Our Sovereign Lord the King having, out of his most Royal Grace and Bounty, granted unto us the Province of Carolina, with all the Royalties, Proprieties, Jurisdictions, and Privileges of a County Palatine, as large and ample as the County Palatine of Durham, with other great Privileges; for the better settlement of the Government of the Said Place, and establishing the Interest of the Lords Proprietors with Equality, and without Confusion; and that the Government of this Province may be made most agreeable to the Monarchy under which we live, and of which this Province is a part; and that we may avoid erecting a numerous Democracy, we, the Lords and Proprietors of the Province aforesaid, have agreed to this following Form of Government, to be perpetually established amongst us, unto which we do Oblige ourselves, our Heirs, Assigns, and Successors, in the most binding ways that can be devised.
1. The eldest of the Lords Proprietors shall be Palatine; and, upon the Decease of the Palatine, the eldest of the seven surviving Proprietors shall always succeed him.
2. There shall be Seven other chief Offices erected, Viz: the Admiral's, Chamberlain's, Chancellor's, Constable's, Chief Justice's, High Steward's, Treasurer's, which Places shall be enjoyed by none but the Lords Proprietors, to be assigned at first by Lot, and, upon the Vacancy of any one of the seven great Offices by Death, or otherwise, the eldest Proprietor shall have his choice of the said Place.
3. The whole Province shall be divided into Counties; each County shall consist of eight Seigniories, eight Baronies, and four Precincts; each Precinct shall consist of six Colonies.
4. Each Seigniory, Barony, and Colony shall consist of twelve Thousand acres, the eight Seigniories being the share of the eight Proprietors, and the eight Baronies of the Nobility, both which Shares, being each of them one-fifth of the whole, are to be perpetually annexed, the one to the Proprietors, the other to the hereditary Nobility, leaving the Colonies, being three-fifths, amongst the People, that so, in Setting out and planting the Lands, the Balance of the Government may be preserved.
5. At any time before the year One thousand seven hundred and one, any of the Lords Proprietors shall have power to Relinquish, Alienate, and Dispose, to any other Person, his Proprietorship, and all the Seigniories, Powers, and Interest thereunto belonging, wholly and entirely together, and not otherwise. But after the year One thousand seven hundred, those who are then Lords Proprietors shall not have power to Alienate or make over their Proprietorship, with the Seigniories and Privileges thereunto belonging, or any part thereof, to any Person whatsoever, otherwise than in article 18, but it shall all descend unto their Heirs Male, and for want of Heirs Male, it shall all descend on that Landgrave or Cacique of Carolina who is descended of the next Heir Female of the Said Proprietor; and for want of such Heirs, the Remaining seven Proprietors shall, upon the Vacancy, choose a Landgrave to succeed the deceased Proprietor, who being Chosen by the majority of the Seven Surviving Proprietors, he and his Heirs successively shall be Proprietors as fully, to all intents and purposes, as any of the rest.
6. That the number of eight Proprietors may be constantly Kept, if, upon the vacancy of any Proprietor, the seven Surviving Proprietors shall not choose a Landgrave to be a Proprietor before the Second biennial Parliament after the Vacancy, then the next Biennial Parliament but one after such Vacancy shall have power to Choose any Landgrave to be Proprietor.
7. Whosoever, after the year one thousand seven hundred, either by inheritance or Choice, shall succeed any Proprietor in his Proprietorship, and Seignory thereunto belonging, shall be obliged to take the Name and Arms of that Proprietor whom he succeeds, which from thence forth shall be the Name and Arms of his Family and their Posterity.
8. Whatsoever Landgrave or Cacique shall any way come to be a Proprietor shall take the Seigniories annexed to the Said Proprietorship, but his former Dignity, with the Baronies annexed, shall devolve into the Hands of the Lords Proprietors.
9. There shall be just as many Landgraves as there are Counties, and twice as many Caciques, and no more. These shall be the hereditary Nobility of the Province, and, by right of their dignity, be Members of Parliament. Each Landgrave shall have four Baronies, and each Cacique two Baronies, hereditarily and unalterably annexed to and settled upon the said Dignity.
10. The first Landgraves and Caciques of the twelve first Counties to be Planted shall be nominated thus: that is to say, of the twelve Landgraves, the Lords Proprietors shall, each of them separately, for himself, nominate and choose one, and the Remaining four Landgraves of the first twelve shall be nominated and chosen by the Palatine's Court. In Like manner, of the twenty-four first Caciques, each Proprietor, for himself, shall nominate and choose two, and the Remaining eight shall be nominated and chosen by the Palatine's Court; and when the twelve first Counties shall be Planted, the Lords Proprietors shall again, in the same manner, nominate and choose twelve more Landgraves and twenty-four more Caciques, for the next twelve Counties to be Planted, that is to say, two-thirds of each number by the Single nomination of each Proprietor for himself, and the Remaining one-third by the joint Election of the Palatine's Court; and so proceed, in the same manner, till the whole Province of Carolina be Set out and planted, according to the Proportions in these Fundamental Constitutions.
11. Any Landgrave or Cacique, at any time before the year one thousand seven hundred and one, shall have power to Alienate, Sell, or make over, to any other person, his dignity, with the Baronies thereunto belonging, all entirely together. But after the Year One thousand seven hundred, no Landgrave or Cacique shall have power to Alienate, sell, make over, or let the Hereditary Baronies of his dignity, or any part thereof, otherwise than as in article 18, but they shall all entirely, with the dignity thereunto belonging, descend unto his Heirs Male; and for want of Heirs Male, all entirely and undivided, to the next Heir General; and for want of such Heirs, shall devolve into the hands of the Lords Proprietors.
12. That the due number of Landgraves and Caciques may be always Kept up, if, upon the Devolution of any Landgraveship or Caciqueship, the Palatine's Court shall not settle the devolved dignity, with the Baronies thereunto annexed, before the Second biennial Parliament after such Devolution, the next biennial Parliament but one after such Devolution Shall have power to make any one Landgrave or Cacique in the room of him, who dying without Heirs, his dignity and Baronies devolved.
13. No one Person shall have more than one Dignity, with the Seigniories or Baronies thereunto belonging. But whensoever it shall happen that any one who is already Proprietor, Landgrave, or Cacique shall have any of these Dignities descend to him by Inheritance, it shall be at his Choice to Keep which of the Dignities, with the Lands annexed, he shall like best, but shall leave the other, with the Lands annexed, to be enjoyed by him who, not being his Heir Apparent, and certain Successor to his present Dignity, is next of Blood.
14. Whosoever, by Right of Inheritance, shall come to be Landgrave or Cacique shall take the Name and Arms of his Predecessor in that Dignity, to be from thenceforth the Name and Arms of his Family and their Posterity.
15. Since the Dignity of Proprietor, Landgrave, or Cacique Cannot be divided, and the Seigniories or Baronies thereunto annexed must for ever, all entirely, descend with and accompany that Dignity, whensoever, for want of Heirs Male, it shall descend on the Issue Female, the eldest Daughter and her Heirs shall be preferred, and in the Inheritance of those Dignities, and in the Seigniories or Baronies annexed, there shall be no Coheirs.
16. In every Seigniory, Barony, and Manor, the Respective Lord shall have power, in his own Name, to hold Court-Leet there, for Trying of all Causes, both Civil and Criminal; but where it shall concern any Person being no Inhabitant, Vassal, or Leet-man of the Said Seigniory, Barony, or Manor, he, upon paying down of forty Shillings to the Lords Proprietors' use, shall have an Appeal from the Seigniory or Barony Court to the County Court, and from the Manor Court to the Precinct Court.
17. Every Manor shall consist of not less than three thousand Acres and not above twelve thousand Acres in one entire Piece and Colony, but any three thousand Acres or more in one Piece and the Possession of one Man Shall not be a Manor unless it be Constituted a Manor by the Grant of the Palatine's Court.
18. The Lords of Seigniories and Baronies shall have power only of granting Estates, not exceeding three Lives or thirty-one years, in two-thirds of said Seigniories or Baronies, and the Remaining third shall be always Demesne.
19. Any Lord of a Manor may Alienate, Sell, or Dispose, to any other Person, and his Heirs, for ever, his Manor, all entirely together, with all the Privileges and Leetmen thereunto belonging, so far forth as any other Colony Lands; but no Grant of any part thereof, either in Fee or for any longer Term than three Lives, or one-and-twenty Years, shall be good against the next Heir.
20. No Manor, for want of Issue Male, shall be divided amongst Coheirs, but the Manor, if there be but one, shall all entirely descend to the eldest Daughter and her Heirs. If there be more Manors than one, the eldest Daughter first shall have her choice, the Second next, and so on, beginning again at the eldest, until all the Manors be taken up; that so, the Privileges which belong to Manors being indivisible, the Lands of the Manors to which they are annexed may be kept entire, and the Manor not lose those Privileges, which upon parcelling out to several Owners must necessarily cease.
21. Every Lord of a Manor, within his Manor, shall have all the Powers, Jurisdictions, and Privileges which a Landgrave or Cacique has in his Baronies.
22. In every Seigniory, Barony, and Manor, all the Leet-men shall be under the Jurisdiction of the respective Lords of the said Seigniory, Barony, or Manor, without Appeal from him. Nor shall any Leet-man or Leet-woman have liberty to go off from the Land of their particular Lord and live any where else without License obtained from their said Lord, under Hand and Seal.
23. All the children of Leet-men shall be Leet-men, and so to all Generations.
24. No Man shall be Capable of having a Court-Leet or Leet-men but a Proprietor, Landgrave, Cacique, or Lord of a Manor.
25. Whoever shall voluntarily Enter himself a Leet-man in the Registry of the County Court, shall be a Leet-man.
26. Whoever is Lord of Leet-men shall, upon the Marriage of a Leetman or Leetwoman of his, give them ten Acres of Land for their Lives, they paying to him therefor not more than one-eighth part of all the yearly Produce and Growth of the said ten Acres.
27. No Landgrave or Cacique shall be Tried for any Criminal Cause in any but the Chief Justice's Court, and that by a Jury of his Peers.
28. There shall be eight Supreme Courts. The first, called the Palatine's Court, consisting of the Palatine and the other seven Proprietors. The other seven Courts of the other seven great Officers shall consist, each of them, of a Proprietor and six Councillors added to him. Under each of these latter seven Courts shall be a College of twelve Assistants. The twelve Assistants of the several Colleges shall be Chosen: two out of the Landgraves, Caciques, or eldest sons of the Proprietors, by the Palatine's Court; two out of the Landgraves, by the Landgraves' Chamber; two out of the Caciques, by the Caciques' Chamber; Four more of the twelve shall be chosen by the Commons' Chamber, out of such as have been or are Members of the Parliament, Sheriffs, or Justices of the County Court, or the younger Sons of Proprietors, or the eldest Sons of Landgraves or Caciques; the two others shall be chosen by the Palatine's Court out of the same sort of Persons out of which the Commons' Chamber is to choose.
29. Out of these Colleges shall be chosen, at first by the Palatine's Court, six Councillors to be joined with each Proprietor in his Court: of which six, one shall be of those who were chosen in any of the Colleges by the Palatine's Court out of the Landgraves, Caciques, or eldest Sons of Proprietors; one out of those who were chosen by the Landgraves' Chamber; and one out of those who were chosen by the Caciques' Chamber; two out of those who were chosen by the Commons' Chamber; and one out of those who were chosen by the Palatine's Court out of the Proprietors' younger Sons, or eldest sons of the Landgraves, or Caciques, or Commons Qualified as aforesaid.
30. When it shall happen that any Councillor dies or is removed, and thereby there is a Vacancy, he that has been Longest a Councillor in any of the Proprietors' Courts, of the same degree of Choice the other was of whose Vacant place is to be filled up, shall have his choice, whether he will remove into the place of the person that is dead or removed; But if he refuses to remove, the next in Seniority of the same degree and Choice shall have his choice; and so of Course the Rest in order. And the Last remaining Vacant place in any of the foresaid Proprietors' Courts shall be filled up by him that has been longest of any of the Colleges, being of the same degree and choice with him that is dead or removed; and he that is next of Seniority in the same degree and Choice shall have power to remove himself, if he please, in any College where any place shall be Vacant; and so of course the rest, as in case of Councillors; but the last remaining Vacant place in any College shall be filled up by the Same Choice and out of the same degree of Persons that he was of who is dead or removed. No place shall be Vacant in any of the Proprietors' Courts of Colleges longer than the next Sessions of Parliament.
31. No Man being a Member of the Grand Council or of any of the seven Colleges shall be turned out but for Misdemeanor, of which the Grand Council shall be Judge; and the Vacancy of the person so put out shall be filled as is provided in case of the Death of any Councillor. But it is not hereby to be understood that the Grand Council has any power to turn out any one of the Lords Proprietors, or their deputies, the Lords Proprietors having in themselves an inherent original Right.
32. All Elections in the Parliament, in the several Chambers of the Parliament, and in the Grand Council shall be passed by Balloting.
33. The Palatine's Court shall consist of the Palatine and seven Proprietors, wherein nothing shall be acted without the Presence and Consent of the Palatine, or his Deputy, and three other of the Proprietors, or their Deputies. This Court shall have power to call Parliaments, to pardon all Offences, to make Elections of all Officers in the Proprietor's dispose, and to nominate and appoint Port-Towns; and also, shall have power, by their Order to the Treasurer, to dispose of the Public Treasure, excepting Money granted by the Parliament and by them directed to some particular public Use; and also, shall have a Negative upon all acts, Orders, Votes, and Judgments of the Grand Council, except only as in articles 6 and 12. And shall have all the Powers granted to the Lords Proprietors by their Patent from Our Sovereign Lord the King, except such things as are limited by these Fundamental Constitutions.
34. The Palatine himself, when he in person shall be either in the Army or any of the Proprietors' Courts, shall then have the Power of General or of that Proprietor in whose Court he is then present; and the Proprietor, in whose court the Palatine then presides shall, during his presence there, be but as one of the Council.
35. The Councillor's Court, Consisting of one of the Proprietors and his six Councillors, who shall be called Vice-Chancellors, shall have the custody of the Seal of the Palatinate, under which all Charters of Lands and other Commissions and Grants of the Palatine's Court shall pass; and it shall not be lawful to put the Seal of the Palatinate to any writing which is not Signed by the Palatine, or his Deputy, and three other Proprietors, or their Deputies. To this Court, also, belong all states Matters, Dispatches, and Treaties with the neighbour Indians. To this Court, also, belongs all Invasions of the Law of Liberty of Conscience, and all disturbances of the Public Peace upon pretence of Religion, as also, the License of Printing. The twelve Assistants belonging to this Court shall be called Recorders.
36. Whatever passes under the Seal of the Palatinate shall be Registered in that Proprietor's Court to which the Matter therein Contained belongs.
37. The Chancellor, or his Deputy, shall be always Speaker in Parliament and President of the Grand Council, and in his and his Deputy's absence, one of the Vice-Chancellors.
38. The Chief Justice's Court, consisting of one of the Proprietors and his six Councillors, who shall be called Justices of the Bench, shall Judge all Appeals, in Cases both Civil and Criminal, except all such Cases as shall be under the Jurisdiction and Cognizance of any other of the Proprietor's Courts, which shall be tried in those Courts respectively. The Government and Regulation of the Registries of writings and Contracts shall belong to the Jurisdiction of this Court. The twelve Assistants of this Court shall be called Masters.
39. The Constable's Court, consisting of one of the Proprietors and his six Councillors, who shall be called Marshals, shall order and determine of all Military Affairs by Land, and all Land-Forces, Arms, Ammunition, Artillery, Garrisons, and Forts, and whatever belongs unto war. His twelve Assistants shall be called Lieutenant-Generals.
40. In time of actual War, the Constable, whilst he is in the Army, shall be General of the Army, and the six Councillors, or such of them as the Palatine's Court shall for that time or Service appoint, shall be the immediate great Officers under him, and the Lieutenant-Generals next to them.
41. The Admiral's Court, Consisting of one of the Proprietors and his six Councillors, called Consuls, shall have the care and inspection over all Ports, Moles, and Navigable Rivers so far as the Tide flows; and also, all the Public Shipping of Carolina, and Stores thereunto belonging, and all Maritime Affairs. This Court, also, shall have the power of the Court of Admiralty; and shall have power to Constitute Judges in Port-Towns to try cases belonging to Law-Merchant, as shall be most convenient for Trade, the twelve Assistants belonging to this court shall be called Proconsuls.
42. In time of actual War, the Admiral, whilst he is at Sea, shall Command in Chief, and his six Councillors, or such of them as the Palatine's Court shall for that time or Service appoint, shall be the immediate great Officers under him, and the Proconsuls next to them.
43. The Treasurer's Court, consisting of a Proprietor and his six Councillors, called Under-Treasurers, shall take care of all Matters that concern the Public Revenue and Treasury. The twelve Assistants shall be called Auditors.
44. The High Steward's Court, consisting of a Proprietor and his six Councillors, called Comptrollers, shall have the care of all Foreign and Domestic Trade, Manufactures, public Buildings, work houses, Highways, Passages by Water above the Flood of the Tide, Drains, Sewers and Banks against inundations, Bridges, Posts, Carriers, Fairs, Markets, Corruption or Infection of the common Air or Water, and all things in order to the Public commerce and health; also, Setting out and Surveying of Lands; and also, setting out and appointing Places for towns to be built on in the Precincts, and the prescribing and determining the figure and bigness of the said Towns, according to such models as the said Court shall order, contrary or differing from which Models it shall not be lawful for any one to Build in any Town. This Court shall have power, also, to make any Public Building, or any new highway, or enlarge any old Highway, upon any man's Land whatsoever; as also, to make Cuts, Channels, Banks, Locks, and Bridges, for making Rivers Navigable, or for draining Fens, or any other public Use. The Damage the Owner of such Lands, on or through which any such public things shall be made, shall Receive thereby shall be valued, and satisfaction made, by such ways as the Grand Council shall appoint. The twelve Assistants belonging to this court shall be called Surveyors.
45. The Chamberlain's Court, consisting of a Proprietor and six Councillors, called Vice-Chamberlains, shall have the Care of all Ceremonies, Precedency, Heraldry, Reception of public Messengers, Pedigrees; the Registry of all Births, Burials, and Marriages; Legitimation, and all Cases concerning Matrimony or arising from it; and shall, also, have power to regulate all fashions, Habits, Badges, Games, and Sports. To this Court, also, it shall belong to Convocate the Grand Council. The twelve Assistants belonging to this Court shall be called Provosts.
46. All Causes belonging to, or under the jurisdiction of, any of the Proprietors' Courts shall in them respectively be tried and Ultimately Determined, without any further Appeal.
47. The Proprietors' Courts shall have a power to mitigate all Fines and suspend all executions in Criminal Causes, either before or after Sentence, in any of the other inferior Courts respectively.
48. In all Debates, Hearings, or Trials in any of the Proprietors' Courts, the twelve assistants belonging to the said Courts Respectively shall have liberty to be present, but shall not interpose unless their Opinions be required, nor have any Vote at all; but their Business shall be, by the Direction of the respective Courts, to prepare such Business as shall be committed to them; as also, to bear such Offices and dispatch such Affairs, either where the Court is Kept or elsewhere, as the Court shall think fit.
49. In all the Proprietors' Courts, the Proprietors and any three of his Councillors shall make a Quorum; provided always, that, for the better dispatch of Business, it shall be in the power of the Palatine's Court to direct what sort of Causes shall be heard and Determined by a Quorum of any three.
50. The Grand Council shall consist of the Palatine, and seven Proprietors, and the forty-two Councillors of the Several Proprietors' Courts; who shall have power to Determine any Controversies that may arise between any of the Proprietors' Courts about their respective Jurisdictions, or between the Members of the Same Court about their Manner and Methods of Proceedings; to make Peace and War, Leagues, Treaties, etc., with any of the neighbour Indians; to Issue out their general Orders to the Constable's and Admiral's courts, for the Raising, Disposing, or Disbanding the Forces, by Land or by Sea.
51. The Grand Council shall prepare all Matters to be proposed in Parliament. Nor shall any Matter whatsoever be proposed in Parliament, except as in part 66, but what has first passed the Grand Council, which, after having been read three several days in the Grand Council, and there carried by majority of Votes, shall be proposed to the Parliament, and in such Proposal it shall not be necessary to have the Consent of the Palatine's Court; which Law so proposed by the Grand Coouncil, having been read thre several days in Parliament, shall, by majority of Votes, be there passed or rejected.
52. The Grand Council shall always be Judges of all Causes and Appeals that concern the Palatine, or any of the Lords Proprietors, or any Councillor of any Proprietor's Court in any Cause which otherwise should have been Tried in the Court of which the said Councillor is Judge himself.
53. The Grand Council, by their Warrants to the Treasurer's Court, shall dispose of all the Money Given by the Parliament and by them directed to any particular public Use.
54. The Quorum of the Grand Council shall be Thirteen, whereof a Proprietor, or his Deputy, shall be always one.
55. The Grand Council shall meet the first Tuesday in every Month, and as much oftener as either they shall think fit or they shall be Convocated by the Chamberlain's Court.
56. The Palatine, or any of the Lords Proprietors, shall have power, under Hand and Seal, to be Registered in the Grand Council, to make a Deputy, who shall have the same power, to all intents and purposes, as he himself who deputes him, except in Confirming Acts of Parliament, as in part 76, and except, also, in nominating and choosing Landgraves and Caciques, as in part 10. All such Deputations shall cease and determine at the end of four years, and at any time shall be revocable at the pleasure of the Deputator.
57. No Deputy of any Proprietor shall have any power whilst the Deputators are in any part of Carolina, except the Proprietor whose Deputy he is be a Minor.
58. During the Minority of any Proprietor, his Guardian shall have power to Constitute and appoint his Deputy.
59. The eldest of the Lords Proprietors, who were Proprietors the first of March, one thousand six hundred sixty nine  who shall be personally in Carolina shall of course be the Palatine's Deputy; and if no such Proprietor be in Carolina, he that has been Longest a Proprietor and is in Carolina, and of the Age of Twenty-one years, shall be his Deputy; but after the year one thousand Seven hundred, and the decease of those that were Proprietors the first of March, one thousand six hundred sixty nine , the eldest man of the then Lords Proprietors shall be always the Palatine's Deputy; but if no Proprietor be in Carolina, he shall choose his Deputy out of the Heirs Apparent of any of the Proprietors, if any such be there; and if there be no Heirs Apparent of any of the Lords Proprietors, above one and twenty years old, in Carolina, then he shall choose for Deputy any one of the Landgraves or Caciques of the Grand Countil; and till he have, by Deputation, under hand and Seal, chosen any one of the forementioned Heirs Apparent or Landgraves to be his Deputy, the eldest Man of the Landgraves, for want of a Landgrave, the eldest man of the Caciques, who shall be personally in Carolina shall of course be his Deputy.
60. Each Proprietor's Deputy shall be always one of his Six Councillors respectively; and in case any of the Proprietors has not, in his absence out of Carolina, a Deputy, Commissioned under his hand and seal, the eldest Nobleman of his Court shall of course be his Deputy.
61. In every County there shall be a Court, consisting of a sheriff and four Justices of the County, for every Precinct one. The sheriff shall be an Inhabitant of the County and have at least five hundred Acres of Freehold within the said County; and the Justices shall be inhabitants and have, each of them, five hundred acres Apiece Freehold within the Precinct for which they serve respectively. These five shall be Chosen and Commissioned from time to time by the Palatine Court.
62. For any personal Causes exceeding the value of two hundred Pounds sterling, or in title of Land, or in any Criminal Cause, either Party, upon paying twenty pounds Sterling to the Lords Proprietors' use, shall have Liberty of Appeal from the County Court unto the Respective Proprietors' Court.
63. In every Precinct there shall be a Court, Consisting of a Steward and four Justices of the Precinct, being inhabitants and having three hundred Acres of Freehold within the said Precinct; who shall Judge all Criminal Causes, except for Treason, Murder, or any other offences punishable with death and except all Criminal Causes of the Nobility; shall Judge, also, all Civil Causes whatsoever, and in all personal Actions not exceeding fifty Pound Sterling without appeal; but where the Cause shall exceed that Value, or concern a Title of Land, and in all Criminal Causes, there, either Party, upon paying five pounds Sterling to the Lords Proprietors' use, shall have liberty of Appeal to the County Court.
64. No Cause shall be Tried twice in any one Court, upon any reason or pretence whatsoever.
65. For Treason, Murder, and all other Offences punishable with death, there shall be a Commission, Twice a year at least, granted unto one or more Members of the Grand Council or Colleges, who shall come as itinerant Judges to the Several Counties, and, with the Sheriff and four Justices, shall hold Assizes to Judge all such Causes; but upon paying of fifty pounds sterling to the Lords Proprietors' use, there shall be liberty of Appeal to the respective Proprietors' Court.
66. The Grand Jury at the Several Assizes shall, upon their Oaths, and under their Hands and Seals, deliver in to the itinerant Judges a Presentment of Such Grievances, Misdemeanors, Exigencies, or defects which they think necessary for the Public good of the County; which Presentments shall, by the itinerant Judges, at the end of their Circuit, be delivered in to the Grand Council at their next Sitting; and whatsoever therein concerns the Execution of Laws already made, the Several Proprietors' Courts, in the Matters belonging to each of them respectively, shall take Cognizance of it, and give such order about it as shall be effectual for the due Execution of the Laws; whatever concerns the making of any new Law shall be referred to the Several Respective Courts to which that Matter belongs, and be by them prepared and brought to the Grand Council; and if the major part of the Grand Juries of the Respective Counties shall present any thing as necessary to be passed into a Law and the Grand Council does not propose the Same to the Parliament at their first Sitting which shall happen six Months after such Presentment made by the Major part of the Grand Juries, then it shall be Lawful to be proposed in any of the Chambers of Parliament, and having been there carried three several days by majority of Votes, shall be proposed in Parliament, to be Passed into a bill as in other Cases.
67. For Terms, there shall be Quarterly such a certain number of days, not exceeding one-and-twenty at any one time, as the several respective Courts shall appoint. The time for the beginning of the Term in the Precinct Court shall be the first Monday in January, April, July, and October; in the County Court, the first Monday in February, May, August, and November; and in the Proprietors' Courts the first Monday in March, June, September, and December.
68. In the Precinct Court, no Man shall be a Juryman under fifty Acres of Freehold. In the County Court, or at the Assizes, no Man shall be a Grand Juryman under three hundred Acres of freehold; and no Man shall be a Petty Juryman under two hundred Acres of Freehold. In the Proprietor Courts, no Man shall be a Juryman under five hundred Acres of Freehold.
69. Every Jury shall consist of twelve Men; and it shall not be necessary they should all Agree, but the Verdict shall be according to the Majority.
70. It shall be a base and Vile thing to Plead for money or Reward; nor shall any one, except he be a near Kinsman, not farther off than Cousin-German to the Party Concerned, be Permitted to Plead another Man's Cause till, before the Judge in open Court, he has taken an Oath that he doth not Plead for Money or Reward, nor has nor will Receive, nor directly nor indirectly Bargained with the Party, whose Cause he is going to Plead, for money or any other reward for pleading his Cause.
71. There shall be a Parliament, consisting of the Proprietors, or their Deputy, the Landgraves and Caciques, and one Freeholder out of every Precinct, to be chosen by the freeholders of the said Precinct respectively; they shall Sit all together in one Room, and have every Member one Vote.
72. No Man shall be chosen a Member of Parliament who has less than five hundred Acres of Freehold within the precinct for which he is chosen; nor shall any have a Vote in choosing the said Member that hath less than fifty Acres of Freehold within the said precinct.
73. A new Parliament shall be Assembled the first Monday of the Month of November every Second year, and shall meet and sit in the Town they Last sat in, without any Summons, unless by the Palatine's Court they be Summoned to meet at any other Place; and if there shall be any occasion of a Parliament in their Intervals, it shall be in the Power of the Palatine's Court to Assemble them in forty Days' Notice, and at such time and place as the said Court shall think fit; and the Palatine's Court shall have Power to Dissolve the said Parliament when they shall think fit.
74. At the Opening of every Parliament, the first thing that shall be done shall be the Reading of these Fundamental Constitutions, which the Palatine, and Proprietors, and the Rest of the Members then present shall Subscribe. Nor shall any Person whatsoever Sit or Vote in the Parliament till he has, that Session, Subscribed these Fundamental Constitutions in a Book Kept for that purpose by the Clerk of the Parliament.
75. In order the due election of Members for the Biennial Parliament, it shall be lawful for the freeholders of the respective Precincts to meet the first Tuesday in September every two years, in the Same Town or Place that they Last met in, to choose Parliament-men, and there Choose those Members that are to Sit the next November following, unless the Steward of the Precinct shall, by sufficient notice thirty days before, appoint Some other place for their Meeting in order to the Election.
76. No Act or Order of Parliament shall be of any Force unless it be Ratified in open Parliament, during the Same Session, by the Palatine, or his Deputy, and three more of the Lords Proprietors, or their Deputies; and then not to continue Longer in force but until the next Biennial Parliament, unless in the mean time it be Ratified under the hands and Seals of the Palatine himself and three more of the Lords Proprietors themselves, and, by their Order, published at the Next biennial Parliament.
77. Any Proprietor, or his Deputy, may enter his Protestation against any Act of the Parliament, before the Palatine or his Deputy's consent be given as aforesaid, if he shall conceive the Said Act to be contrary to this Establishment or any of these Fundamental Constitutions of the Government; and in such case, after full and free Debate, the several Estates shall retire into four several Chambers, the Palatine and Proprietors into one, the Landgraves into another, the Caciques into another, and those Chosen by the Precincts into a fourth; and if the major part of any of the four Estates shall Vote that the Law is not agreeable to the Fundamental Constitutions of the Government, then it shall pass no further, but be as if it had never been proposed.
78. The Quorum of the Parliament shall be one-half of those who are members and capable of sitting in the house that Present Session of Parliament. The Quorum of each of the Chambers of Parliament shall be one-half of the Members of that Chamber.
79. To avoid multiplicity of Laws, which by degrees always Change the Right Foundations of the Original Government, all acts of Parliament, in whatsoever Form Passed or Enacted, shall, at the end of a hundred years after their enacting, respectively cease and determine of themselves, and, without any Repeal, become null and Void, as if no such Act or Laws had ever been made.
80. Since multiplicity of Comments, as well as of Laws, have great inconveniencies, and serve only to obscure and perplex, all manner of Comments and expositions on any part of these Fundamental Constitutions, or on any part of the Common or Statute law of Carolina, are absolutely Prohibited.
81. There shall be a Registry in every Precinct, wherein shall be Enrolled all Deeds, Leases, Judgments, Mortgages, and other Conveyances which may Concern any of the Land within the said Precincts; and all such Conveyances not so Entered or Registered shall not be of force against any person or Party to the said Contract or Conveyance.
82. No man shall be Register of any Precinct who has not at least three hundred Acres of Freehold within the said Precinct.
83. The Freeholders of every Precinct shall nominate three Men, out of which three the Chief Justice's Court shall Choose and Commission one to be Register of the said Precinct, whilst he shall well behave himself.
84. There shall be a Registry in every Seigniory, Barony, and Colony, wherein shall be Recorded all the Births, Marriages, and Deaths that shall happen within the Respective Seigniories, Baronies, and Colonies.
85. No Man shall be Register of a Colony that has not above fifty Acres of Freehold within the said Colony.
86. The time of every one's Age that is born in Carolina shall be reckoned from the day that his Birth is entered in the Registry, and not before.
87. No Marriage shall be lawful, whatever Contract and Ceremony they have used, till both the Parties mutually own it before the Register of the Place where they were Married, and he register it, with the Names of the Father and Mother of each Party.
88. No Man shall administer to the Goods, or have right to them, or enter upon the Estate, of any person deceased till his death be registered in the Respective Registry.
89. He that does not enter in the Respective Registry the Birth or death of any Person that is born or dies in his house or Ground shall pay to the said Register one shilling per Week for each such Neglect, reckoning from the time of each Birth or death respectively to the time of Registering it.
90. In like manner, the Births, Marriages, and deaths of the Lords Proprietors, Landgraves, and Caciques shall be Registered in the Chamberlain's Court.
91. There shall be in every Colony one Constable, to be chosen annually, by the Freeholders of the Colony; His estate shall be above a hundred Acres of Freehold within the said Colony, and such subordinate Officers appointed for his Assistance as the County Court shall find Requisite, and shall be established by the said County Court; the election of the Subordinate annual Officers shall be also in the Freeholders of the Colony.
92. It being of great consequence to the Plantation that Port-Towns should be built and preserved, Therefore, whosoever shall lade or unlade any Commodity at any other Place but a Port-Town shall forfeit to the Lords Proprietors for each Ton So Laden or unladen the Sum of ten Pounds Sterling, except only such Goods as the Palatine's Court shall License to be Laden or unladen elsewhere.
93. The first Port-Town upon every River shall be in a Colony, and be a Port-Town for ever.
94. No Man shall be permitted to be a Freeman of Carolina, or to have any estate or habitation within it, that does not acknowledge a God, and that God is publicly and solemnly to be worshipped, and that there is a future being after this Life.
95. As the Country comes to be sufficiently Planted and distributed into fit Divisions, it shall belong to the Parliament to take care for the Building of Churches and for the Public maintenance of Divines, to be employed in the exercise of Religion according to the Church of England, which, being the Religion of the Government of England, it alone shall be allowed to receive public maintenance by Grant of Parliament.
96. But Since the Natives of that place, who will be concerned in our Plantation, are utterly Strangers to Christianity, whose Idolatry, Ignorance, or Mistake gives us no right to expel or use them ill; and those who remove from other parts to plant there will unavoidably be of different Opinions Concerning Matters of Religion, the liberty whereof they will expect to have Allowed them, and it will not be reasonable for us, on this account, to keep them out; that Civil Peace may be maintained amidst the diversity of Opinions, and our agreement and Compact with all men may be faithfully observed, the Violation whereof, upon what pretence soever, cannot be without great Offence to Almighty God, and great Scandal to the true Religion, which we profess; and also, that Jews, Heathens, and other dissenters from the Purity of Christian Religion may not be scared and kept at a distance from it, but, by having an opportunity of acquainting themselves with the truth and reasonableness of its Doctrines, and the Peaceableness and Inoffensiveness of its profession, may, by good usage and persuasion, and all those Convincing Methods of gentleness and meekness suitable to the Rules and designs of the gospel, be won over to Embrace and unfeignedly receive the truth; Therefore, any Seven or more Persons agreeing in Religion Shall Constitute a Church or Profession, to which they shall give some name to distinguish it from others.
97. The Terms of Admittance and Communion with any Church or Profession shall be written in a book and therein be Subscribed by all the Members of the said Church or Profession; which Book shall be kept by the Public Register of the Precinct where they Reside.
98. The Time of every one's Subscription and admittance shall be dated in the said Book, or Religious Record.
99. In the Terms of Communion of every Church or Profession, these following be three, without which no Agreement or Assembly of Men upon Pretence of Religion shall be accounted a Church or profession within these Rules:
1. That there is a God.
100. No Person above seventeen years of age shall have any benefit or protection of the Law, or be Capable of any place of Profit or Honour, who is not a member of some Church or Profession, having his name Recorded in some one, and but one Religious Record at once.
101. No Person of any other Church or Profession shall disturb or molest any Religious Assembly.
102. No person whatsoever shall speak any thing in their Religious Assembly irreverently or seditiously of the Government or Governors or of State Matters.
103. Any person Subscribing the terms of Communion in the record of the said Church or Profession before the Precinct Register and any five Members of the said Church or Profession shall be thereby made a Member of the said Church or Profession.
104. Any Person striking out his own name out of any Religious Record, or his name being struck out by any Officer thereunto authorized by each Church or Profession respectively, shall cease to be a Member of that Church or Profession.
105. No man shall use any Reproachful, Reviling, or abusive Language against the Religion of any Church or Profession, that being the Certain way of disturbing the Peace, and of hindering the Conversion of any to the truth, by them in Quarrels and Animosities, to the hatred of the Professors and that Profession, which otherwise they might be brought to Assent to.
106. Since Charity obliges us to wish well to the Souls of all men, and Religion ought to alter nothing in any man's Civil Estate or Right, it shall be Lawful for slaves, as well as others, to enter themselves and be of what Church or profession any of them shall think best, and thereof be as Fully members as any Freeman. But yet, no Slave shall hereby be exempted from that Civil dominion his Master has over him, but be in all things in the Same State and Condition he was in before.
107. Assemblies, upon what pretence soever of Religion, not observing and performing the above Said Rules shall not be esteemed as Churches, but unlawful Meetings, and be punished as other Riots.
108. No person whatsover shall disturb, molest, or persecute another for his speculative Opinions in Religion or his Way of worship.
109. Every Freeman of Carolina shall have absolute Power and authority over his Negro Slaves, of what Opinion or Religion Soever.
110. No Cause, whether Civil or Criminal, of any Freeman shall be Tried in any Court of Judicature without a Jury of his peers.
111. No person whatsoever shall hold or Claim any Land in Carolina, by purchase or gift or otherwise, from the Natives or any other whatsoever, but merely from and under the Lords Proprietors, upon pain of forfeiture of all his estate, Movable or immovable, and perpetual Banishment.
112. Whosoever shall possess any Freehold in Carolina, upon what title or Grant soever, shall, at the Farthest, from and after the Year One thousand six hundred and eighty-nine, pay yearly, unto the Lords Proprietors, for each acre of Land, English Measure, as much fine Silver as is at this Present in one English Penny, or the Value thereof, to be as a Chief Rent and Acknowledgment to the Lords Proprietors, their Heirs and Successors, for ever, except such persons with whom the Lords Proprietors have made some other agreement, under their hands and Seals; and it shall be Lawful for the Palatine's Court, by their Officers, at any time, to take a new Survey of any man's Lands, not to out him of any part of his Possession, but that, by such a Survey, the Just number of Acres he possesses may be Known, and the Rents thereon due may be paid by him.
113. All Wrecks, Mines, Minerals, Quarries of Gems and Precious stones, with Pearl-fishing, Whale-fishing, and one-half of all Ambergris, by whomsoever found, shall wholly belong to the Lords Proprietors.
114. All Revenues and Profits belonging to the Lords Proprietors, except for Lands and Rents sold in common, shall be divided into ten parts, whereof the Palatine shall have three, and each Proprietor one; but if the Palatine shall Govern by a Deputy, his Deputy shall have one of those three-tenths, and the Palatine the other two-tenths.
115. All inhabitants and Freemen of Carolina above seventeen years of Age and under Sixty shall be bound to bear Arms and Serve as Soldiers whenever the Grand Council shall find it necessary.
116. A true Copy of these Fundamental Constitutions shall be kept in a great Book by the Register of every Precinct, to be Subscribed before the said Register. Nor shall any person, of what Condition or Degree soever, above Seventeen years of age, have any estate in Carolina, or Protection or benefit of the Law there, who has not, before a Precinct Register, Subscribed these Fundamental Constitutions in this form:
117. I, A. B., do promise to bear Faith and true Allegiance to our Sovereign Lord King Charles the Second, his Heirs and Successors; and will be true and faithful to the Palatine and Lords Proprietors of Carolina, their Heirs and Successors; and, with my utmost power, will defend and maintain the Government, according to the Establishment in these Fundamental Constitutions.
118. Whatsoever Alien shall, in this Form, before any Precinct Register, Subscribe these Fundamental Constitutions shall be thereby Naturalized.
119. In the Same manner shall every person at his Admittance into any office Subscribe these Fundamental Constitutions.
120. Whoseoever, by Succession or otherwise, shall come to be Proprietor of Carolina shall not be admitted to exercise any of the Powers of Jurisdiction belonging to a Lord Proprietor of the aforesaid Province, to receive any of the Revenues or Profits belonging to the Same, until he has, either in England or Carolina, subscribed these Fundamental Constitutions in this Form:
I, A.B., do promise to bear Faith and true Allegience to our Sovereign Lord King Charles the Second, his Heirs and Successors; and will be true and faithful to my Brethren, the Palatine and Lords Proprietors of Carolina, in defence of their Rights; and, with my utmost Power, will maintain the Government, according to the Establishment in these Fundamental Constitutions.
These Fundamental Constitutions, in number a hundred and twenty, and every part thereof, shall be, and Remain, the Sacred and unalterable Form and Rule of Government of Carolina for ever. Witness our hands and Seals, the Twelfth day of January, sixteen hundred and Eighty-one (1)
(1) In present-day reckoning, 1682. From the 12th Century until September of 1752, England used the Julian calendar, according to which the New Year began on March 25th. The period from January 1st through March 24th, therefore, was included in the year preceding that to which it belongs in the Gregorian calendar.