A Grant of the Province of Maine to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and John Mason, esq., 10th of August, 1622
This indenture, made the 10th day of August, Anno Dom. 1622, and in the 20th yeare of the reigne of our Sovereigne Lord James, by the grace of God King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. Between the President and councill of New-England on the one part, and Sir Ferdinando Gorges, of London, Knight, and Captain John Mason, of London, Esquire, on ye other part: Witnesseth, that whereas our said Sovereigne Lord King James, for the making of a plantation and establishing a colony or colonies in ye country called or knowne by ye names of New-England in America, hath, by his Highness Letters Patents, under the Great Seale of England, bearing date at Westmr. the 3d day of November, in the l8th yeare of his reigne, given, granted and confirmed unto the Right Honorable Lodowick, Duke of Lenox; George, Marquis of Buckingham; James, Marquis Hamilton; Thomas, Earl of Arundell; Robert, Earl of Warwick; Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Knt., and divers others whose names are expressed in ye said Letters Patents, and their successors and assignee, that they shall be one Body Politique and Corporate perpetuall, and that they should have perpetual succession, &c., and one comon scale or scales, to serve for the said Body, and that they and their successors shall be known, called and incorporated by the name of the President and Councill established at Plymouth in the county of Devon, for the planting, ruling and governing of New-England in America; and also hash, of his especiall grace, certaine knowledge and meer motion, for him, his heyres and successors; and given, granted and confirmed unto the said President and councill, and their succesors, under the reservacons, limitacons and declaracons in the said Letters Patents expressed, all that part or porcon of that country now commonly called New-England web is situate, lying and being between the latitude of forty and fortyeight degrees northerly latitude, together with the seas and islands lying within one hundred miles of any part of the said coasts of the country aforesaid; and also all the lands, soyle, grounds, havens, ports, rivers, mines, as well royal mines of gold and silver, as other mines, minerals, pearls and pretious stones, woods, queries, marshes waters, fishings, hunting, hawking, fowling, commodities and hereditaments whatsoever, together with all prerogatives, jurisdictions, royaltys, privileges, franchises and preliminaries within any of the said territories and precincts thereof whatsoever. To have, hold, possess and enjoy, all and singular, the said lands and premises, in the said Letters Patent granted and menconed to be granted, unto the said President and councill, their successors and assignee for ever; to be holden of his Majesty, his heyers and successors, as of his Highness Manor of East Greenwich, in the county of Kent, in free and common soccage and not in capite or by Knts. service-yielding and paying to the Kings Majestie, his heyers and successors, the one fifth part of all gold and silver care that from time to time, and at all times from the date of the said Letters Patents, shall be there gotten, had or obtayned for all services, dutyes and demands as in and his highness said Letters Patents amongst other divers things therein contayned, more fully and at large it doth appeare. And whereas the said President and Councill have, upon mature deliberacon, thought fitt, for the better furnishing and furtherance of the plantation in those parts to appropriate and allots to several and particular persons divers parcels of lands within the precincts of the aforesaid granted premises by his Majesty’s said Letters Patents.
Now this indenture witnesseth, that ye said President and council, of their full, free and mutual consent, as well to the end that all the lands, woods, lakes, rivers, waters, islands and fishings, with all other the traffics, profits and commodities whatever to them or any of them belonging, and hereafter in these presents menconed may be wholly and entirely invested, appropriated, severed and settled in and upon ye said Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason, their heyers and assignee forever, as for divers speciall services for the advancement of the sd plantacons and other good and sufficient causes and consideracons, them especially thereunto moving, have given granted bargained sould assigned aliened set over enfeofed and confirmed and by these presents doe give grant bargain sell assigne alien set over and confirm unto ye said Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason, their heirs and assignee, all that part of the main land in New-England lying upon the sea-coast betwixt ve rivers of Merrimack and Sagadahock and to the furthest heads of the said rivers, and soe forwards up into the land westward until three-score miles be finished from ye first entrance of the aforesaid rivers, and halfway over; that is to say, to the midst of the said two rivers web bounds and limitts the lands aforesaid together wit all the islands and isletts within five leagues distance of ye premises and abutting upon ye same or any part or parcell thereof.
As also all the lands, soyle, grounds, harbors, ports, rivers, mines, mineralls, pearls, pretious stones, woods, quarries, marshes, waters, fishings, hunting, hawking, fowling, and other commodities and hereditaments whatsoever; with all and singular their appurtenances, together with all prerogatives, rights, royalties, jurisdictions, privileges, franchises, liberties, preheminences, marine power, in and upon ye said seas and rivers; as also all escheats and casualties thereof, as flotson, jetson, lagon, with anchorage, and other such duties, immunities, sects, isletts and appurtenances whatsoever, with all the estate, right title, interest, and claim and demands whatsoever wch ye said President and councill, and their successors, of right ought to have or claim in or to the said porcons of lands, rivers, and other ye said premises, as is aforesaid by reason or force of his highness’ said Letters Patents, in as free, large, ample and beneficial manner, to all intents, constructions and purposes whatsoever, as in and by the said Letters Patents ye same are among other things granted to the said President and councill aforesaid, except two fifths of the care of gold and silver in these parts hereafter expressed, wth said porcons of lands, wth ye appurtenances, the said Sr. Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason, with the consent of ye President and Councill, intend to name to name The Province of Maine. To have and to hould all the said porcons of land, islands, rivers and premises as aforesaid, and all and singular other ye commodytyes and hereditaments hereby given, granted, aliened, enfeoded and confirmed, or menconed or intended by these presents to be given, granted, aliened, enfeofled and confirmed, with all and singular ye appurtenances and every part and parcell thereof, unto the said Sr. Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason, their heyres and assignee for ever, to be holden of his said Majesty, his heirs and successors, as of his Highness Manor of East-Greenwich, in the county of Kent, in free and common socage, and not in capite or by Knight’s service. Nevertheless, with such exceptions reservacons, limatacons and declaracons as in the said Letters Patents are at large expressed; yielding and paying unto our Sovereign Lord the King, his heyres and successors, the fifth part of all ye care of gold and silver that from time to time, and aft all times hereafter, shall be there gotten, had and obtayned, for all services, duties, and demands. And also yielding and paying unto the said President and councill, and their successors, verely the sum of tenn shillings English money, if it be demanded. And the said President and councill, for them and their successors, doe covenant and grant to and with the said Sr. Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason, their heirs arid assigns. from and after the ensealing and delivery of these patents, according to the purport, true intent and meaning of these presents, that they shall from henceforth, from time to time for ever, peaceably and quietly have, hold, possess and enjoy, all ye aforesaid lands, islands, rivers and premises, with ye appurtenances hereby before given and granted, or menconed or intended to be hereby before given and granted, and every part and parcell thereof, without any lift, disturbance, denyal, trouble, interrupcon or evacon of or by the said President and councill, or any person or persons whatsoever, claiming by, from, or under them, or their successors, or by or under their estate, right, title or interest. And ye said President and councill, for them and their successors, doe further covenant and grant, to and with ye said Sr. Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. Mason, their heyres and assignee, by these presents, that they, ye said President and Councill, at all times hereafter, upon reasonable request, at ye only proper costs and charges in the law of ye said Sr. Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason, their heyres and assignee, doe make, perform, suffer, execute, and willingly consent unto any further act or acts, conveyance or conveyances, assurance or assurances whatsoever, for the good and perfect investing, assuring and conveying, and sure making, of all the aforesaid porcons of lands, islands, rivers and all and singular their appurtenances, to ye said Sr. Ferdinando Gorges and caps. John Mason, their heyres and assigns, as by them, their heires and assignee, or by his or their, or any of their councill, learned in the law shall be devised, advised or required. And further, it is agreed by and between the said parties to these presents, and ye said Sr. Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason, for them, their heyres, executors, administrators and assignee, doe covenant to and with the said president and council, and their successors, by these presents that if at any time hereafter there shall be found any oare of gold and silver within the ground in any part of the said premises, that then they, the said Sr. Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason, their heyres and assignee, shall yield and pay unto the said President and councill, their successors and assignee, one fifth part of all such gold and silver oare as shall be found within and upon ye premises, and digged and brought above ground to be delivered above ground, and that always within reasonable and convenient time, if it be demanded after the finding, getting, and digging up of such care as aforesaid, without fraud or covin, and according to the true intent and meaning of these presents.
And the said Sr. Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason doe further covenant for them, their heyres and assignee, that they will establish such government in the said porcons of lands and islands granted unto them, and the same will from time to time continue, as shall be agreeable, as neere as may be to the laws and customs of the realme of England; and if they shall be charged at any time to have neglected their duty therein, that thus they well conforme the same according to the direct-the President and councill; or in default thereof it shall be lawful for any of the aggrieved inhabitants and planters, being teen’s upon ye said lands, to appeal to ye chief courts of justices of the President and councill. And ye sd Sr. Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason doe covenant and grant, to and with ye said President and councill, their successors and assigns, by these presents, that they, the said Sr. Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason, shall and will, before the expiracon of three years, to be accompted from the day of the date hereof, have in or upon the said porcons of lands, or some part thereof; one parse with a competent guard, and ten families at least of his Majestie’s subjects resident and being in and upon ye same premises; or in default thereof shall and will forfeit and loose to the said President and councill the sum of one hundred pounds sterling money; and further, that if the said Sr.Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason, their heires or assignee, shall at any time hereafter alien these premises, or any part thereof, to any foraiglle nations, or to any person or persons of any foraigne nation? without the special license, consent, and agreement of the said President and councill, their successors and assignee, that then the part or parts of the said lands so alienated, shall immediately return back to the use of the said President and Councill. And further Know ye, that ye said President and Councill have made, constituted, deputed, authorized and appointed, and in their place and stead do put Capt. Robert Gorges, or, in his absence, to any other person that shall be their governor or other officer, to be their true and lawfull attorney, and in their name and stead to enter the said porcons of lands, and other the premises wth eclair appurtenances, or into some part thereof in name of the whole, for them and in their name to have and take possession and siezin thereof, or some part thereof in the name of the whole, so had and taken, there for them, and in their names to deliver the full and peaceable possession and siezin of all and singular the said granted premises unto the said Sr. Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason, or to their certaine attorney or attorneys in that behalf, according to the true intent and meaning of these presents, ratifying and confirming and allowing all and whatsoever their said attorney shall doe in or about the premises by these presents. In witness whereof to one part of these presents indentures, remaining in the hands of Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason, the said President and councill have caused their common seal to be affixed, and to the other of these present indentures, remaining in the custody of the said President and councill, the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Capt. John Mason have put to their hands and seals. Given the day and year first above written.
The Federal and State Constitutions Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Colonies Now or Heretofore Forming the United States of America.
Compiled and Edited Under the Act of Congress of June 30, 1906 by Francis Newton Thorpe. Washington, DC : Government Printing Office, 1909.
This text is from Yale University Law School’s Avalon Project, a substantial collection of American history documents posted on the Internet.