Charter

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An example of a charter (Magna Carta). Magna Carta (British Library Cotton MS Augustus II.106).jpg
An example of a charter (Magna Carta).

A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified. It is implicit that the granter retains superiority (or sovereignty), and that the recipient admits a limited (or inferior) status within the relationship, and it is within that sense that charters were historically granted, and it is that sense which is retained in modern usage of the term.

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The word entered the English language from the Old French charte, via Latin charta, and ultimately from Greek χάρτης (khartes, meaning "layer of papyrus"). It has come to be synonymous with a document that sets out a grant of rights or privileges.

Other usages

The term is used for a special case (or as an exception) of an institutional charter. A charter school, for example, is one that has different rules, regulations, and statutes from a state school.

Charter can be used as a synonym for "hire" or "lease", as in the "charter" of a bus or boat or plane. [1]

A charter member (US English) of an organization is an original member; that is, one who became a member when the organization received its charter. [2] A chartered member (British English) is a member who holds an individual chartered designation authorized under that organization's royal charter. [3] [4]

Different types of charters

Anglo-Saxon charters

Anglo-Saxon charters are documents from the early medieval period in Britain which typically make a grant of land or record a privilege. They are usually written on parchment, in Latin but often with sections in the vernacular, describing the bounds of estates, which often correspond closely to modern parish boundaries. The earliest surviving charters were drawn up in the 670s; the oldest surviving charters granted land to the Church, but from the 8th century surviving charters were increasingly used to grant land to lay people.

Charter colony

The British Empire used three main types of colonies as it sought to expand its territory to distant parts of the earth. These three types were royal colonies, proprietary colonies, and corporate colonies. A charter colony by definition is a "colony chartered to an individual, trading company, etc., by the British crown." [5] Although charter colonies were not the most prevalent of the three types of colonies in the British Empire, they were by no means insignificant.

Congressional charter

A congressional charter is a law passed by the United States Congress that states the mission, authority, and activities of a group. Congress issued federal charters from 1791 until 1992 under Title 36 of the United States Code.

Municipal charter

A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including (but not necessarily limited to) cities, counties, towns, townships, charter townships, villages, and boroughs. Municipal incorporation occurs when such municipalities become self-governing entities under the laws of the state or province in which they are located. Often, this event is marked by the award or declaration of a municipal charter, a term used because municipal power was historically granted by the sovereign, by royal charter.

Order charter

Charters for chivalric orders and other orders, such as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Project charter

In project management, a project charter or project definition (sometimes called the terms of reference) is provided by the sponsor to formally authorize the existence of a project. It provides a preliminary delineation of roles and responsibilities, outlines the project purpose and objectives, identifies key stakeholders, and defines the authority of the project manager. It serves as a reference of authority for future planning of the project. The project scope is developed from the project charter.

Royal charter

In medieval Europe, royal charters were used to create cities (i.e., localities with recognised legal rights and privileges). The date that such a charter was granted is considered to be when a city was "founded", regardless of when the locality originally began to be settled.

The Charter of 1814, France’s constitution during the Bourbon Restoration, was thus called to promote the legal fiction that the King had granted it “voluntarily, and by the free exercise of [his] royal authority”, in the manner of medieval charters.

At one time a royal charter was the only way in which an incorporated body could be formed, but other means (such as the registration process for limited companies) are generally now used instead.

Inspeximus charter

A charter of "Inspeximus" (Latin, literally "We have inspected") is frequently a royal charter, by which an earlier charter or series of charters relating to a particular foundation (such as a monastery or a guild) was recited and incorporated into a new charter, usually in order to confirm and renew its validity under present authority. Where the original documents are lost, an inspeximus charter may sometimes preserve their texts and lists of witnesses.

See also

Related Research Articles

A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state. In federations, governor may be the title of a politician who governs a constituent state and may be either appointed or elected. The power of the individual governor can vary dramatically between political systems, with some governors having only nominal or largely ceremonial power, with others having complete control over the entire government.

Royal charter Document issued by a monarch, granting a right or power to an individual or organisation

A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative as letters patent. Historically, they have been used to promulgate public laws, the most famous example being the English Magna Carta of 1215, but since the 14th century have only been used in place of private acts to grant a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organisations such as boroughs, universities and learned societies.

Fief system of economic and politic governance for the land concessed by a lord to a vassal during the Middle Age in Europe

A fief was the central element of feudalism. It consisted of heritable property or rights granted by an overlord to a vassal who held it in fealty in return for a form of feudal allegiance and service, usually given by the personal ceremonies of homage and fealty. The fees were often lands or revenue-producing real property held in feudal land tenure: these are typically known as fiefs or fiefdoms. However, not only land but anything of value could be held in fee, including governmental office, rights of exploitation such as hunting or fishing, monopolies in trade, and tax farms.

A city charter or town charter is a legal document (charter) establishing a municipality such as a city or town. The concept developed in Europe during the Middle Ages.

The governments of the Thirteen Colonies of British America developed in the 17th and 18th centuries under the influence of the British constitution. After the Thirteen Colonies had become the United States, the experience under colonial rule would inform and shape the new state constitutions and, ultimately, the United States Constitution.

Council for New England

The Council for New England was a 17th-century English joint stock company that was granted a royal charter to found colonial settlements along the coast of North America. The Council was established in November of 1620, and was disbanded in 1635. It provided for the establishment of the Plymouth Colony, the State of New Hampshire, the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the New Haven Colony, and the eventual State of Maine. It was largely the creation of Sir Ferdinand Gorges.

Roman citizenship Citizenship in ancient Rome

Citizenship in ancient Rome was a privileged political and legal status afforded to free individuals with respect to laws, property, and governance.

Crown colony, dependent territory or royal colony were dependent territories under the administration of United Kingdom overseas territories that were controlled by the British Government. As such they are examples of dependencies that fall under colonial rule. All Crown colonies were renamed "British Dependent Territories" in 1981. Since 2002, Crown colonies have been known officially as British Overseas Territories.

Proprietary colony type of British colony especially in North America and the Caribbean in the 17th century

A proprietary colony was a type of English colony mostly in North America and the Caribbean in the 17th century. In the British Empire, all land belonged to the ruler, and it was his/her prerogative to divide. Therefore, all colonial properties were partitioned by royal charter into one of four types: proprietary, royal, joint stock, or covenant. King Charles II used the proprietary solution to reward allies and focus his own attention on Britain itself. He offered his friends colonial charters which facilitated private investment and colonial self-government. The charters made the proprietor the effective ruler, albeit one ultimately responsible to English Law and the King. Charles II gave New Netherland to his younger brother The Duke of York, who named it New York. He gave an area to William Penn who named it Pennsylvania.

First Virginia Charter

The First Charter of Virginia, also known as the Charter of 1606, is a document from King James I of England to the Virginia Company assigning land rights to colonists for the stated purpose of propagating the Christian religion. The land is described as coastal Virginia and the islands near to the coast, and stretches from present-day South Carolina to present-day Maine. The patch of land itself would remain the property of the King, with the London Company and the Plymouth Company as the King's tenants, and the settlers as subtenants. The colony's government at first consisted of a council residing in London. The document designated the London Company as responsible for financing the project, which included recruiting settlers and also provided for their transport and supplies.

The territorial evolution of the British Empire is considered to have begun with the foundation of the English colonial empire in the late 16th century. Since then, many territories around the world have been under the control of the United Kingdom or its predecessor states

A lord proprietor is a person granted a royal charter for the establishment and government of an English colony in the 17th century. The plural of the term is "lords proprietors" or "lords proprietary".

A charter is a document that gave colonies the legal rights to exist. Charters can bestow certain rights on a town, city, university or an institution.

Charter colony is one of three classes of colonial government established in the 17th century English colonies in North America, the other classes being proprietary colony and royal colony. These colonies were operated under a corporate charter given by the crown. The colonies of Virginia, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts Bay were at one time or another charter colonies. The crown might revoke a charter and convert the colony into a crown colony. In a charter colony, Britain granted a charter to the colonial government establishing the rules under which the colony was to be governed. The charters of Rhode Island and Connecticut granted the colonists significantly more political liberty than other colonies. Rhode Island and Connecticut continued to use their colonial charters as their State constitutions after the American Revolution.

Anglo-Saxon charters

Anglo-Saxon charters are documents from the early medieval period in England, which typically made a grant of land, or recorded a privilege. The earliest surviving charters were drawn up in the 670s: the oldest surviving charters granted land to the Church, but from the eighth century, surviving charters were increasingly used to grant land to lay people.

British America Former British territories in North America

British America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire in America from 1607 to 1783. These colonies were formally known as British America and the British West Indies before the Thirteen Colonies declared their independence in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) and formed the United States of America. After the American Revolution, the term British North America referred to the remainder of Great Britain's Canadian possessions. That term was first used informally in 1783, but it was uncommon before the Report on the Affairs of British North America (1839), generally known as the Durham Report.

Cartulary type of medieval manuscript

A cartulary or chartulary, also called pancarta or codex diplomaticus, is a medieval manuscript volume or roll (rotulus) containing transcriptions of original documents relating to the foundation, privileges, and legal rights of ecclesiastical establishments, municipal corporations, industrial associations, institutions of learning, or families. The term is sometimes also applied to collections of original documents bound in one volume or attached to one another so as to form a roll, as well as to custodians of such collections.

Ancient borough historic unit of lower-tier local government in England and Wales

The ancient boroughs were a historic unit of lower-tier local government in England and Wales. The ancient boroughs covered only important towns and were established by charters granted at different times by the monarchy. Their history is largely concerned with the origin of such towns and how they gained the right of self-government. Ancient boroughs were reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, which introduced directly elected corporations and allowed the incorporation of new industrial towns. Municipal boroughs ceased to be used for the purposes of local government in 1974, with borough status retained as an honorific title granted by the Crown.

Connecticut is known as "The Constitution State". The origin of this title is uncertain, but the nickname is assumed to be a reference to the Fundamental Orders of 1638–39 which represent the framework for the first formal government written by a representative body in Connecticut. Connecticut's government has operated under the direction of five separate documents in its history. The Connecticut Colony at Hartford was governed by the Fundamental Orders, and the Quinnipiac Colony at New Haven had its own Constitution in The Fundamental Agreement of the New Haven Colony which was signed on June 4, 1639.

A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman provincia, which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outside Italy. The term province has since been adopted by many countries. In some countries with no actual provinces, "the provinces" is a metaphorical term meaning "outside the capital city".

References

  1. "charter". Lexico. Oxford University Press. 2. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  2. "charter member". Lexico. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  3. "chartered". Lexico. Oxford University Press. 1.1. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  4. "Royal Charters". Privy Council of the United Kingdom . Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  5. charter colony - Definitions from Dictionary.com