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and complaints may be made and brought to the Generall Court as the last and highest of this jurisdiction; butt in all appeales or complaints from, or to, what court soever, due costs and damages shall be payd by him or them thatt make appeale or complaint without just cause.
5. Besides the Plantation Courts and Court of Magistrates, there shall be a Generall Court for the Jurisdiction, which shall consist of the Governor, Deputy Governor and all the Magistrates within the Jurisdiction, and two Deputyes for every plantation in the Jurisdiction, which Deputyes shall from time to time be chosen against the approach of any such Generall Court, by the aforesaid free burgesses, and sent with due certifficate to assist in the same, all which, both Governor and Deputy Governor, Magistrates and Deputyes, shall have their vote in the said Court. This Generall Court shall always sitt att Newhaven, (unless upon weighty occasions the Generall Court see cause for a time to sitt elsewhere,) and shall assemble twice every veare, namely, the first Wednesday in Aprill, & the last Wednesday
in October, in the later of which courts the Governor, the Deputy Į Governor and all the magistrates for the whole jurisdiction with a
Treasurer, a Secretary and Marshall, shall yearly be chosen by all the free burgesses before mentioned, besides which two fixed courts, the Governor, or in his absence, the Deputy Governor, shall have power to summon a Generall Court att any other time, as the urgent and extraordinary occasions of the jurisdiction may require, and att all Generall Courts, whether ordinary or extraordinary, the Governor and Deputy Governor, and all the rest of the magistrates for the jurisdiction, with the Deputyes for the severall plantations, shall sitt together, till the affayres of the jurisdiction be dispatched or may sa fely be respited, and if any of the said magistrates or Deputyes shall either be absent att the first sitting of the said Generall Court, (unless some providence of God hinder, which the said Court shall judge of, or depart, or absent themselves disorderly before the Court be finished he or they shall each of them pay twenty shillings fine, with due considerations of further aggravations if there shall be cause; which Generall Court shall, with all care and delligence provide for the maintenance of the purity of religion, and suppress the contrary, according to their best light from the worde of God, and all wholsome and sound advice which shall be given by the elders and churches in the jurisdiction, so farr as may concerne their civill power to deale therein.
Secondly they shall have power to mak and repeale ļawes, and, while they are in force, to require execution of them in all the severall plantations.
Thirdly, to impose an oath upon all the magistrates, for the faithful discharge of the trust committed to them, according to their best abilitves, and to call them to account for the breach of any lawes established, or for other misdemeanors, and to censure them, as the quallity of the offence shall require.
Fowerthly, to impose and [an] oath of fidelity and due subjection to the lawes upon all the free burgesses, free planters, and other inhabitants within the whole jurisdiction.
5ly to settle and leivie rates and contributions upon all the severall plantations, for the publique service of the jurisdiction.
Gly, to heare and determine all causes, whether civill or crominall, which by appeale or complaint shall be orderly brought unto them from any of the other Courts, or from any of the other plantations, In all which, with whatsoever else shall fall within their cognisance or judicature, they shall proceed according to the scriptures, which is the rule of all rightous lawes and sentences, and nothing shall pass an act of the Generall Court butt by the consent of the major part of the magistrates, and the greater part of Deputyes.
These generalls being thus layd and settled, though with purpose thatt the scircumstantialls, such as the vallue of the causes to be tryed in the Plantation Courts, the ordinary and fixed times of meetings, both for the Generall Courts, and courts of magistrates, how oft and when they shall sitt, with the fines for absence or default, be hereafter considered off, continued or altered, as may best and most advance the course of justice, and best sute the occasions of the plantations, the Court proceed to present perticular busines of the jurisdiction.
CHARTER OF CONNECTICUT_ 1662 * a.
CHARLES the Second, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scot
land, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting. Whereas by the several Navigations, Discoveries, and Successful Plantations of divers of Our loving Subjects of this Our Realm of England, several Lands, Islands, Places, Colonies, and Plantations have been obtained and settled in that part of the Continent of America called New England, and thereby the Trade and Commerce there, hath been of late Years much increased: And whereas We have been informed by the humble Petition of our Trusty and Well beloved John Winthrop, John Mason, Samuel Wyllys, Henry Clarke, Matthew Allyn, John Tapping, Nathan Gold, Richard Treat, Richard Lord, Henry Wolcott, John Talcott, Daniel Clarke, John Ogden, Thomas Wells, Obadias Brewen, John Clerke, Anthony Hawkins, John Deming, and Matthew Camfeild, being Persons principally interested in Our Colony or Plantation of "Connecticut, in NewEngland, that the same Colony, or the greatest part thereof, was Purchased and obtained for great and raluable Considerations, and some other Part thereof gained by Conquest, and with much difficulty, and at the only Endeavors, E xpence, and Charges of them and their Associates, and those under whom they Claim, Subdued, and Improved, and thereby become a considerable Enlargement and Addition of Our Dominions and Interest there. Now Know YE, That in
* Acts and Law of the State of Connecticut, in America, New London : Printed by Timothy Green, Printer to the Governor and State of Connecticut, MDCCLXXXIV, 3-8.
Charter of the Colony of Connecticut, 1662, Hartford, Conn.: The Case, Lockwood & Brainard Company, Printers, 1888. 13 pp.
a The Colonies of Hartford and New Haven had continued separate until they accepted this charter from King Charles, April 20, 1665. An attempt was made in 1687 to repeal this charter, but the colonists refused to surrender it, and after the accession of William and Mary, in 1689, it was again recognized.
('onsideration thereof, and in Regard the said Colony is remote from other the English Plantations in the Places a foresaid, and to the End the Affairs and Business which shall from Time to Time happen or arise concerning the same, may be duly Ordered and Managed, we have thought fit, and at the humble Petition of the Persons aforesaid, and are graciously Pleased to create and make them a Body Politick and Corporate, with the Powers and Privileges herein after mentioned; and accordingly Our Will and Pleasure is, and of our especial Grace, certain Knowledge, and meer Motion, We have ordained, constituted and declared, and by these presents, for Us, Our Heirs and Successors, Do ordain, constitute and declare, that they the said John Winthrop, John Jason, Samuel Wyllys, Ilenry Clarke, Matthew Illym, John Tapping, Vathan Gold, Richard Treat, Richard Lord, Ilenry Wolcott, John Talcott, Daniel Clarke, John Ogden, Thomas Wells, Obadiah Bruoen, John Clerke, Anthony Ilarkins, John Deming, and Matthew C'umfeild, and all such others as now are, or hereafter shall be admitted and made free of the Company and Society of Our Colony of Connecticut, in America, shall from Time to Time, and for ever hereafter, be One Body Corporate and politique, in Fact and Name, by the Name of, Governor and Company of the English ('olony of Connecticut in New-England, in America;
And that by the same Name they and their Successors shall and may have perpetual Succession, and shall and may be Persons able and capable in the Law, to plead and be impleaded, to answer and to be answered unto, to defend and be defended in all and singular Suits, Causes, Quarrels, Matters, Actions, and Things, of what Kind or Nature soever; and also to have, take, possess, acquire, and purchase Lands, Tenements, or Hereditaments, or any Goods or Chattels, and the same to lease, grant, demise, alien, bargain, sell, and dispose of, as other Our liege People of this Our Realm of England, or any other Corporation or Body Politique within the same may lawfully do. And further, That the said Governor and Company, and their Successors, shall and may forever hereafter have a common Seal, to serve and use for all Canses, Matters, Things, and affairs whatsoever, of them and their Successors, and the same Seal, to alter, change, break, and make new from Time to Time, at their Wills and Pleasures, as they shall think fit. And further, We will and ordain, and by these Presents, for Us, our Heirs and Successors, do declare and appoint, that for the better ordering and managing of the Affairs and Business of the said Company and their Successors, there shall be One Governor, One Deputy-Governor, and Twelve Assistants, to be from time to Time constituted, elected and chosen out of the Freemen of the said Company for the Time being, in such Manner and Form as hereafter
in these Presents is expressed, which said Officers shall apply them· selves to take Care for the best disposing and ordering of the general Business and affairs of and concerning the Land and Hereditaments herein after mentioned to be granted, and the Plantation thereof, and the Government of the People thereof: And for the better Execution of Our Roval Pleasure herein, We do for I's, Our Heirs, and Successors, assign, name, constitute and appoint the aforesaid John Winthrop to be the first and present Governor of the said Company, and the said John Jason, to be the Deputy-Governor, and the said Samuel Wyllys, Jatthew Allym, Vathan Gold, Ilenry ('lerk?, Richard Treat, John Ogden, John Tapping, John Talcott, Thomas Wells, llenry Wolcott, Richard Lord, and Daniei Clerke, to be the Twelve present assistants of the said Company, to continue in the said several Offices respectively, until the second Thursday which shall be in the Month of October now next coming. And further we Will, and by these Presents for Us, Our Heirs, and Successors, Do ordain and grant, That the Governor of the said Company for the Time being, or in his Absence by occasion of Sickness, or otherwise by his Leave or Permission, the Deputy-Governor for the Time being, shall and may from Time to Time upon all Occasions, give Order for the assembling of the said Company, and calling them together to consult and advise of the Business and Affairs of the said Company, and that for ever hereafter, twice in every Year, That is to say, On every Second Thursday in October, and on every Second Thursday in May, or oftener in case it shall be requisite; the Assistants, and Freemen of the said Company, or such of them (not exceeding Two Persons from each Place, Town, or City) who shall be from Time to Time thereunto elected or deputed by the major Part of the Freemen of the respective Towns, Cities, and Places for which they shall be elected or deputed, shall have a General Meeting, or Assembly, then and there to consult and advise in and about the Affairs and Business of the said Company: and that the Governor, or in his Absence the Deputy-Governor of the said Company for the Time being, and such of the Assistants and Freemen of the said Company as shall be so elected or deputed, and be present at such Meeting or Assembly, or the greatest Number of them, whereof the Governor of DeputyGovernor, and Six of the Assistants at least, to be Seven, shall be called the General Assembly, and shall have full Power and authority to alter and change their Days and Times of Meeting, or General Assemblies, for electing the Governor, Deputy-Governor, and Assistants, or other Officers or any other Courts, Assemblies or Meetings, and to choose, nominate and appoint such and so many other Persons as they shall think fit, and shall be willing to accept the same, to be Free of the said Company and Body Politique, and them into the same to admit; And to elect and constitute such Officers as they shall think fit and requisite for the ordering, managing and disposing of the Affairs of the said Governor and Company, and their Successors:
And we do hereby for Us, Our Heirs and Successors, establish and ordain, That once in the Year for ever hereafter, Namely, the said Second Thursday in Jay, the Governor, Deputy-Governor, and Assistants of the said Company, and other Officers of the said Company, or such of them as the said General Assembly shall think fit, shall be in the said General Court and Assembly to be held from that Day or Time, newly chosen for the Year ensuing, by such greater Part of the said Company for the Time being, then and there present; and if the Governor, Deputy-Governor, and Assistants by these Presents appointed, or such as hereafter be newly chosen into their Rooms, or any of them, or any other the Officers to be appointed for the said Company shall die, or be removed from his or their several Offices or Places before the said general Day of Election, whom We do hereby declare for any Misdemeanor or Default, to be removable by the Govcrnor, Assistants, and Company, or such greater Part of them in any of the said public Courts to be assembled, as is aforesaid, that then and in every such Case, it shall and may be lawful to and for the Governor, Deputy-Governor, and Assistants, and Company aforesaid, or such greater Part of them so to be assembled, as is aforesaid, in any of their Assemblies, to proceed to a new Election of one or more of their Company, in the Room or Place, Rooms or Places of such Governor, Deputy-Governor, Assistant, or other Officer or Officers so dying or removed, according to their Discretions, and immediately upon and after such Election or Elections made of such Governor, Deputy-Governor, Assistant or Assistants, or any other Officer of the said Company, in Manner and Form aforesaid, the Authority, Office and Power before given to the former Governor, Deputy-Governor, or other Officer and Officers so removed, in whose Stead and Place new shall be chosen, shall as to him and them, and every of them respectively, cease and determine.
Provided also, And Our Will and Pleasure is, That as well such as are by these Presents appointed to be the present Governor, Deputy-Governor, and Assistants of the said Company, as those that shall succeed them, and all other Officers to be appointed and chosen, as aforesaid, shall before they undertake the Execution of their said Offices and Places respectively, take their several and respective corporal Oaths for the due and faithful Performance of their Duties, in their several Offices and Places, before such Person or Persons as are by these Presents hereafter appointed to take and receive the same; That is to say, The said John Winthrop, who is herein before nominated and appointed the present Governor of the said Company, shall take the said Oath before One or more of the Masters of Our Court of Chancery for the Time being, unto which Master of Chancery, We do by these Presents give full Power and Authority to administer the said Oath to the said John Winthrop accordingly: And the said John Mason, who is herein before nominated and appointed the present Deputy-Governor of the said Company, shall take the said Oath before the said John Il'inthrop, or any Two of the Assistants of the said Company, unto whom We do by these Presents give full Power and Authority to administer the said Oath to the said John Jason accordingly: And the said Samuel Wyllys,
. llenry Clerke, Jatthew Allyn, John Tapping, Nathan Gold, Richard Treat, Richard Lord, Ilenry Wolcott, John Talcott, Daniel Clerke, John Ogden, and Thomas W'ells, who are herein before nominated
appointed the present Assistants of the said Company, shall take the Oath before the said John Winthrop, and John Mason, or One of them, to whom We do hereby give full Power and Authority to administer the same accordingly.
And Our further Will and Pleasure is, that all and every Governor, or Deputy-Governor to be elected and chosen by Virtue of these Presents, shall take the said Oath before Two or more of the Assistants of the said Company for the Time being, unto whom We do by these Presents give full Power and Authority to give and administer the said Oath accordingly; and the said Assistants, and Levery of them, and all and every other Officer or Officers to be here y after chosen from Time to Time, to take the said Oath before the Governor, or Deputy-Governor for the Time being, unto which Governor, or Deputy-Governor, We do by these Presents give full Power and Authority to administer the same accordingly. And further, Of Our more ample Grace, certain Knowledge, and meer Motion, We have given and granted, and by these presents for Us, Our Heirs and Successors, do give and grant unto the said Governor and Company