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COMPACT MADE ON BOARD THE MAY-FLOWER,
NOVEMBER 11, 1620.
In the name of God, amen. We whose names are under written, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and the honor of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia ; do by these presents solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God and one another, cove nant, and combine ourselves together into a civil body politick, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid ; and by virtue hereof do enact constitute and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the gen. eral good of the colony; into which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof, we have hereunto subscribed our names, at Cape Cod, the elev. enth of November, in the reign of our sovereign Lord, King James, of England France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno. Dom. 1620. John Carver, Samuel Fuller,
Peter Brown, Richard Bilteridge, George Soule,
Richard Clark, Richard Gardiner
Thomas English. Edward Doten,
THE CHARTER OF THE COLONY OF NEW PLYMOUTH,
GRANTED TO WILLIAM BRADFORD AND HIS ASSOCIATES.
To all to whom these presents shall come greetinge :
Whereas our late sovereigne lord King James for the advavcemente of a collonie and plantacon in the cuntry called or knowne by the name of New-Englande in America, by his highnes letters pattents under the great seale of Englande bearinge date at Westminister the third day of November in the eighteenth yeare of his highnes raigne of England &c, did give graunte and confirme unto the right honorble Lodowicke late lord duke of Lenox, George late lord Marques of Buckingham, James marques Hamilton, Thomas earle of Arundell, Robert earle of Warwicke and Ferdinando Gorges, knight, and divers others whose names are expressed in the said let. ters pattents and their successors that they should bee one bodie pollitique and corporate perpetually consistinge of forty persons, and that they should have perpetuall succession and one common seale to serve for the said body and that they and their successors should be incorporated, called and knowne by the name of the Councell established at Plymouth in the county of Devon for the plantinge, ruleinge, orderinge and governinge of New-Englande in America, and alsoe of his spetiall grace certaine knowledge and meere motion did give graunte and confirme unto the said presidente and councell and their successors forever under the reservations, limitations and declaracons in the said letters pattents expressed, all that part and portion of the said cuntry now called New-Englande in America scituate, lyinge and being in breadth from ffourty degrees of norther’y latitude from the aqinoctiall line to ffourty-t!ght degrees of the said northerly latitude inclusively, and in length of and in all the breadth aforesaide throughout the maine lande from sea to sea, together alsoe with all the firme lands, soyles, grounds, creeks, inletts, havens, ports, seas, rivers, islands, waters, fishinges, myn's and minerals as well royall mines of gold and silver as other mines and minerails, pretious stones, quarries and all and singuler the commodities jurisdiccons, royalties, privileges, ffranchises and preheminencies both within the said tracte of lands upon the maine, as alsoe within the said islands and seas adioyninge: To have hold possesse and enjoy all and singuler the foresaide conti nente landes, territories, islands hereditaments and precints sea waters, fishinges with all and all manner their commodities, royalties, privileges, preheminences and proffits that shall arise from thence with all and singuler their appurtenaces and every parte and parcell there if unto the said councell and their successors and assignees forever : To be holden of his Matie his biers and successors as of his manor of East Greenwiche in the county of Kent in free and common soccage and not in capite nor by knights service yeeidinge and prayinge therefore to the said late kings Matie his heires and successors the fifte parte of the oare of gold and silver which from tyme to tyme and att all ty mes from the date of the said letters pattents shal bee there gotten, had and obtained for and in respect of all and all manner of duties demands and servicses whatsoever to be done, made and paid unto his said late Matie, his heirs and successors as in and by the said letters pattents amongst sundry other privileges and matters therein contained more fully and at large it doth and may appeare. Now knowe yee that the said councell by virtue and authority of his said late Matie letters pattents and for and in consideracon that William Bradford, and his associatts have for these nine years lived in New-Englande aforesaid and have there inhabited and planted a towne called by the name of New Plymouth att their own proper costs and charges. And now seeinge that by the speciall providence of God, and their extraordinary care industry and they have increased their plantacon to neere three hundred people, and
are uppon all occasions able to relieve any new planters of others his Mats subjects whoe may fall upon that coste; have given, granted, bargained, sould, enfeoffed,alloted,assigned and sett over,and by these presents doe clearly and absolutely give,graunt, bargain sell, alien enfeoffe,allott, assigne and confirme unto the said Wiiliam Bradford his heirs, associatts and assignes all that part of New-Englande in America aforesaid and tracte and tractes of lande that lye within or between a certaine rivolet or rundlett there commonly called Coahassett alias Conahassett towards the north, and the river commonly called Naragansets river towards the south, and the great westerne ocean towards the east, and betweene and within a straight line directly extendinge upp into the maine land towards the west from the mouth of the said river called Nar agansetts river to the utmost limitts and bounds of a country or place in New-Eng. lande called Pokenacutt alias Sowamsett westward, and another like straight line ex. tendinge itself directly from the mouth of the said river called Coahassett alias Conahasett towards the west so farr up into the maine lande westwardes as the utmost limitts of the said place or cuntry commonly called Pokencutt alias Sowamsett doe extend, togeather with one half of the said river called Naragansetts and the said rivolet or rundlett called Coahassett alias Conahassett and all lands, rivers, waters, havens,creeks,ports, fishinge, fowling and all hereditements,profits,comodities and emoluments whatsoever situate lyinge and beinge or ariseinge within or between the said limitts and bounds of any of them. And for as much as they have noe conveniente place either of tradinge or fishinge within their own precints whereby (after soe longe travell and great paines) so hopefull a plantacon may subsiste, as alsoe that they may bee incouraged the better to proceed in soe pious a worke which may especial. ly tend to the propagation of religion and the great increase of trade to his Mats realmes, and advancemente of the publice plantacon, the said councell have further given granted bargained sold enfeoffed allotted assigned and set over and by these presents doe cleerely and absolutely give grante bargaine sell aliene enfeoffed allott assigne and confirme unto the said William Bradford his heires, associatts and assi. gnes all the tracte of lande or parte of New-Englande in America aforesaid which lyeth within or betweene and extendeth itself from the utmost limitts of Cobbiseconte alia Comasee-Conte which adjoinith to the river of Kenebeke alias Kenebekike towards the westerne ocean and a place called the falls att Mequamkike in Amcrica aforesaid, and the space of fifteene English miles on each side of the said river commonly called Kenebeke river, and all the said river called Kenebeke that lies within the said limitts and bounds eastward westward northward or southward laste above mention. ed, and all lands, grounds, soyles, rivers, waters, fishings, hereditum and profflitts whatsoever situate, lyinge and beinge, arising, happeninge or accrueinge, or which shall arise happen or accrue in or within the said limitts and boundes or either of them together with free ingresse, egresse and regress with shipps, boats, shallopps and other vessells from the sea commonly called the westerne ocene to the said river called Kenebeke and from the said river to the said westerne oeean togeather with all prerogatives, rights, royalties, jurisdiccons, priveledges ffranchises, liberties, and ymunities, and alsoe marine liberty with the escheats and casualties thereof the Admirality, Jurisdiccon excepted with all the interest right, title, claime and demande whatsoever which the said councell and their suceessors now have or ought to have and claime or may have and acquired hereafter in or to any the said porcons or tracts of land hereby menconed to be graunted, or any the premisses in as free, large, ample and beneficiall manner to all intents, construccons and purposes whatsoever as the said coupcell by vertue of his Mats said letters patients may or can graunte; to have and to holde the said tracte and tractes of lande and all and singular the prem. isses above menconed to be granted with their and every of their appurtenances to the said William Bradford, his heires,associatts and assignees forever,to the only proper and absolute use and behoofe of the said William Bradford his heirs associatts and assignes forever. Yeeldinge and payinge unto our said soveraigne Lord the Kinge, his heires and successors forever one fifte parte of the oare of the mines of gold and silver and one other fifte parte thereof to the presidente and councell, which shall be had, possessed and obtained within the precints aforesaid for all services and demands whatsoever. And the said councell doe further graunt and agree to and with the said William Bradford his heirs associatts and assignes and every of them, his and their ffactors agents tenants and servants and all such as hee or they shall send and employ aboute his said particular plantacon, shall and may from tyme to tyme ffreetý and lawfully goe and returne trade and traffique as well with the Englishe as any of the natives within the precincts aforesaid, with liberty of fishinge uppon any parte of the
sea coaste and sea shoares of any the seas or islands adjacente and not beinge inhabited or otherwise disposed of by order of the said presidente and councell; alsoe to importe exporte and transporte their goods and merchandise att their wills and pleasures paying only such duty to the kings Matie, his heires and successors as the said Presidente and councell doe or ought to pay without any other taxes impositions, burdens and restraints uppon them to be imposed. And futher the said councell doe graunt and agree to and with the said William Bradford his heirs, associatts and assignes, that the persons transported by him or any of them shall not be taken away, ymployed or commanded either by the Governor for the ty me beinge of New-Englande or by any other authority there, from the buisines and employmente of the said William Bradford and his associatts his heires and assignes ; necessary defence of the cuntry preservacon of the peace suppressinge of tumults within the lands, trialls in matters of justice by appeale uppon spetiall occasion only excepted. Alsoe it shall be lawfull and free for the said William Bradford his associais his heirs and assignes att all tymes hereafter to incorporate by some usual or fitt name and title him or themselves or the people there inhabitinge under him or them with liberty to them and their successors from tyme to ty me to frame, and make ordinances and constitucons as well for the better governmente of their affairs here and the receavinge or adınittinge any to his or their society, as alsoe for the better governmt of his or their people and affaires in New Englande, or of his or their people att in goeinge thither, or returninge from thence, and the same to putt in execucon or cause to be putt in execucon by such officers and ministers as he and they shall authorise and depute : Provided that the said lawes and orders be not repugnante to the lawes of Englande, or the frame of governmante by the said presidente and councel here. after to be established. And further, sit shall be lawfull and free for the said William Bradford his, heires, associats and assignes to transporte cattle of all kinds alsoe powder shot ordnance and municon form tyme to tyme as shal be necessary for their strength and safety hereafter for their severall defence; to encounter expulse repell and resiste by force of armes as well by sea as by lande, by all waies and meanes whatsoever. And by vertue of the authority to us derived by his said late Mats letters pattents to take apprehend seize and make prize of all such persons their shipps and goods as shall attempt to inhabite or trade with the savage people of that cuntry within the severall precincts and limitts of his and their severall planta. con, or shall enterprise or attempt att any tyme destruccon invasion detriment or cnnoyance to his and their said plantacon; the one moiety of which goods soe seized and taken it shalbe lawfull for the said William Bradford his heires associats and assignes to take to their own use and behoofe ; the other moyety thereof to be delivered by the said William Bradford his heires associats and assignes to such officer and officers as shalbe appointed to receave the same for his Mats use. And the said councell doe hereby covenante and declare that it is their intente and meaninge for the good of this plantacon that the said William Bradford his associats his or their heires or assignes shall have and enjoy whatsoever privilege or privileges of what kind soever, as are expressed or intended so be graunted in and by his said late Mats letters pattents, and that in as large and ample manner as the said councell thereby now may or hereafter can graunte, coynnige of money excepted. And the said councell for them and their successors doe covenante and graunte to and with the said William Bradford, his heires associates and assignes by these presents, that they the said councell shall at any time hereafter uppon request att the only proper costs and charges of the said William Bradford, his heires associats and assignes doe make suffer execute and willingly consent unto any further acte or actes, conveyance or conveyances, assurance or assurances whatsoever, for the good and perfect investinge assureinge and conveyinge and sure makinge of all the aforesaid tracte and tractes of landes royalities mines mineralls woods fishinges and all and singuler their appurtenances, unto the said William Bradford his heires associats and assignes as by him or them or his or their heires and assignes,or his or their councell learned in the lawe shalbe devised,advised and required. And lastly know yee that we the said counsell have made constituted deputied authorized and appointed Captaine Miles Standish, or in his absence Edward Winslowe, John Howlande and John Alden, or any of them to be our true and lawful attorney and attornies jointly and severally in our name and steed to en. ter into the said tracte and tractes of lande and other the premises with their appor. tennances, or into some parte thereof in the name of the whole for us and in our names to take possession and seisin thereof, and after such possession and seisin thereof or of some påste thereof in the name of the whole had and taken ; then for us, and in our namas to deliver the full and peaceable possession and seisin of all and singuler the
said menconed to be graunted premisses unto the said Williain Bradford his heires as sociatts and assignes or to his or their certaine attorney or attornies in that behalf ratify. inge alloweinge and confirminge all whatsoever our said attorney doe in or about the premises. In witness whereof, the said councell established att Plimouth in the county of Devon for the plantinge ruleing orderinge and governinge of New England in America have hereunto putt their seale the thirteenth day of January in fifte yeare of the raigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles by the grace God, King of Englande Scotland France and Ireland defender of the ffaithe &c. Anno Domi 1629. (SEAL.)
The within named John Alden authorized as attorney for the within mensioned counsill haveing in theire name and stead entered into some parte of the within mensioned tracts of land, and other the prepisses in the name of the whole; and for them and in theire names taken possesion and seizin thereof, did in the name of the said counsill deliver the full and peaceable possession and seizin of all and singular the within mensioned to be graunted premises unto William Bradford for him his heirs associates and assignes : Secundem forinam carte.
In presence of