Citation:
Royal Charter Incorporating the Hudson's Bay Company, 1680


The Royal Chyarter for incorporating The Hudsonís Bay Company, A.D. 1670.


Charles the Second By the grace of God King of England Scotland France and Ireland defender of the faith &c To All to whome these presentes shall come greeting WHEREAS Our Deare and entirely Beloved Cousin Prince Rupert Count Palatyne of the Rhyne Duke of Bavaria and Cumberland &c Christopher Duke of Albemarle William Earle of Craven Henry Lord Arlington Anthony Lord Ashley Sir John Robinson and Sir Robert Vyner Knightes

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have at theire owne great cost and charge undertaken an EXPEDITION for Hudsons Bay in the North west part of America for the discovery of a new Passage into the South Sea and for the finding some Trade for Furrs Mineralls and other considerable Commodityes and by such theire undertakeing have already made such discoveryes as doe encourage them to proceed further in pursuance of theire said designe by meanes where of there may probably arise very great advantage to us and our Kingdome AND WHEREAS the said undertakers for theire further encouragement in the said designe have humbly besought us to Incorporate them and grant unto them and theire successors the sole Trade and Commerce of all those Seas Streightes Bays Rivers Lakes Creekes and Soundes in whatsoever Latitude they shall bee that lye within the entrace of the Streightes common called Hudsons Streightes together with all the Landes Countryes and Territoryes upon the Coastes and Confynes of the Soundes aforesaid which are not now actually possed by any of our Subjectes or by the Subjectes of any other Christian Prince or State. NOW KNOW YEE that Wee being desirous to promote all Endeavours tending to the publique good of our people and to encourage the said undertakeing of our people and to encourage the said undertakeing HAVE of our especiall grace certaine knowledge and meere mocion Given granted ratifyed and confirmed And by these Presentes for us our heires and Successors DOE give grant ratifie and confirme unto our said Cousin Prince Rupert Christopher Duke of Albemarle William Earle of Craven Henry Lord Arlington Anthony Lord Ashley Sir John Robinson Sir Robert Vyner

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That they and such others as shall be admitted into the said Society as is hereafter expressed shall bee one Body Corporate and Politique in deed and in name by the name of the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudsons Bay and them by the name of the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England tradeling into Hudsons Bay one Body Corporate and Politique in deede and in name really and fully for ever for us our heirs and successors WEE do by these Presentes and that by the same name of Governor & Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudsons Bay they shall have perpetuall succession And that they and theire successors by the name of the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England tradeing into Hudsons Bay bee and at all tymes hereafter shall bee persons able and capable in Law to have purchase receive posesse enjoy and reteyne Landes Rentes priviledges libertyes Jurisdiccions Franchyses and hereditamentes of what kinde nature and quality soever they bee to them and theire Successors And alsoe to give grant demise alien assigne and dispose Landes Tenementes and hereditamentes and to doe and execute al and singuler other thinges by the same name that to them shall or may apperteyne to doe. And that they and theire Successors by the name of the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Tradeing into Hudsons Bay may pleade and bee impleaded in whatsoever Courtes and places before whatsoever Judges and Justices and other persons and Officers in all and singuler Accions Pleas Suitts Quarrells causes and demandes whatsoever of whatsoever kinde nature or sort in such manner and forme as any other our Liege people of this our Realme of England being persons able and capable in Lawe may or can have purchase receive possesse enjoy reteyne give grant demise alien assigne dispose pleade defend and bee defended doe permitt and execute

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And for the better execucion of our will and Grant in this behalfe Wee HAVE ASSIGNED nominated constituted and made And by these presentes for our heires and successors WEE DOE ASSIGNe nominate constitute and make our said Cousin Prince Rupert to bee the first and present Governor of the sand Company and to continue in the said Office from the date of these presentes untill the tenth of November then next following if hee the said Prince Rupert shall soe long live and soe untill a new Governor bee chosen by the said Company in forme hereafter expressed

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And to the end the said Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Tradeing into Hudsons Bay may bee encouraged to undertake and effectually to prosecute the said designe of our more especial grace certaine knowledge and meere Mocion WEE HAVE given granted and confirmed And by these presentes for us our heires and successors DOE give grant and confirme unto the said Governor and Company and theire successors the sole Trade and Commerce of all those Seas Streightes Bayes Rivers Lakes Creekes and Soundes in whatsoever Latitude they shall bee that lie within the entrance of the Streightes commonly called Hudsons Streightes together with all the Landes and Territoryes upon the Countryes Coastes and confynes of the Seas Bayes Lakes Rivers Creekes and Soundes aforesaid that are not already actually possessed by or granted to any of our Subjectes or possessed by the Subjectes of any other Christian Prince or State with the Fishing of all Sortes of Fish Whales Sturgions and all other Royall Fishes in the Seas Bayes Isletes and Rivers within the premisses and the Fish therein taken together with the Royalty of the Sea upon the Coastes within the Lymittes aforesaid and all Mynes Royall aswell discovered as not discovered of Gold Silver Gemms and pretious Stones to bee found or discovered within the Territoryes Lymittes and Places aforesaid And that the said Land bee from henceforth reckoned and reputed as one of our Plantacions or Colonyes in America called Ruperts Land AND FURTHER WEE DOE by these presentes for us our heires and successors make create and constitue the said Governor and Company for the tyme being and theire successors the true and absolute Lordes and Proprietors of the same Territory lymittes and places aforesaid. And of all other the premisses SAVING ALWAYES the faith Allegiance and Soveraigne Dominion due to us our heires and successors for the same To HAVE HOLD possesse and enjoy the said Territory lymittes and places and all and singuler other the premisses hereby granted as aforesaid with theire and every of their Rightes Members Jurisdiccions Prerogatives Royaltyes and Appurtenances whatsoever to them the said Governor and Company of theire Successors for ever TO BEE HOLDEN of us our heires and successors

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AND FURTHER our will and pleasure is And by these presentes for us our heires and successors WEE DOE grant unto the said Governor and Company and to theire successors that itt shall and may be lawfull to and for the said Governor and Company and theire successors from tyme to tyme to assemble themselves for or about any the matters causes affaires or businesses of the said Trade in any place or places for the same convenient within our Dominions or elsewhere and there to hold Court for the said Company and the affaires thereof And that alsoe itt shall and may bee lawfull to and for them and the greater part of them being soe assembled and that shall then and there bee present in any such place or places whereof the Governor or his Deputy for the tyme being to bee one to make ordeyne and constitute such and soe many reasonable Lawes Constitucions Orders and Ordinances as to them or the greter part of them being then and there present shall seeme necessary and convenient for the good Government of the said Company and of all Governors of Colonyes Fortes and Plantacions Factors Masters Mariners and other Officers employed or to bee employed in any of the Territoryes and Landes aforesaid in any of theire Voyages and for the better advancement and contynuance of the said Trade or Traffic and Ordinances soe made to putt in use and execute accordingly and at theire pleasure to revoake and alter the same or any of them as the occasion shall require. And that the said Governor and Company soe often as they shall make ordeyne or establish any such Lawes Constitucions Orders and Ordinances in such forme as aforesaid shall and may lawfully impose ordeyne limitt and provide such paines penaltyes and punishmentes upon all Offenders contrary to such Lawes Constitucions Orders and Ordinances or any of them as to the said Governor and Company for the tyme being or the greater part of them then and there being present the said Governor or his Deputy being alwayes one shall seeme necessary requisite or convenient for the observaction of the same Lawes Constitucions Orders and Ordinances

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AND FURTHERMORE of our ample and abundant grace certaine knowledge and meere mocion WEE HAVE granted and by these presentes for us our heires and successors DOE grant unto the said Governor and Company and theire Successors That they and theire Successors and theire Factors Servantes and Agentes for them on theire behalfe and not otherwise shall for ever hereafter have use and enjoy not only the whole Entire and only Trade and Traffick and the whole entire and only liberty use and priviledge of tradeing and Trafficking to and from the Territory Lymittes and places aforesaid but alsoe the whole and entire Trade and Trafficke to and from all Havens Bayes Creekes Rivers Lakes and Seas into which they shall find entrace or passage by water or Land out of the Territoryes Lymittes or places aforesaid and to and with all the Natives and People Inhabitting or which shall inhabit within the Territoryes Lymittes and places aforesaid and to and with all other Nacions Inhabitting any of the Coaste adjacent to the said Territoryes Lymittes and places which are not already possessed as aforesaid or whereof the sole liberty or priviledge of Trade and Trafficke is not granted to any other of our Subjects

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WEE STREIGHTLY Charge Command and prohibitt for us our heires and Successors all the subjectes of us our heires and Successors of what degree or Quality soever they bee that none of them directly or indirectly doe visit haunt frequent or Trade Trafficke or Adventure by way of Merchandize into or from any the said Territoryes Lymittes or Places hereby granted or any or either of them other then the said Governor and Company and such perticuler persons as now bee or hereafter shall bee of that Company theire Agentes Factors and Assignes unlesse itt bee by the Lycence and agreement of the said Governor and Company in writing first and obteyned under theire Common Seale to bee granted upon paine that every such person or persons that shall Trade or Trqfficke into or from any the Countryes Territoryes or Lymittes aforesaid other then the said Governor and Company and theire Successors shall incurr our Indignaction and the forfeiture and the losse of the Goodes Merchandizes and other thinges whatsoever which soe shall bee brought into this Realme of England or any the Dominions of the same contrary to our said Prohibicion or the purport or true meaneing of these presentes for which the said Governor and Company shall finde take and seize in other places out of our Dominions where the said Company theire Agentes Factors or Ministers shall Trade Traffick inhabitt by vertue of these our Letters Patente

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WEE DOE for us our heires and successors grant to and with the said Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudsons Bay that all Landes Islandes Territoryes Plantacions Fortes Fortificacions Factoryes or Colonyes where the said Companyes Factoryes and Trade are or shall bee within any the Portes and Places afore lymitted shall be ymediately and from henceforth under the power and command of the said Governor and Company theire Successors and Assignes SAVING the faith and Allegiance due to bee performed to us our heires and successors as aforesaid and that the said Governor and Company shall have liberty full Power and authority to appoint and establish Governors and all other Officers to governe them. And that the Governor and his Councill and the severall and respective places where the said Company shall have Plantacions Fortes Factoryes Colonyes or Places of Trade within any the Countryes Landes or Territoryes hereby granted may have power to judge all persons belonging to the said Governor and Company or that shall live under them in all Causes whether Civill or Criminall according tot he Lawes of this Kingdome and to execute Justice accordingly. And in case any crime or misdemeanor shall be committed in any of the said Companyes Plantacions Fortes Factoryes or Places or Trade within the Lymittes aforesaid where Judicature cannot bee executed for want of a Governor or Council there then in such case itt shall and may be lawfull for the chiefe Factor of that place and his Councill to transmitt the party together with the offence to such other Plantaction Factory or Fort where there shall bee Governor and Councill where Justice may bee executed or into this Kingdome of England as shall bee thought most convenient there to receive such punishment as the nature of his offence shall deserve

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WEE DOE grant unto the said Governor and Company and to theire Successors full power and lawfull authority to seize upon the Persons of all such English or any other our Subjects which shall saile into Hudsons Bay or Inhabit in any of the Countryes Islandes or Territoryes hereby Granted to the said Governor and Company without theire leave and Licence in that Behalfe first had and obteyned or that shall contemne or disobey theire Orders and send them to England and that all and every Person and Persons being our Subjects any wayes Imployed by the said Governor and Company within any the Partes places and Lymittes aforesaid shall bee lyable unto and suffer such punnishment for any offences by them committed in the Partes aforesaid as the President and Councill for the said Governor and Company there shall thinke fitt and the meritt of the offence shall require as aforesaid.

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IN WITNES WHEREOF WEE have caused these our Letters to bee made Patentes WITNES OURSELF at Westminster the second ay of may in the two and twentieth yeare of our Raigne

By Writt and Privy Seale

PIGOTT