JOSEPH DUDLEY’S FIRST COMMISSION as GOVERNOR OF THE PROVINCE OF THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY
13 February, 1701–2
William the third by the grace of god king of England Scotland France and Ireland Defender of the Faith &c. To Our Trusty and welbeloved Joseph Dudley Esqr Greeting
Whereas we have by our Royall Charter under Our Great Seale of England, bearing date the seaventh Day of October in the third yeare of Our Reign United Erected and Incorporated the Colony of the Massachusets Bay the Colony of New Plymouth the Province of Maine in New England the Territorie of Accadia or Nova Scotia and the lands lying between the said Territorie of Nova Scotia and the Province of Maine aforesaid into one reall Province by the Name of Our Province of the Massachusets Bay in New England and have thereby granted to Our Loveing Subjects the Inhabitants of our said Province or Territory of the Massachusets Bay in New England and their Successors That there shall be a Governor a Lieutenant Governor and a Secretary of Our said Province and Territory to be from time to time appointed and Commissionated by us our Heirs and Successors with severall Priviledges Franchises and Immunities thereby Granted to Our said Loving Subjects We therefore reposeing especial Trust and confidence in your prudence Courage and Loyalty out of Our especiall Grace certaine knowledge and meer Motion have thought fitt to constitute and appoint and by these presents doe constitute and appoint you the said Joseph Dudley to be our Captaine General and Governor in Cheife in and over our said Province of the Massachusets Bay in New England And for your better Guidance and Directions Wee doe hereby require and Command you to doe and execute all things in due manner that shall belong unto the Trust Wee have reposed in you according to the severall Powers and Authorities menc̄oned in Our said Charter and in these Presents and such further Powers and Instruccons and Authorities as you shall receive or which shall at any time hereafter be granted or appointed you under Our Signe Manuall and Signett Or by Order of Our Privy Councill in Pursuance of Our said Charter and according to such reasonable Laws and Statutes as are now in force or which hereafter shall be made and agreed upon in such manner and forme as by our said Charter is directed And we do hereby give and Grant unto you full power & authority where you shall see cause and shall Judge any offender or offenders in Capital or Criminal matters or for any Fines or Forfeitures due unto Us fitt objects of our mercy to pardon all such offenders and to remit such Fines and Forfeitures (Treason and wilfull murder only excepted) In which cases you shall likewise have Power upon Extraordinary occasions to grant Reprieves to the offenders therein to the end and untill our Pleasure shall be further knowne And we do hereby give & grant unto you the said Joseph Dudley by your selfe your Captaines and Com̄anders by you to be Authorized full Power and Authority to Levy Arme Muster Com̄and or Employ all Persons whatsoever resideing within Our said Province & Territory of the Massachusets Bay in New England and as occasion shall require them to transferr from one place to another for the resisting & withstanding of all Enemies Pirates and Rebells both at Land and Sea And such forces with their own consent or with the consent of Our Councill and Assembly to Transport to any of Our Plantacons in America as occasion shall require for the Defence of the same against the Invasion or Attempts of any of Our Enemies And such Enemies Pirates and Rebells if occasion shall require to pursue and prosecute in or out of the Limitts of our said Province or any part thereof And if it shall so please God them to vanquish apprehend and take and being taken either according to the Law of Arms to put to death or to keep and preserve alive at your discretion Wee do further give and grant unto you full power and authority to Erect Raise and Build within our Province and Territory aforesaid such and so many Forts Platformes Castles and Fortificaco͞ns as you shall judge necessary And the same or any of them to Fortifie and furnish with Ordnance Am̄unico͞n and all sorts of Armes fitt and necessary for the security & Defence of Our said Province and from time to time to com̄it the Government of the same to such person or persons as to you shall seem meet and the said Forts and Fortifications againe to Demolish or Dismantle as may be most convenient And to do 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 other our Captaine Generall doth or hath usually done according to the Powers hereby granted or to be granted unto you And Wee do hereby give & grant unto you the said Joseph Dudley full Power and Authority to constitute and appoint Captaines Masters and other Commanders of Ships and to grant unto such Captaines Masters and other Com̄anders of ships Com̄issions to Execute the Law Martial dureing the time of actuall Warr Invasion or Insurrecco͞n and to use such Proceedings Authorities Punishments Correcco͞ns and Execuco͞ns upon any offender or offenders which shall be mutinous seditious disorderly or any way unruly either at sea or dureing the time of their abode or residence in any of the Ports Harbours or Bays of Our said Province & Territory as the Cause shall be found to require according to Martial Law during the time of Warr as aforesaid Provided that nothing herein contained shall be construed to the enabling you or any by your Authority to hold Plea or have Jurisdicco͞n of any offence cause matter or thing comitted or done upon the High Sea or within any the Havens Rivers or Creeks of Our said Province or Territories under your Government by any Captaine Com̄ander Lieutenant Master or other Officer seaman Soldier or Person whatsoever who shall be in Actuall Service & Pay in or on Board any of our ships of war or other vessells acting by im̄ediate Com̄ission or Warrant from Our Com̄issioners for executeing the Office of Our High Admirall of England under the Seale of Our Admiralty or from Our High Admirall of England for the time being But that such Captaine Commander Lieutenant Master Officer Seaman Soldier or other Person so offending shall be left to be proceeded against and tryed as the merit of their offences shall require either by Com̄ission under Our Great Seale of England as the Statute of the eight & twentieth of Henry the Eighth directs or by Comission from our said Com̄issioners for executeing the Office of Our High Admirall of England or from our High Admirall of England for the time being according to the Act of Parliament passed in the thirteenth yeare of the Reigne of Our Dearest Uncle King Charles the Second of Blessed Memory Entituled (An Act for the Establishing Articles & Orders for the regulateing and better Government of his Majesties Navy Ships of warr and Forces by Sea) and not otherwise saveing onely that it may and shall be lawfull for you upon any such Captaine or Commanders refuseing or neglecting to execute or upon his negligent or undue Execuco͞n of any of the written Orders he shall receive from you for our Service and the service of our said Province & Territory to suspend him the said Captaine or Commander from the Exercise of his said Office of Commander and comitt him in safe Custody either on Board his owne Ship or elsewhere at your Discretion in order to his being brought to answer for the same by Comission either under Our Great Seale of England or from our said Com̄issioners for executeing the Office of High Admirall of England or from Our said High Admirall of England for the time being as is before expressed In which case Our Will & Pleasure is That the Captaine or Commander so by you suspended shall dureing such his Suspenco͞n and Committment 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 said High Admirall of England for the time being as by the known Practice and discipline of our Navy does and ought next to succeed him as in case of death sicknesse or other ordinary disability happening to the Commanders of any of our Ships of Warr and not otherwise You standing also accountable to Us for the Truth and Importance of the Crimes & misdemeanours for which you shall so proceed to the Suspending of such our Captaine or Commander Provided also that all disorders and misdeanous261 com̄itted on shore by any Captaine Commander Lieutenant Master or other Officer Seaman Soldier or person whatsoever belonging to any Our Ships of warr or other vessells acting by Im̄ediate Comission or Warrant from our Comissioners for Executeing the office of Our High Admirall of England under the Seale of Our Admiralty or from Our High Admirall of England for the time being may be Tryed & punished according to the Laws of the Place where any such Disorders Offences & Misdemeanors shall be so comitted on Shore Notwithstanding such offender be in our actual Service and in Our Pay on Board any such Our Shipps of Warr or other vessells acting by im̄ediate Com̄ission or Warrant from our Commissioners for Executing the Office of Our High Admirall or from our High Admirall as aforesaid so as he shall not receive any Protection for the avoyding of Justice for such Offences Comitted on Shore from any pretence of his being imployed in Our service at sea. And further Our Will & Pleasure is That you shall not at any time hereafter by coulour of any Power or authority hereby Granted or menco͞ned to be granted take upon you to give grant or Dispose of any Office or place within our said Province and Territories which now is or shall be granted under the Great Seale of England any further than that you may upon the vacancy of any such office or Suspenco͞n of any officer by you put in any person to officiate in the Interval untill the said Place be disposed of by Us Our Heirs or Successors under the Great Seale of England or that our Direcco͞ns be otherwise given therein And we do hereby require and Command all Officers and Ministers Civill and Military and all other the Inhabitants of Our said Province and Territory to be obedient aiding and assisting unto you the said Joseph Dudley in the Execuco͞n of this Our Comission and of the Powers and Authorities therein contained and upon your Death or Absence out of our said Province and Territories to our Lieutenant Governor of our said Province and upon such your Death or Absence and the Death or Absence of our said Lieutenant Governr to our Councill of our said Province and Territory for the time being to whome Wee do by these Presents give and Grant all and singular the Powers & Authorities hereby Granted unto you to be by him or them respectively exercised and enjoyed untill the returne of you our Governor or of our Lieutenant Governor or the Arrival or Constitucio͞n of such other Governour as shall be thereupon Comissionated and appointed by Us And Our Will and Pleasure is that you the said Joseph Dudley shall and may hold execute and enjoy the Office and place of Our Captaine General and Governour in Cheif in and over our said Province and Territories of the Massachusets Bay in New England with all and singular the Powers and Authorities hereby granted unto you for and dureing our Will and Pleasure. And whereas there are diverse Colonies adioyning to our Province of the Massachusets Bay for the Defence and Security Whereof it is requisite that due care be taken in the time of Warr Wee have therefore thought it further necessarye for Our Service and for the better protection and Security of our subjects Inhabiting those parts to Constitute and appoint And Wee do by these Presents Constitute and Appoint you the said Joseph Dudley to be Our Captaine Generall and Comander in Cheif of the Militia and of all the Forces by Sea and Land within our Colonies of Rhode Island and Providence Plantaco͞n and the Narraganset Country or King’s Province 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 our said Colonies of Rhode Island and Providence Plantacon and the Narraganset Countrey or King’s Province Wee doe hereby give and Grant unto you the said Joseph Dudley and in your absence to our Lieutenant Governor or Commander in Cheif of Our Province of Massachusets Bay, all and every the like Powers as in these presents are before Granted and Recited for the Ruling Governing and Ordering Our Militia and all our Forces Forts and Places of Strength within Our Province of the Massachusets Bay to be exercised by you the said Joseph Dudley and in your absence from our Territory and Dominion of New England by our said Lieutenant Governour or Commander in Cheif of our said Province of the Massachusets Bay for the time being within our said Colonies of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation and the Narraganset Countrey or King’s Province for and dureing our Pleasure. In Witness &c. Witness our selfe at Westminster the thirteenth day of February
— Public Record Office, Patent Roll, 14 William III, No. 2.