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country; where, by the good providence of God (from whom the plantations have taken their name) upon their labour and industry, they have not only been preserved to admiration, but have encreased and prospered, and are seized and possessed, by purchase and consent of the said natives, to their full content, of such lands, islands, rivers, harbours, and roads, as are very convenient both for plantations, and also for building of ships, supply of pipestaves, and other merchandise, and which lye very commodious in many respects for commerce, and to accommodate our southern plantations, and may much advance the trade of this our realm, and greatly enlarge the territories thereof; they having, by near neighbourhood to, and friendly society with, the great body of the Narraganset Indians, given them encouragement, of their own accord, to subject themselves, their people, and lands, unto us; whereby, as is hoped, there may, in time, by the blessing of God upon their endeavours, be laid a sure foundation of happiness to all America. And whereas, in their humble address, they have freely declared, That it is much on their hearts (if they be permitted) to hold forth a lively experiment, that a most

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flourishing civil State may stand, and best be maintained, and that among our English subjects, with a full liberty in religious concernments; and that true piety, rightly grounded upon gospel principles, will give the best and greatest security to sovereignty, and will lay in the hearts of men the strongest obligations to true loyalty: Now, know ye, that we being willing to encourage the hopeful undertaking of our said loyal and loving subjects, and to secure them in the free exercise and enjoyment of all their civil and religious rights appertaining to them, as our loving subjects; and to preserve unto them that liberty in the true Christian faith and worship of God which they have sought with so much travail, and with peaceable minds and loyal subjection to our royal progenitors and ourselves, to enjoy; and because some of the people and inhabitants of the same colony can. not, in their private opinion, conform to the public exercise of religion according to the liturgy, form, and ceremonies of the Church of England, or take or subscribe the oaths and articles made and established in that behalf; and for that the same, by reason of the remote distances of those places, will, as we hope, be

H 4 no no breach of the unity and uniformity established in this nation, have therefore thought fit, and do hereby publish, grant, ordain, and declare, that our royal will and pleasure is> That no person within the said colony, at any time hereafter, shall be anywise molested, punished, disquieted, or called in question, for any differences in opinion in matters of religion, who do not actually disturb the civil peace of our said colony; but that all and every person and persons may, from time to time, and at all times hereafter, freely and fully have and enjoy his and their own judgements and consciences, in matters of religious concernments, throughout the tract of land hereafter-mentioned, they behaving themselves peaceably and quietly, and not using this liberty to licentious, ness and profaneness, nor to the civil injury or outward disturbance of others, any law, statute or clause therein contained, or to be contained, usage or custom of this realm, to the contrary hereof, in any wife notwithstanding. And that they may be in the better capacity to defend themselves in their just rights and liberties! against all the enemies of the Christian faith, and others, in all respects, we have further thought fit, and at the humhle petition of the

perpersons aforesaid, are graciously pleased to declare, That they shall have and enjoy the benefit of our late act of indemnity, and free pardon, as the rest of our subjects in other our dominions and territories have; and to create and make them a body politic or corporate, with the powers or privileges herein aftermentioned. And accordingly, our. will and pleasure is, and of our especial grace, certain knowledge, and mere 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 William Brenton, William Codington, Nicholas Easton, Benedict Arnold, William Boulston, John Porter, Samuel Gorton, John Smith, John Weekes, Roger Williams, Thomas Olney, Gregory Dexter, John Cogeshall, Joseph Clarke, Randall Houlden, John Greene, John Roome, William Dyre, Samuel Wildbore, Richard Tew, William Field, Thomas Harris, James Barker, Rainfborrow,

Williams, and John Nickson, and all such others as are now, or hereafter (hall be admitted, free of the Company and Society of our Colony of Providence Plantations, in the Narragansct-Bay, in New-England, shall

be, be, from time to time, and for ever hereafter, a body corporate and politic, in fact and name, by the name of the Governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, in New-England, in America; and that by the same name, they and their successors (hall and may have perpetual succession, and shall and may be persons able and capable in the law to sue and be sued, to plead and be impleaded, to answer and to be answered unto, to defend and to 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, at their own will and pleasure, as other our liege people of this our realm of England, or any corporation or body politic within the same, may lawfully do: and further, That they the said Governor and Company, and their successors, shall and may, for ever hereafter, have a common seal, to serve and use for all matters, causes, things, and affairs whatsoever, of them and their successors, and the same seal to alter, change, , - break,

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