New Jersey Concessions and Agreements

New Jersey Concessions and Agreements

February 10, 1664

Imprimus. We do consent and agree, that the Governor of the said Province hath power, by the advice of his Council, to depute one in his place and authority, in case of death or removal, to continue until our further order, unless we have commissionated one before.

Item. That he hath likewise power to make choice of and to take to him six councellors at least, or twelve at most, or any even number between six and twelve, with whose advice and consent, or with at least three of the six, or four of a greater number (all being summon’d) he is to govern according to the limitations and instructions following, during our pleasure.

Item. That the chief Secretary or register which we have chosen, or shall choose, (we failing) that he shall choose, shall keep exact entries in fair books of all publick affairs: and to avoid deceits and lawsuits, shall record and enter all grants of land from the lords to the planters; and all conveyances of land, house or houses from man to man, as also all leases for land, house or houses, made or to be made by the landlord to any tenant for more than one year; which conveyance or lease shall be first acknowledged by the grantor or leasor, or proved by the oath of two witnesses to the lease or conveyance, before the Governor or some chief judge of a court for the time being, who shall under his hand on the backside of the said deed or lease, attest the acknowledgment or proof as aforesaid; which shall be a warrant for the register to record the same: which conveyance so recorded shall be good and effectual in law, notwithstanding any other conveyance, deed or lease for the said land, house or houses, or for any part thereof, altho’ dated before the conveyance, deed or lease, recorded as aforesaid: And the said register shall do all other thing or things that we by our instructions shall direct, and the Governor, Council and General Assembly shall ordain for the good and welfare of the said Province.

Item. That the Surveyor General, that we have chosen or shall choose, (we failing that the Governor shall choose) shall have power by himself or deputy, to survey, lay out and bound all such lands as shall be granted from the lords to the planters; and all other lands within the said Province which may concern particular men as he shall be desired to do, and a particular thereof certify to the register to be recorded as aforesaid. Provided, that if the said register and surveyor, or either of them, shall misbehave themselves, as that the Governor and Council or Deputy Governor and Council, or the major part of them, shall find it reasonable to suspend their actings in their respective employments, it shall be lawful for them so to do, until further orders from us.

Item. That the Governor, Councellors, Assembly Men, Secretary, Surveyor, and all other officers of trust, shall swear or subscribe (in a book to be provided for that purpose) that they will bear true allegiance to the King of England, his heirs and successors; and that they will be faithful to the interests of the Lords Proprietors of the said Province and their heirs, executors and assigns; and endeavour the peace and welfare of the said Province; and that they will truly and faithfully discharge their respective trust in their respective offices, and do equal justice to all men, according to their best skill and judgment, without corruption, favour or affection; and the names of all that have sworn or subscribed, to be entered in a book. And whosoever shall subscribe and not swear, and shall violate his promise in that subscription, shall be liable to the same punishment that the persons are or may be that have sworn and broken their oaths.

Item. That all persons that are or shall become subjects of the King of England, and swear, or subscribe allegiance to the King, and faithfulness to the lords, shall be admitted to plant and become freemen of the said Province, and enjoy the freedoms and immunities hereafter express’d, until some stop or contradiction be made by us the Lords, or else the Governor, Council and Assembly, which shall be in force until the Lords see cause to the contrary: provided that such stop shall not any ways prejudice the right or continuance of any person that have been receiv’d before such stop or orders come from the General Assembly.

Item. That no person qualified as aforesaid within the said Province, at any time shall be any ways molested, punished, disquieted or called in question for any difference in opinion or practice in matter of religious concernments, who do not actually disturb the civil peace of the said Province; but that all and every such person and persons may from time to time, and at all times, freely and fully have and enjoy his and their judgments and consciences in matters of religion throughout the said Province they behaving themselves peaceably and quietly, and not using this liberty to licentiousness, nor to the civil injury or outward disturbance of others; any law, statute or clause contained, or to be contained, usuage or custom of this realm of England, to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

Item. That no pretence may be taken by our heirs or assigns for or by reason of our right of patronage and power of advouson, granted by his Majesty’s Letter’s Patents, unto his Royal Highness James Duke of York, and by his said Royal Highness unto us, thereby to infringe the general clause of liberty of conscience, aforementioned: we do hereby grant unto the General Assembly of the said Province, power by act to constitute and appoint such and so many ministers or preachers as they shall think fit, and to establish their maintenance, giving liberty beside to any person or persons to keep and maintain what preachers or ministers they please.

Item. That the inhabitants being freemen, or chief agents to others of the Province aforesaid; do as soon as this our commission shall arrive, by virtue of a writ in our names by the Governor to be for the present (until our seal comes) sealed and signed, make choice of twelve deputies or representatives from amongst themselves; who being chosen are to join with the said Governor and council for the making of such laws, ordinances and constitution as shall be necessary for the present good and welfare of the said Province. But so soon as parishes, divisions, tribes and other distinctions are made, that then the inhabitants or freeholders of the several respective parishes, tribes, divisions and distinctions aforesaid, do by our writts, under our seals, (which we ingage, shall be in due time issued) annually meet on the first day of January, and choose freeholders for each respective division, tribe or parish to be the deputies or representatives of the same: which body of representatives or the major part of them, shall, with the Governor and council aforesaid, be the General Assembly of the said Province, the Governor or his deputy being present, unless they shall wilfully refuse, in which case they may appoint themselves a president, during the absence of the Governor or the deputy Governor.


First. To appoint their own time of meeting and to adjourn their sessions from time to time to such times and places as they shall think convenient; as also to ascertain the number of their quorum; provided that such numbers be not less than the third part of the whole, in whom (or more) shall be the full power of the General Assembly.

II. To enact and make all such laws, acts and constitutions as shall be necessary for the well government of the said Province, and them to repeal: provided, that the same be consonant to reason, and as near as may be conveniently agreeable to the laws and customs of his majesty’s kingdom of England:provided also, that they be not against the interest of us the Lords Proprietors, our heirs or assigns, nor any of those our concessions, especially that they be not repugnant to the article for liberty of conscience above-mentioned: which laws so made shall receive publication from the Governor and council (but as the laws of us and our General Assembly) and be in force for the space of one year and no more, unless contradicted by the Lords Proprietors, within which time they are to be presented to us, our heirs, &c. for our ratification; and being confirmed by us, they shall be in continual force till expired by their own limitation, or by act of repeal in like manner to be passed (as aforesaid) and confirmed.

III. By act as aforesaid, to constitute all courts, together with the limits, powers and jurisdictions of the same; as also the several offices and number of officers belonging to each court, with their respective salaries, fees and perquisites; their appellations and dignities, with the penalties that shall be due to them, for the breach of their several and respective duties and trusts.

IV. By act as aforesaid, to lay equal taxes and assessments, equally to raise moneys or goods upon all lands (excepting the lands of us the Lords Proprietors before settling) or persons within the several precincts, hundreds, parishes, manors, or whatsoever other divisions shall hereafter be made and established in the said Province, as oft as necessity shall require, and in such manner as to them shall seem most equal and easy for the said inhabitants; in order to the better supporting of the publick charge of the said Government, and for the mutual safety, defence and security of the said Province.

V. By act as aforesaid, to erect within the said Province, such and so many manors, with their necessary courts, jurisdictions, freedoms, and privileges, as to them shall seem meet and convenient: As also to divide the said Province into hundreds, parishes, tribes, or such other divisions and districtions, as they shall think fit; and the said divisions to distinguish by what names we shall order or direct; and in default thereof, by such names as they please: As also in the said Province to create and appoint such and so many ports, harbours, creeks, and other places for the convenient lading and unlading of goods and merchandizes, out of ships, boats, and other vessels, as shall be expedient; with such jurisdictions, privileges and franchises to such ports, &c. belonging, as they shall judge most conducing to the general good of the said Plantation or Province.

VI. By their enacting to be confirm’d as aforesaid, to erect, raise and build within the said Province or any part thereof, such and so many forts, fortresses, castles, cities, corporations, boroughs, towns, villages, and other places of strength and defence; and them or any of them, to incorporate with such charters and privileges, as to them shall seem good, and the grant made unto us will permit; and the same or any of them to fortify and furnish with such provisions and proportion of ordnance, powder, shot, armour, and all other weapons, ammunition and abiliments of war, both offensive and defensive, as shall be thought necessary and convenient for the safety and welfare of the said Province. But they may not at any time demolish, dismantle or disfurnish the same, without the consent of the Governor and the major part of the council of the said Province.

VII. By act (as aforesaid) to constitute train’d bands and companies, with the number of soldiers, for the safety, strength and defence of the said Province; and of the forts, castles, cities, &c. To suppress all mutinies and rebellions; to make war offensive and defensive with all Indians, strangers and foreigners, as they shall see cause; and to pursue an enemy as well by sea as by land, if need be, out of the limits and jurisdictions of the said Province, with the particular consent of the Governor, and under his conduct, or of our commander in chief, or whom he shall appoint.

VIII. By act (as aforesaid) to give to all strangers, as to them shall seem meet, a naturalization, and all such freedoms, and privileges within the said Province as to his majesty’s subjects do of right belong, they swearing or subscribing as aforesaid; which said strangers, so naturalized and privileged, shall be in all respects accounted in the said Province, as the King’s natural subjects.

IX. By act (as aforesaid) to prescribe the quantity of land which shall be from time to time, allotted to every head, free or servant, male or female, and to make and ordain rules for the casting of lots for land and the laying out of the same; provided, that they do not in their prescriptions exceed the several proportions which are hereby granted by us to all persons arriving in the said Province or adventuring thither.

X. The General Assembly by act, as aforesaid, shall make provision for the maintenance and support of the Governor, and for the defraying of all necessary charges for the government; as also that the constables of the said Province shall collect the Lord’s rent, and shall pay the same to the receiver that the Lords shall appoint to receive the same; unless the General Assembly shall prescribe some other way whereby the Lords may have their rents duly collected, without charge or trouble to them.

XI. Lastly, to enact, constitute and ordain all such other laws and constitutions as shall or may be necessary for the good, prosperity and settlement of the said Province, excepting what by these presents is excepted, and conforming to the limitations herein expressed.


First. To see that all courts establish’d by the laws of the General Assembly, and all ministers and officers, civil and military, do and execute their several duties and offices respectively, according to the laws in force; and to punish them for swerving from the laws, or acting contrary to their trust, as the nature of their offences shall require.

II. According to the constitution of the General Assembly, to nominate and commissionate, the several judges, members and officers of the courts, whether magistratical or ministerial and all other civil officers, coroners, &c. and their commissions, powers, and authority to revoke at pleasure: provided,that they appoint none but such as are freeholders in the Province aforesaid, unless the General Assembly consent.

III. According to the constitution of the General Assembly, to appoint courts and officers in cases criminal; and to impower them to inflict penalties upon offenders against any of the laws in force in the said Province, as the said laws shall ordain; whether by fine, imprisonment, banishment, corporal punishment, or to the taking away of member or life itself if there be cause for it.

IV. To place officers and soldiers for the safety, strength and defence of the forts, castles, cities &c. according to the number appointed by the General Assembly, to nominate, place and commissionate all military officers under the dignity of the said Governor, who is commissionated by us over the several train’d bands and companies, constituted by the General Assembly, as colonels, captains, &c. and their commissions to revoke at pleasure. The Governor with the advice of his Council, unless some present danger will not permit him, to advise to muster and train all forces within the said Province, to prosecute war, pursue an enemy, suppress all rebellions, and mutinies, as well by sea as land; and to exercise the whole militia, as fully as we by the grant from his Royal Highness can impower them to do:Provided, that they appoint no military forces but what are freeholders in the said Province, unless the General Assembly shall consent.

V. Where they see cause, after condemnation, to repreive until the case be presented, with a copy of the whole tryal, proceedings and proofs to the Lords, who will accordingly pardon or command execution of the sentence of the offender; who is in mean time to be kept in safe custody till the pleasure of the Lords be known.

VI. In case of death or other removal of any of the Representatives within the year, to issue summons by writ to the respective division or divisions, for which he or they were chosen, commanding the freeholders of the same to choose others in their stead.

VII. To make warrants and seal grants of lands, according to those our concessions and the prescriptions, by the advice of the General Assembly in such form as shall be at large set down in our instructions to the Governor in his commission, and which are hereafter express’d.

VIII. To act and do all other things that may conduce to the safety, peace and well-government of the said Province, as they shall see fit; so as they be not contrary to the laws of the said Province.


First. They are not to impose nor suffer to be imposed, any tax, custom, subsidy, tallage, assessment, or any other duty whatsoever upon any colour or pretence, upon the said Province and inhabitants thereof, other than what shall be imposed by the authority and consent of the General Assembly, and then only in manner as aforesaid.

II. They are to take care, that lands quietly held, planted and possessed seven years, after its being duly survey’d by the Surveyor General, or his order, shall not be subject to any review, re-survey or alteration of bounders, on what pretence soever by any of us, or by any officer or minister under us.

III. They are to take care, that no man, if his cattle stray, range or graze on any ground within the said Province, not actually appropriated or set out to particular persons, shall be lyable to pay any trespass for the same, to us, our heirs or executors: Provided, that custom of commons be not thereby pretended to, nor any person hindered from taking up, and appropriating any lands so grazed upon: And that no person doth purposely suffer his cattle to graze on such lands.


I. We do hereby grant unto all persons who have already adventured to the said Province of New Caesarea or New Jersey, or shall transport themselves, or servants, before the first day of January, which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand six-hundred sixty-five, these following proportions, viz: To every freeman that shall go with the first Governor, from the port where he embarques, or shall meet him at the rendezvous he appoints, for the settlement of a plantation there, arm’d with a good musket, bore twelve bullets to the pound, with ten pounds of powder, and twenty pounds of bullets, with bandiliers and match convenient, and with six months provision for his own person arriving there, one hundred and fifty acres of land English measure; and for every able servant that he shall carry with him, arm’d and provided as aforesaid, and arriving there, the like quantity of one hundred and fifty acres English measure: And whosoever shall send servants at that time, shall have for every man servant he or she shall send, armed and provided as aforesaid, and arrive there, the like quantity of one hundred and fifty acres: And for every weaker servant, or slave, male or female, exceeding the age of fourteen years, which any one shall send or carry, arriving there, seventy-five acres of land: And for every Christian servant, exceeding the age aforesaid, after the expiration of their time of service, seventy-five acres of land for their own use.

II. Item. To every master or mistress that shall go before the first day of January, which shall be in the year one thousand six hundred sixty-five; one hundred and twenty acres of land. And for every able man servant, that he or she shall carry or send, arm’d and provided as aforesaid, and arriving within the time aforesaid, the like quantity of one hundred and twenty acres of land: And for every weaker servant or slave, male or female, exceeding the age of fourteen years, arriving there, sixty acres of land: And to every Christian servant to their own use and behoof sixty acres of land.

III. Item. To every free man and free woman that shall arrive in the said Province, arm’d and provided as aforesaid, within the second year, from the first day of January 1665 to the first day of January one thousand six hundred sixty-six, with an intention to plant, ninety acres of land English measure: And for every man servant that he or she shall carry or send, armed and provided as aforesaid, ninety acres of land of like measure.

IV. Item. For every weaker servant or slave, aged as aforesaid, that shall be so carried or sent thither within the second year, as aforesaid, forty-five acres of land of like measure: And to every Christian servant that shall arrive the second year, forty-five acres of land of like measure, after the expiration of his or their time of service, for their own use and behoof.

V. Item. To every free man and free woman, armed and provided as aforesaid, that shall go and arrive with an intention to plant, within the third year from January 1666 to January 1667, armed and provided as aforesaid, threescore acres of land of like measure: And for every able man servant, that he or she shall carry or send within the said time, armed and provided as aforesaid, the like quantity of threescore acres of land. And for every weaker servant or slave, aged as aforesaid, that he or she shall carry or send within the third year, thirty acres of land: And to every Christian servant so carried or sent in the third year, thirty acres of land of like measure, after the expiration of their time of service. All which land, and all other that shall be possessed in the said Province, are to be held on the same terms and conditions as is before mentioned, and as hereafter in the following paragraphs is more at large express’d. Provided always, that the before mentioned land and all other whatsoever, that shall be taken up and so settled in the said Province, shall afterward from time to time for the space of thirteen years from the date hereof, be held upon the conditions aforesaid, continuing one able man servant or two such weaker servants as aforesaid, on every hundred acres a master or mistress shall possess, besides what was granted for his or her own person: In failure of which upon other disposure to the present occupant, or his assigns, there shall be three years given to such for their compleating the said number of persons, or for their sale or dispositions of such part of their lands as are not so people’d within such time of three years. If any such person holding any land shall fail by himself his agents, executors or assigns, or some other way to provide such number of persons, unless the General Assembly shall without respect to poverty, judge it was impossible for the party so failing, to keep or procure his or her number of servants to be provided as aforesaid; in such case we the Lords to have power of disposing of so much of such land as shall not be planted with its due number of persons as aforesaid, to some others that will plant the same. Provided always, That no person arriving in the said Province, with purpose to settle (they being subjects or naturalized as aforesaid) be denied a grant of such proportions of land as at the time of their arrival that are due to themselves or servants, by concession from us as aforesaid; but have full licence to take up and settle the same, in such order and manner as is granted or prescrib’d. All lands (notwithstanding the powers in the Assembly aforesaid) shall be taken up by warrant from the Governor, and confirm’d by the Governor and Council, under a seal to be provided for that purpose, in such order and method as shall be set down in this declaration, and more at large in the instruction to the Governors, and Council.


I. The Governor and Council and General Assembly (if any be) are to take care and direct, that all lands be divided by general lots, none less than two thousand one hundred acres, nor more than twenty one thousand acres in each lot, excepting cities, towns, &c. and the near lots of townships; and that the same be divided into seven parts, one seventh part to us, our heirs and assigns; the remainder to persons as they come to plant the same, in such proportions as is allowed.⚓✪

II. Item. That the Governor, or whom he shall depute, in case of death or absence, if some be not before commissionated by us as aforesaid, do give to every person to whom land is due, a warrant sign’d and seal’d by himself, and the major part of his Council, and directed to the Surveyor General, or his deputy, commanding him to lay out, limit and bound acres of land, as his due proportion, is for such a person, in such allotment, according to the warrant; the Register having first recorded the same, and attested the record upon warrant; The Surveyor General, or his deputy, shall proceed and certify to the chief Secretary or Register, the name of the person for whom he hath laid out land, by virtue of what authority, the date of the authority or warrant, the number of acres, the bounds, and on what point of the compass the several limits thereof lye; which certificate the Register is likewise to enter in a book to be prepared for that purpose, with an alphebettical table, referring to the book, that so the certificate may be the easier found; and then to file the certificates, and the same to keep safely: The certificate being entered, a warrant comprehending all the particulars of land mentioned in the certificate aforesaid, is to be signed and sealed by him and his Council, or the major part of them as aforesaid, they having seen the entry and directed to the Register or chief Secretary for his preparing a grant of the land to the party for whom it is laid out, which grant shall be in the form following, viz.

The Lords proprietors of the Province of New Caesarea or New Jersey, do hereby grant unto A. B. of thein the Province aforesaid, a plantation containing acres English measure, bounded (as in the certificate) to hold to him or her, his or her heirs or assigns for ever, yielding and paying yearly to the said Lords Proprietors, their heirs or assigns, every fifth and twentieth day of March, according to the English account, one halfpenny of lawful money of England, for every of the said acres, to be holden of the manner of East-Greenwich, in free and common soccage; the first payment of which rent to begin the five and twentieth day of March, which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and seventy, according to the English account. Given under the seal of the said province the day of in the year of our Lord 166

To which instrument the Governor or his deputy hath hereby full power to put the seal of the said Province, and to subscribe his name, as also the Council, or the major part of them, are to subscribe their names; and then the instrument or grant is to be by the Register recorded in a book of records for that purpose; all which being done according to those instructions we hereby declare, that the same shall be effectual in law for the enjoyment of the said plantation, and all the benefits and profits and in the same (except the half part of mines of gold and silver) paying the rents as aforesaid: Provided, that if any plantation so granted, shall by the space of three years be neglected to be planted with a sufficient number of servants, as is before mentioned, that then it shall be lawful for us otherwise to dispose thereof, in whole or in part, this grant notwithstanding.

III. Item. We do also grant convenient proportions of land for highways and for streets, not exceeding one hundred foot in breadth in cities, towns and vilages, &c. and for churches, forts, wharfs, kays, harbours and for publick houses; and to each parish for the use of their ministers two hundred acres, in such places as the General Assembly shall appoint.

IV. Item. The Governor is to take notice, that all such lands laid out for the uses and purposes aforesaid, in the next preceeding article, shall be free and exempt from all rents, taxes and other charges and duties whatsoever, payable to us, our heirs or assigns.

V. Item. That in laying out lands for cities, towns, vilages, boroughs, or other hamblets, the said lands be divided into seven parts; one seventh part whereof to be by lot laid out for us, and the rest divided to such as shall be willing to build thereon, they paying after the rate of one penny or half-penny per acre (according to the value of the land) yearly to us, as for their other lands as aforesaid; which said lands in cities, towns, &c. is to be assured to each possessor by the same way and instrument as is before mentioned.

IV. Item. That all rules relating to the building of each street, or quantity of ground to be allotted to each house within the said respective cities, boroughs and towns, be wholly left by act as aforesaid, to the wisdom and discretion of the General Assembly.

VII. Item. That the inhabitants of the said Province have free passage thro’ or by any seas, bounds, creeks, rivers or rivelets, &c. in the said Province, thro’ or by which they must necessarily pass to come from the main ocean to any part of the Province aforesaid.

VIII. Lastly. It shall be lawful for the representatives of the Freeholders, to make any address to the Lords touching the Governor and Council, or any of them, or concerning any grievances whatsoever, or for any other thing they shall desire, without the consent of the Governor and Council, or any of them. Given under our seal of our said Province the tenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred sixty and four.

John Berkley,
G. Carteret.