Major Andros appointed governor at New-York; Takes possession at Delaware;

Arrival of the first English settlers to West-Jersey, under the duke of

York's title; Lord Berkely assigns his moiety of New-Jersey to Byllinge,

and he in trust to others; Their letter and first commission; New-Jersey

divided into the provinces, East and West-Jersey; and the declaration of

the West-Jersey proprietors.


About the month of October 1674, Major Edmund Andros 1 arrived governor,

under the duke of York; he soon after authorized Captain Cantwell and

William Tomm, to take possession of the fort and stores at New-Castle, for

the king's use, pursuant to the late treaty of peace, and to take such

other measures for their settlement and repose at New-Castle, the Hoar-

kills, and other parts of Delaware, as they thought best; requiring them

to comport themselves towards the neighbouring colonies in an amicable

manner. This done, he published a proclamation in the words following:


"Whereas it hath pleased his majesty and his royal highness, to send me

with authority, to receive this place and government from the Dutch, and

to continue in the command thereof under his royal highness, who hath not

only taken care for our future safety and defence, but also given me his

commands for securing the rights and properties of the inhabitants, and

that I should endeavour by all fitting means, the good and weilfare of

this province, and dependencies under his government; that I may not be

wanting in any thing that may conduce thereunto, and for the saving of the

trouble and charge hither, for the satisfying themselves in such doubts as

might arise concerning their rights and properties upon the change of

government, and wholly to settle the minds of all in general, I have

thought fit to publish and declare, that all former grants, privileges or

concessions heretofore granted, and all estates legally possessed by any

under his royal highness, before the late Dutch government, (as also all

legal judicial proceedings during that government, to my arrival in these

parts) are hereby confirm'd, and the possessor by virtue thereof, to

remain in quiet possession of their rights: It is hereby further declared,

that the known book of laws formerly established and in force under his

royal highness's government, is now again confirmed by his royal highness;

the which are to be observed and practised, together with the manner and

time of holding courts therein mentioned as heretofore; and all

magistrates and civil officers belonging thereunto, to be chosen and

established accordingly. Given under my hand in New-York, this 9th day of

November, in the twenty-sixth year of his majesty's reign, annoque domini



Andros being now seated in his government, we shall leave him, and take a

view of other matters: First respecting the arrival of a few passengers

from England to West-Jersey: One moiety or half part of the province of

New-Jersey, belonged to the lord Berkeley, and now about was sold to John

Fenwick, in trust for Edward Byllinge and his assigns. Fenwick in 1675,

set sail to visit the new purchase in a ship from London, called the

Griffith; arriving after a good passage, he landed at a pleasant rich

spot, situate near Delaware, by him called Salem, probably from the

peaceable aspect it then bore. He brought with him two daughters, and many

servants, two of which, Samuel Hedge and John Adams, afterwards married

his daughters; other passengers were, Edward Champness, Edward Wade,

Samuel Wade, John Smith and wife, Samuel Nichols, Richard Guy, Richard

Noble, Richard Hancock, John Pledger, Hipolite Lufever, and John Matlock;

these, and others with them, were masters of families. This was the first

English ship that came to West-Jersey, and none followed for near two

years, owing probably to a difference between Fenwick and Byllinge.


But this difference being settled to the satisfaction of both parties, by

the good offices of William Penn, Byllinge agreed to present his interest

in the province of New-Jersey, to his creditors, as all that he had left,

towards their satisfaction, and desird Penn to join Gawen Lawrie and

Nicholas Lucas (two of his creditors) and they together to be trustees:

Penn at first unwilling, was by the importunity of some of the creditors,

prevailed on; and with the others accepting the charge, they became

trustees for one moiety or half part of the province; which tho' yet

undivided, necessity pressing, they soon sold a considerable number of

shares of their propriety to different purchasers, who thereupon became

proprietors (according to their different shares) in common with them; and

it being necessary that some scheme should be fallen upon, as well for the

better distribution of rights to land, as to promote the settlenient, and

ascertain a form of government; concessions were drawn, mutually agreed

on, and signed by some of the subscribers,2 (for they did not all sign at

once). It was next the business of the proprietors, who held immediately

under lord Berkely, to procure a division of the province, which after

some time was effected; and then as an expedient for the present well

ordering matters, they wrote the following letter:


"Richard Hartshorne.


"London, 26th of the 6th month, 1676.


"We have made use of thy name in a commission and instructions, which we

have sent by James Wasse, who is gone in Samuel Groome's ship for

Maryland; a copy of which is here inclosed, and also a copy of a letter we

have sent to John Fenwick, to be read to him in presence of as many of the

people that went with him as may be; and because we both expect, and also

entreat, and desire thy assistance in the same we will a little shew

things to thee, that thou may inform not only thyself; but friends there;

which in short is as follows"


"1st. We have divided with George Carteret, and have sealed deeds of

partition, each to the other; and we have all that side on Delaware river

from one end to the other; the line of partition is from the east side of

little Egg Harbour, straight North, through the country, to the utmost

branch of Delaware river; with all powers, privileges, and immunities

whatsoever: ours is called New West-Jersey, his is called New East-Jersey.


"2d. We have made concessions by ourselves, being such as friends here and

there (we question not) will approve of; having sent a copy of them by

James Wasse; there we lay a foundation for after ages to understand their

liberty as men and christians, that they may not be brought in bondage,

but by their own consent; for we put the power in the people, that is to

say, they to meet and choose one honest man for each propriety, who hath

subscribed to the concessions; all these men to meet as an assembly there,

to make and repeal laws, to choose a governor, or a commissioner, and

twelve assistants, to execute the laws during their pleasure; so every man

is capable to choose or be chosen: No man to be arrested, condemned,

imprisoned, or molested in his estate or liberty, but by twelve men of the

neighbourhood: No man to lie in prison for debt, but that his estate

satisfy as far as it will go, and be set at liberty to work: No person to

be called in question or molested for his conscience, or for worshipping

according to his conscience; with many more thingrs mentioned in the said



"3. We have sent over by James Wasse, a commission under our hands and

seals, wherein we impower thyself; James Wasse and Richard Guy, or any two

of you, to act and do according to the instructions, of which here is a

copy; having also sent some goods, to buy and purchase some land of the



"4. We intend in the spring to send over some more commissioners, with the

friends and people that cometh there, because James Wasse is to return in

Samuel Groom's ship for England: for Richard Guy, we judge him to be an

honest man, yet we are afraid that John Fenwick will hurt him, and get him

to condescend to things that may not be for the good of the whole; so we

hope thou wilt ballance him to what is just and fair; that John Fenwick

betray him not, that things may go on easy without hurt or jar; which is

the desire of all friends; and we hope West Jersey will be soon planted;

it being in the minds of many friends to prepare for their going against

the spring.


"5. Having thus far given thee a sketch of things, we come now to desire

thy assistance, and the assistance of other friends in your parts; and we

hope it will be at length an advantage to you there, both upon truth's

account, and other ways; and in regard many families more may come over in

the spring to Delaware side, to settle and plant, and will be assigned by

us to take possession of their particular lots; we do entreat and desire,

that thou, knowing the country, and how to deal with the natives; we say,

that thee, and some other friends, would go over to Delaware side, as soon

as this comes to your hands, or as soon as you can conveniently; and James

Wasse is to come to a place called New-Castle, on the other side of

Delaware river, to stay for thee, and any that will go with him; and you

all to advise together, and find out a fit place to take up for a town,

and agree with the natives for a tract of land; and then let it be

surveyed and divided in one hundred parts; for that is the method we have

agreed to take, and we cannot alter it; and if you set men to work to

clear some of the ground, we would be at the charges; and we do intend to

satisfy thee for any charge thou art at, and for thy pains: This we would

not have neglected; for we know, and you that are there know, that if the

land be not taken up before the spring, that many people come over there,

the natives will insist on high demands, and so we shall suffer by buying

at dear rates, and our friends that cometh over, be at great trouble and

charges until a place be bought and divided; for we do not like the tract

of land John Fenwick hath bought, so as to make it our first settlement;

but we would have thee and friends there, to provide and take up a place

on some creek or river, that may lie nearer you, and such a place as you

may like; for may be it may come in your minds to come over to our side,

when you see the hand of the Lord with us; and so we can say no more, but

leave the thing with you, believing that friends there will have a regard

to friends settling, that it may be done in that way and method, that may

be for the good of the whole; rest thy friends,














"London, the 18th of 6th month called August, 1676.


"We whose names are hereunder subscribed, do give full power, commission

and authority, unto James Wasse, Richard Hartshorne and Richard Guy, or

any two of them, to act and do for us according to the following

instructions; and we do engage to ratify and confirm whatsoever they shall

do in prosecution of the same.


"1. We desire you to get a meeting with John Fenwick, and the people that

went with him, (but we would not have you tell your business,) until you

get them together; then show and read the deed of partition with George

Carteret; also the transactions between William Penn, Nicholas Lucas,

Gawen Lawrie, John Edridge and Edmond Warner, and then read our letter to

John Fenwick and the rest, and shew John Fenwick he hath no power to sell

any land there, without the consent of John Edridge and Edmond Warner.


"2. Know of John Fenwick, if he will be willing peaceably to let the

land he hath taken up of the natives be divided into one hundred parts,

according to our and his agreement in England, casting lots for the same,

we being willing that those who being settled and have cultivated ground

now with him, shall enjoy the same, without being turned out, although

they fall into our lots: Always provided, that we be reimbursed the like

value and quantity in goodness out of John Fenwick's lots: And we are

also content to pay our ninetieth parts of what is paid to the natives for

the same, and for what James Wasse hath purchased of John Fenwick,

and he setting out the same unto him, not being in a place to be allotted

for a town upon a river, but at a distance, and the said John Fenwick

allowing us the like value in goodness in some other of his lots; we are

willing he shall possess the same from any claiming by or under us; and

for the town lots we are willing he enjoy the same as freely as any

purchaser buying of us.


"3. Take informations from some that knows the soundings of the river and

creeks, and that is acquainted in the country, and when James Wasse is in

Maryland, he may enquire for one Augustin, who as we hear did found most

part of Delaware river and the creeks: He is an able surveyor; see to

agree with him to go with you up the river as far as over against New-

Castle, or further if you can, so far as a vessel of a hundred tun can go;

for we intend to have a way cut cross the country to Sandy-Hook; so the

further up the way, the shorter: and there, upon some creek or bay, in

some healthy ground, find out a place fit to make a settlement for a town;

and then go to the Indians, and agree with them for a tract of land about

the said place, of twenty or thirty miles long, more or less, as you see

meet, and as broad as you see meet. If it be to the middle, we care not;

only enquire if George Carteret, have not purchased some there already,

that so you may not buy it over again.


"4. Then lay out four or five thousand acres for a town; and if Agustin

will undertake to do it reasonably, let him do it; for he is the fittest

man; and if he think he cannot survey so much, being in the winter time,

then let him lay out the less for a town at present, if it be but two

thousand acres, and let him divide it in a hundred parts; and when it is

done, let John Fenwick, if he please, be there; however, let him have

notice: But however, let some of you be there, to see the lots cast fairly

by one person that is not concerned, The lots are from number one to a

hundred, and put the same numbers of the lots on the partition trees for



"5. If John Fenwick, and those concerned with him, be willing to join with

you in those things as above, which is just and fair, then he or any of

them, may go along with you in your business; and let them pay their

proportion of what is paid to the natives, with other charges: And so he

and they may dispose of their lots with consent of John Edridge and Edmund

Warner; which lots are, 20, 21, 26, 27, 36, 47, 50, 57, 63, 72.


"6. If John Fenwick and his people, refuse to let the land they have taken

up of the natives be divided, and refuse to join with you; you may let the

country know in what capacity John Fenwick stands, that he hath no power

over the persons or estates of any man or woman more than any other person.


"7. What land you take of the natives, let it be taken, viz. ninety parts

for the use of William Penn, Gawen Lawrie and Nicholas Lucas, and ten

parts for John Edridge and Edmond Warner.


"8. After you have taken the land as above, and divided for a town or

settlement, and cast lots for the same as above; then if any have a mind

to buy one or more proprieties, sell them at two hundred pound specie;

they taking their lots as theirs do; paying to you in hand the value of

fifty pounds in part of a propriety, and the rest on sealing their

conveyance in London; and so they may presently settle. When any of the

lots fall to us, that is to say, he that buyeth a propriety may settle on

any one lot of ninety parts; which said persons that buys, and what lots

falls to them, there they may settle, and acquaint us what numbers they

are; and if any will take land to them and their heirs forever, for every

acre taken up in a place laid out for a town, according to the concessions,

they are not to have above what shall fall by lot to a propriety in a town.


"9. What charges James Wasse is at, by taking up the land of the natives,

we do oblige to pay the same unto him again, with what profits is usual

there upon English goods; and he may pitch upon two lots, one in each

town; if they be taken up before he comes away, to his own proper use, for

his trouble and pains: And we do also engage to allow and pay what charges

any of our commissioners shall disburse in executing these our

instructions, to them or their assigns.


"10. Let us be advised by the first ship that cometh for England, of all

proceedings hereupon, and write to the friends at Sandy-Hook, letting them

know how things are, and that we have divided with George Carteret, and

that our division is all along on Delaware river; and that we have made

concessions by ourselves, which we hope will satisfy friends there. If

John Fenwick, or any of the people with him, desire a copy of the deed of

partition, let them have it.


"11. We desire that our original deed may be kept in your own custody,

that it may be ready to shew unto the rest of the commissioners, which we

intend to send over in the spring, with full power for settling things,

and to lay out land, and dispose upon it, and for the settling some method

of government according to the concessions.


"12. If you cannot get Augustin to go with you or that he be unreasonable

in his demands; then send a man to Thomas Bushroods, at Essex lodge, in

York river, for William Elliot, who writes to Gawin Lawrie this year, and

offered himself to be surveyor, and tell him you had orders from said

Lawrie to send for him, and take him with you. He will be willing to be

there all winter, and will survey and do other things. He had a good

character in Virginia, but was not able to keep it; he is a fair

conditioned sober man: Let him stay there all winter, and order him

something to live upon.


"13. If the said Elliot go with you, give him directions what to do. If

you cannot stay 'till a place for a town be surveyed, yet we think you may

stay until you have not only pitched upon a place for a town, but also

upon a place for a second town and settlement, and have marked out the

place round about there, and let William Elliot divide both, which no

doubt but he may do before the spring, that we send over more

commissioners and people; and if John Fenwick be willing to go on

jointly with you there, his surveyor may go along and help ours, and the

charges shall be brought in for both proportionably on all. Mind this, and

speak to Richard Guy, or Richard Hartshorne, and leave orders with them to

let William Elliot have provisions for himself 'till spring, and we shall

order them satisfaction for the same; and if there be no house near the

place you take up for the surveyors to lodge in, then let there be a

cottage built for them on the place, and we will allow the charges.


"14. And whereas there is tackling there already, for fitting of a sloop,

as we judge, in the custody of Richard Guy: We also give you power if you

see meet, and that it be of necessary use and advantage for the whole

concern, you may order these ship-carpenters to build a sloop suitable for

these materials, and appoint them some provision for their food, and for

the rest of their wages they shall either have it in a part of the sloop,

or be otherwise satisfied in the spring of the year; the said sloop to be

ordered and disposed upon by you until more commissioners come over with

further instructions.


"15. For the goods we have sent over with James Wasse are to be disposed

of for purchasing land from the natives or otherwise as need is, giving us

account thereof.







The instrument for dividing the province being agreed on by Sir George

Carteret on the one part, and the said E. Byllinge, William Penn, Gawen

Lawrie, and Nicholas Lucas on the other, they together signed a

Quintipartite deed, dated the first day of July 1676. 3


The line of division being thus far settled, each took their own measures

for further peopling and improving their different shares. Sir George

Carteret had greatly the advantage respecting improvements, his part being

(as we have seen) already considerably peopled: The western proprietors,

soon published a description of their moiety; on which many removed

thither: But lest any should not sufficiently weigh the importance of this

undertaking, and for other reasons, the three principal proprietors

published the following cautionary epistle:


"Dear friends and brethren,


"In the pure love and precious fellowship of our Lord Jesus Christ, we

very dearly salute you: Forasmuch as there was a paper printed several

months since, entitled, The description of New-West-Jersey, in the which

our names were mentioned as trustees for one undivided moiety of the said

province: And because it is alledged that some, partly on this account,

and others apprehending, that the paper by the manner, of its expression

came from the body of friends, as a religious society of people, and not

from particulars, have through these mistakes, weakly concluded that the

said description in matter and form might be writ, printed and recommended

on purpose to promp and allure people, to dis-settle and transplant

themselves, as it's also by some alledged: And because that we are

informed, that several have on that account, taken encouragement and

resolution to transplant themselves and families to the said province; and

lest any of them (as is feared by some) should go out of a curious and

unsettled mind, and others to shun the testimony of the blessed cross of

Jesus, of which several weighty friends have a godly jealousy upon their

spirits; lest an unwarrantable forwardness should act or hurry any beside

or beyond the wisdom, and counsel of the lord, or the freedom of his light

and spirit in their own hearts, and not upon good and weighty grounds: It

truly laid hard upon us, to let friends know how the matter stands; which

we shall endeavour to do with all clearness and fidelity.


"1. That there is such a province as New-Jersey is certain.


"2. That it is reputed of those who have lived and have travelled in

that country, to be wholesome of air and fruitful of soil, and capable of

sea trade, is also certain; and it is not right in any to despise or

dispraise it, or disswade those that find freedom from the Lord, and

necessity put them on going.


"3. That the duke of York sold it to those called lord Berkeley, baron of

Stratton, and Sir George Carteret, equally to be divided between them, is

also certain.


"4. One moiety or half part of the said province, being the right of the

said lord Berkeley, was sold by him to John Fenwick, in trust for Edward

Byllinge, and his assigns.


"5. Forasmuch as E. B. (after William Penn had ended the difference

between the said Edward Byllinge and John Fenwick) was willing to present

his interest in the said province to his creditors, as all that he had

left him, towards their satisfaction, he desired William Penn (though

every way unconcerned) and Gawen Lawrie and Nicholas Lucas, two of his

creditors, to be trustees for performance of the same; and because several

of his creditors, particularly and very importunately, pressed William

Penn to accept of the trust for their sakes and security; we did all of us

comply with those and the like requests, and accepted of the trust.


"6. Upon this we became trustees for one moiety of the said province, yet

undivided: And after no little labour, trouble and cost, a division was

obtained between the said Sir George Carteret and us, as trustees: The

country is situated and bounded as is expressed in the printed description.


"7. This now divided moiety is to be cast into one hundred parts, lots, or

proprieties; ten of which upon the agreement made betwixt E. Byllinge and

J. Fenwick, were settled and conveyed unto J. Fenwick, his executors and

assigns, with a considerable sum of money, by way of satisfaction for what

he became concerned in the purchase from the said lord Berkely, and by him

afterwards conveyed to John Edridge and Edmond Warner, their heirs and



"8. The ninety parts remaining are exposed to sale, on the behalf of

the creditors of the said E. B. And forasmuch as several friends are

concerned as creditors, as well as others, and the disposal of so great a

part of this country being in our hands; we did in real tenderness and

regard to friends, and especially to the poor and necessitous, make

friends the first offer; that if any of them, though particularly those

that being low in the world, and under trials about a comfortable

livelihood for themselves and families, should be desirous of dealing for

any part or parcel thereof, that they might have the refusal.


"9. This was the real and honest intent of our hearts, and not to prompt

or allure any out of their places, either by the credit our names might

have with our people throughout the nation, or by representing the thing

otherwise than it is in itself.


"As for the printed paper sometime since set forth by the creditors, as a

description of that province; we say as to two passages in it, they are

not so clearly and safely worded as ought to have been; particularly, in

seeming to limit the winter season to so short a time; when on further

information, we hear it is sometime longer and sometime shorter than

therein expressed; and the last clause relating to liberty of conscience,

we would not have any to think, that it is promised or intended to maintain

the liberty of the exercise of religion by force and arms; though we shall

never consent to any the least violence on conscience; yet it was never

designed to encourage any to expect by force of arms to have liberty of

conscience fenced against invaders thereof.


"10. And be it known unto you all, in the name and fear of Almighty God,

his glory and honour, power and wisdom, truth and kingdom, is dearer to us

than all visible things; and as our eye has been single, and our heart

sincere to the living God, in this as in other things; so we desire all

whom it may concern, that all groundless jealousies may be judged down and

watehed against, and that all extremes may be avoided on all hands by the

power of the Lord; that nothing which hurts or grieves the holy life of

truth in any that goes or stays, may be adhered to; nor any provocations

given to break precious unity.


"This am I, William Penn, moved of the Lord, to write unto you, lest any

bring a temptation upon themselves or others; and in offending the Lord,

slay their own peace: Blessed are they that can see, and behold him their

leader, their orderer, their conductor and preserver, in staying or going:

Whose is the earth and the fullness thereof, and the cattle upon a

thousand hills. And as we formerly writ, we cannot but repeat our request

unto you, that in whomsoever a desire is to be concerned in this intended

plantation, such would weigh the thing before the Lord, and not headily or

rashly conclude on any such remove; and that they do not offer violence to

the tender love of their near kindred and relations; but soberly and

conscientiously endeavour to obtain their good wills, the unity of friends

where they live; that whether they go or stay, it may be of good favour

before the Lord (and good people) from whom only can all heavenly and

earthly blessings come. This we thought good to write for the preventing

of all misunderstandings, and to declare the real truth of the matter; and

so we commend you all to the Lord, who is the watchman of his Israel. We

are your friends and brethren.





1 He was afterwards knighted; he bore the unfavourable character of an

arbitrary governor, who made the will of his despotic master (James ii.)

and not the law, the chief rule of his conduct.


2 Appendix numb. ii.


3 Vid. Grants, concessions, &c. publishd by A. Leaming and J. Spicer. p.

61, &c.