This article focuses too much on specific examples without explaining their importance to its main subject. (October 2011)
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".
In the beginning of the European colonial era, trade companies such as the East India Company were the most common method used to settle new land.This changed following Maryland's Royal Grant in 1632, when King Charles I granted George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore proprietary rights to an area east of the Potomac River in exchange for a share of the income derived there. Going forward, proprietary colonies became the most common way to settle areas with British subjects. The land was licensed or granted to a proprietor who held expanse power. These powers were commonly written into the land charters by using the "Bishop Durham clause" which recreated the powers and responsibilities once given to the County Palatine of Durham in England. Through this clause, the lord proprietor was given the power to create courts and laws, establish governing bodies and churches, and appoint all governing officials.
Each proprietary colony had a unique system of governance reflecting the geographic challenges of the area as well as the personality of the lord proprietor. The colonies of Maryland and New York, based on English law and administration practices, were run effectively. However, other colonies such as Carolina were mismanaged.The colonies of West and East Jersey as well as Pennsylvania were distinct in their diversion from the traditional monarchial system that ruled most colonies of the time. This was due to the large number of Quakers in these areas who shared many views with the lords proprietary.
Effective governance of proprietary colonies relied on the appointment of a governor. The lord proprietor made the governor the head of the province's military, judicial, and administrative functions. This was typically conducted using a commission established by the lord proprietor. The lord proprietor typically instructed the governor what to do.Only through these instructions could legislation be made.
In 1629, King Charles I granted Sir Robert Heath (the attorney general) the southern half of the English land in the New World between 36 degrees and 31 degrees north latitude from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. The land was named "Province of Carolina" or land of Charles. Sir Robert’s attempts at settlement failed and in 1645, during the English Civil War, he was stripped of all of his possessions as a Royalist supporter of the King. In 1663, eight members of the English nobility received a charter from King Charles II to establish the colony of Carolina.The eight Lords Proprietors were:
The Lords Proprietors were anxious to secure Carolina against Spanish attacks from San Augustine in Florida, and to do so, they needed to attract more colonists. The Lords Proprietors offered English settlers inducements consisting of religious toleration, political representation in an assembly that had power over public taxes, exemption from quitrents and large grants of land. The Lords allowed settlers of any religion, except atheists. The Lords also had a generous headright system whereby they granted one hundred and fifty acres of land to each member of a family. An indentured male servant who served his term received his freedom dues from his master and a grant of one hundred acres from the Lords Proprietors. In order to attract planters with capital to invest, the Lords Proprietors also gave the owner and master the one hundred and fifty acre headright for every slave imported to the Colony. These incentives drew 6,600 colonists to the colony by 1700 compared with only 1,500 in the Spanish colony of Florida. Carolina attracted English settlers, French Protestants (Huguenots) and other colonists from Barbados and the West Indies.
The first government in Carolina began in Albemarle County in 1664 when William Sayle was appointed as the governor. Proprietary authority was weaker near the Virginia border. The Lords Proprietors established a North Carolina with its own assembly and deputy governor. In 1712, the division of Carolina into North and South was completed with the elevation of the deputy governor to governor of North Carolina.
The Lords Proprietors failed to protect the settlers when enemies attacked or threatened the Colony. For example, during Queen Anne's War (1702–1713), the colonists drove French and Spanish forces away from Charlestown. Again, between 1715 and 1718, the colonists defended themselves against attacks by the Yamasee Indians and pirates. During these times of conflict, the colonists received little or no help from the proprietors. The elite group of settlers in Carolina, former West Indians known as the Goose Creek Men, grew increasingly frustrated with the Lords Proprietors because they meddled in politics but failed to defend the colony against Spanish and Native American attacks.
In 1719, the South Carolina assembly sent a petition to England requesting that the proprietors be replaced with Crown administration. King George I appointed royal governors for North and South Carolina, converting the colony’s status to that of a royal colony (England ruled the colony but allowed the people self-government). In 1729, the Crown bought out seven of the eight of the Lords Proprietors for £22,500, approximately the amount they had spent on the colony. The eighth proprietor, John Carteret, Lord Granville, refused to sell and retained title to the lands and quitrents in the northern third of North Carolina.
At the time the Crown purchased the proprietors' interests in 1729 the successors of the eight proprietors proved to be:
Some of these 1729 interests had been acquired not by inheritance but by purchase. The Carteret interest continued until Independence when the Crown paid compensation for the Carteret loss.
Two documents remain with the Lords Proprietors' original seal kept intact.
In the 1690s, the Lords Proprietors were keen to implement their plan for a colonial aristocracy (an attempt to stabilize Carolina politics). One document is a grant or patent issued by the Lords Proprietors of South Carolina in 1699. It was issued to an Englishman named John Wyche, a relative of the chief Proprietor, giving him the status of Landgrave with the right to claim 48,000 acres (190 km2) of land in a certain region. John Wyche was appointed as the Secretary to the Province and served in this role in the colony for a short period of six months before he received another appointment in Hamburg. Some of the documents relate to Wyche’s activity in the colony. His successor to the Secretary position was John Wilmot. After a revolt against the Lords Proprietors in 1719, the colony came under royal control. This change in power was formalized by an Act of the English parliament in 1729 called "An Agreement with Seven of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, for the Surrender of their Title and Interest in that Province".
The documents include information about Wyche’s land-claims and the petition of the Cyril family for an endorsement of their rights under the 1699 grant (a claim that the Privy Council in London disallowed). The grant was originally written in Latin and is embossed on vellum with the Great Seal of the Proprietors attached. This seal and document is one of two such 17th century documents to survive with the seal intact.
1. Sir Robert Heath’s Patent 5 Charles I, 30 October 1629
In this patent King Charles I of England gave Sir Robert Hearth, the attorney general, property in the New World.
2. A Declaration and Proposals of the Lord Proprietor of Carolina, 25 August – 4 September 1663
This charter issued by King Charles II of England proposed the formation of the Lords Proprietors and gave the lands of Carolina to the eight proprietors: the Earl of Clarendon, Duke of Albemarle, Lord Craven, Lord Berkeley, Lord Ashley, Sir George Carteret, William Berkeley and Sir John Colleton. This declaration gave the proprietors the power to protect their colony, the right to settle the colony, freedom of religion and one hundred acres of land for each man.
3. Charter of Carolina- 24 March 1663
This charter outlined how the eight proprietors should rule Carolina. It gave the land to the proprietors, allowed for patronage, gave the proprietors absolute power in the colony, gave the colony’s government the right to make laws, authorized the authority to make ordinances, gave instructions to defend the colony against enemies, outlined trade regulations, gave the proprietors building rights in the colony, allowed for an army and allowed the practice of religion conformed to the Church of England.
4. The Concession and Agreement of the Lords Proprietors of the Province of New Caesarea, or New Jersey, to and With All and Every the Adventures and All Such as Shall Settle or Plant There- 1664
This document outlines the distribution of power in New Jersey by the Lords Proprietors. The document includes the role Governor of the province, the right for the Governor to choose six counsellors, the role of the Chief of Secretary, the role of the Surveyor General and the colonists’ duty as subjects of the King of England.
5. A Declaration of the True Intent and Meaning of us the Lords Proprietors, and Explanation of There Concessions Made to the Adventures and Planters of New Caesarea or New Jersey- 1672
This declaration outlines the rules for the General Assembly and the Governor.
6. His Royal Highness’s Grant to the Lords Proprietors, Sir George Carteret, 29 July 1674
This document from King Charles II of England, reiterates Sir George Carteret’s claim to his land in America as laid out by the original patents.
Headright system- Each settler received a single headright (grant of land) for himself or herself.
Quitrents- a fixed rent payable to a feudal superior in commutation of services
In 1664, the English gained control of New Jersey from the Dutch. King Charles II granted the country to his brother, the Duke of York, who in turn sold the colony to two of his friends, Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret (who were both already Lords Proprietors of Carolina). The area was named "New Jersey" after Carteret’s home island of Jersey in the English Channel.The grant, unique among other proprietary grants in the Americas, did not explicitly give the lord proprietors the power of government in the colony.
Nonetheless, Berkeley and Carteret, established a constitution and gave freemen the right to elect an Assembly. A tax could not be levied without the Assembly’s approval. The Governor was appointed by the Lords Proprietors and was allowed to select his own Council, which constituted the upper branch of the Legislature. The new colony attracted many settlers because Berkeley and Sir George Carteret sold the land to the colonists at low prices and allowed them political and religious freedoms.
The Dutch re-conquered the area in 1673 but then surrendered to the English in 1674. The new documents governing the lands still did not mention the lord proprietor's governing rights which led to continued confusion with colonial officials in New York.Two of New Jersey's governors during the area's time as a proprietary colony were arrested and imprisoned in New York for governing without the authority to do so.
Berkeley sold his half of New Jersey to Edward Byllynge and John Fenwick. In 1676, Carteret and Fenwick negotiated a division of the province into two sections: East Jersey which was held by Carteret and West Jersey which was held by Fenwick. Sir George Carteret died in 1680. His property was left to Trustees who put East Jersey up for sale in a public auction. In 1682, the property was sold to William Penn and eleven associates who each sold half of their share to twelve others, forming an association of twenty-four proprietors.This body became known as the Board of Proprietors of East Jersey. This board exercised government control, which eventually led to many conflicts within the colony. In 1702, East and West Jersey surrendered the right to government to the English Crown under Queen Anne following the Glorious Revolution.
In the Province of New Jersey, there were two proprietary lordships:
Lords Proprietary of East Jersey:
Lords Proprietary of West Jersey:
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The British monarch, in his or her capacity as Sovereign Lord of Mann, is considered to be the Lord Proprietor of the Isle of Man. This usage is generally left ignored.
The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of colonies of Great Britain on the Atlantic coast of America founded in the 17th and 18th centuries which declared independence in 1776 and formed the United States of America. The Thirteen Colonies had very similar political, constitutional, and legal systems, and were dominated by Protestant English-speakers. The northern colonies were founded primarily for religious reasons, while the southern colonies were founded for financial profit and business expansion. All thirteen were part of Britain's possessions in the New World, which also included colonies in Canada, Florida, and the Caribbean.
The Province of East Jersey, along with the Province of West Jersey, between 1674 and 1702 in accordance with the Quintipartite Deed were two distinct political divisions of the Province of New Jersey, which became the U.S. state of New Jersey. The two provinces were amalgamated in 1702. East Jersey's capital was located at Perth Amboy. Determination of an exact location for a border between West Jersey and East Jersey was often a matter of dispute.
Vice Admiral Sir George Carteret, 1st Baronet was a royalist statesman in Jersey and England, who served in the Clarendon Ministry as Treasurer of the Navy. He was also one of the original lords proprietor of the former British colony of Carolina and New Jersey. Carteret, New Jersey, as well as Carteret County, North Carolina, both in the United States, are named after him. He acquired the manor of Haynes, Bedfordshire in about 1667.
Sir Edmund Andros was an English colonial administrator in British America. He was the governor of the Dominion of New England during most of its three-year existence. At other times, Andros served as governor of the provinces of New York, East and West Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland.
The Middle Colonies were a subset of the thirteen colonies in British America, located between the New England Colonies and the Southern Colonies. Along with the Chesapeake Colonies, this area now roughly makes up the Mid-Atlantic states.
The Province of New Jersey was one of the Middle Colonies of Colonial America and became New Jersey, a state of the United States in 1783. The province had originally been settled by Europeans as part of New Netherland, but came under English rule after the surrender of Fort Amsterdam in 1664, becoming a proprietary colony. The English then renamed the province after the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel. The Dutch Republic reasserted control for a brief period in 1673–1674. After that it consisted of two political divisions, East Jersey and West Jersey, until they were united as a royal colony in 1702. The original boundaries of the province were slightly larger than the current state, extending into a part of the present state of New York, until the border was finalized in 1773.
The Southern Colonies within British America consisted of the Province of Maryland, the Colony of Virginia, the Province of Carolina and the Province of Georgia. In 1763, the newly created colonies of East Florida and West Florida would be added to the Southern Colonies by Great Britain until when the Spanish Empire took back Florida.
The Province of Carolina was an English and later a British colony of North America. Carolina was founded in what is present-day North Carolina. Carolina expanded south and, at its greatest extent, nominally included the present-day states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi, and parts of modern Florida and Louisiana.
The Granville District was an approximately 60-mile wide strip of land in the North Carolina colony adjoining the boundary with the Province of Virginia, lying between north latitudes 35° 34' and 36° 30'. From 1663 until 1779, the District was held under control of the descendants of Sir George Carteret, one of the original Lords Proprietor of the Province of Carolina. After 1729, the Granville District's land allotment totaled nearly half of the land in North Carolina.
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.
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.
Philip Carteret; French: Philippe de Carteret ; 1639–1682) was the first Governor of New Jersey, from 1665 to 1673 and governor of East New Jersey from 1674 to 1682.
Concession and Agreement was a 1664 document that provided religious freedom in the colony of New Jersey. It was issued as a proclamation for the structure of the government for the colony written in 1664 by the two proprietors, Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. The document promised religious freedom to all inhabitants of New Jersey, and also declared that the proprietors would be in charge of appointing the provincial governors. The first such governor to be appointed was Philip Carteret.
European colonization of New Jersey started soon after the 1609 exploration of its coast and bays by Sir Henry Hudson. Dutch and Swedish colonists settled parts of the present-day state as New Netherland and New Sweden. In 1664 the entire area, surrendered to the English, gained its current name. With the Treaty of Westminster in 1674 London formally gained control of the region; it retained that control until the American Revolution.
Originally, the state of New Jersey was a single British colony, the Province of New Jersey. After the English Civil War, Charles II assigned New Jersey as a proprietary colony to be held jointly by Sir George Carteret and John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton. Eventually, the collection of land fees, or quit-rents, from colonists proved inadequate for colonial profitability. Sir George Carteret sold his share of the colony to the Quakers in 1673. Following the sale, the land was divided into East and West Jersey. In 1681, West Jersey adopted a constitution. In 1683, East Jersey adopted one as well. In 1702, the colonies were united again under Anne, Queen of Great Britain, and adopted a constitution in 1776.
The situation of the Catholic Church in the Thirteen Colonies was characterized by an extensive religious persecution originating from Protestant sects, which would barely allow religious toleration to Catholics living on American territory.
James Colleton was a governor of the English proprietary Province of Carolina from 1686 to 1690.
Culpeper's Rebellion was a popular uprising in 1677 provoked by the British Navigation Acts. It was led by John Culpeper against the ruling Lords Proprietor in Albemarle County, Province of Carolina, near what is now Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The uprising met with temporary success before being suppressed by English authorities.
The East New Jersey Provincial Council or Governor's Council was the upper house of the East New Jersey Legislature under proprietary rule until the surrender of the right of government to The Crown, and Queen Anne's acceptance.