Carolina Under the Lords Proprietors' Rule

Lords Proprietors' Commission to Governor Philip Ludwell


To our Trusty and Wellbeloved Collonell Philipp Ludwell Governour of that part of our province of Carolina that lyes north and east of Cape Feare:

Wee the said absolute Lords and Proprietors of the Province aforesaid reposing speciall Trust and Confidence in the courage Loyalty and Prudence of you our said Governour Do hereby constitute and apoint you the said Collonell Philipp Ludwell Dureing our pleasure Governour of that part of our Province of Carolina that lyes north and east of Cape Feare and you are to doe and execute all things in due manner that belong to your said command or the Trust we have reposed in you according to the severall powers and directions granted and appointed you by the present Comission and our Instructions and by such further powers and Instructions as shall at any time hereafter be granted and appointed you under our hands and seales and according to such reasonable Lawes and Statutes as already have been ratifyed and confirmed by Vs or hereafter shall be made and agreed vpon by you with the advice and consent of the Councill and Assembly or Parliament of that part of our Province vnder your Govermt according to the method and forme appointed by our former Instructions to our Governour there And wee doe hereby appoint and Impower you our said Governour to be Commander in Chief of all the forces raised or to be raised within the Limits of your Govermt and over them to appoint Officers and them to remove at yor pleasure and to cause the said forces to be exercised in armes as often as you shall see fitt And to do all other thing and things that to the Office of a Captain Generall or Commander in Chief doth belong And wee do hereby give and Grant unto you full power and authority by and with the advice and consent of any three or more of our Deputys to erect and establish such and so many Courts of Judicature and Publick Justice as you shall think fitt and necessary for the hearing and determining of all causes as well criminall as civill according to Law and Equity And for Awarding execution thereupon and to appoint Judges and Magistrates and such other Magistrates as to you shall seem meet And wee do hereby also give and grant unto you full power and authority by and with the advice and consent of our Deputyes or the Major part of them vnder your hand and seale to appoint a Deputy Governour with such powers and authoritys as to you shall seem meet and that you legally may and always provided the said powers and authorities be not more then to yourself are granted by this present Comission Given under our hands and seales this fifth day of December In the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and eighty nine

CRAVEN Palatine

Lords Proprietors' Instructions to Governor Philip Ludwell
(for private instructions, see below)


1. As soon as possible after your arrival you are to cause our Letter to Mr Seth Sothel our late Governor signifying our suspending him from the Government to be carefully delivered to his own hands and at the same time to give Notice to Our Councill there of your being by us appointed to be Governor of that part of Carolina that lyes North and East of Cape feare and to require their meeting of you

2. When the Councill is met you are to publish your Commission for the Government

3. You are to Informe yourselfe as well as possibly you can of the reasons of the late disturbances and the Imprisonment of Mr Sothel

4. If you finde there are any complaints that Mr Sothel hath comitted any acts of Injustice and oppression you are then and with the advice and consent of any three or more of our Deputys to comissionate three of the honestest and ablest men you cane finde and who have not been partys in the late disturbances to be Judges to hear and determine all causes both Civill and Criminall according to Law with such powers and authorities as shall be Legall and necessarye thereunto

5. The said Court or Judges being thus comissionated you are to give Notice to all people that complain of any Injustice or oppression contrary to law comitted by the said Sothel that the sd Court is appointed to hear and determine of all such complaints and you are to take all imaginable care that Jurys for the triall of all such causes be fairly and Impartially returned

6. In all other matters you are to pursue such Instructions for the Goverment as you shall finde upon the place wherein If you finde anything deficient or Inconvenient to ye Inhabitants Wee shall upon your Notice thereof to us take due care therein

7. You are as soon as possibly you conveniently can to call an Assembly or Parliament for the making of such Lawes as shall be thought requisite for the better goverment and security of the place, which Lawes by the first opportunity to send to us to be ratified and confirmed by us and which are to continue in force before such ratifying and confirminge untill we shall signify our pleasure to the contrary and in the passing of such Lawes you are to observe the methods prescribed by our Fundamentall Constitutions and Instructions for the goverment upon the place

8. You are diligently to Inquire into the true reasons of the late Disorders and to give us an Accompt thereof by the first opportunity

9. If you finde our late Governor hath been guilty of Injustice towards the people in generall or any particular men you are to cause him to give security that he shall not depart from that part of Carolina untill he that answered to all such complaints as shall be brought against him within the space of six months from the publishing your Commission

10. If the said Mr Sothel shall complain of Injustice done him by the people you are according to the best of your prudence to cause reparation to be made him in such manner as shall best sute with the quiet and peace of the goverment there

11. You are to give us your opinion what is necessary to be done by us for the better prevention of the like disturbances for the future

You are to Inform yorself if King William and Queen Mary have been proclaimed in Carolina and if they have not by reason of the Disturbances you are to cause them forthwith to be proclaimed with as much Decency as possible. Given under our hands this 5th day of December 1689

CRAVEN Palatine

Lords Proprietors' Private Instructions to Governor Philip Ludwell 

[8 November 1691]

1. Mr Seth Sothel and the people of Carolina having acted contrary to all the Fundamentall Constitutions of the Government and Mr Mathews who pretends to be impowered by the people assureing us the people owne none Wee have made your Instructions sutable to our Charter from the Crowne and the people desiring a power of proposeing in the parliament without passing the Grand Councell first Wee know no further use of such a Councell wherefore you are to call none such untill the people shall consent the proposeing power for lawes shall be in the Grand Councill as was directed by the Constitutions.

2. Wee haveing heard that the people of Carolina complaine of hardships and greivances that are upon them You are to Inquire what those hardships and greivances are and represent the same to us and what will be fit to be done by us to redress them.

3. Whereas it hath been insinuated to us in a paper signed by Andrew Percivall, Robert Quarry, Ralph Izard, George Muschamp, John Harris, and John Berresford That James Colleton Esqr our late Governor did sett up Martiall Law thereby the better to Ingrosse the Indian trade to himself you are to make strict Inquiry into that matter upon Oath and give us your report thereof in writeing And you are to send the depositions whereon yor report is grounded to us And you are to examine upon oath such witnesses as the sd James Colleton or any for him shall produce to be examined for his owne vindication you are also to Inquire what other Injustice or extortion was practised by the said James Colleton dureing his Goverment and report the same to us how you find it.

4. Wee are Informed that some of the Inhabitants of our Province have killed severall of the Indians wch being of pernicious Consequence not only in Carolina but to all others his Majesty's Subjects in the Northern America you are to make strict Inquiry thereof upon oath and if you find any person guilty thereof you are to cause them to be Indicted and tryed for the same according to law and such punishment Inflicted as the law appoints to such offenders that wee may bee able to acquitt Ourselves to their Majts and make our Justice knowne to the Indians and all the world.

5. You are to make strict Inquiry upon Oath by what authority Mr Berresford and any other acted as Deputy and whether Mr Sothel refused to suffer any to act as Deputy who had deputations under the hand and seale of any of the Proprietors and send us the depositions taken in this matter attested by yorself and you are to take notice that there were no Deputations sent by any of the Lords Proprietors by Capt. Dodson except a Deputation from Sr Peter Colleton to Capt. Joseph Blake and the blank Deputation in the custody of James Colleton were Instrusted to him to be filled up by himself only and noe other.

6. You are to make strict Inquiry by what authority Capt. Robt. Quarry sat as Judge or Sheriff of Berkeley County and if you find his Commission is not signed by three legall Deputyes as well as the Governor or by any other Authority duly derived from us you are not to allow of any Judgement given by him as legall but look upon them as tryed by no legall order.

7. You are to restore Paul Grimball Esqre to all the places he enjoyed under us and out of which he was put and you are to suffer the sd Grimball and all other persons to take his course at law against any person or persons whatsoever that hath done him or them Injury or Injustice.

8. You are to restore Bernard Schenking Esq to his place of Chief Judge or Sheriff of Berkeley County Wee haveing had no complaints against him for injustice and found him always faithfull to us and you are to add four Assistants to him of whose probity and loyalty to their Matys and fidelity to us you have a good assurance.

9. If you find the number of offendors in the late disorders in Carolina to be so many that it may be inconvenient to punish all you are then to grant our pardon to all (with exception to such as have been guilty of high treason towards their Majtes and willfull murder) but some few of the most notorious and obstinate offendors and against whom the proof of their crimes is playnest against whom you are to proceed at law It being necessary for the future quiet of our Province to have some made examples or to be at mercy at least.

10. Wee are Informed that there are very good perle in some rivers of Carolina wch being granted to us by our Charter you are to consider the properest way how to make the same profitable to us either by our renteing the same to some person or persons or what other way you shall think fittest for us when you are upon the place.

11. You are to encourage all people that will to reside at the Sevanah towne or any other place among the Indians that the Inland parts of our Province and the strength of the severall Nations of the Indians may be fully knowne.

12. You are to suffer all persons that will freely to trade with the Indians.

13. You are to make strict Inquiry upon Oath If Mr Sothel did grant any Commission to Pyrates for rewards or otherwise wch Jonathan Emery knows as wee are Informed who had twenty guineas for procuring a Commission from sd Sothel and if you shall find any such Commission was granted by him in our names you are to enter our dissent to it on record Incerting that such a Commission was granted without our consent and knowledge

14. Wee are Informed that severall Persons in Carolina not desireing to be Incumbred with a rent are willing to buy their Land for wch reason wee have given power to Our Trustees for granting land to sell six thousand akers and pass grants for the same to such persons as shall first have payd the purchase money in pieces of eight after the rate of five shillings the piece of eight to Paul Grimball Esq. our Receiver which you are to Incourage men to do as much as you can.

15. You are to direct the Surveyor not to run out land for any man North of Santee River untill you shall receive further orders from us.

16. If you find it needfull you are hereby Impowered to apoint a Deputy in North Carolina

17. You are to use yor uttmost endeavour to reduce the people to a sober vertuous maner of life by punishing all debauchery and profaneness

18. If you find there hath been monays illegally collected or extorted from the people you are to cause restitution to be made in a legall maner and with the least disturbances to the quiett of the place as you can

19. You are to put none in Office in Carolina that are suspected not to be friend to the prest Goverment here.

20. You are to make strict enquiry upon oath If Mr Sothel did refuse to governe by our Instructions and send the depositions and your owne report how you find it to us.

21. You are to use yor uttmost endeavor to make a setlement of a Towne remote from the Sea to be hereafter the seat of the Goverment

22. You are to make strict Inquiry what rents or other payments are due to us and give us an acct thereof as soon as possible

These our Instructions and as many of them as you shall think fitting you are to shew or keep private as to you shall seem best.

Given under our hands and seals this eighth day of November one thousand six hundred ninety one.

CRAVEN, Palatine


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