Parliamentary Patent transcription

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Parliamentary Patent transcription


Image of the Parliamentary Patent transcription. The Parliamentary Patent was the first document sanctioning Rhode Island colonial government received from England.  Original manuscript no longer extant.
Parliamentary Patent, March 17, 1643
Transcription, April 10, 1721

See also:
Royal Charter 1663

C#0204 – Rhode Island Colony Records, 1646– 669, Part II, pp. 178 - 179

C#0260 – Proceedings of the General Assembly of Rhode Island, Vol. 1, 1649–1669, pp.105-8, 123

A Lively Experiment: Reflections on the Charter of 1663 publication, 2013

Cast of the Great Seal of Charles II, 1953

General Assembly - Private Acts (Charters)


C#00481 – Rhode Island Land Records, Vol. 3, 1707–1721, pp. 344-8


Rhode Island State Archives


Parliamentary Patent, March 17, 1643
Transcription, April 10, 1721


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Whereas by an Ordinance of the Lords & Commons, now assembled in Parliament bearing Date the Second day of November Anno: Dom:1643 Robert Earl of Warwick is Constituted and ordained Govr. in Chief, and Lord high Admiral of all those Islands and other Plantations inhabited or Planted by or belonging to any His Maj:ts the King of Englands subjects or wch. hereafter may be inhabited and planted by or belonging to them within the Bounds and upon the Coaste of America And whereas the said Lords and Commons have thought fitt, and thereby ordained that Philip Earl of Pembroke – Edward Earl of Manchester, William Viscount Say and Seal, Philip Lord Wharton, John Lord Roberts Members of the House of Peers, S:r Gilbert Gerard Baronett S:r Arthur Haslerigg Baronett S:r Henry Vane junr: Knt: S:r Benjamin Rudyard, Knt: John Pym Oliver Cromwell Dennis Bond Miles Corbett, Cornelius Holland, Samuel Vassal John Rolis & William Spurstowe Esq: Members of ye House of Commons, should be Commissioner to joyn in ayd and Assistance with the Said Earl. And whereas for the better Governing and Preserving of the said Plantations It is thereby ordained that the aforesd: Governor and Commissioners or ye greater Number of them should have power and authority from time to time to Nominate Appoint & Constitute all Such Subordinate Governrs: Counsellrs: Commandrs: officers and Agents as they should judge to be best affected, and Most fit & serviceable the Said Islands & Plantations & to Provide for order & dispose all Things wch: they Should from time to Time find most fitt & Advantagious for the said

Plantation And for the Better Security of ye Owners and Inhabitants thereof To Assign ratify and Confirm so much of their aforementioned Authority and Power and in Such manner and to such persons as they Should Judge to be fitt for the better Governing and preserving of the said Plantations and Island from open Violence, Prejudice Disturbance & Distractions And whereas there is a Tract of Land in the Continent of America aforesaid called by the name of ye Narriganset Bay Bordering North & North East, on the Pattent of Massachusetts East and South East on Plimoth Pattent, South on the Ocean and on the West and North West inhabited by Indians called Narrogunnoucks Ale Narrigansets the whole Tract extending about Twenty and five English Miles unto the Pequit river and Country And whereas divorse well well Affected and industrious English Inhabitants of the Towns of Providence Portsmouth and Newport in the Tract aforesaid have adventured to make a Nearer Neighbourhood and Society to and with the great body of the Narragansetts wch: may in Time (by the Blessing of God upon their Indeavrs:) lay a Surer foundation of Happiness to all America And have also purchased and are purchasing of and amongst the said Naives some other places which may be convenant both for Plantations, and also for Building of Ships Supply of Pipe Staves and other Merchandize And whereas the Said English, have Represented their Desires to ye said Earl and Commissioners to have their hopeful beginning approved & Confirmed by granting unto them a free Charter of Civil Incorporation & Government that they

may order and govern their Plantations in Such Manner as to Maintain Justice & Peace both amongst themselves and towards all men with whom they shall have to do. In due consideration of the promises the sd: Robert Earl of Warwick Governor in Chief and Lord high Admiral of the Said Plantations and the greater number of the said Commissioners whose names & seals are here under written and subjoined – out of a Desire to encourage the good beginnings of the said Plantations doe by the Authority of the aforesaid Ordinance of Lords and Commons, give, Grant & Confirm unto the aforesd: Inhabitants of the Towns of Providence Portsmouth and Newport a free and Absolute Charter of Civil Incorporation to be known by the name of Incorporation of Providence Plantations in the Narriganset – Bay in New England together with full power and Authority to Govern & Rule themselves and Such others as shall hereafter inhabit within any part of ye Said Tract of Land by Such a form of Civil Government as by voluntary Consent of all or the greater part of them Shall be found most serviceable in their Estates & Condition And to that End to make and Ordain such Civil Laws and Constitutions and to inflict such Punishments upon Transgressors and for Execution thereof so to place and Displace Officers of Justice as they or the greater part of them shall by Free Consent agree unto Provided Nevertheless that the said Laws Constitutions and punishment for the Civil Government of the said Plantation be Conformable to the Laws of England So far as the Nature and Constitution of that Place will admit And always

reserving to the said Earl & Commissionrs: & their successors power & Authority So to dispose the genrl: Govemt: of that as it stands in reference to the rest of the Plantations in America as they Shall Commissionate from time to time most conducing to the Genrl: good of the said Plantations the Honour of his Majesty and the Service of this State And the Said Earl and Commissionrs: doe Further authorize the Aforesd: Inhabits: and for the better Transacting of their Public affairs to make and use a Public Seal of Providence Plantations, in the Narraganset Bay, in New England In Testimony whereof, the sd: Robert Earl of Warwick and Commissioners have hereunto set their hands and Seals, the Seventeenth day of March in the nineteenth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King Charles and in the Year of our Lord God 1643
Pembrook. Say and Seal Phillip Wharton Art: Hasilrig Cor: Holland H Vane Samll: Vassel
Rhode Island John Rolle Miles Corbit
The foregoing Charter or Patent is a True Copy of the Original entred & Compared April the 10 1721
Richd. Ward Recordr.


Original Format



"Parliamentary Patent transcription," in Virtual Exhibits, Item #556, (accessed June 16, 2019).