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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Instructions to Henry Wilkinson concerning the government of Albemarle County
Carolina. Lords Proprietors.
Volume 01, Pages 333-338

[B. P. R. O. Col: Ent: Book. No. 20. P. 156.]

1. We haveing agreed upon a Modell of Government which you will find signed and sealed by us amongst the records of our County of Albemarle to be the fundamentall Constitutions and forme of Government of our Province of Carolina for ever And not being able att present to putt it fully in practice by reason of want of Landgraves and Cassiques and a sufficient number of People However intending to come as nigh it as we can in the present state of affaires in all the Collonyes of our said Province.

2. You are required as soon as conveniently you can after the receipt of these our Instructions in our names to issue out writts, to the foure Precincts of the County of Albemarle requiring each of them to elect five freeholders who are to be their Representatives: To whom the five persons chosen by us being added, and who for the present represent the Nobility are to be your Assembly. They having chosen a Speaker, you are in our names to require them to elect five persons who being joyned to those five deputed by us, are to be the Councell by whose advice and consent or at least the major parte of six of them all being summoned you are to Govern according to the Limitations and Instructions following Observing what can att present be put in practice of our fundamentall Constitutions and forme of Government Which Councell for the present shall be in stead of the Grand Councell mentioned in our fundamentall Constitutions And to exercise the same Powers and jurisdictions the said Grand Councell is to doe by our said fundamentall Constitutions and forme of Government and so to be and continue untill we shall otherwise direct.

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3. You are to cause all persons so chosen to sweare Allegiance to our Soveraigne Lord the King and subscribe to beare Fidelity and submission to the Proprietors and forme of Government by them established. But in case any man for Religion sake be not free to sweare then shall he subscribe the same in a book for that case provided which shall be deemed the same with swearing.

4. Yourself and the five deputys of the respective Proprietors are to represent the Pallatines Court and exercise the same jurisdictions and powers that by our Fundamentall Constitutions and forme of Government to that Court doth apertaine.

5. You are by and with the consent of the Councill to establish such Courts and soe many as you shall for the present think fitt for the administration of Justice till our Grand Modell of Government can come to be putt in execution.

6. You are by and with the consent of the Assembly to make such Lawes as you shall from tyme to tyme finde necessary which Laws being ratified by you and any three of our Deputys shall be in forme as is in that case provided in the 12th and other Articles of our Fundamental Constitutions and forme of Government which Lawes soe made you are with all convenient speed to transmitt unto us for our approbation.

7. You are as soone as conveniently you can to gett the Surveyor Generall to divide the County into squares of twelve thousand acres By which we intend not to alter any man's right; but that those measures and rules we have agreed on in our Fundamentall Constitutions and forme of Government may the sooner and easier come to be putt in practice amongst you.

8. You are to take notice that we doe grant unto all free persons that doe come to plant in Carolina before the 25th day of December 1684 and are above the age of sixteene yeares sixty acres of land and to the said free persons for every able man servant with a good firelock 10 pound of powder and 20lbs of Bullets 60. acres of land And for every other sort of servant 50. acres to his or her proper use and behoofe and to their heirs &c. for ever.

9. Any person having transported himselfe or servants into the County to plant shall make the same appeare to yourselfe and Councell who shall thereupon issue out a warrant to the Surveyor Generall to lay him out a parcell of land according to the proportions mentioned in these our instructions, and the Surveyor haveing done the same, and the warrant with the Surveyor Generalls returne thereon being recorded and the person to whome the Land is granted haveing sworn or subscribed allegeance

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to our Soveraigne Lord the King submission and fidelity to the Lords Proprietors and their fundamentall Constitution and forme of Government you are under the seale for that use provided to pass this following Grant

William Earle of Craven his Majesty's Lord Lieutenant of the County of Middlesex and Burrough of Southwarke Pallatine and the rest of the true and absolute Lords and Proprietors of the Province of Carolina.

To all to whom these presents shall come greeting in our Lord God Everlasting Know yee that wee the said Lords Proprietors according to our Instructions dated att Whytehall the        day of Febr 16        Remaining upon record in the County of Albemarle in the Province aforesaid doe hereby grant unto A. B. of the said County planter a Plantation of        Akers of land English measure, lyeing and being in the Precinkt of A. in the County aforesaid bounded        the land being due to the said A. B. by and for the transportation in the County of        persons whose names are upon Record under this Pattent To have and to hold the said Plantation unto the said A. B. his heirs and assignes for ever with Priviledges of Hawking, hunting Fishing Fowling with all woods and trees with what else is there growing standing and being except all mynes mineralls all quarrys of Jemms or precious stones Yealding or paying therefore unto us our Heirs and successors yearly every 29th day of September according to the English accompt one Penny of lawfull English money for every of the said acres to be holden of us in free Soccage. the first payment of the Rent to begin the 29th of September which shall be in the yeare of our Lord 1684 Provided always that if the said Land be not settled within one year after the date hereof then this Pattent to be voyd else to stand in full force.

Given att        under the Seale of the County of Albemarle this        day of A. D.        being the        year of our Possession of our Province of Carolina. Witness Henry Wilkinson Esqre Governor and Commander in Cheife of our said County and our trusty and welbeloved our Councellors who have hereunto sett our hands the day and year above written.

Although by our Fundamentall Constitutions we have reserved to ourselves one Penny per acre rent of all lands in Carolina yett forasmuch as there are divers persons in the County of Albemarle who were possest of land there by virtue of grants from Sir William Berkely att one farthing per acre quitt rent And others were possest and had rights to land whilst by our Instructions to the Governor of Albemarle we reserved to ourselves but one halfe penny per acre quitt rent we think itt just that

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those persons should injoy their lands under the same quitt rents they were granted to them when by virtue of our Instructions Lands were due to them for haveing come into the said County or brought or sent servants to plant there. Wherefore you are in our names and according to the forme in these Instructions prescribed to pass our Grants to all persons att one farthing per acre quitt rent who shall desire such Grants, and shall make it appeare to yourselfe and our deputys that they had Grants from Sir William Berkeley under that quitt rent before the 25th day of Decr Anno 1663 and not fortyfyed the same by virtue of the act of Parliament by us past and confirmed the 20th day of January 1669. intituled an Act for the better and speedier seating of land, and you are to pass the like Grants att one halfe penny per acre quitt rents to all persons who shall desire the same and had rights to land before the publishing Instructions by us sent to Mr Harvey and bearing date the 5 Feby 1678 and have not forfeited the same by virtue of the aforesaid Acts. but you arē not in the Grants of one farthing per acre to allow the same time for the beginning of payment of quitt rents that is allowed to those who are to pay one penny per acre quitt rent, for we expect those who are to pay one farthing per acre and those who are to pay one halfe per acre quitt rents, there rents shall be paid from the tyme they ought to have been paid by virtue of our Instructions and those who have Pattents for Sir Wm Berkeley before the year of our Lord 1663, we expect should pay the said quitt rents from the tyme they were to have paid them by the said Pattents.

You are to choose some fitting place in a Collony whereon to build the cheefe Towne of Albemarle in the choyce of which you have regard to health plenty and easy access you are to endeavour to gett the Parliament to rayse wherewithall to build a house for the meeting of the Councell and Parliament in said Towne and when the said house is erected the Council and Parliament are allways to sitt there and allso the Surveyors Registers and Secretarys offices are there to be kept and in no other place and also the Court of Common Pleas and Sessions of the Peace And you are to gett the Parliament to pass an act that noe Store shall be kept strong Drink or any Goods sould by retayle but in the said Towne and you are to cause all vessells that shall come in to Albemarle River there to loade and unloade as by our Fundamentall Constitutions is required.

You the Governor of our said County are to be Commander in Cheife of all our forces raised or to be raised in our said County of Albemarle over whome you are to place Officers and cause them to be duly exercised in Armes and to doe all other thing and things that to a Commander

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in Cheefe doth belong And you are to summon the Councell to meete as often as you shall see cause and are to doe and execute all those powers and authoritys which by virtue of our Fundamentall Constitutions Temporary Lawes and Instructions a Governor ought to doe.

You are allsoe by and with the consent of the major part of our Deputys to adjourne prorogue and dissolve the Parliament as to you shall seem most convenient for the good and quyet of the County.

Whereas complaint hath been made to us that divers persons have by force and violence been dispossessed of their Goods and Estates dureing the tyme of the late disorder in the County of Albemarle and that it cannot be reasonably expected that men who have been any way concerned of the one syde or the other in the said Disorders will be soe impartiall as those that had not att all any hand in them. You are therefore as soon as conveniently you can after your Arrivall in the said County with the consent of the major part of the Councill to choose 4. able judicious men and who have not been partyes, or any way concerned in the late disorders who together with yourselfe or any 3. of you yourself being one are to be a Court to heare and determine according to law all suites complaints or actions that shall be brought by any person for having without due course of law and violence, been during the tyme of the said disorders dispossessed of his Goods or Estate and to grant Execution provided the said sute complaint or action be brought by persons residing within the said County within the space of 6. months after the first sitting of the said Court, and within the space of 2. years by such as are not resident within the said County; those entred or brought after the said tyme are to be tryed as other common Actions.

If you our said Governor shall depart out of the Province of Carolina, you are before your departure to appoynt with the consent of the major parte of the Councill a deputy Governor who shall execute the Powers and Authoritys by us to you given untill you returne into your Government or that we shall authorize direct or commissionate another but if you our said Governor happen to dye then the Councill for the tyme being shall be forthwith summoned to meete by the eldest in yeares of our Deputys; or in case he faile to doe it by the next: who being mett shall choose a person to be Governor who being soe chosen shall be Governor to all Intents and purposes as if commissionated by our selves and execute the powers and authoritys to you given by our Commission and Instructions and soe continue untill our pleasure shall be signified to the contrary by granting a Commission to some other. You are to take notice that it not appeareing to us that Sir William Berkeley did dureing

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his life tyme convey his proprietorship to any person for want of which it is devolved, nor not haveing paid a penny towards the settlement of our Province, we doe not think fitt to admitt the Heirs or Executors of the said Sir William to have anything to doe in Carolina as proprietors untill they shall have made itt appeare that they have right soe to doe; wherefore you are not to admit of any Deputy from the Heirs or Executors of the said Sir William nor allow unto them any other thing as proprietors untill you have directions from us soe to doe.

You are likewise to take particular care that the bounds betwixt Virginia and Carolina be adjusted according to the Limits granted us in our Pattent.



Since the Lords sate their hands to this they have ordered me to incert these following particulars vizt:

That you be sure as soon as you can to send home the mapp of the County mended by your owne or frds: experience.

That the Damadges of the King's Officers may by you be enquired into that there may be a sumary way of giveing them satisfaction.

SAM. WILSON. secretary
by order of the Lords Proprietors.