March 4/14, 1680/81
CHARLES THE SECOND [&c.] . . . Knowe yee . . . that wee, favouring the petition and good purpose of the said William Penn, and haveing regard to the memorie and meritts of his late father, in divers services, and perticulerly to his Conduct, courage and discretion under our dearest brother, James, Duke of yorke, in that signall Battell and victorie, fought and obteyned against the Dutch fleete, comanded by the Herr Van Obdam, . . . [in 1665,] . . . In consideration thereof . . . by this Our present Charter . . . Doe give and grant unto the said William [p.81] Penn, his heires and assignes All that Tract or parte of land in America, with all the Islands therein conteyned, as the same is bounded on the East by Delaware River, from twelve miles distance, Northwarde of New Castle Towne unto the three and fortieth degree of Northerne Latitude if the said River doeth extend soe farre Northwards; But if the said River shall not extend soe farre Northward, then by the said River soe farr as it doth extend, and from the head of the said River the Easterne Bounds are to bee determined by a Meridian Line, to bee drawne from the head of the said River unto the said three and fortieth degree, The said lands to extend westwards, five degrees in longitude, to bee computed from the said Eastern Bounds, and the said lands to bee bounded on the North, by the beginning of the three and fortieth degree of Northern latitude, and on the South, by a Circle drawne at twelve miles, distance from New Castle Northwards, and Westwards unto the beginning of the fortieth degree of Northerne Latitude; and then by a streight Line westwards, to the Limitt of Longitude above menconed. Wee Doe also . . . grant unto the said William Penn . . . the free and undisturbed use, and continuance in and passage into and out of all and singuler Ports, harbours, Bayes, waters, Rivers, Isles and Inletts, belonging unto or leading to and from the Countrey, or Islands aforesaid; . . . and him the said William Penn, his heires and Assignes, Wee do, by this our Royall Charter . . . make, Create . . . the true and absolute Proprietaries of the Countrey aforesaid, and of all other, the premisses, saving alwayes to us . . . the faith and allegiance of the said William Penn . . ., and of all other, the proprietaries, Tenants and Inhabitants that are, or shall be within the Territories and Precincts aforesaid; and Saving also unto us . . . the Sovreignity of the aforesaid Countrey. . . . To bee holden of us . . . as of our Castle of Windsor, in our County of Berks, in free and comon socage by fealty only for all services, and not in Capite or by Knights service, Yeelding and paying therefore . . . two beaver Skins . . . in every yeare; and also the fifth parte of all Gold and Silver Oare, which shall from time to time happen to be found within the Limitts aforesaid, cleare of all Charges, and . . . wee doe hereby erect the aforesaid Countrey and Islands, into a Province and Seigniorie, and doe call itt Pensilvania . . . [The proprietor may make laws with the assent of the freemen, [p.82] appoint magistrates and other officers, and punish all crimes and offences except treason and murder.] Provided, Nevertheles, that the said Lawes bee consonant to reason, and bee not repugnant or contrarie, but as neare as conveniently may bee agreeable to the Lawes, Statutes and rights of this our Kingdome of England, And Saveing and reserving to us, Our heirs and Successors, the receiving, heareing and determining of the Appeale and Appeales, of all or any person or persons, of, in or belonging to the Territories aforesaid, or touching any Judgement to bee there made or given . . . [In emergencies, the proprietor or his representatives may make ordinances without the consent of the freemen; the same to be agreeable to the laws of England] . . . And to the End the said William Penn, or heires, or other, the Planters, Owners or Inhabitants of the said Province, may not att any time hereafter, by misconstrucon of the powers aforesaid, through inadvertiencie or designe, depart from that faith and due allegiance which by the Lawes of this our Realme of England, they and all our subjects, in our Dominions and Territories, always owe unto us . . . by colour of any extent or largenesse of powers hereby given, or pretended to bee given, or by force or colour of any lawes hereafter to bee made in the said Province, by vertue of any such powers. Our further will and pleasure is, that a transcript or Duplicate of all lawes which shall bee soe as aforesaid, made and published within the said province, shall within five yeares after the makeing thereof, be transmitted and delivered to the privy Councell . . .; And if any of the said Lawes within the space of six months, after that they shall be soe transmitted and delivered, bee declared by us . . . in our . . . privy Councell, inconsistent with the sovereignety or lawfull prerogative of us . . . or contrary to the faith and allegiance due by [to] the legall Government of this realme, from the said William Penn, or his heires, or of the Planters and Inhabitants of the said province; and that thereupon any of the said Lawes shall bee adjudged and declared to bee void . . . that then, and from thenceforth such Lawes concerning which such Judgement and declaracon shall be made, shall become voyd, otherwise the said lawes soe transmitted, shall remaine and stand in full force according to the true intent and meaneing thereof. . . . We Will alsoe, and by these presents . . . doe . . . grant licence . . . unto the said William [p.83] Penn . . . and to all the inhabitants and dwellers in pvince aforesaid . . . to import or unlade by themselves or theire Servants, ffactors or assignes, all merchandizes and goods whatsoever, that shall arise of the fruites and comodities of the said province, either by Land or Sea, into any of the ports . . . in our kingdome of England, and not into any other countrey whatsoever. And Wee give him full power to dispose of the said goods in the said ports, and if need bee, within one yeare next after the unladeing of the same, to Lade the said Merchandizes and goodes again into the same or other shipps, and to export the same into any other Countreys, either of our Dominions or fforreigne, according to Lawe: PROVIDED alwayes, that they pay such customes and imposicons, subsidies and duties for the same . . . as the rest of our subjects of our kingdome of England, for the time being shall be bound to pay, And doe observe the Acts of Navigation and other Lawes in that behalfe made. . . . And Wee doe further . . . ordaine . . . That he the said William penn . . . may from time to time forever, have and enjoy the Customes and Subsidies in the ports, harbours and other Creeks, and places aforesaid, within the pvince aforesaid, payable or due for merchandizes and wares, there to be Laded and unladed, the said Customes and Subsidies to be reasonably assessed, upon any occasion by themselves, and the people there as aforesaid, to be assembled to whom wee Give power, by these presents . . . to assesse and impose the same, Saveing unto us . . . such imposicons and customes as by Act of parliament are and shall be appointed . . . [The proprietor to appoint an agent, who shall reside in England.] . . . And further . . . Wee doe Covenant and grant to and with the said William Penn, and his heires and assignes, That Wee . . . shall att no time hereafter sett or make, or cause to be sett, any impossicon, custome or other taxacon, rate or contribucon whatsoever, in and upon the dwellers and inhabitants of the aforesaid province, for their Lands, tenements, goods or chattels, within the said province, or in and upon any goods or merchandize within the said prince, or to be laden or unladen within the ports or harbours of the said pvince, unles the same be with the consent of the pprietary, or chiefe Governor and assembly, or by Act of parliament in England. . . . And . . . Wee doe hereby . . . charge and require that if any of the inhabitants of the said prince, to the number of Twenty, shall att any time hereafter be desirous, and shall by any writeing or by any person deputed for them, signify such their desire to the Bishop of London, that any preacher or preachers to be approved of by the said Bishop, may be sent unto them for their instruccon, that then such preacher or preachers, shall and may be and reside within the said pvince, without any deniall or molestacon whatsoever. . . .
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