p. 367 JOINT
DOCUMENT RELATING TO THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY.
EXTRACTS FROM CHARTER OF HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY, 1670.
The Royal Charter for Incorporating the HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY, Granted by His Majesty King CHARLES the Second,
in the 22nd Year of His Reign, A.D. 1670.
CHARLES THE SECOND, by the Grace of God King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc., TO ALL to whom these presents shall come, greeting: WHEREAS our dear and entirely beloved Cousin, Prince Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria and Cumberland, etc., Christopher Duke of Albermarle, William Earl of Craven, Henry Lord Arlington, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sir John Robinson, and Sir Robert Vyner, Knights and Baronets; Sir Peter Colleton, Baronet; Sir Edward Hungerford, Knight of the Bath; Sir Paul Kneele, Knight; Sir John Griffith and Sir Philip Carteret, Knights; James Hayes, John Kirke, Francis Millington, William Prettyman, John Fenn, Esquires; and John Portman, Citizen and Goldsmith of London; have, at their own great cost and charges, undertaken an expedition for Hudson's Bay, in the north-west part of America, for the discovery of a new passage into the South Sea, and for the finding some trade for furs, minerals and other considerable commodities, and by such their undertaking have already made such discoveries as do encourage them to proceed further in pursuance of their said design, by means whereof there may probably arise very great advantage to us and our kingdom: AND WHEREAS the said Undertakers, for their further encouragement in the said design, have humbly besought us to incorporate them, and grant unto them and their successors the sole trade and commerce of all those seas, straits, bays, rivers, lakes, creeks and sounds, in whatsoever latitude they shall be, that lie within the entrance of the
straits commonly called Hudson's Straits, together with all the lands, countries and territories upon the coasts and confines of the seas, straits, bays, lakes, rivers, creeks, and sounds aforesaid, which are not now actually possessed by any of our subjects, or by the subjects of any other Christian Prince or State.
* * * * *
And to the end the said Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay may be encouraged to undertake and effectually to prosecute the said design, of our more especial grace, certain knowledge and mere motion WE HAVE given, granted and confirmed, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, do give, grant and confirm, unto the said Governor and Company, and their successors, the sole trade and commerce of all those seas, straits, bays, rivers, lakes, creeks and sounds, in whatsoever latitude they shall be, that lie within the entrance of the straits, commonly called Hudson's Straits, together with all the lands and territories upon the countries, coasts, and confines of the seas, bays, lakes, rivers, creeks, and sounds aforesaid that are not already actually possessed or granted to any of our subjects, or possessed by the subjects of any other Christian Prince or State, with the fishing of all sorts of fish, whales, sturgeons, and all other royal fishes, in the seas, bays, inlets and rivers within the premises, and the fish therein taken, together with the royalty of the sea upon the coast within the limits aforesaid, and all mines royal, as well discovered as not discovered, of gold, silver, gems and precious stones, to be found or discovered within the territories, limits and places aforesaid, and that the said land be from henceforth reckoned and reputed as one of our plantations or Colonies in America, called "Rupert's Land:" AND FURTHER WE DO by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, make, create and constitute the said Governor and Company for the time being, and their successors, the true and absolute lords and proprietors of the same territory, limits and places, and all and singular others the premises hereby granted as aforesaid, with their and every of their rights, members, jurisdictions, prerogatives, royalties and appurtenances whatsoever, to them the said Governor and Company, and their successors forever, to be holden of Us, our heirs and successors as of our Manor of East Greenwich in our County of Kent in free and common soccage and not in capite or by knight's service yielding and paying yearly to Us our heirs and successors for the same two elks and two black beavers whensoever and so often as We out heirs and successors shall happen to enter the said Countries Territories and Regions hereby granted.
* * * * *
AND FURTHERMORE, of our ample and abundant grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, WE HAVE granted, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, do grant unto the said Governor and Company, and their successors, that they and their successors, and their factors, servants and agents, for them and on their behalf, and not otherwise, shall for ever hereafter have, use and enjoy, not only the whole, entire and only trade and traffic, and the whole, entire and only liberty, use and privilege of trading and trafficking to and from the territory, limits and places aforesaid; but also the whole and entire trade and traffic to and from all havens, bays, creeks, rivers, lakes and seas, into which they shall find entrance or passage by water or land out of the territories, limits or places aforesaid; and to and with all the natives and people inhabiting, or which shall inhabit within the territories limits and places aforesaid; and to and with all other nations inhabiting any of the coasts adjacent to the said territories, limits and places, which are not already possessed as aforesaid, or whereof the sole liberty or privilege of trade and traffic is not granted to any other of our subjects: AND WE, of our further royal favour, and of our more especial grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, HAVE granted, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, DO grant to the said Governor and Company, and to their successors, that neither the said territories, limits and places, hereby granted as aforesaid, nor any part thereof, nor the islands, havens, ports, cities, towns or places thereof or therein contained, shall be visited, frequented or haunted by any of the subjects of us, our heirs or successors, contrary to the true meaning of these presents, and by virtue of our prerogative royal, which we will not have in that behalf argued or brought into question.
* * * * *
AND FURTHER, of our especial grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, WE DO, for us, our heirs and successors, grant to and with the said Governor and Company of Adventurers of England, trading into Hudson's Bay, that all lands, islands, territories, plantations, forts, fortifications, factories or colonies, where the said Company's factories and trade are or shall be, within any the ports and places afore limited, shall be immediately and from henceforth under the power and command of the said Governor and Company, their successors and assigns; SAVING the faith and allegiance due to be performed to us, our heirs and successors as aforesaid; and that the said Governor and Company shall have liberty, full power and authority to appoint and establish Governors and all other officers to govern them, and that the Governor and his Council of the several and respective places where the said Company shall have plantations, forts, factories, colonies or places of trade within any the countries, lands, or territories hereby granted, may have power to judge all persons belonging to the said Governor and Company, or that shall live under them, in all causes, whether civil or criminal, according to the laws of this Kingdom, and to execute justice accordingly; and in case any crime or misdemeanor shall be
committed in any of the said Company's plantations, forts, factories, or places of trade within the limits aforesaid, where judicature cannot be executed for want of a Governor and Council there, then in such case it shall and may be lawful for the chief Factor of that place, and his Council to transmit the party, together with the offence, to such other plantation, factory or fort where there shall be a Governor and Council, where justice may be executed, or into this Kingdom of England, as shall be thought most convenient, there to receive such punishment as the nature of his offence shall deserve:
* * * * *
AND FURTHER our will and pleasure is, and by these presents for us our heirs and successors, WE DO grant unto the said Governor and Company, and to their successors, full power and lawful authority to seize upon the person of all such English, or any other our subjects which shall sail into Hudson's Bay, or inhabit in any of the countries, islands or territories hereby granted to the said Governor and Company, without their leave and license in that behalf first had and obtained, and that (sic) or that shall contemn or disobey their orders, and send them to England; and that all and every person or persons, being our subjects, any ways employed by the said Governor and Company, within any of the parts, places and limits aforesaid, shall be liable unto and suffer such punishment for any offences by them committed in the parts aforesaid, as the President and Council for the said Governor and Company there shall think fit, and the merit of the offence shall require, as aforesaid;
* * * * *
IN WITNESS WHEREOF we have caused these our Letters to be made Patent, WITNESS OURSELF at Westminister, the second day of May, in the two-and-twentieth year of our reign.
By writ of Privy Seal,