17th CENTURY COLONIAL CHARTERS AND DOCUMENTS.
Collection of 5 Documents relating to Sir George Cartwright as Commissioner to Charles II, and to Sir Edmund Andros, Governor of New England. Bound into a folio volume, 395 x 265 mm. Modern half calf, upper cover labeled "American Documents of new Jersey, Maine, Virginia and New England."
The New England documents comprise:
1. "Copy of his Majesties commission to Col Richard Nicholls, Sir Robert Carre, George Cartwright and Samuel Maverick Esprs appointed Commission for the Colonies in New England," with similar docket label. [likely copied in New England: c.October 1664]. Manuscript on paper, 3 pp, bifolium sheet, 324 x 208 mm. Provenance: Heirs of Sir George Carteret (by descent).
A copy from Carteret's papers of King Charles's commission to bring more British administration to the New England Governments (Massachusetts Bay, New Plymouth, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Haven). The commission was granted in 25th April 1664, with Nicholls having the casting and decisive vote. The four were also given a royal commission to capture the Dutch settlements along the Hudson River including New York. The commissioners duly sailed and arrived in Boston on July 1664, and then traveled to Rhode Island and Maine, attempting to assert the King's authority on the various colonial administrations. In the process they copied documents they were shown and reaffirmed rights.
This copy of the commission seems to have been drawn up whilst in New England as this document includes a page and a half of text composed by the Boston Council following a meeting on September 10, 1664. In that text the council call for the full powers given to them by Charles I in 1629 to be continued, going on to reassert their local authority over wrongdoers and in effect calling for a full a transfer of power to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The commissioners made little headway in Boston in persuading the colony to relent to Royal authority, so they moved up to Maine and on to Rhode Island.
2. MAINE: Copy of a Grant of Land North of the Saco River to Thomas Lewis and Richard Bonython by the Council of New England on February 12, 1629, docketed "Patent Saco: east of the river," 4 pp, folio, 315 x 195 mm. countersignatures of Robert Warwick and Edward Gorges, reaffirmation of grant dated June 1631, countersigned by Thomas Wiggin, James Parker, James Watts and George Donglan. Old folds, scattered spotting, edges worn.
Provenance: Heirs of Sir George Carteret (by descent).
An early copy of the Saco Patent made by the King's commissioners on their visit to Maine in the summer of 1665. The Saco patent was quite complex: the land from 40-48 degrees north was initially given to to the Plymouth Company who in turn gave it to Mason and Gorges in 1622, which conflicted with other patents such as the above. The commissioners heard evidence from the heirs of Gorges and the Massachusetts Colony who were both trying to reclaim their rights. The Commissioners were more successful in their attempts to encourage loyalty to the crown in Maine, offering Maine a crown-supported provincial government.
3. NEW JERSEY: Copy of an indenture for a land release of New Jersey to Sir George Carteret of Saltram from James II, dated July 29, 1674 but later, docketed "1674 Copy of Jersey release to Sir Geo Carteret" with note signed by Matthias Nicolls, Secretary (Mayor of New York at this time), "This ... release compared w. the record and examined by mee". Manuscript on paper, 4 pp including final docketed page, bifolium 380 x 240 mm, possibly in the secretarial hand of Matthias Nicolls. Paper slightly browned, old folds a few split and strengthened on verso, some wear to edges.
Provenance: Heirs of George Carteret (by descent).
In 1664 Charles II granted to his brother James Duke of York a large portion of land in North America much of it under Dutch control. In turn the Duke gave the land between the Hudson and the Delaware to Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret for services rendered during the English Civil War. After the expedition of 1664 which captured New York and the Dutch trading posts of the Hudson, the lands of New Jersey passed to Carteret, but the Dutch briefly secured the territories back in the late 1660s only to be driven out again. This copy of Carteret's indenture for the lands of Long Island and most of central and northern New Jersey was a reaffirmation of the earlier gift by James II, seemingly copied out and authorized by Matthias Nicholls in New York.
4. VIRGINIA: Autograph letter from Lord Shrewsbury to Sir Edmund Andros [1637-1714], in a secretarial hand, dated Whitehall [London] November 30, 1694, 4 pp, bifolium 325 x 195 mm, two blank leaves, a retained copy docketed "copy Duke Shrewsbury ... about the northern neck."
In this letter Shrewsbury gives support to Thomas Fairfax for his 1689 claim on lands between the heads of the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers known as the Northern Neck Grant. There was a long running dispute regarding this land (gifted to Sir Thomas Culpeper by Charles II in 1649 when he was in exile in France from between the crown) between the heirs of Thomas Culpeper (Lord Fairfax married his daughter Catherine} and other Culpeper relatives. Andros was at this time Governor General of Virginia, having moved on from his Governorship of New York.
5. NEW YORK: Autograph Letter to Major EDMUND ANDROS [1637-1714], then Governor of New York from his brother John in Guernsey, 4 pp, bifolium letter on first page, 325 x 228 mm, [n.p.], February 22, 1674. The paper slightly browned, old folds, a few clean tears, remnants of old wax seal.
John Andros writes to his brother newly arrived in New York as Governor, hoping he has arrived safely and giving him news of business and family affairs in Guernsey. Sir Edmund Andros was an unpopular colonial governor of New York, and his high-handed approach caused the Andros rebellion against taxes in 1689.