There are four documents commonly known as the "Charter Documents". The first two are leases from James, the Duke of York to William Penn, dated August 24, 1682, conveying the town of New Castle, the land within a twelve-mile radius of the town, and the land south of the southernmost part of the radius to Cape "Lopen" for 5 shillings for the New Castle and beyond the radius 1 rose for the southern part, to be paid yearly at the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel. The third document is the deed of feoffment from York to Penn for New Castle and the land within the 12 mile radius. The final document is a "Charter" deed from Charles II to James, the Duke of York for the entire territory now known as Delaware , dated March 22, 1682. It is this set of documents that has many times in the past and continue to establish & protect Delaware's boundaries & its resources.
CHARLES THE SECOND BY THE GRACE of God of England Scotland France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith &c TO ALL to whom these prsents shall come greetine KNOW YEE that wee for divers good causes and consideracons us thereonto moving of our especiall Grace certaine knowledge and meer mocon have given and granted and by these prsents for us our heires and Successors Doe give and grant unto our dearest Brother James Duke of Yorke his heires and Assignes All that the Towne of Newcastle otherwide called Delaware and fort therein or therunto belonging acituate lying and being between Maryland and New Jersey in America and all that Tract of land lying within the Compasse or Circle of twelve miles about the said Towne Scituate lying and being upon the River of Delaware and all Islands in the said River of Delaware and the said River and Soyle thereof lying North of the Southermost part of the said Circle of twelve miles about the said Towne And all that Tract of Land upon Delaware River and Bay beginning twelve miles South from the said Towne of Newcastle otherwise called Delaware and extending South to Cape Lopen togeather with all the lands Islands Soyle Rivers Harbors Mines Mineralls Quarries Woods Marshes Waters Lakes fishings hawkings huntings and fowlings and all other Royalties Proviledges profitts Comodities and hereditamts to the said Towne fort Tracts of land Islands and prmisses or to any or either of them belonging or apperteyning with their and every of their appurtenances Scituate lying and being in America And all our estate right title interest benefitt advantage Clayme and demand whatsoever of in or to the said Towne fort lands and prmisses or any parte or parcell thereof and the Revercon and Revercons remainder and remainders thereof together with the yeerly and other rents revenues and profitts of the prmisses and of every part and parcell thereof TO HAVE and to hold the said Towne of Newcastle otherwise called Delaware and fort and all and singular the said lands and prmisses with their and every of their appurtenances hereby given and granted or herein before menconed to be given and granted unto our siad dearest Brother James Duke of Yorke his heires and Assignes forever To be holden of us our heires and Successors as of our Manor of East Greenwich in our County of Kent in free and Comon Soccage and not in Capite or by Knights Service YEELDING and rendering and the said James Duke of Yorke for himselfe his heires and assignes Doth Covenant and promise to yeeld and render unto us our heires and Successors of and for the same yeerly and every yeer foure Bever skinns when the same shalbe demanded or within ninety dayes after such demand made AND WEE do further of our especiall grace certaine knowledge and meer mocon for us our heires and Successors give and grant unto our said dearest Brother James Duke of Yorke his heires Deputies Agents Commissioners and assignes by these prsents full and absolute power and authority to correct punish pardon governe and rule all such the subject of us our heires and Successors or any other person or persons as shall from time to time adventure themselves into any the Ports and places aforesaid or that shall or doe at any time hereafter inhabit within the same according to such Lawes orders ordinances direcons and instruccons as by our said dearest brother of his asssigns shalbe established and in defect thereof in cases of necessity according to the good discrecon of his Deputies Comissioners Officers or assigns respectively aswell in all cases and Matters Capitall and Criminall as Civill both marine and others soe alwaies as the said Statutes ordinances and proceedings bee not contrary but as neer as may bee agreeable to the Lawes Statutes and government of this our Realme of England And saving and reserving to us our heires and Successors the receiving hearing and determining of the Appeale & Appeales of all or any person or persons of in or belonging to the Towne fort lands and prmisses aforesaid or touching any Judgement or Sentence to be there made or given And further that it shall and may bee lawfull to and for our said dearest Brother his heires and assignes by these prsents from time to time to nominate and make constitute ordeyne and confirme such lawes as aforesaid by such name or names stile or stiles as to him or them shall seem good and likewise to revoke discharge change and alter aswell all and singuler Governors Officers and Ministers which hereafter shalbe by him or them thought fitt and needfull to bee made or used within the aforesaid Towne fort lands and prmisses and also to make ordeyn and establish all manner of lawes orders direccons Instruccons formes and ceremonies of Government and Magistracy fitt and necessary for and concerning the government of the said Town forte lands and prmisses So Slwayes as the same be not contrary to the Lawes and Statutes of this our Realme of England but as neare as may bee agreeable thereunto and the same at all times thereafter to putt in Execucon or abrogate revoke or change not only within the precints of the said Towne fort lands and prmisses but also upon the Seas in going and comeing to and from the same as he or they in their good discrecon shall think fittest for the good of the Adventurers and Inhabitants AND WEE do further of our especiall grace certeine knowledge and meere mocon grant ordeyne and declare that such Governors Deputies Officers and Ministers as from time to tyme shall be authorized and appointed in manner and forme aforesaid shall and may have full power and authority within the said Towne fort lands and prmisses to use and exercise martiall law in cases of Rebellion Insurreccon and mutiny in as large and ample manner as our Lieftenants in our Counties within our Realme of England have or ought to have by force of their Comission of Lieftenancie or any law or Statute of this our Realme AND WEE do further by these prsents for us our heires and Successors grant unto our said dearest brother James Duke of Yorke his heires and assignes that it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said James Duke of Yorke his heires and assignes in his or their descrecons from time to time to admitt such and so many person or persons to trade and traffic into and within the said Towne fort lands and prmisses and into every and any part or parcell thereof and to have possesse and enjoy any lands and hereditaments in the parts and places aforesaid as they shall thinke fitt according to the lawes orders constitucons and ordinances by our said Brother his heires deputies Comissioners and assignes from time to time to be made and established by vertuc of and according to the true intent and meaning of these prsents and under such Condicons reservacons and agreemts. As our said dearest brother his heires and assignes shall sett downe order direct and appoint and not otherwise as aforesaid AND WEE do further of our especiall grace certeine knowledge and meer mocon for us our heires and Successors Give and grant unto our said dearest brother his heires and assignes by these prsents that it shall and may be lawfull to and for him them or any of them at all and every time and times hereafter out of any of our Realmes or Dominions whatsoever to take load carry and transport in and into their voyages for and towards the plantacon of the said Towne fort lands and prmisses all such and so many of Our loving subjects or any other Strangers being not prohibited or under restraint that will become our loving Subjects and live under our allegiance and shall willingly accompany them in the said Voyages together with all such Clothing Implements furniture or other things usually transported & not prohibited as shalbe necessary for the Inhibitants of the said Towne fort lands & Prmisses and for their use & defence thereof and manageing & carrying on the trade with the people there and in passing 7 returning to & fro YEELDING AND PAYING unto us our heires and Successors the customes & duties therefor due & payable according to the lawes & customes of this our Realm AND WEE do also for us our heires & Successors grant to our said dearest brother James Duke of York his heires & assignes and to all & every such Governor & Governors deputy or deputies or their officers or ministers as by our said Brother his heires or assignes shalbe appointed to have power & authority of Government & Comand in and over the Inhabitants of the said Town fort lands & Prmisses that they & every of them shall & lawfully may from time to time and at all tymes forever hereafter for their Severall defence & safety encounter repulse & expell & resist by force of armes aswell by Sea as by land and all waies & meanes whatsoever all such person & psons as without the speciall licence of our said dearest brother his heires or assignes shall attempt to settle and inhabit within the severall prcincts & limitts of the said Towne fort lands & prmisses and also all & every such person & psons whatsoever as shall enterprize & attempt at any time hereafter the destruccon Invasion detriment or annoyances to the parts places Towne fort lands & prmisses aforesaid or any part thereof AND LASTLY our will and pleasure is and Wee do hereby declare and grant that these our Letters Patents or the Enrollment thereof shalbe good & effectuall in law to all intents and purposes whatsoever NOTWITHSTANDING the not well and true reciting or meconing of the prmisses or any part thereof or the limitts or bounds thereof or of any former or other Letters patents or Grants whatsoever made or granted of the prmisses or of any part thereof by us or any of our progenitors unto any persons whatsoever Bodies politique or Corporate or any other law or other restreint incerteinty or impfeccon whatsoever to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding ALTHOUGH expresse mencon of the true yeerly value or certeinty of the prmisses or any of them or of other Guifts or Grants by us or any of our Progenitors or Predecessors to the said James Duke of Yorke theretofore made in these prsents is not made or any Statute Act Ordinance Provision Proclamacon or restreint to the contrary thereof had made published ordeyned or provided or any other cause matter or thing whatsoever in any wise notwithstanding IN WITTNESSE whereof wee have caused these our Letters to bee made patents WITTNESSE Ourselfe att Westminster the tow and twentieth day of March in the five and thirtieth yeare of our Reigne.
By writt of Privy Seale
(Seal on ribbons or cords.) Pigott
RG 0000.006 Charter Documents