RICHARD, EARL OF BELLOMONT’S COMMISSION AS GOVERNOR OF THE PROVINCE OF THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY
18 June, 1697
William the Third by the grace of God Ring of England Scotland France and Ireland Defender of the faith &c — To Our Right Trusty and Right Welbeloved Cousin Richard Earle of Bellomont Greeting
Whereas Wee have by Our Royall Charter under Our Great Seale of England bearing date the seventh day of October in the third yeare of Our Reigne united Erected and Incorporated the Colony of the Massachusets Bay the Colony of New Plymouth the Province of Main in New England the Territorie of Accadia or Nova Scotia and the lands lying between the said Territory of Nova Scotia and the province of Maine aforesaid into one reall Province by the name of Our Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England and haveing thereby granted to Our loveing Subjects the Inhabitants of our said Province or Territory of the Massachusetts Bay in New England and their Successors That there shall be a Governor a Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of our said Province and Territory to be from time to time appointed and Com̄issionated by us our heires and Successors with severall Priviledges Franchises and Im̄unities thereby granted to our said loveing Subjects Wee therefore reposeing especiall Trust and confidence in your Prudence Courage and loyalty out of our especiall grace certaine knowledge and meer moto͞n have thought fitt to Constitute and appoint and by these Presents doe Constitute and appoint you the said Richard Earle of Bellomont to be Our Captaine Generall and Governour in Cheife in and over our said Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England and for your better Guidance and direcc͞o͞n Wee doe hereby require and Com̄and 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 menc͞o͞ned in our said Charter and in these presents And such further Powers and Instrucco͞ns 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 lawes 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 Wee doe hereby Give and Grant unto 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 Fines or Forfeitures due vnto us fit Objects of Our mercie to Pardon all such Offenders and to remit such Fines and Forfeitures Treason and Wilful 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 vntill our Pleasure shall be further knowne And Wee doe hereby Give and Grant vnto you the said Richard Earle of Bellomont by your selfe your Captains and Commanders by you to be Authorized full power and Authority to levy arme muster Command or Employ all persons whatsoever Resideing within Our said Province and Territory of the Massachusetts Bay in New England as occasion shall Require them to Transferr from One Place to another for the Resisting and Withstanding of all Enemies Pyratts and Rebells both att Land and Sea and such Forces with their owne Consent or with the Consent of Our Councill 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 Attempts of any of Our Enemies and them if Occasion shall Require to pursue 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 preserve alive at your Discretion Wee doe further Give and Grant unto you full Power and Authority to Erect Raise and Build within Our Province and Territorie aforesaid such and so many Forts Platformes Castles and Fortifications as you shall Judge necessary And the same or any of them to Fortify and Furnish with Ordnance Ammunition and all Sorts of armes fit and necessary for the Security and Defence of Our said Province and from time to time to Commit the Government of the same to such Person or Persons as to you shall seem meet And the said Forts and Fortifications again to demolish96 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 other Our Captain Generall doth or hath usually done according to the Powers hereby Granted or to be Granted to you And Wee doe hereby Give and97 vnto you the said Richard Earle of Bellomont full Power and Authority to constitute and appoint Captains Masters and other Commanders of Shipps and to Grant vnto such Captains Masters and other Commanders of Shipps Commission to Execute the law martiall in time of Actuall Warr and Invasion or Rebellion and to vse such Proceedings Authorities Punishments Correction & Execution vpon any Offender or Offenders which shall be mutinous Seditious Disorderly or any way vnruly either at Sea or dureing the time of their abode or Residence in any of the Ports Harbors or Bays of Our said Province and Territory as the cause shall be found to Require according to Martiall Law Provided that nothing herein contained shall be Construed to the Enabling you or any by your Authority to hold Plea or have Jurisdiction of any Offence Cause matter or Thing committed or done upon the high sea or any the Havens Rivers or Creeks of our said Province or Territory by any Captain Com̄ander Lievtenant 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 the im̄ediate Com̄ission or Warrant from our Commissioners for Executeing the Office of Our High Admirall of England vnder the Seal of Our Admiralty or from Our High Admirall of England for the time being But that such Captain Commander lievtenant Master Officer Seaman Soldier and other Person so Offending shall be left to be proceeded against and Tryed as the Merit of their Offence shall Require either by Commission under Our Great Seale of England as the Statute of the twenty Eighth of Henry the Eighth directs or by Commission from Our High Admirall for the time being according to the Act of Parliament passed in the thirteenth year of the Reigne of Our Dearest Uncle King Charles the Second of Blessed Memory entituled an Act for the regulateing and better Government of his Majesties Navy Shipps of Warr and Forces by Sea and not otherwise Saving only and that it may be lawfull for you upon any such Captaine or Commander refuseing or neglecting to Execute or upon his neglect or undue 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 Captain or Com̄ander from the Exercise of his said Office of Commander and Committ him to safe custody either on Board his owne Shipp or elsewhere at your Discretion in Order to his being brought to Answer for the98 by Commission either vnder Our Great Seale of England or from Our High Admiral as is before expressed In which Case Our Will and pleasure is That the Captain or Commander by you Suspended shall dureing such his Suspension and Committment be succeeded in his said Office by such Commission or Warrant Officer of Our said Shipp appointed by Our Commissioners 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 and ought next to succeed him as in case of Death Sicknesse or other Ordinary disability happening to the Commanders of any of Our Shipps of Warr and not otherwise you standing alsoe accomptable to vs for the Truth and Importance of the Crime and Misdemeanors for which you shall so proceed to the Suspending of such Our Captain or Commander Provided alsoe that all Disorders and Misdemeanors committed on Board by any Captain Commander or lievtenant Master or other Officer Seaman Soldier or Person whatsoever belonging to any of our Shipps of Warr or other Vessells acting by im̄ediate Commission or Warrant from Our Commissioners for the 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 and punished according to the lawes 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 War or other Vessells acting by im̄ediate Commission or Warrant from Our Commissioners for Executeing the Office of Our High Admirall or from Our High Admirall as aforesaid Soe as he shall not Receive any Protection for the Avoiding of Justice for such Offences committed on Shoare from any pretence of his being employed in Our Service at Sea And further Our Will and Pleasure is that you shall not at any time hereafter by colour of any Power or Authority hereby granted or mentioned 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 which shall be Granted vnder the Great Seale of England any further than that you may upon the Vacancy of any such Office Suspension of any Officer by99 putt in any Person to Officiate in the Intervall until the said Place be Disposed by Us under the Great Seale of England or that Our Directions be otherwise Given therein And Wee doe 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 vnto you the said Richard Earle of Bellomont in the Execution of this Our Commission and of the Powers and Authorities therein contained and upon your Death or Absence and the Death or Absence of our said lievtenant Governor to Our Councill of Our said Province and Territory for the time being To whome Wee doe by these prsents 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 of Our lieutenant Governor or the Arrivall or Constitution of such other Governour as shall be thereupon Commissionated and appointed by Us And Our Will and Pleasure is That you the said Richard Earle of Bellomont shall and may hold Execute and Enjoy the Office and Place of Our Captain Generall and Governor 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 unto you for and dureing Our Will and Pleasure And Whereas there are divers Colonies 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 Wee have therefore thought it further necessary for Our Service and for the better Protection and Security of Our Subjects Inhabiting in those Parts to Constitute and Appoint and Wee doe by these prsents Constitute and Appoint You the said Richard Earle of Bellomont to be Our Captain Generall and Commander in Chief of the Militia and of all the Forces by Sea and land within Our Colonies of Connecticutt Rhode-Island Providence Plantation and the Narraganzett Countrey or Kings 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 Connecticut Rhode Island Providence Plantation and the Narragansett Countrey or Kings Province Wee doe hereby Give and Grant vnto you the said Richard Earle of Bellomont and in your Absence to Our lievtenant Governor or Commander in Chief of Our Province of the Massachusetts Bay all and every the like Powers as in these Presents are before granted and Recited for the ruleing Governing 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 Richard Earle of Bellomont and in your absence from Our Territorie and Dominion of New England by Our said lievtenant Governor or Commander in Chief of our said Province of the Massachusetts Bay within Our said Colonies of Connecticut Rhode Island Providence Plantation and the Narraganzett Countrey for and dureing Our Pleasure In Witness &c Witness our self at Westminster the eighteenth Day of June
De Concessione 1d Bellamont Commissionis
By Writt of Privy Seale
— Public Record Office, Patent Roll, 9 William III, Part 6, dorse, No. 3.