Charter of Massachusetts Bay, 1629

Read the small print… The whole thing is small print.

Charter of Massachusetts Bay, 1629

  • The governor, company & their successors agree that from now on, there’ll be one governor, one deputy governor & 18 assistants to be chosen from the freemen within the company
    • This election will order general business & affairs of the territory under its charter granted by the Crown
    • The first governor will be Mathewe Cradock & first deputy governor, Thomas Goff with many other representatives below them
    • The governor of the company can call the council to consult & advise at least once a month to hold a court or assembly to deal with business as needed
      • At least 4x a year there’ll be a general assembly held for great & general courts
      • The governor, deputy governor & 6 assistants will choose officers that they feel are up to the task of carrying out laws & ordinances which are in line with English law
  • Once a year, the governor, deputy governor, assistants & officers will be newly chosen by the majority of the company
    • If one of the elected should die or be removed from office, before election day, a special election will occur to vote for the vacated positions
    • Elected officers & representatives will take on an oath for due & faithful performance of the job before starting
    • All officers, representatives & subjects of the colony, & those on the way, including their children will have all liberties & immunities of free & natural subjects as they would be in England
    • The governor, deputy governor & 2 or more assistants can administer the oath as needed
    • The governor, deputy governor, assistants or freeman can assemble general or special courts. The governor, deputy governor & 6 assistants or a majority of the freemen can call an assembly to make & establish reasonable orders, laws, statutes, ordinances, directions, instructions all in line with English laws including how to order elections, enforce laws & deal with officers & representatives dying or being removed from office, administering oaths, electing officers, imposing fines & imprisoning – all for the direction, ruling of the inhabitants to live religiously, peacefully & civilly, as well as to convert natives to our religion & culture
    • All laws, ordinances & rulings will be executed in the name of the company, the governor, deputy governor, assistants, freeman & the king according to the letters patents
    • We understand the limits of these functions & allow our government to correct, punish, pardon & govern subjects within the various parts of New England

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