SIR WILLIAM PHIPS’S COMMISSION as GOVERNOR OF THE PROVINCE OF THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY
12 December, 1691
William and Mary by the Grace of God king and Queen of England Scotland France and Ireland Defenders Of faith &c To our Trusty and Wellbeloved Sir William Phipps Knight Greeting
Whereas Wee have by our Royall Charter vnder the Great Seale of England bearing date the seaventh day of October in the third yeare of our Reigne vnited Erected and Incorpoporated the Colony of the Massachusets Bay the Colony of New Plymouth, the Province of Maine in New England the Territories of Accadie or Nova Scotia and the lands lying between the said Territory of Nova Scotia and the Province of Main aforesaid into one reall Province by the Name of the Province of the Massachusets Bay in New England and haveing thereby granted to our Loveing Subjects the Inhabitants of our said Province or Territy of the Massachusets Bay in New England and their Successors That there shall be a Governor a Leivtenant Governor and a Secretary of our said Province or Territory to be from time to time appointed and Com̄issionated by us our heires and Successors with severall Priviledges Franchizes and Imunities thereby Granted to our said loving Subjects Wee therefor reposeing especiall Trust and Confidence in your Prudence Courage and loyalty out of our especiall Grace certain Knowledge and meere Motion have thought fitt to Constitute and appoint And by these prsents Doe Constitute and appoint you the said Sir William Phipps to be our Captain Generall and Governor in Chief in and over our said Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England and for your better Guidance and Direcc͞o͞n Wee doe hereby require you to doe and Execute all things in due manner that shall belong vnto the Trust Wee have reposed in you according to the severall Powers and Authorities menc͞o͞ned in our said Charter and in these prsents or such further powers Instrucco͞ns and Authorities as you shall now receive or which shall at any time hereafter be granted or appointed you vnder our Signe Manuall and Signet or by Order in our Privy Council in pursuance of our said Charter and according to such reasonable Laws and Statutes as now are in force or which hereafter shall be made and agreed vpon in such manner and forme as by our said Charter is directed And Wee doe hereby give and grant vnto you full power and authority where you shall see cause and shall Judge any Offender or Offenders in Capitall or Criminall matters or for any Fynes or Forfeitures due vnto vs fitt Objects of our Mercy to Pardon all such Offenders and to remitt such Fynes and Forfeitures Treasons and Willfull Murther onely excepted in which Case you shall likewise have power vpon Extraordinary Occasions to grant Reprieves to the Offenders therein to the end and vntill our pleasure be further knowne And Wee doe hereby give and Grant vnto you the said Sir William Phipps by your selfe your Captaines and Com̄anders by you to be authorized full Power and Authority to levy Arme muster Command or imploy all persons whatsoever resideing within our said Province and Territory of the Massachusetts Bay in New England and as occasion shall serve them to Transferr from one place to another for the resisting and withstanding of all Enemies Pirates and Rebells both at land and Sea and such Forces with their owne Consent or with the Consent of our Council and Assembly to Transport to any of our Plantations in America as occasion shall require for the defence of the same against the Invasion or attempt of any of our Enemies and them if occasion shall require to pursue and prosecute out of the limitts of our said Province or any part thereof and if it shall soe please God them to vanquish apprehend and take and being taken either according to the Law of Armes to put to death or to keepe and prserve alive at your discretion Wee do further Give and Grant vnto you full Power and Authority to Erect Raise and build within our Province and Territory aforesaid such and soe many Forts Platformes Castles and Fortifications as you shall judge necessary and the same or any of them to fortifie and furnish with Ordnance Amunition and all sorts of Armes fitt and necessary for the security and defence of our said Province and from time to time to comitt the Government of the same to such person or persons as to you shall seeme meet And the said Forts and Fortifications againe to demolish or dismantle as may be most convenient and to doe and execute all and every other thing which to a Captaine Generall doth or ought of Right to belong as fully and amply as any our Captain Generall doth or hath vsually done and according to the powers hereby granted or to be granted vnto you And Wee doe further give and Grant vnto you the said Sir William Phips full power and Authority to Erect one or more Court or Courts Admirall within our said Province and Territory for the hearing and determining of all Marine and other Causes and matters proper therein to be heard with all reasonable Fees and priviledges As alsoe to exercise all powers belonging to the place and Office of vice Admirall of and in all the Seas and Coasts about your Government according to such Com̄issions Authorities and Instrucc͞o͞ns as you shall receive from our selfe or from our high Admirall or Com̄issioners for executeing the Office of high Admirall for the time being And Wee do hereby give and Grant vnto you the said Sir William Phipps full power and Authority to Constitute and appoint Captaines and Masters of Shipps and other Com̄anders and grant vnto such Captaines Masters of Shipps and other Com̄anders Com̄issions to Execute the Law Martiall in time of Actuall Warr Invasion or Rebellion and to vse such proceedings Authorities Punishments Correction and execuc͞o͞n vpon any Offender or Offenders which shall be mutinous Seditious disorderly or anyway vnruly either at Sea or dureing the time of their abode or residence in any of the Ports harbours or Bayes of our said Province and Territory as the Cause shall be found to require according to martiall Law Provided that nothing herein conteyned shall be construed to the enableing you or any by your Authority to hold plea or have Jurisdicc͞o͞n of any Offence Cause matter or thing comitted or done vpon the high Sea or within any of the Havens Rivers or Creekes of our said Province or Territory by any Captain Comander Leiutenant master or other Officer Seaman Soldier or Person whatsoever who shall be in Actuall Service and pay in and on board any of our Shipps of Warr or other vessells acting by im̄ediate Com̄ission or Warrant from Our Com̄issioners for Executeing the Office of our high Admirall of England vnder the Seale of our Admiralty or from our high Admirall of England for the time being But that such Captain Commander Leiutenant master officer Seaman Souldier and other person so Offending shall be left to be proceeded against and tried as the meritt of their Offences shall require either by Comission vnder our great Seale of England as the Statute of the Eight and twentieth of Henry the Eighth directs or by Com̄ission from our high Admirall for the time being according to the Act of Parliament passed in the thirteenth yeare of the Reigne of our dearest vncle King Charles the Second of blessed memory Entituled an Act for Establishing Articles and Orders for the Regulateing and better Government of his Majesties Navy Shipps of Warr and Forces by Sea and not otherwise saveing onely that it shall and may be lawfull for you vpon any such Captaine or Com̄anders refuseing or neglecting to Execute or vpon his Neglect or vndue Execution of any of the Written Orders he shall receive from you for our Service and the Service of our said province and Territory to suspend him the said Captaine or Com̄ander from the Exercise of his said Office of Commander and to comitt him to safe Custody either on board his owne Shipp or elsewhere at your discretion in Order to his being brought to Answer for the same by Com̄ission either vnder our Great Seale of England or from our high Admirall as is before Expressed in Which Case our Will and pleasure is That the Captaine or Commander soe by you suspended shall dureing such his Suspention and Comittment be succeeded in his said Office by such Comission or Warrant Officer of our said Ship appointed by our Com̄issioners for executeing the Office of our high Admirall of England or by our high Admirall of England for the time being as by the known practice and discipline of our Navy does or ought next to Succeed him as in case of Death Sicknesse or other Ordinary disability happening to the Com̄ander of any of our Shipps and not otherwise you standing alsoe accountable to vs for the truth and Importance of the Crime for which you shall soe proceed to the Suspending of such our Captain and Com̄ander Provided alsoe that all disorders and misdemeanors comitted on shore by any Captaine Com̄ander Leiutenant Master or other Officer Seaman Soldier or person whatsoever belonging to any of our Shipps of Warr or other Vessells acting by imediate Com̄ission or Warrant from our Com̄issioners for Executeing the Office of our High Admirall of England vnder the Seale of our Admiralty or from our high Admirall of England for the time being may be tried and punished according to the Laws of the place Where any such disorders Offences and misdemeanors shall be com̄itted on shoare notwithstanding such Offender be in our actuall service and borne in our pay on board any such our Shipps of Warr or other vessells acting by im̄ediate Com̄ission or Warrant from our Com̄issioners for Executeing the Office of our high Admirall as aforesaid soe as he shall not receive any protection for the avoiding of Justice for such Offences com̄itted on Shoare from any pretence of his being Imployed in our Service at Sea And Wee doe hereby require and Com̄and all Officers and Ministers Civil and Military and all other the Inhabitants of our said Province er Territory to be obedient ayding and assisting vnto you the said Sir William Phipps in the Execution of this our Com̄ission and of the Powers and Authorities therein conteyned and vpon your death or absence to our Leivenant Governor of our said Province and vpon such your death or absence and the death or absence of our said Leivenant Governor to our Council of our said Province or Territory To whome Wee doe by these presents give and grant all and singular the powers and Authorities hereby granted vnto you to be by him or them respectively exercised and enjoyed vntill the returne of you our Governor or our Leivtenant Governor or of the arrivall or Constitution of such other Governor or leivtenant Governor as shall be thereupon Com̄issionated and appointed by vs And our Will and pleasure is That you the said Sir William Phipps shall and may hold execute and enjoy the Office and place of our Captain Generall and Governour in Chiefe in and over our said Province and Territory of the Massachusetts Bay in New England with all and singular the powers and Authorities hereby granted vnto you for and dureing our Will and pleasure And Whereas there are divers Collonies adjoyning to our Province of the Massachusetts Bay for the Defence and security Whereof it is requisite that due care be taken in this time of Warr And Whereas by an Act of Parliament made in the thirteenth yeare of the reigne of our dearest vncle King Charles the Second of blessed memory It is declared that within all our Realmes and Dominions the sole and supreame power Government Com̄and and Disposition of the Militia and of all forces by Sea and Land and of all Forts and places of Strength is of right belonging to vs Wee have therefore thought it further necessary for our Service and for the better protection and Security of our Subjects inhabiting those parts to Constitute and appoint And Wee doe by these presents Constitute and appoint you the said Sir William Phipps to be our Leivtenant and Comander in Chief of the Militia and of all the Forces by Sea and Land within our severall Colonies of Connecticut Rhode Iseland and Providence Plantac͞o͞n the Naragansett Country or Kings Province and our Province of New Hampshire and of all our Forts and places of Strength within the same And for the better Ordering Governing and ruleing our said militia and all our Forces Forts and places of Strength within all and every our Collonies and provinces aforemenco͞ned Wee doe hereby give and grant vnto you the said Sir William Phipps and in your absence from our Territory and Dominion of New England to our leiutenant Governor of our Province of the Massachusetts Bay and all and every the like powers as in these prsents are before Granted and recited for the ruleing Governing and Ordering our Militia and all our Forces Forts and places of Strength Within our Province of the Massachusetts Bay to be exercised by you the said Sir William Phipps within our said Colonies and Provinces in such your absence by you our said Leiutenant Governor of our said Province of the Massachusetts Bay for and dureing Our pleasure In Witnesse &c Witnesse our selves at Westm̄r the twelveth day of Dcember
De concessione Phipps militi commissionis
By Writt of Privy Seale
— Public Record Office, Patent Roll, 3 William and Mary, Part 9, No. 17.