Page images
PDF
EPUB

break, and make new from time to time, at their will and pleasure, 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 DeputyGovernor, and ten 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 is hereafter in these presents expressed; which said officers shall apply themselves to take care for the best; disposing and ordering of the general business and affairs of and concerning the lands and hereditaments herein after mentioned to be granted, and the plantation thereof, and the government of the people there. And for the better execution of our royal pleasure herein, we do, for us, our heirs and successors, assign, name, constitute and appoint, the aforesaid Benedict Arnold to be the first and present Governor of the said Company, and the said William Brenton to be the Deputy-Governor, and the said William Boulston, John Porter,

Roger Roger Williams, Thomas Olney, John Smith, John Greene, John Cogeshall, James Barker, William Field, and Joseph Clarke, to be the ten present Assistants of the said Company, to continue in the said several offices respectively until the first Wednesday which shall be in the month of May 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 thebusinessand affairs of the said Company ; and that for ever hereafter, twice in every year, that is to say, on every first Wednesday in the month of May, and on every last Wednesday in October, or oftener, in case it shall be requisite, the Assistants, and such of the freemen of the said Company, not exceeding six persons for Newport, four persons for each of the respective towns of Providence, Portsmouth, and Warwick, and two persons for each other 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 or places for which they shall be so elected or deputed, shall have a general meeting or assembly, then and there to consult, advise and determine, in and about the affairs and business of the said Company and Plantations. And further, we do of our especial grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, give and grant unto the said Governor and Company of the English colony of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, in New-England, in America, and their successors, That the Governor* or in his absence, or by his permission, the Deputy-Governor, of the said Company for the time being, the Assistants, and such of the freemen of the said Company as shall be so aforesaid elected or deputed, or so many of them as (hall be present at such meeting or assembly as aforesaid, shall be called the General Assembly; and that they, or the greatest part of them then present, whereof the Governor, or Deputy-Governor, and six of the Assistants at least, to be seven, shall have, and have hereby given and granted unto them full power and authority, from time to time, and

at at all times hereafter, to appoint, alter, and change such days, times and places of meeting, and General Assembly, as they mall think fit; and to chuse, nominate, and appoint such and so many persons as they (hall think fit, and shall be willing to accept the same, to be free of the said Company and body politic, and them into the same to admit; and to elect: and constitute such offices and officers, and to grant such needful commissions as they shall think fit and requisite, for ordering, managing, and dispatching of the affairs of the said Governor and Company, and their successors; and, from time to time, to make, ordain, constitute, or repeal, such laws, statutes, orders and ordinances, forms and ceremonies of government and magistracy, as to them shall seem meet, for the good and welsare of the said Company, and for the government and ordering of the lands and hereditaments herein after mentioned to be granted, and of the people that do, or at any time hereafter shall inhabit, or be within the same; so as such laws, ordinances, and constitutions, so made, be not contrary and repugnant unto, but as near as may be agreeable to the laws of this our realm of England, considering the nature and constitution of the place and people

there i there; and also to appoint, order, and direct, erect and settle such places and courts of jurisdiction, for hearing and determining os all ac-: tions, cafes, matters, and things, happening within the said colony and plantation, and which shall be in dispute, and depending there as they shall think fit; and also to distinguish and set forth the several names and titles, duties, powers and limits, of each court, office' and officer, superior and inferior; and also to contrive and appoint such forms of oaths and attestations, not repugnant, but as near as may be agreeable, as aforesaid, to the laws and statutes of this our realm, as are convenient and requisite, with respect to the due administration of justice, and due execution and discharge of all offices and places of trust, by the persons that shall be therein concerned; and also to re-' gulate and order the way and manner of all elections to offices and places of trust, and to prescribe, limit and distinguish the number and bounds of all places, towns and cities, within the limits and bounds herein after mentioned, and not herein particularly named, who have or shall have the power of electing and sending of freemen to the said General Assem. bly; and also to order, direct and authorise,

the

« PreviousContinue »