The Landgraves, Cassiques, and Baronets of Carolina

The Known Landgraves, Cassiques, and Baronets

Thomas Amy

Edmund Andros

John Ashby I,
John Ashby II,
John Ashby III

Daniel Axtell, Sr.,
Holland Axtell

John Bayley I,
John Bayley II

Edmund Bellinger, Sr.

Edmund Bellinger, Jr.

Joseph Blake

James Colleton,
John Colleton

Sir Peter Colleton,
Sir John Colleton

Thomas Colleton,
Peter Colleton

Lawrence Cromp

Robert Daniell 

Charles Eden

John Ely

John Gibbs

Robert Gibbes

Christoph de Graffenreid

Nathaniel Johnson

Abel Ketelby

John Locke

Joseph Morton I

Joseph Morton II

John Smith

Thomas Smith I

Thomas Smith II

Seth Sothel

Joseph West

John Wyche

John Yeamans

The Fundamental Constitutions of 1669 included provisions for structuring a colonial nobility. The order of the nobility was to be based on the amount of land an individual had in grants from the Lords Proprietors. All of the territory was to be divided into counties. Each county was made up of eight seigniories (the Lords Proprietors’ domains), and eight baronies (the nobility’s domain).

There were three titles and authorized land amounts for the nobility: a Landgrave was to have 48,000 acres; a Cassique (pronounced: cass - eek'), also spelled Cacique, commanded 24,000 acres; and a Baronet 12,000 acres.

The oldest of the Lords Proprietors, the Palatine, was the supervisor and highest ranking noble. Under the nobility at the base of the social hierarchy were serfs. Tenants and their children were bound to the soil and could move only with the noble’s permission.

The nobility envisioned in the Fundamental Constitutions never materialized. Many reasons may be speculated as the cause, for example, the Lords Proprietors did not live in the colony; they lived in England and were unable to follow up on their design. Also, the New World spirit did not seem consistent with the ideals of a nobility with its potential for repression of lower ranks.

Neither did regular settlement patterns emerge to provide concentrated populations for meaningful recognition of a colonial nobility. Three counties—Berkeley (including present-day Charleston), Craven, and Colleton—were formed in what later became South Carolina, but Craven remained sparsely settled for a considerable length of time. The early county of Albemarle in what is now North Carolina was settled very slowly. These first colonists may have been more interested in making money and enhancing their business reputations than they were in establishing any grand scheme for organizing their society as a nobility and their state to reflect a social caste system for a free citizenry.


A Landgrave was a title particular to the Carolinas for people who mostly served in the colonial legislature; in British terms, they were considered to be higher in status than members of the House of Commons, but not as high as members of the House of Lords in England, yet the titles of Landgrave, Cassique, and Baronet had no standing whatsoever in England. The title Landgrave was chosen by John Locke when he created the Fundamental Constitutions of 1669 - it was very much in use in Germany at the time, with similar meaning.

In 1705, the Lords Proprietors created another "title" that was higher in status than the Landgrave:

"In order to furnish to these nobles the outward and visible signs of their status, the Lords Proprietors in 1705 appointed Laurence Cromp, Esq., of Worcester to the position of Carolina Herald, with power to grant arms to the Landgraves and Cassiques. Whether Cromp ever made any grant of arms is uncertain, and it is unknown whether the Carolina nobility ever had the opportunity to wear their gold chains or robes of scarlet and gold specified by the document." 

Suspected Landgraves, Cassiques, and Baronets*

Edward Berkeley

James Carteret

Statira Elizabeth Farquaharson

James Griffiths

William Hodgson

Mary Ketelby Johnson

Edward Juckes

Richard Kyrle

John Monks

James Moore

Joseph Moore

 Joseph Pendarvis

Andrew Percival

Spencer Percival

John Price

Thomas Rowe

Johnston Rundell

Henry Wilkinson 
   

Edward Wilmot
   
* In all of my research, the above list represents those that I suspect were Landgraves, Cassiques, or Baronets in either North Carolina or South Carolina. To date, I have not been able to confirm any of the suspects - that's why there are no links. If anyone has additional information on any of these, please contact me at: jd.lewis@carolana.com.

The following two extracts clearly show the various title chains found in many deeds of South Carolina, showing clearly the "pecking order" of who granted the land to whom and in what order:

29 & 30 Sep 1724 Edward Weekley and Elizabeth his wife of Berkeley Co., to Thomas Ellery, gentleman, of Charleston. Whereas John Earl of Bath, Palatine, George Lord Carteret, Sir John Colleton, Baronet & the Lords Proprs. on 16 Aug 1698 impowered the Hon. Joseph Blake, Esq., James Moore, Esq., then Governor, Landgrave Joseph Morton, Landgrave Edmund Bellinger, Robert Daniell & John Ely, Esq., to grant lands...

18 & 19 Jul 1727 Benjamin Waring, of Berkeley Co., SC, to George Smith, for £125, 500, English measure. Whereas the Lords Proprs. of SC granted Robert Daniell a Landgrave's patent with 48,000 acres; & whereas Robert Daniell sold several parcels of land to Landgrave Thomas Smith including 1 tract of 500 acres on W side Wincaw River bounding NE on Wincaw River; SE on George Smith; NW on Edward Hyrne; & whereas Landgrave Thomas Smith on 20 Feb 1718/9 sold the 500 acres to Benjamin Waring; now Waring sells to George Smith. Wit: George Smith, Thomas Smith, Jr., Hugh Wentworth. Before Tweedie Somerville. Jacob Motte, Register.


Click Here for a decent description of the Nobility (aka Peerage) in the Carolina province provided by NCPedia.org.

 


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