend half way into the next great lake to the westward, and from thence northwards unto the north side of the main river which runs from the great and vast western lakes and falls into the river of Canada, including all the islands within the precinct or perambulation described. As also all the lands, soil, grounds, havens, ports, rivers, mines, minerals, pearls and precious stones, woods, quarries, marshes, waters, fishings, hunting, hawking, fowling trade, and traffic with the savages, and other commodities and hereditaments whatsoever, with all and singular their appurtenances together with all perogatives, rights, royalties, jurisdictions, privileges, franchises, preheminences, liberties, marine power in and upon the said rivers and lakes. As also all escheats and casulaties thereof, flotsam, jetsam and lagon, with anchorages and other such duties, immunities, sects, islets, and appurtenances whatsoever, with all the estate, right, title, interest, claim, and demand whatsoever which the said President and Council and their successors of right ought to have or claim in or to the said portions of lands, rivers, and lakes and other the premises as is aforesaid by reason or force of his Highness’ said letters patents, in as free, large, ample, and beneficial manner to all intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever as in and by the said letters patent the same are amongst other things granted to the said president and council aforesaid, except two-fifths of the ore of gold and silver in these parts hereafter expressed which said portions of lands, rivers, lakes, with the appurtenances the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason with the consent of the president and council intend to name The Province of Laconia, to have and to hold all the said portions of land and all the lakes and islands therein contained as aforesaid, and all and singular other the premises hereby given, granted, aliened, enfeoffed, and confirmed or mentioned or intended by these presents to be given, granted, aliened, enfeoffed, and confirmed, with all and singular the appurtenances and every part and parcel thereof unto the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, their heirs and assigns, and their associates contracts with them forever. To be holden of his said Majesty, his heirs and successors, as of his Highness’ manor of East Greenwich in the county of Kent, in free and common soccage and not in capite or by knight’s service, nevertheless with such exceptions, reservations, limitations, and declarations as in the said letters patent are at large expressed, yielding and paying into our sovereign lord the King, his heirs and successors, the fifth part of all the ore of gold and silver that from time to time hereafter shall be there gotten and obtained for all services, duties, and demands. And also yielding and paying unto the said president and council and successors yearly the sum of ten pounds of lawful money of England at one entire payment within ten days after the feast of St. Michael the Archangel yearly. And the said president and council, for them and their successors, do covenant and grant to and with the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, their heirs and assigns, and their associates from and after the sealing and delivering of these presents, according to the purport, true intent, and meaning of these presents, that they shall from henceforth from time to time, forever, peaceably and quietly have, hold, possess, and enjoy all the aforesaid portions of lands, lakes, and rivers with all the islands and premises with the appurtenences hereby before given and granted or mentioned or intended to be hereby given and granted, and every part and parcel thereof, without any let, disturbance, denial, trouble, interruption, or eviction of or by the said president and council or any person or persons whatsoever claiming by, from, or under their estate right, title, or interest. And the said president and council, for them and their successors, do further covenant and grant to and with the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, their heirs and assigns, and their associates’ contractors as aforesaid, by these presents that they the said president and council shall at all times hereafter, upon reasonable request, at the only proper costs and charges in the law of the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, their heirs and assigns, and their associates, do make, perform, suffer, execute, and willingly consent unto any further act or acts, conveyance or conveyances, assurance or assurances whatsoever for the good and perfect investing, assuring, conveying, and sure making of all the aforesaid portions of land, lakes, islands, and all and singular their appurtenances to the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, their heirs and assigns, and their associates, or by his, their, or any of their council learned in the law shall be devised, advised, or required. And further, it is agreed by and between the said parties to these presents and the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, for them, their heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, and their associates, do covenant to and with the said president and council and their successors by these presents that if at any time hereafter there shall be found any ore of gold and silver within the ground wherein any part of the said premises that then they, the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, their heirs and assigns, and associates, shall yield and pay unto the said president and council, their successors and assigns, one-fifth part of all such gold and silver ore as shall be found within and upon the premises, and Jigged and brought above ground, to be delivered above ground, and that always within reasonable and convenient time, if it be demanded, after the finding, getting, and digging up of such ore as aforesaid without fraud or cunning and accordingly to the true intent and meaning of those presents. And the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason do further covenant, for them, their heirs and assigns, and their associates, that they will establish such government in the said portion of land and islands granted unto them and the same will from time to time continue as shall be agreeable as near as may be to the laws and customs of the realm of England, and if they shall be charged at any time to have neglected their duty therein that then they will reform the same according to the directions of the president and council, or in default thereof it shall be lawful for any of the aggrieved inhabitant’s planters, being tenants upon the said lands, to appeal to the chief courts of justice of the president and council. And the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason do covenant and grant to and with the said president and council, their successors and assigns, by these presents, that the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason shall and will before the expiration of three years, to be accounted from the day of the date hereof, have in or upon the said portions of lands, or some part thereof, one fort with a competent guard and ten families at the least of his Majesty’s subjects resident and being in and upon the same premises, or in default thereof shall and will forfeit and lose to the said president and council the sum of one hundred pounds sterling money. And further, that if the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, their heirs and assigns, or associates, shall at any time hereafter alien these premises or any part thereof to any foreign nation, or to any person or persons of any foreign nation, without the special license, consent, and agreement of the said president and council, their successors or assigns, that then the part or parts of the said lands so aliened shall immediately return back again to the use of the said president and council. And the said president and council, for themselves and their successors, do further covenant and grant to and with the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, their heirs and assigns, and associates, and by these presents that it shall and may be lawful at all times hereafter to and for the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, their heirs, assigns, and their associates, and the deputies, factors, servants, and tenants of them or any of them to have free egress, regress, way, and passage to enter and pass into and return from and to any of the said demised lands, lakes, and rivers with their ships, boats, barks, or other vessels with their munition and their cattle and commodities of what nature soever from, by, and through any of the lands, rivers, harbors, creeks, or seaports upon the sea coasts or frontier parts of New England aforesaid belonging to the president and council aforesaid without any let, trouble, interruption, molestation, or hindrance of them the said president and council, their successors or assigns, or of any other person or persons claiming under them or by their means or procurement. And for the better accommodation of them the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, their heirs, assigns, and associates, in their intended traffics and plantations above in the said lakes of the Iroquois whither their goods and merchandises from the sea ports are to be after landing transported, it shall be lawful for them to make choice of and take and possess for the use of them the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, their heirs, assigns, and associates, and their deputies, factors, tenants, and planters of their colonies in any of the ports, harbors, or creeks in New England lying most comodious for their passage up into the said lakes one thousand acres of land upon the side or sides of such harbors, ports, rivers, or creeks where the same is not yet disposed of to any other persons by the said president and council. And the lands by them shall be held, possessed, and enjoyed as freely and with as ample privileges, jurisdictions, and commodities in all respects as any other the lands above in these presents demised and granted unto them. And further know that the said president and council have made, constituted, deputed, authorized, and appointed, and in their place and stead depute Edward Godfrey or, in his absence, to any other person that shall be their governor or other officer to the president and council to be their true and lawful attorney and in their name and stead to enter the said portion of land and other premises with their appurtenances or into some part thereof in name of the whole for them and in their name to have and take possession and seizin thereof, or some part thereof in the name of the whole so had and taken there for them, and in their name to deliver the full and peaceable possession and seizin of all and singular the said granted premises unto the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason or to their certain attorney or attorneys in their behalf according to the true intent and meaning of these presents, ratifying, confirming, and allowing all and whatsoever their said attorney shall do in or about the premises by these presents. In witness whereof to one of these present indentures as remaining in the hands of the said president and council have caused their common seal to be affixed, and to the other part of these present indentures remaining in the custody of the said president and council the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason have put to their hands and seals given the day and year first above written.

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Dave Jolly

R.L. David Jolly holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Biology – Population Genetics. He has worked in a number of fields, giving him a broad perspective on life, business, economics and politics. He is a very conservative Christian, husband, father and grandfather who cares deeply for his Savior, family and the future of our troubled nation.

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