THE Fundamental Constitutions OF CAROLINA.
OUR SOVERAIGN LORD THE KING having out of His Royal Grace and Bounty, granted unto us the Province of Caro∣lina, with all the Royalties, Proprieties, Juris∣dictions, and Priviledges of a County Palatine, as large and ample as the County Palatine of Durham, with other great Priviledges, for the better settlement of the Government of the said Place, and establishing the Inte∣rest of the Lords Proprietors with Equality, and without Confu∣sion, and that the Government of this Province may be made most agreeable to the Monarchy under which we live, and of which this Province is a part; and that we may avoid erecting a nume∣rous Democracy, we the Lords and Proprietors of the Province aforesaid, have agreed to this following Form of Government, to be perpetually established amongst us, unto which we do oblige our selves, our Heirs and Successors, in the most binding ways that can be devised.
THe eldest of the Lords Proprietors shall be Palatine, and upon the Decease of the Palatine, the eldest of the seven survi∣ving Proprietors shall always succeed him.
There shall be seven other chief Offices erected, viz. the Admirals, Chamberlains, Chancellors, Constables, Chief Iustices, High Stewards, Page 2 Treasurers; which Places shall be enjoyed by none-but the Lords Proprietors, to be assigned at first by Lot; and upon the vacancy of any one of the seven great Offices by Death or otherwise, the eldest Proprietor shall have his choice of the said Place.
The whole Province shall be divided into Counties; each County shall consist of eight Signiories, eight Baronies, and four Pre∣cincts; each Precinct shall consist of six Colonies.
Each Signiory, Barony, and Colony, shall consist of twelve thou∣sand Acres, the eight Signories being the Share of the eight Propri∣etors, and the eight Baronies of the Nobility, both which Shares be∣ing each of them one fifth part of the whole, are to be perpetu∣ally annexed, the one to the Proprietors, the other to the heredi∣tary Nobility, leaving the Colonies, being three Fifths, amongst the People; that so in Setting out, and Planting the Lands, the Ballance of the Government may be preserved.
At any time before the Year One thousand seven hundred and one, any of the Lords Proprietors shall have power to Relinquish, Alienate, and Dispose to any other Person, his Propritetorship, and all the Signiories, Powers, and Interest thereunto belonging, wholly and intirely together, and not otherwise. But after the Year One thousand seven hundred, those who are then Lords Proprie∣tors, shall not have power to Alienate or Make over their Proprietor∣ship, with the Signiories and Priviledges thereunto belonging, or any part thereof, to any Person whatsoever, otherwise than as in §. 18. but it shall all Descend unto their Heirs Male; and for want of Heirs Male, it shall all Descend on that Landgrave or Cassique of Carolina, who is Descended of the next Heirs Female of the said Proprietor; and for want of such Heirs, it shall Descend on the next Heir general; and for want of such Heirs, the remaining seven Proprietors shall upon the Vacancy, chuse a Landgrave to suc∣ceed the deceased Proprietor, who being chosen by the majority of the seven surving Proprietors, he and his Heirs successively shall be Proprietors, as fully to all intents and purposes as any of the rest.
That the number of eight Proprietors may be constantly kept; if upon the vacancy of any Propritorship, the seven surviving Proprietors shall not chuse a Landgrave to be a Proprietor, before the second biennial Parliament after the Vacancy; then the next bien∣nial Parliament but one after such Vacany, shall have power to chuse any Landgrave to be Proprietor.
Whosoever after the Year One thousand seven hundred, either by Inheritance or Choise, shall succed any Proprietor in his Pro∣prietorship, and Signiories thereunto belonging, shall be obliged to take the Name and Arms of that Proprietor whom he succeeds; which from thenceforth shall be the Name and Arms of his Fa∣mily and their Posterity.
Whatsoever Landgrave or Cassique shall any way come to be a Proprietor, shall take the Signiories annexed to the said Proprietor∣ship; but his former Dignity, with the Baronies annexed, shall de∣volve into the Hands of the Lords Proprietors.
There shall be just as many Landgraves as there are Counties, and twice as many Cassiques, and no more. These shall be the he∣reditary Nobility of the Province, and by right of their Dignity be Members of Parliament. Each Landgrave shall have four Baronies, and each Cassique two Baronies, hereditarily and unalterably annexed to, and setled upon the said Dignity.
The first Landgraves and Cassiques of the twelve first Countites to be Planted, shall be nominated thus; that is to say, of the twelve Landgraves the Lords Proprietors shall each of them separately for himself, nominate and chuse one; and the remaining four Land∣graves of the first twelve, shall be nominated and chosen by the Pa∣latine's Court. In like manner of the twenty four first Cassiques▪ each Proprietor for himself shall nominate and chuse two, and the re∣maining eight shall be nominated and chosen by the Palatine's Court; and when the twelve first Counties shall be Planted, the Lords Proprietors shall again in the same manner nominate and chuse twelve more Landgraves, and twenty four Cassiques for the twelve Page 4 next Counties to be Planted; that is to say, two Thirds of each number by the single nomination of each Proprietor for himself, and the remaining one Third by the joynt Election of the Palatine's Court, and so proceed in the same manner till the whole Province of Carolina be Set out and Planted, according to the Propor∣tions in these FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITU∣TIONS.
Any Landgrave or Cassique at any time before the Year One thousand seven hundred and one, shall have power to Alienate, Sell, or Make over to any other Person, his Dignity, with the Baro∣nies thereunto belonging, all intirely together. But after the Year One thousand seven hundred, no Landgrave or Cassique shall have power to Alienate, Sell, Make over, or Lett the Hereditary Baronies of his Dignity, or any part thereof, otherwise then as in §. 18, but they shall all intirely, with the Dignity thereunto belonging, Descend unto his Heirs Males; and for want of Heirs Male, all intirely and undivided, to the next Heir general; and for want of such Heirs, shall devolve into the Hands of the Lords Proprietors.
That the due number of Landgraves and Cassiques may be always kept up, if upon the Devolution of any Landgraveship or Cassiqueship, the Palatine's Court shall not settle the devolved Dignity, with the Baronies thereunto annexed, before the second biennial Parliament after such Devolution, the next biennial Parliament but one after such Devolution shall have power to make any one Landgrave or Cassique in the room of him, who dying without Heirs, his Dig∣nity and Baronies devolved.
No one Person shall have more than one Dignity, with the Signio∣ries or Baronies thereunto belonging. But whensoever it shall happen, that any one who is already Proprietor, Landgrave, or Cassique, shall have any of these Dignities descend to him by Inhe∣ritance, it shall be at his Choice to keep which of the Dignities, with the Lands annexed, he shall like best; but shall leave the other, with the Lands annexed, to be enjoyed by him, who not being his Heir Apparent, and certain Successor to his present Dignity, is next of Blood.
Whosoever by Right of Inheritance shall come to be Land∣grave or Cassique, shall take the Name and Arms of his Predecessor in that Dignity, to be from thenceforth the Name and Arms of his Family and their Posterity.
Since the Dignity of Proprietor, Landgrave, or Cassique, cannot be divided, and the Signiories or Baronies thereunto annexed must for ever all entirely descend with, and accompany that Dignity, when∣soever for want of Heirs Male it shall descend on the Issue Female, the eldest Daughter and her Heirs shall be preferred, and in the In∣heritance of those Dignities, and in the Signiories or Baronies an∣nexed, there shall be no Cobeirs.
In every Signiory, Barony, and Mannor, the respective Lord shall have power in his own Name to hold Court-Leet there, for Try∣ing of all Causes both Civil and Criminal; but where it shall concern any Person being no Inhabitant, Vassal, or Leetman of the said Signiory, Barony, or Mannor, he upon paying down of forty Shilings to the Lords Proprietors use, shall have an Appeal from the Signiory or Barony Court, to the County Court, and from the Mannor Court to the Precinct Court.
Every Mannor shall consist of not less than three thousand Acres, and not above twelve thousand Acres in one entire Piece and Colo∣ny; but any three thousand Acres or more in one Piece, and the Possession of one Man, shall not be a Mannor, unless it be Consti∣tuted a Mannor by the Grant of the Palatine's Court.
The Lords of Signiories and Baronies shall have power onely of granting Estates not exceeding three Lives or thrity one Years, in two Thirds of the said Signiories or Baronies, and the remaining Third shall be always Demesne.
Any Lord of a Mannor may Alienate, Sell, or Dispose to any other Person and his Heirs for ever, his Mannor, all entirely together, with all the Priviledges and Leetmen thereunto belonging, so far forth as any other Colony Lands, but no Grant of any part thereof, Page 6 either in Fee, or for any longer Term than three Lives, or one and twenty Years, shall be good against the next Heir.
No Mannor, for want of Issue Male, shall be divided amongst Coheirs; but the Mannor, if there be but one, shall all entirely de∣scend to the eldest Daughter and her Heirs. If there be moe Man∣nors then one, the eldest Daughter first shall have her choise, the second next, and so on, beginning again at the eldest, till all the Mannors be taken up; that so the Priviledges which belong to Mannors being indivisible, the Lands of the Mannors to which they are annexed, may be kept entire, and the Mannor not loose those Priviledges, which upon parcelling out to several Owners must necessarily cease.
Every Lord of a Mannor, within his Mannor, shall have all the Powers, Jurisdictions, and Priviledges, which a Landgrave or Cas∣sique hath in his Baronies.
In every Signiory, Barony, and Mannor, all the Leet-men shall be under the Jurisdiction of the respective Lords of the said Signiory, Barony, or Mannor, without Appeal from him. Nor shall any Leet-man or Leet-woman have liberty to go off from the Land of their particular Lord, and live any where else, without Licence obtained from their said Lord, under Hand and Seal.
All the Children of Leet-men shall be Leet-men, and so to all Generations.
No Man shall be capable of having a Court-Leet or Leet-Men, but a Proprietor, Landgrave, Cassique, or Lord of a Mannor.
Whoever shall voluntarily Enter himself a Leet-man in the Registry of the County Court, shall be a Leet-man.
Whoever is Lord of Leet-men, shall upon the Marriage of a Leet-man or Leet-woman of his, give them ten Acres of Land for their Lives, they paying to him therefore not more than one eighth part of all the yearly Produce and Growth of the said ten Acres.
No Landgrave or Cassique shall be Tried for any Criminal Cause, in any but the Chief Iustice's Court, and that by a Jury of his Peers.
There shall be eight Supreme Courts. The first called The Palatine's Court, consisting of the Palatine, and the other seven Proprie∣tors. The other seven Courts of the other seven great Officers, shall consist each of them of a Proprietor, and six Councellors added to him. Under each of these later seven Courts shall be a Colledge of twelve Assistants. The twelve Assistants of the several Colledges shall be chosen; two out of the Landgraves, Cassiques, or eldest Sons of Proprietors, by the Palatine's Court; two out of the Landgraves, by the Landgraves Chamber; two out of the Cassiques, by the Cassiques Chamber; four more of the twelve shall be chosen by the Commons Chamber, out of such as have been, or are Members of Parliament, Sheriffs, or Iustices of the County Court, or the younger Sons of Proprietors, or eldest Sons of Landgraves or Cassiques; the two other shall be chosen by the Palatine's Court, out of the same sort of Persons out of which the Commons Chamber is to chuse.
Out of these Colledges shall be chosen at first by the Palatine's Court, six Councellors, to be joyned with each Proprietor in his Court; of which six one shall be of those who were chosen into any of the Colledges by the Palatine's Court, out of the Landgraves, Cassiques, or eldest Sons of Proprietors, one out of those who were chosen by the Landgraves Chamber, and one out of those who were chosen by the Cassiques Chamber, two out of those who were chosen by the Commons Chamber, and one out of those who were chosen by the Palatine's Court, out of the Proprietors younger Sons, or el∣dest Sons of Landgraves, Cassiques, or Commons, Qualified as afore∣said.
When it shall happen that any Councellor dies, and thereby there is a Vacancy, the Grand Council shall have power to remove any Councellor that is willing to be removed out of any of the Pro∣proprietors Courts to fill up the Vacancy, provided they take a Man of the same Degree and Choice the other was of, whose vacant Place is to be filled up. But if no Councellor consent to be removed, Page 8 or upon such Remove, the last remaining vacant Place in any of the Proprietors Courts, shall be filled up by the choise of the Grand Council, who shall have power to remove out of any of the Colledges, any Assistant, who is of the same Degree and Choice that Councel∣lor was of, into whose vacant Place he is to succeed. The Grand Council also shall have power to remove any Assistant that is wil∣ling, out of one Colledge into another, provided he be of the same Degree and Choice. But the last remaining vacant Place in any Colledge, shall be filled up by the same Choice, and out of the same Degree of Persons the Assistant was of, who is dead or removed. No Place shall be vacant in any Proprietors Court above six Months. No Place shall be vacant in any Colledge longer then the next Session of Parliament.
No Man, being a Member of the Grand Council, or of any of the seven Colledges, shall be turned out but for Misdemeanor, of which the Grand Council shall be Judge, and the Vacancy of the Person so put out shall be filled, not by the Election of the Grand Council, but by those who first chose him, and out of the same Degree he was of who is expelled. But it is not hereby to be un∣derstood, that the Grand Council hath any power to turn out any one of the Lords Proprietors or their Deputies, the Lords Proprie∣tors having in themselves an inherent original Right.
All Elections in the Parliament, in the several Chambers of the Parliament, and in the Grand Council, shall be Passed by Ba∣loting.
The Palatine's Court shall consist of the Palatine, and seven Pro∣prietors, wherein nothing shall be acted without the Presence and Consent of the Palatine or his Deputy, and three others of the Pro∣prietors or their Deputies. This Court shall have power to call Parliaments, to pardon all Offences, to make Elections of all Officers in the Proprietors dispose, and to nominate and appoint Port-Towns: And also shall have power by their Order to the Treasurer to dispose of all Publick Treasure, excepting Money granted by the Parliament, and by them directed to some particular publick Use: And also shall have a Negative upon all Acts, Orders, Votes, and Page 9 Judgments, of the Grand Council and the Parliament, except onely as in §. 6. and 12. And shall have all the Powers granted to the Lords Proprietors by their Patent from OUR SOVERAIGN LORD THE KING, except in such things as are limited by these FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTI∣ONS.
The Palatine himself, when he in Person shall be either in the Army, or in any of the Proprietors Courts, shall then have the Power of General, or of that Proprietor in whose Court he is then present, and the Proprietor in whose Court the Palatine then Presides, shall during his presence there be but as one of the Council.
The Chancellor's Court, consisting of one of the Proprietors and his six Chancellors, who shall be called Vice-Chancellors, shall have the custory of the Seal of the Palatinate, under which all Charters of Lands or otherwise, Commissions and Grants of the Palatine's Court, shall pass. And it shall not be lawful to put the Seal of the Palatinate to any Writing which is not Signed by the Palatine or his Deputy, and three other Proprietors or their Deputies. To this Court also belongs all State Matters, Disspatches, and Treaties with the neigbor Indians. To this Court also belongs all Invasions of the Law, of Liberty of Conscience, and all Disturbances of the Pub∣lick Peace upon pretence of Religion, as also the Licence of Print∣ing. The twelve Assistants belonging to this Court, shall be called Recorders.
Whatever passes under the Seal of the Palatinate, shall be Re∣gistred in that Propristor's Court to which the Matter therein con∣tained belongs.
The Chancellor or his Deputy shall be always Speaker in Parliament, and President of the Grand Council, and in his and his Deputy's ab∣sence, one of his Vice-Chancellors.
The Chief Iustice's Court, consisting of one of the Proprietors and his six Chancellors, who shall be called Iustices of the Bench, shall Judge all Appeals in Cases both Civil and Criminal, except all such Page 10 Cases as shall be under the Jurisdiction and Cognizance of any other of the Proprietors Courts, which shall be Tried in those Courts respectively. The Government and regulation of the Re∣gistries of Writings and Contracts, shall belong to the Iurisdi∣ction of this Court. The twelve Assistants of this Court shall be, called Masters.
The Constables Court, consisting of one of the Proprietors and his six Councellors, who shall be called Marshals, shall order and deter∣mine of all Military Affairs by Land, and all Land-Forces, Arms, Ammunition, Artillery, Garrisons and Forts, &c. and whatever belongs unto War. His twelve Assistants shall be called Lieutenane-Generals.
In time of actual War the Constable, whilst he is in the Army, shall be General of the Army, and the six Councellors, or such of them as the Palatine's Court shall for that time or Service appoint, shall be the immediate great Officers under him, and the Lieutenant-Generals next to them.
The Admiral's Court, consisting of one of the Proprietors and his six Councellors called Consuls, shall have the care and inspection over all Ports, Moles, and Navigable Rivers, so far as the Tide flows, and also all the publick Shipping of Carolina, and Stores thereunto belonging, and all Maritime Affairs. This Court also shall have the Power of the Court of Admiralty; and shall have power to Constitute Judges in Port-Towns, to Try Cases be∣longing to Law-Merchant, as shall be most convenient for Trade. The twelve Assistants belonging to this Court shall be called Pro∣consuls.
In time of actual War, the Admiral whilst he is at Sea, shall Command in Chief, and his six Councellors, or such of them as the Palatine's Court shall for that time and Service appoint, shall be the immediate great Officers under him, and the Proconsuals next to them.
The Treasurer's Court, consisting of a Proprietor and his six Councellors, called Under-Treasurers, shall take care of all Matters that concern the Publick Revenus and Treasury. The twelve Assi∣stants shall be called Auditors.
The High Steward's Court, consisting of a Proprietor and his six Councellors, called Comptrollers, shall have the care of all Fo∣reign and Domestick Trade, Manufactures, publick Buildings, Work∣houses, Highways, Passages by Water above the Flood of the Tide, Drains, Sewers and Banks against Inundations, Bridges, Post, Car∣riers, Fairs, Markets, Corruption or Infection of the common Air or Water, and all things in order to the publick Commerce and Health; also Setting out and Surveying of Lands; and also Set∣ting out and appointing Places for Towns to be built on in the Precincts, and the prescribing and determining the Figure and bigness of the said Towns, according to such Models as the said Court shall order, contrary or differing from which Models it shall not be lawful for any one to Build in any Town. This Court shall have power also to make any publick Building, or any new Highway, or enlarge any old Highway, upon any Man's Land whatsoever, as also to make Cuts, Channels, Banks, Locks, and Bridges, for making Rivers Navigable, or for Draining Fens, or any other publick Use. The Damage the Owner of such Lands (on or through which any such publick thing shall be made) shall receive thereby, shall be valued, and Satisfaction made by such ways as the Grand Council shall appoint. The twelve Assi∣stants belonging to this Court, shall be called Surveyors.
The Chamberlain's Court, consisting of a Proprietor and his six Councellors, called Vice-Chamberlains, shall have the care of all Cere∣monies, Precedency, Heraldry, Reception of publick Messengers, Pede∣grees; the Registry of all Births, Burials, and Marriages, Legitimation, and all Cases concerning Matrimony, or arising from it; and shall also have power to regulate all Fashions, Habits, Badges, Games, and Sports. To this Court also it shall belong, to Convocate the Grand Council. The twelve Assistants belonging to this Court, shall be called Provosts.
All Causes belonging to, or under the Jurisdiction of any of the Proprietors Courts, shall in them respectively be Tried, and ulti∣mately Determined, without any farther Appeal.
The Proprietors Courts shall have a power to mitigate all Fines, and suspend all Executions in Criminal Causes, either before or af∣ter Sentence in any of the other inferiour Courts respectively.
In all Debates, Hearings, or Trials, in any of the Proprietors Courts, the twelve Assistants belonging to the said Courts respe∣ctively, shall have liberty to be present, but shall not interpose, unless their Opinions be required, nor have any Vote at all; but their Business shall be, by the direction of the respective Coures, to prepare such Business as shall be committed to them; as also to bear such Offices, and dispatch such Affairs, either where the Court is kept, or elsewhere, as the Court shall think fit.
In all the Proprietors Courts, the Proprietor, and any three of his Councellors shall make a Quorum; Provided always, that for the better dispatch of Business, it shall be in the power of the Pala∣tine's Court to direct what sort of Causes shall be Heard and De∣termined by a Quorum of any three.
The Grand Council shall consist of the Palatine and seven Proprie∣tors, and the forty two Councellors of the several Proprietors Courts, who shall have power to Determine any Controversies that may arise between any of the Proprietors Courts, about their re∣spective Iurisdictions, or between the Members of the same Court, about their Manner and Methods of Proceeding: To make Peace and War, Leagues, Treaties, &c. with any of the neighbor Indians: To Issue out their general Orders to the Constable's and Admiral's Courts, for the Raising, Disposing, or Disbanding the Forces by Land or by Sea.
The Grand Council shall prepare all Matters to be proposed in Parliament. Nor shall any Matter whatsoever be proposed in Parliament, but what hath first passed the Grand Council; which Page 13 after having been read three several Days in the Parliament, shall by majority of Votes be Passed or rejected.
The Grand Council shall always be Judges of all Causes and Appeals that concern the Palatine, or any of the Lords Proprietors, or any Councellor of any Proprietors Court, in any Cause which other∣wise should have been Tried in the Court in which the said Coun∣cellor is Judge himself.
The Grand Council by their Warrants to the Treasurer's Court, shall dispose of all the Money given by the Parliament, and by them directed to any particular publick Use.
The Quorum of the Grand Council shall be thirteen, whereof a Proprietor or his Deputy shall be always one.
The Grand Council shall meet the first Tuesday in every Month, and as much oftner as either they shall think fit, or they shall be Convocated by the Chamberlain's Court.
The Palatine, or any of the Lords Proprietors, shall have power under Hand and Seal, to be Registred in the Grand Council to make a Deputy, who shall have the same power to all intents and pur∣poses as he himself who deputes him, except in confirming Acts of Parliament, as in §. 76. and except also in nominating and chu∣sing Landgraves and Cassiques, as in §. 10. All such Deputations shall cease and determine at the end of four Years, and at any time shall be revocable at the pleasure of the Deputator.
No Deputy of any Proprietor shall have any power whilst the Deputator is in any part of Carolina, except the Proprietor whose De∣puty he is, be a Minor.
During the Minority of any Proprietor, his Guardian shall have power to Constitute and appoint his Deputy.
The eldest of the Lords Proprietors who shall be personally in Carolina, shall of course be the Palatine's Deputy; and if no Proprie∣torPage 14 be in Carolina, he shall chuse his Deputy out of the Heirs Apparent of any of the Proprietors, if any such be there; and if there be no Heir Apparent of any of the Lords Proprietors above one and twenty Years old in Carolinia, then he shall chuse for Deputy any one of the Landgraves of the Grand Council; and till he have by Deputa∣tion under Hand and Seal chosen any one of the forementioned Heirs Apparent or Landgraves to be his Deputy, the eldest Man of the Landgraves, and for want of a Landgrave, the eldest Man of the Cas∣siques who shall be personally in Carolina, shall of course be his Deputy.
Each Proprietor's Deputy shall be always one of his own six Councellors respectively; and in case any of the Proprietors hath not in his absence out of Carolina a Deputy, Commissioned under his Hand and Seal, the eldest Nobleman of his Court shall of courst be his Deputy.
In every County there shall be a Court, consisting of a Sheriff and four Iustices of the County, for every Precinct one. The Sheriff shall be an Inhabitant of the County, and have at least five hundred Acres of Freehold within the said County; and the Iustices shall be Inhabitants, and have each of them five hundred Acres apiece Freehold within the Precinct for which they serve respectively. These five shall be chosen and Commissioned from time to time by the Palatine's Court.
For any Personal Causes exceeding the value of two hundred Pounds Sterling, or in Title of Land, or in any Criminal Cause, ei∣ther Party upon paying twenty Pounds Sterling to the Lords Pro∣prietors use, shall have liberty of Appeal from the County Court unto the respective Proprietor's Court.
In every Precinct there shall be a Court, consisting of a Steward and four Iustices of the Precinct, being Inhabitants, and having three hundred Acres of Freehold within the said Precinct, who shall Judge all Criminal Causes, except for Treason, Murther, and any other Offences punishable with Death, and except all Criminal Causes of the Nobility; and shall Judge also all Civil Causes whatso∣ever; Page 15 and in all personal Actions, not exceeding fifty Pounds Sterling, without Appeal: But where the Cause shall exceed that value, or concern a Title of Land, and in all Criminal Causes, there either Party, upon paying five Pounds Sterling to the Lords Pro∣prietors, use, shall have liberty of Appeal to the County Court.
No Cause shall be twice Tried in any one Court, upon any rea∣son or pretence whatsoever.
For Treason, Murther, and all other Offences punishable with Death, there shall be a Commission, twice ayear at least, granted unto one, or more Members of the Grand Council or Colledges, who shall come as itinerant Judges to the several Counties, and with the Sheriff and four Iustices shall hold Assizes to Judge all such Causes: But upon paying of fifty Pounds Sterling to the Lords Proprietors use, there shall be liberty of Appeal to the respective Proprietor's Court.
The Grand Iury at the several Assizes, shall upon their Oaths, and under their Hands and Seals, deliver in to the itinerant Judges, a Presentment of such Grievances, Misdemeanors, Exigences. or Defects, which they think necessary for the publick good of the County; which Presentment shall by the itinerant Iudges, at the end of their Circuit, be delivered in to the Grand Council at their next Sitting. And whatsoever therein concerns the Execution of Laws already made, the several Proprietors Courts in the Matrers belong∣ing to each of them respectively shall take Cognizance of it, and give such order about it, as shall be effectual for the due Execu∣tion of the Laws. But whatever concerns the making of any new Law, shall be referred to the several respective Courts to which that Matter belongs, and be by them prepared and brought to the Grand Council.
For Terms, there shall be Quarterly such a certain number of Days, nor exceeding one and twenty at any one time, as the seve∣ral respective Courts shall appoint. The time for the beginning of the Term in the Precinct Court, shall be the first Monday in Ia∣nuary, April, Iuly, and October; in the County Court, the first MondayPage 16 in February, May, August, and November; and in the Proprietors Courts, the first Monday in March, Iune, September, and December.
In the Precinct Court no Man shall be a Iury-man under fifty Acres of Freehold. In the County Court, or at the Assizes, no Man shall be a Grand Iury-man under three hundred Acres of Free∣hold; and no Man shall be a Petty Iury-man under two hundred Acres of Freehold. In the Proprietors Courts no Man shall be a Iury-man under five hundred Acres of Freehold.
Every Iury shall consist of twelve Men; and it shall not be necessary they should all agree, but the Verdict shall be according to the Consent of the Majority.
It shall be a base and vile thing to Plead for Money or Reward; nor shall any one (except he be a near Kinsman, not farther off than Cosin-german to the Party concerned) be permitted to Plead another Man's Cause, till before the Iudge in open Court he hath taken an Oath, that he doth not Plead for Money or Reward, nor hath nor will receive, nor directly nor indirectly Bargained with the Party whose Cause he is going to Plead, for Money, or any other Reward for Pleading his Cause.
There shall be a Parliament, consisting of the Proprietors or their Deputies, the Landgraves and Cassiques, and one Freeholder out of every Precinct, to be chosen by the Freeholders of the said Pre∣ciuct respectively. They shall Sit altogether in one Room, and have every Member one Vote.
No Man shall be chosen a Member of Parliament, who hath less than five hundred Acres of Freehold within the Precinct for which he is chosen; nor shall any have a Vote in chusing the said Member that hath less than fifty Acres of Freehold within the said Precinct.
A new Parliament shall be Assembled the first Monday of the Month of November every second Year, and shall meet and Sit in the Town they last Sat in, without any Summons, unless by the Page 17Palatine's Court they be Summoned to meet at any other Place. And if there shall be any occasion of a Parliament in these Inter∣vals, it shall be in the power of the Palatine's Court to Assemble them in forty Days notice, and at such Time and Place as the said Court shall think fit; and the Palatine's Court shall have power to Dissolve the said Parliment when they shall think fit.
At the opening of every Parliament, the first thing that shall be done, shall be the reading of these FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTIONS, which the Palatine and Proprietors, and the rest of the Members then present, shall Subscribe. Nor shall any Person whatsover Sit or Vote in the Parliament, till he hath that Session Subscribed these FUNDAMENTAL CON∣STITUTIONS, in a Book kept for that purpose by the Clerk of the Parliament.
In order to the due Election of Members for the Biennial Parlia∣ment, it shall be lawful for the Freeholders of the respective Pre∣cincts to meet the first Tuesday in September every two Years, in the same Town or place that they last met in to chuse Parliament-men, and there chuse those Members that are to Sit the next November following, unless the Steward of the Precinct shall by sufficient notice thirty Days before, appoint some other Place for their Meeting, in order to the Election.
No Act or Order of Parliament shall be of any force, unless it be Ratified in open Parliament during the same Session, by the Pala∣tine or his Deputy, and three more of the Lords Proprietors and their Deputies, and then not to continue longer in force but until the next Biennial Parliament, unless in the mean time it be Ratified under the Hands and Seals of the Palatine himself, and three more of the Lords Proprietors themselves, and by their Order publish'd at the next Bieunial Parliament.
Any Properietor or his Deputy may Enter his Protestation against any Act of the Parliament, before the Palatine or his Deputy's Con∣sent be given as aforesaid, if he shall conceive the said Act to be contrary to this Establishment, or any of these FUNDA∣MENTAL Page 18 CONSTITUTIONS of the Govern∣ment. And in such case after a full and free Debate, the several Estates shall retire into four several Chambers, the Palatine and Pro∣prietors into one, the Landgraves into another, the Cassiques into an∣other, and those chosen by the Precincts into a fourth; and if the major part of any of the four Estates shall Vote that the Law is not agreeable to this Establishment, and these FUNDAMEN∣TAL CONSTITUTIONS of the Government, then it shall pass no farther, but be as if it had never been proposed.
The Quorum of the Parliament shall be one half of those who are Members, and capable of Sitting in the House that present Session of Parliament. The Quorum of each of the Chambers of Par∣liament, shall be one half of the Members of that Chamber.
To avoid multiplicity of Laws, which by degrees always change the right Foundations of the original Government, all Acts of Parliament whatsoever, in whatsoever Form Passed or Enacted, shall at the end of a hundred Years after their Enacting, respe∣ctively cease and determine of themselves, and without any Repeal become null and void, as if no such Acts or Laws had ever been made.
Since multiplicity of Comments, as well as of Laws, have great inconveniences, and serve onely to obscure and perplex. All man∣ner of Comments and Expositions on any part of these FUNDA∣MENTAL CONSTITUTIONS, or any part of the Common or Statute Law of Carolina, are absolutely Prohibited.
There shall be a Registry in every Precinct, wherein shall be Enrolled all Deeds, Leases, Iudgments, Mortgages, and other Convey∣ances, which may concern any of the Land within the said Precinct; and all such Conveyances not so Entred or Registred, shall not be of force against any Person nor Party to the said Contract or Con∣veyance.
No Man shall be Register of any Precinct, who hath not at least three hundred Acres of Freehold within the said Precinct.
The Freeholders of every Precinct shall nominate three Men, out of which three the Chief Iustice's Court shall chuse and Commission one to be Register of the said Precinct, whilst he shall well behave himself.
There shall be a Registry in every Signiory, Barony, and Colony, wherein shall be Recorded all the Births, Marriages, and Deaths, that shall happen within the respective Signiories, Baronies, and Colonies.
No Man shall be Register of a Colony that hath not above fifty Acres of Freehold within the said Colony.
The time of every ones Age that is born in Carolina, shall be reckoned from the Day that his Birth is Entred in the Registry, and not before.
No Marriage shall be lawful, whatever, Contract and Cere∣mony they have used, till both the Parties mutually own it before the Register of the Place where they were Married, and he Register it, with the Names of the Father and Mother of each Party.
No Man shall Administer to the Goods, or have right to them, or enter upon the Estate of any Person deceased, till his Death be Registred in the respective Registry.
He that doth not Enter in the respective Registry, the Birth or Death of any Person that is born or dies in his House or Ground, shall pay to the said Register one Shilling per Week for each such Neglect, reckoning from the time of each Birth or Death respe∣ctively, to the time of Registring it.
In like manner the Births, Marriages, and Deaths of the Lords Proprietors, Landgraves, and Cassiques, shall be Registred in the Chamberlain's Court.
There shall be in every Colony one Constable, to be chosen annu∣ally by the Freeholders of the Colony: His Estate shall be above a hundred Acres of Freehold within the said Colony, and such subordinate Officers appointed for his Assistance, as the County Court shall find requisite, and shall be established by the said County Court. The Election of the subordinate annual Officers shall be also in the Freeholdres of the Colony.
All Towns Incorporate shall be Governed by a Mayor, twelve Al∣dermen, and twenty four of the Common-Council. The said Common-Council shall be chosen by the present Housholders of the said Town; the Aldermen shall be chosen out of the Common-Council, and the Mayor out of the Aldermen by the Palatine's Court.
It being of great consequence to the Plantation, that Port-Towns should be built and preserved; Therefore whosoever shall lade or unlade any Commodity at any other Place but a Port-Town, shall forfeit to the Lords Proprietors for each Tun so laden or unladen, the Sum of ten Pounds Sterling, except onely such Goods as the Palatine's Court shall Licence to be laden or unladen elsewhere.
The first Port-Town upon every River, shall be in a Colony, and be a Port-Town for ever.
No Man shall be permitted to be a Freeman of Carolina, or to have any Estate or Habitation within it, that doth not acknow∣ledge a GOD, and that GOD is publickly and solemnly to be Worshipped.
As the Countrey comes to be sufficiently Planted and Distri∣buted into fit Divisions, it shall belong to the Parliament to take care for the building of Churches, and the publick Maintenance of Divines, to be employed in the Exercise of Religion, according to the Church of England, which being the onely true and Orthodox, and the National Religion of all the King's Dominions, is so also of Carolina, and therefore it alone shall be allowed to re∣ceive publick Maintenance by Grant of Parliament.
But since the Natives of that Place, who will be concerned in our Plantation, are utterly Strangers to Christianity, whose Idolatry, Ignorance, or Mistake, gives us no right to expel, or use them ill; and those who remove from other Parts to Plant there, will un∣avoidably be of different Opinions concerning Matters of Reli∣gion, the liberty whereof they will expect to have allowed them, and it will not be reasonable for us on this account to keep them out; that Civil Peace may be maintained amidst the diversity of Opinions, and our Agreement and Compact with all Men may be duly and faithfully observed, the violation whereof upon what pretence soever, cannot be without great offence to Almighty God, and great scandal to the true Religion which we profess; and also that Iews, Heathens, and other Dissenters from the purity of Chri∣stian Religion, may not be scared and kept at a distance from it, but by having an opportunity of acquainting themselves with the truth and reasonableness of its Doctrines, and the peaceableness and inoffensiveness of its Professors, may by good usage and perswa∣sion, and all those convincing Methods of gentleness and meekness, suitable to the Rules and Design of the Gospel, be won over to em∣brace, and unfeignedly receive the Truth; Therefore any seven, or more Persons agreeing in any Religion, shall Constitute a Church or Prefession, to which they shall give some Name, to di∣stinguish it from others.
The Terms of Admittance and Communion with any Church or Pro∣fession, shall be written in a Book, and therein be Subscribed by all the Members of the said Church or Profession; which Book shall be kept by the publick Register of the Precinct where they reside.
The Time of every ones Subscription and Admittance, shall be Dated in the said Book or religious Record.
In the Terms of Communion of every Church or Profession, these fol∣lowing shall be three, without which no Agreement or Assembly of Men, upon pretence of Religion, shall be accounted a Church or Pro∣fession, within these Rules:
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- I. That there is a GOD.
- II. That GOD is publickly to be Worshipped.
- III. That it is lawful, and the Duty of every Man, being thereunto called by those that Govern, to bear Witness to Truth; and that every Church or Profession shall in their Terms of Communion set down the exter∣nal Way whereby they witness a Truth as in the presence of GOD, whether it be by laying Hands on, or kissing the Bible, as in the Church of Eng∣land, or by holding up the Hand, or any other sensible way.
No Person above seventeen Years of Age, shall have any benefit or protection of the Law, or be capable of any Place of Profit or Honor, who is not a Member of some Church or Profession, having his Name Recorded in some one, and but one religious Record at once.
No Person any other Church or Profession shall disturb or molest any religious Assembly.
No Person whatsoever shall speak any thing in their religious Assembly, irreverently or seditiously of the Government or Governors, or State-Matters.
Any Person Subscribing the Terms of Communion in the Record of the said Church or Profession before the Precinct Register, and any five Members of the said Church or Profession, shall be thereby made a Member of the said Church or Profession.
Any Person striking out his own Name out of any religious Record, or his Name being struck out by any Officer thereunto authorized by each Church or Profession respectively, shall cease to be a Member of that Church or Profession.
No Man shall use any reproachful, reviling, or abusive Language, against the Religion of any Church or Profession, that being the cer∣tain way of disturbing the Peace, and of hindring the Conversion of any to the Truth, by engaging them in Quarrels and Animosities, to the hatred of the Professors and that Profession, which otherwise they might be brought to assent to.
Since Charity obliges us to wish well to the Souls of all Men, and Religion ought to alter nothing in any Man's Civil Estate or Right, it shall be lawful for Slaves as well as others, to Enter themselves, and be of what Church or Profession any of them shall think best, and thereof be as fully Members as any Freeman. But yet no Slave shall hereby be exempted from that Civil Dominion his Master hath over him, but be in all other things in the same State and Condition he was in before.
Assemblies, upon what pretence soever of Religion, not ob∣serving and performing the abovesaid Rules, shall not be esteemed as Churches, but unlawful Meetings, and be punished as other Riots.
No Person whatsoever shall disturb, molest, or persecute another for his speculative Opinions in Religion, or his Way of Worship.
Every Freeman of Carolina shall have absolute Power and Au∣thority over his Negro Slaves, of what Opinion or Religion soever.
No Cause, whether Civil or Criminal, of any Freeman, shall be Tried in any Court of Judicatnre, without a Iury of his Peers.
No Person whatsoever shall hold or claim any Land in Carolina by Purchase or Gift, or otherwise, from the Natives or any other whatsoever, but meerly from and under the Lords Proprietors, upon pain of forfeiture of all his Estate, moveable or immoveable, and perpetual banishment.
Whosoever shall possess any Freehold in Carolina, upon what Title or Grant soever, shall at the farthest from and after the Year One thousand six hundred eighty nine, pay yearly unto the Lords Proprietors for each Acre of Land, English Measure, as much fine Silver as is at this present in one English Peny, or the value thereof to be as a Chief Rent and Acknowledgment to the Lords Proprie∣tors, their Heirs and Successors for ever. And it shall be lawful for Page 24 the Palatine's Court by their Officers at any time, to take a new Sur∣vey of any Man's Land, not to out him of any part of his Posses∣sion, but that by such a Survey the just number of Acres, he pos∣sesseth may be known, and the Rent thereupon due, may be paid by him.
All Wrecks, Mines, Mincrals, Quarries of Germms, and Precious Stones, with Pearl-fishing, Whale-fishing, and one half of all Amber∣greece, by whomsoever found, shall wholly belong to the Lords Proprietors.
All Revenues and Profits belonging to the Lords Pooprietors, in common, shall be divided into ten Parts, whereof the Palatine shall have three, and each Proprietor one; but if the Palatine shall Govern by a Deputy, his Deputy shall have one of those three Tenths, and the Palatine but other two Tenths.
All Inhabitants and Freemen of Carolina above seventeen Years of Age, and under sixty, shall be bound to bear Arms, and Serve as Soldiers whenever the Grand Concil shall find it necessary.
A true Copy of these FUNDAMENTAL CON∣STITUTIONS shall be kept in a great Book by the Re∣gister of every Precinct, to be Subscribed before the said Register. Nor shall any Person of what Condition or Degree soever above seven∣teen Years old, have any Estate or Possession in Carolina, or prote∣ction or benefit of the Law there, who hath not before a Precinct Register Subscribed these FUNDAMENTAL CONSTI∣TUTIONS in this Form:
Whatsoever Alien shall in this Form, before any Precinct RegistersPage 25 Subscribe these FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITU∣TIONS, shall be thereby Naturalized.
In the same manner shall every Person at his Admittance into any Office, Subscribe these FUNDAMENTAL CON∣STITUTIONS.
These FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITU∣TIONS, in number a hundred and twenty, and every part thereof, shall be and remain the sacred and unalterable Form and Rule of Government of Carolina for ever. Witness our Hands and Seals, the first Day of March, 1669.
Rules of Precedency.
- 1. THe Lords Proprietors, the eldest in Age first, and so in order.
- 2. The eldest Sons of the Lords Proprietors, the eldest in Age first, and so in order.
- 3. The Landgraves of the Grand Council, he that hath been longest of the Grand Council first, and so in order.
- 4. The Cassiques of the Grand Council, he that hath been longest of the Grand Council first, and so in order.
- 5. The seven Commoners of the Grand Council that have been longest of the Grand Council, he that hath been longest of the Grand Council first, and so in order.
- 6. The youngest Sons of Proprietors, the eldest first, and so in order.
- 7. The Landgraves, the eldest in Age first, and so in order.
- 8. The seven Commoners who next to those before mentioned have been longest of the Grand Council, he that hath been longest of the Grand Council first, and so in order.
- 9. The Cassiques, the eldest in Age first, and so in order.
- 10. The seven remaining Commoners of the Grand Council, he that hath been longest of the Grand Council first, and so in order.
- 11. The Male Line of the Proprietors.
- The rest shall be determined by the Chamberlain's Court.