, Aberdeen, Scotland, Governor of East Jersey & Quaker Apologist  

The Barclay Bastion

Barclay, Robert Ury, Quaker, Stonehaven, Aberdeen, Scotland, East Jersey, Rowan CO NC see Clan Barclay, Barclay Bastion, Tyler County Genealogical Society, writings of Teddy Barclay Pope

Robert Barclay, Second Laird of Ury

The Governor of East Jersey, New Jersey and Quaker Apologist

1648 - 1690

By Teddy L. Barclay Pope Ed. D. and Dennise L Pope of Houston, Texas

May, 1999


It is my intent to write a more detailed paper about the life of Robert Barclay at some later date. This summary is for the purpose of providing information that may be used by the family researcher and informal historian interested in East Jersey, New Jersey and the Jersey Settlement and Jersey Church in Rowan County, North Carolina. It is hoped that it will provide clues for more extensive research for the serious researcher.

Disclaimer: This is not an official paper and is intended only for general interest. The contents are from numerous secondary sources, not the primary sources. It should not be for the purpose of proving anything official. It is not a scholarly endeavor and no recourses are included at this time. This paper is based on many hours of research and is a good faith effort at presenting the information about Robert Barclay of Ury. The writers are descendant hobby writers and are not genealogists. If the reader wants a documented paper it will not be found here. That is too much work for the writers at this time for the intent of this paper.


Robert Barclay of Ury, b. 1642 d. 1690, was the eldest son of Colonel David Barclay who was the first Laird of Ury. While in University at the Scot University of Paris where his uncle was a professor, Robert became involved with the Society of Friends called Quakers. Included were the other founders, George Fox and William Penn. At age 28, Robert Barclay wrote down the Quaker beliefs that came to be known by historians as Barclay's Apology. The Apology was presented to Charles II, the king of England and Scotland with whom the Barclays were in favor. The Apology is composed of 15 principles. It has been in continuous print by the Quakers to this day. It was mentioned in the witings of; Voltaire, John Wesley, William Penn, Fox, Benjamin Franklin, Dally and many family papers. The statement used by Barclay to Charles II was repeated to George III in the closing argument of Common Sense by Thomas Paine.

Charles II accepted the Quaker Apology and the persecution of the Society of Friends by the crown ceased in Scotland. Robert Barclay, his father David and a brother-in-law, along with about eight other Scotsmen of means, became proprietors of a grant from Charles II for the land in America called East Jersey. Robert and David promoted East Jersey in the Aberdeenshire area to nearby lowland Scots. Four shiploads of friends and neighbors went from the geographic area north of Edinburgh of Alberdeenshire to East Jersey to colonize and put in plantations. Many of them were Quakers. Later, Robert was appointed as the Governor of East Jersey for his lifetime. This governorship was performed by proxy, as Robert resided in Scotland. Robert's brother John did live in east Jersey and so did Robert's overseer, John Hampton. The Barclays of Ury had other business endeavors including a shipping business in Dublin. David Barclay, Robert's father, died in 1688. Robert Barclay, the second Laird of Ury, Quaker Apologist and Governor of East Jersey, died young at the age 42 of unknown causes to us now at this time.

The Scot colonies in East Jersey reverted to the crown of England shortly thereafter as the history of America evolved. Some of the descendants of Robert Barclay of Ury began the Barclay Bank in London which was a family operated business for 300 years. The Barclays of Ury maintained Ury for three more generations before their descendants went to London from where they came nine hundred years before.

The descendants of John Barclay and his sons were established in America to this day. The Barclay of Ury family are thought to be the ancestor family of Robert Barkley b. EST 1717 to 1723 married to Leah (likely Madison) of Rowan County North Carolina before 1756 through Margaret Kerr Barclay Brown and Mr. Unknown Barclay of New Jersey. This is a theory. Margaret Kerr, the daughter of Walter Kerr. lived in the East Jersey area and was the correct age. She had five or six children with Mr. Barclay with the usual Barclay names, which were repeated in Robert married to Leah's children. One source said that the Barclay descendants left Quakers by the generation of the grandchildren and were therefore no longer traceable through the records of the Quakers.

Information may be found about the life of Robert Barclay of Ury by searching; Barclay, Ury, Stonehaven, Aberdeen, Scotland, Quaker, East Jersey, Jersey Settlement, New Jersey, Jersey Settlement and church Rowan County North Carolina, Davidson county North Carolina, Clan Barclay, Barclay History and the Barclay Bastion and Tyler County Genealogical Society (Texas). The recommended search engine at the time of this writing is Google.com.

From Clan Barclay

This brief historical overview of the surname is the official history of the surname and is made available by Clan Barclay International. More information and details of family history can be obtained from:

Barclay, Leslie. The History of the Scottish Barclays, reprinted with an index and glossary by Carolyn L. Barkley, FSA Scot. Lovettsville, Va.: Willow Bend Books, 1995. (Purchase information may be requested by e-mail: willowbend@mediasoft.net ).

Roger de Berchelai came to England with William the Conqueror and was granted Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire. This early form of the name was believed to be the Anglo-Saxon version of 'beau' meaning beautiful, and 'lee', a meadow or field. Roger was mentioned in the Domesday Book as well as his son, John. In 1069 John de Berchelai accompanied Margaret (later St. Margaret) to Scotland. In gratitude for his service, King Malcolm (Canmore) granted him the lands of Towie, near Turriff, in Aberdeenshire, as well as the title, Barclay of that Ilk. 900 years of Barclay history in Scotland descend from John's three sons, Walter, Alexander, and Richard.

The Barclays formed important alliances and held land throughout the north-east of Scotland, principally Towie, Mathers, Gartley and Pierston in Aberdeenshire. They also settled in Banff, Collairnie in Fife, Brechin in Forfarshire and Stonehaven in Kincardineshire. One family line settled on the west coast in the Ardrossan and Kilbirnie areas in Ayrshire. Throughout Scotland, they played important roles in national affairs. Sir David Barclay was one of Robert the Bruce's chief associates and was present at many of his battles. Sir Walter de Berkeley, Gartley III, Lord Redcastle and Inverkeillor, was Great Chamberlain of Scotland 1165-1189. Alexander de Berkeley, Gartley IX, became Mathers I in 1351 when he married Katherine Keith, sister of the Earl Marischal. Their son Alexander was the first to adopt the Barclay form of the surname. Sir George Barclay, Gartley XIX, was Steward of the household of Mary, Queen of Scots, and a later Sir George was second in command of James IV forces in the Highlands in the 1689.

Barclays of Urie from Clan Barclay

One of the major Barclay families was established at Urie near Stonehaven in Kincardineshire. The first Laird, Colonel David Barclay, was a professional soldier serving with such armies as that of Gustavus Adolphus. He returned home when civil war broke out and serviced as a colonel of a regiment of horse fighting for the king. Following his retirement and the conclusion of the war, he was confined in Edinburgh Castle where he was converted to the Society of Friends (Quakers). His son Robert, Urie II, was widely known for his Apologia, described on the title page as being an Explanation and Vindication of the Principles and Doctrines of the People called Quakers. It was published in 1659 when Robert was twenty-seven, becoming widely influential, was then translated into all the European languages. He was friends with the leading Quakers of his day, George Fox and William Penn. Together, they were responsible for the idea of a city of brotherly love to be built in America. Instrumental in settling the east coast of the American colonies, Robert was appointed life governor by the proprietors of East New Jersey who granted him 5,000 acres of land. Robert's second son, David, left Urie and went to London and was apprenticed to a City Company where he became a merchant and a rich man. His second wife was the daughter of John Fream, goldsmith, whose premises in Lombard Street became a banking center as the site of the Barclay's Bank. Wealth, however, did not corrupt the family's strict Quaker principles. David acquired an estate in Jamaica, freeing the slaves there and teaching them trades many years before the passing of laws against the institution of slavery. He entertained George III at his house in London for one of the Lord Mayor's processions, and he and his family were excused from kneeling to the King due to their Quaker beliefs. He refused a knighthood and preferment for his son at Court saying that 'He preferred to bring up his sons in honest trades'.

The last Laird of Urie, Captain Robert Barclay-Allardyce (Allardyce added when he married an heiress of that name whose lands were added to those of Urie), was known as the Great Pedestrian. Many tales exists of his walks over the Scottish hills, such as his walk from Urie to Crathynaird (28 miles), staying less than an hour and then walking home again the same day. His most famous record, however, was that of walking 1,000 miles in 1,000 hours. This he accomplished over a measured mile on Newmarket Heath, subject of about 100,00 wagers and before large crowds. This feat was accomplished in 1809 and five days later, he embarked with his regiment for the Walcheren Expedition in the Napoleonic Wars.

The Barclays of Stonehaven

From the History of Stonehaven

Umfridus De Berkeley is first mentioned in 1178 as one charged ,by King William the Lion, to measure out land for the founding of the Abbey of Arbroath.
Changed to Barclay in the 15th century, connection with Stonehyve begins in 1648 when Colonel David Barclay attempted to purchase the nearby Ury Estate. However the then owner, the Earl Marischal, was arrested under religious persecution and his lands forfeit. Not perturbed, the Colonel successfully ran for Parliament and was promptly appointed trustee for all confiscated lands in Scotland. This allowed him to promote his case for ownership of Ury. He was however still supportive of the Earl Marischals family. A crime for which he was confined to prison. But in 1666, after 6 years imprisonment he was released and obtained a Charter from the King for the Barony of Ury.
Converted to Quakerism while in prison, David Barclay established Ury House as the organisations headquarters in N.E. Scotland for over 100 years. In which time he and others spent time in Stonehaven's Tolbooth Gaol for their beliefs. David Barclay died on 12th October 1686.
His eldest son was Robert Barclay, born in 1648 and also converted to Quakerism. Noted for writing the "Apology for the True Christian Divinity", detailing the principles the "Friends" beliefs. He later became Governor of New Jersey in America and in that office freed the Covenantors that had been transported in slavery to America for refusing the "Test Oath".
When "Robert the Apologist" as he was known died in 1690 his son, again Robert, enlarged the estate by a series of land exchanges with the Earl Marischal. He was survived by his son, "Robert the Strong". Reputed to have had Jacobean leanings but careful not to expose himself to accusation during the 1745 rebellion.
By far the most important Barclay was the fifth generation, Robert. He had a keen interest in agriculture and after the death of his father in 1760, worked for nearly 40 years to improve the quality of the land. This was achieved by draining and levelling large areas. Construction of dykes and ditches and the adoption of many farming techniques which were widely adopted in the surrounding area. In all over 2000 acres of arable land was cultivated by him in this way, and 1500 acres of wood planted. It is he we have to thank for the development of the Mearns as the foremost agricultural county it is today.
The last occupant of Ury House was Captain Robert Barclay-Allardice. After his death in 1854 the estate was sold to Alexander Baird of Gartsherrie. However Robert Barclay-Allardice did gain fame as a Hunter to Hounds, boxer and athlete. And is reputed to won a wager to walk 1000 miles in 1000 consecutive hours. This was achieved at Newmarket race course while wearing a tight fitting suit, cravat and hat. In 1822 the captain was forced, presumably due to a wager he did not win, to sell his famous herd of shorthorn cattle. But having kept a single cow was able to rebuilt his herd, again to sell it in 1847. Over the time of the Barclay interest in Ury and its ownership by Alexander Baird , the house itself was rebuilt no more than three times.

The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School

The Fundamental Constitutions for the 
Province of East New Jersey in America, 
Anno Domini 1683

Since the right of government, as well as soil, is in the four and twenty Proprietors, and that the same is confirmed to them a new by a late patent from James Duke of York pursuant to patent granted to Him from the King; the Proprietors for the well ordering and governing of the said Province, according to the powers conveyed to them, do grant and declare, that the government thereof shall be as followeth, VIZ.

I. That altho' the four and twenty Proprietors have formerly made choice of Robert Barclay, Esq: for Governor, during his natural life, and to serve by a deputy to be approved of by sixteen of the Proprietors, until he himself be upon the place, which is by these presents ratified and confirmed, to all intents and purposes: Yet after the decease of the said Robert Barclay, or by reason of His malverstation, the Proprietors shall find cause to divest him of the government, the four and twenty Proprietors shall choose a Governor; in order to which it shall be in the power of each of them to name one, and sixteen of the four and twenty shall determine it: which Governor shall be obliged to serve and reside upon the place, and shall only continue for three years; and if any shall directly or indirectly propound or advise the continuance for any longer time, or of new to choose him again, or his son, within the three years, it shall be esteemed a Straying of the publick liberty of the Province; and the actors shall be esteemed as publick enemies; and the said Governor that shall be so continued, shall be reputed guilty of the same not. only by reason of his acceptance of that continuation, but also by reason of any kind of solicitation which he may directly or indirectly have endeavoured. If the Governor so do die before the three years be expired, the Proprietors shall choose one to supply his place, for the time the other should held it, and no longer. Provided, that this limitation of three years above mentioned, do not extend to the Deputy Governor of Robert Barclay, for seven years after that passing of those constitutions, who may be for a longer time than three years, if the proprietors see meet.

II. That for the government of the Province, there shall be a great Council, to consist of the four and twenty proprietors, or their proxies in their absence, and one hundred forty-four to be chosen by the freemen of the Province. But forasmuch as there are not at present so many towns built as there may be hereafter, nor the Province divided into such counties as it may be hereafter divided into, and that consequently no certain division can be made how many shall be choser for each town and county; at present four and twenty shall be chosen for the eight towns that are at present in being, and eight and forty for the county, making together seventy-two, and with the four and twenty Proprietors, ninety-six persons, till such times as the great council shall see meet to call the above mentioned number of one hundred forty-four, and then shall be determined by the great council how many shall come out of each town and county; but every year shall choose one-third, and the first chosen shall remain for three years, and they that go out shall not be capable to come in again for two years after, and therefore they shall not be put in the ballot in elections for that year; and in order to this election, they shall in course meet in their several boroughs and counties the six and twentieth day of March, beginning in the year one thousand six hundred eighty-four, and choose their several representatives; whose first day of meeting shall be the twentieth of April afterwards; and they shall sit upon their own adjournments, if they see meet, till the twentieth of July following, and then to be dissolved till the next year, unless the Governor and common council think fit to continue them longer, or call them in the intervail; but if any of those days fall on the first day of the week, it shall be deferred until the next day.

III. The persons qualified to be freemen, that are capable to choose and be chosen in the great Council, shall be every planter and inhabitant dwelling and residing within the Province, who hath acquired rights to and is in possession of fifty acres of ground, and hath cultivated ten acres of it; or in boroughs, who have a house and three acres; or have a house and land only hired, if he can prove he have fifty pounds in stock of his own: and all elections must be free and voluntary, but were any bribe or indirect means can be proved to have been used, both the giver and acquirer shall forfeit their priviledge of electing and being elected forever; and for the full preventing of all indirect means, the election shall be after this manner, the names of all the persons qualified in each county, shall be put in equal pieces of parchment, and prepared by the sheriff and his clerk the day before, and at the day of election shall be put in a box, and fifty shall be taken out by a boy under ten years of age; these fifty shall be put into the box again, and the first five and twenty then taken out shall be those who shall be capable to be chosen for that time; the other five and twenty shall by plurality of votes, name (of the aforesaid twenty-five) twelve, if there be three to be chosen, and eight if there be two to stand for it; these nominators first solemnly declaring before the sheriff, that they shall not name any known to them to be guilty for the time, or to have been guilty for a year before, of adultery, whoredom, drunkeness, or any such immorality, or who is insolvent or a fool; and then out of the twelve or eight so nominated, three or two shall be taken by the ballot as above said.

IV. It shall be the priviledge of every member of the great Council, to propose any bill in order to a law, which being admitted to be debated, shall be determined by the vote, wherein two parts of three shall only conclude; but of this, twelve of the Proprietors, or their proxies, must be assenting; which shall also be requisite after the number of freemen are double: Nor shall any law be made or enacted to have force in the Province, which any ways touches upon the goods or liberties of any in it, but what thus passeth in the great Council; and whoever shall levy, collect or pay any money or goods without a law thus passed, shall be held a publick enemy to the Province, and a betrayer of the publick liberty thereof: also the quorum of this great Council shall be half of the Proprietors, or their proxies, and half of the freemen at least; and in determination, the proportionable assent of both Proprietors and freemen must agree, viz. two parts of whatever number of freemen, and one half of whatever number of Proprietors are present.

V. For the constant government of the Province there shall be with the Governor a common Council, consisting of the four and twenty Proprietors, of their proxies, and twelve of the freemen. which shall be chosen by the ballot out of the freemen of the great Council, and shall successively go off each year as they do; which common Council will thus consist of six and thirty, whereof they shall be three committees; twelve for the public policy, and to look to manners, education and arts; twelve for trade and management of the publick Treasury; and twelve for plantations and regulating of all things, as well as deciding all controversies relating to them: in each committee eight shall be of the Proprietors, or their proxies, and four of the freemen; each of these committees shall meet at least once a week, and all the thirty six once in two months, and oftener, in such places and at such times as they shall find most convenient. -And if it happen the number of freemen in the great Council to be doubled, there shall be twelve more of them be added to the common Council; in this common Council and those several committees the one half shall be a quorum, as in the former article.

VI. All laws shall be published and run in the name of the Governor, Proprietors and representatives of the freemen of the Province, and shall be signed by two of the Proprietors, two of the freemen, the Secretary and the Governor for the time being, who shall preside in all meetings, and have two votes, but shall no ways pretend to any negative vote: but if he or they refuse to do his or their duty, or be accused of malversation, he shall be liable to the censure of the Proprietors, and if turned out, there shall be another chosen to fulfil his time as is abovesaid.

VII. Forasmuch as by the Concessions and agreements of the former Proprietors, (to wit) the Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, to and with all and every the adventurers and all such as shall settle and plant in the Province in Anno 1664, it is consented and agreed by the six and seven articles, that the great Assembly should have power, by act confirmed as there expressed, to erect, raise and build within the said Province, or any part thereof, such and so many forts, castles, cities and other places of defence, and the same, or any of them, to fortify and furnish with such provisions and proportions of ordnance, powder, shot, armour and all other weapons, ammunition and abilments of war, both offensive and defensive, as shall be thought necessary and convenient for the safety and welfare of the said Province; as also to constitute train bands and companies, with the number of the soldiers, for the safety, strength and defence of the aforesaid Province; to suppress all mutinies and rebellions; to make war offensive and defensive, against all and every one that shall infest the said Province, not only to keep the enemy out of their limits, but also, in case of necessity, the enemy by sea and land to pursue out of the limits and jurisdiction of the said Province. And that amongst the present Proprietors there are several that declare, that they have no freedom to defend themselves with arms, and others who judge it their duty to defend themselves, wives and children, with arms; it is therefore agreed and consented to, and they the said Proprietors do by these presents agree and consent, that they will not in this case force each other against their respective judgments and consciences; in order whereunto it is Resolved, that on the one side, no man that declares he cannot for conscience sake bear arms, whether Proprietor or planter, shall be at any time put upon so doing in his own person, nor yet upon sending any to serve in his stead. And on the other side, those who do judge it their duty to bear arms for the publick defence, shall have their liberty to do in a legal way. In pursuance whereof, there shall be a fourth committee erected, consisting of six proprietors, or their proxies, and three of the freemen, that are to set in the other three committees, which shall be such as to understand it their duty to use arms for the publick defence; which committee shall provide for the publick defence without and peace within, against all enemies whatsoever; and shall therefore be stiled the committee for the preservation of the publick peace: And that all things may proceed in good order, the said committee shall propound-to the great Council what they judge convenient and necessary for the keeping the peace within the said Province, and for publick defence without, by the said great Council to be approved and corrected, as they, according to exigence of affairs, shall judge fit; the execution of which resolutions of the great Council shall be committed to the care of the said committee. But because through the scruples of such of the Proprietors, or their proxies, as have no freedom to use arms, the resolutions of the great Council may be in this point obstructed, it is resolved and agreed, and it is by these presents resolved and agreed, that in things of this nature, the votes of these Proprietors shall only be of weight at such time or times as one of these two points are under deliberation, which shall not be concluded where twelve of the Proprietors and two thirds of the whole Council, as in other cases, are not consenting, (that is to say) first, whether, to speak after the manner of men, (and abstractly from a man's persuasion in matters of religion) it be convenient and suitable to the present condition or capacity of the inhabitants, to build any forts, castles or any other places of defence? If yea; where and in what places (to speak as men) they ought to be erected. Secondly, whether there be any present or future foreseen danger, that may, (to speak as men without respect- to one's particular perswasion in matters of religion) require the putting the Province into a posture of defence, or to make use of those means which we at present have, or which, from time to time as occasion may require, according to the capacity of the inhabitants, we may have; which ability and conveniency of those means of defence, and (to speak as men without respect to any man's judgment in matters of religion) the necessity of the actual use thereof, being once resolved upon; all further deliberations about it, as the raising of men, giving of commissions both by sea and land, making Governors of forts, and providing money necessary for maintaining the same, shall belong only to those members of the great Council who judge themselves in duty bound to make use of arms for the defence of them and theirs. Provided, that they shall not conclude any thing but by the consent of at least five parts out of six of their number; and that none of the Proprietors and other inhabitants may be forced to contribute any money for the use of arms, to which for conscience sake they have not freedom, that which is necessary for the publick defence, shall be borne by such as judge themselves in duty bound to use arms. Provided, that the other, that for conscience sake do oppose the bearing of arms, shall on the other hand bear so much in other charges, as-may make up that portion in the general charge of the Province. And as the refusing to subscribe such acts concerning the use and exercise of arms abovesaid, in the Governor and Secretary, if scrupulous in conscience so to do, shall not be esteemed in them an omission or neglect of duty, so the wanting thereof shall not make such acts invalid, they being in lieu thereof, subscribed by the major part of the six Proprietors of the committees for the preservation of the publick peace.

VIII. The choosing the great and publick officers, as Secretary, Register, Treasurer, Surveyor General, Marshal, and after death of turning out of those now first to be nominated, shall be in the Governor and Common Council; as also of' all sheriffs, judges and justices of the peace. But upon any malversation or accusation, they shall be liable to the examination and censure of the great Council, and if condemn'd by them, the Governor and Common Council must name others in their places.

IX. Provided, That all boroughs shall choose their own magistrates, and the hundreds in the county, their constables or under officers, in such manner as shall be agreed to by the great Council.

X. Forasmuch as by the Patent, the power of pardoning in capital offences, is vested in the four and twenty Proprietors; it is hereby declared, that the said power of' pardoning shall never be made use of but by the consent of eighteen of the Proprietors, or their proxies: Nevertheless, it shall be in the power of the Governor, in conjunction with four Proprietors, who for the time are judges of the Court of Appeals, to reprieve any person after the day of execution appointed, for some time, not exceeding a month.

XI. The four and twenty Proprietors, in their absence, may vote in the great and common Council by their proxies; one Proprietor may be proxy for another, yet so as not but for one, so that none can have above two votes: The proxies of the Proprietors must be such as has shares in properties not under a twentieth part.

XII. That whoever has any place of publick trust in another Province, tho' a Proprietor, shall not sit in the great or common Council, but by their proxies, unless thereunto particularly called by the one or other Council.

XIII. Whatever Proprietor doth not retain at least one fourth part of his propriety, viz: one ninety sixth part of the country, shall lose the right of government, and it shall pass to him who has the greatest share of that propriety, exceeding the above mentioned proportion: But if two or three has each one ninety sixth part, they shall have it successively year about, like as when a propriety is in two hands, he who is upon the place, if the other be absent, sick or under age, shall still have it; but if both there, then by turns as abovesaid; and if in a provided propriety all be absent, the proxies must be constituted by both; if but two or the greater number if there be more. And if any who sells a part of his propriety, and retains one ninety sixth part and the title of the government portion be absent, whoever has shares for him, not under one ninety sixth part, being present, shall set for him, whether having a proxy or not; and if there be more than one, it shall go by turns as above. But because after sometime by division among children, it may happen that some one twenty fourth part may be so divided, that not any one may have one fourth part of a propriety, or one ninety sixth part of the whole, in that case the Proprietors shall elect one having not under one ninety sixth part, to bear the character of the government for that propriety: But if the county shall fall to be so divided, that there shall not be found four and twenty persons who have one ninety sixth part each; then whoever has five thousand acres, shall be capable to be chosen to be one of the four and twenty, and that by the rest of the Proprietors, by the ballot, each having priviledge to lift one; but this not to take place till forty years after the settlement of these constitutions: And if twenty years after the expiration of the forty years above mentioned, it shall fall out that four and twenty persons cannot be found who have each five thousand acres, it shall be then in the power of the great Council to make a less number of acres sufficient to carry the character of the government, provided they bring it not under three thousand acres (the Proprietors being always electors as abovesaid) no Proprietor under one and twenty years shall be admitted to vote, but during nonage there shall be a proxy appointed by the tutor, and failing that, by the other Proprietors.

XIV. In all civil and ordinary actions, the Proprietors shall be Judged after the same manner, and lyable to the same censure with any other; but in all cases that are capital, or may inferr for forfeiture of their trust or Proprietorship, they shall be adjudged by a jury of twelve of the Proprietors, or their proxies, or such as has share in a propriety not under one twentieth part; the bill being first found relievant against them by a grand jury of twelve Proprietors and twelve free men to be chosen by the ballot, as in article nineteen

XV. For preserving a right balance, no Proprietor shall at any time require or purchase more than his one four and twentieth Dart of the county; but if by any accident, more fall into the hands of the Proprietors, he may be allowed to dispose of it to his children, tho' under age, yet not so as to acquire to himself more than one vote besides his own; but if such an acquirer have no children he shall be obliged to sell it within one year after he has acquired it, nor shall he evade this by putting in another's name in trust for him; but shall upon his assignment solemnly declare himself to be realy and effectually divested of it for the proper use of him it is assign'd to: And if within three years he find not a merchant, he shall be obliged to dispose of it at the current rate to the rest of the Proprietors, to be holden in common by them, who shall appoint one to bear that character in the government, untill such a share of it fall in one hand, bv a former article may render him capable, by the consent of two parts of the other Proprietors, to have the power devolved in him; and if by this or any other accident one or more votes be wanting in the interem, the Proprietors shall name others quallified as above to supply their places.

XVI. All persons living in the Province who confess and acknowledge the one Almighty and Eternal God, and holds themselves obliged in conscience to live peaceably and quietly in a civil society, shall in no way be molested or prejudged for their religious perswasions and exercise in matters of faith and worship; nor shall they be compelled to frequent and maintain any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever: Yet it is also hereby provided, that no man shall be admitted a member of the great or common Council, or any other place of publick trust, who shall not profaith in Christ Jesus, and solemnly declare that he doth no ways hold himself obliged in conscience to endeavour alteration in the government, or seeks the turning out of any in it or their ruin or prejudice, either in person or estate, because they are in his opinion hereticks, or differ in their judgment from him: Nor by this article is it intended, that any under the notion of this liberty shall allow themselves to avow atheism, irreligiousness, or to practice cursing, swearing, drunkenness, prophaness, whoring, adultery, murdering or any kind of violence, or indulging themselves in stage plays, masks, revells or such like abuses; for restraining such and preserving of the people in deligence and in good order, the great Council is to make more particular laws, which are punctually to be put in execution.

XVII. To the end that all officers chosen to serve within the Province, may with the more care and deligence answer the trust reposed in them; it is agreed, that no such person shall enjoy more than one public-office at one time: But least at first before the country be well planted, there might be in this some inconvenience, it is declared, that this shall not necessarily take place till after the year 1686.

XVIII. All chart, rights, grants and conveyances of land (except leases for three years and under) and all bonds, wills, and letters of administration and specialties above fifty pounds, and not under six months, shall be registered in a publick register in each county, else be void in law; also there is to be a register in each county for births, marriages, burials and servants, where their names, times, wages and days of payment shall be registered, but the method and order of settling those registers is recommended to the great Council; as also the fees which are to be moderate and certain, that the taking of more in any office, directly or indirectly by himself or any other, shall forfeit his office.

XIX. That no person or persons within the said Province shall be taken and imprisoned, or be devised of his freehold, free custom or liberty, or be outlawed or exiled, or any other way destroyed; nor shall they be condemn'd or judgment pass'd upon them, but by lawful judgment of their peers: neither shall justice nor right be bought or sold, defered or delayed, to any person whatsoever: in order to which by the laws of the land, all tryals shall be by twelve men, and as near as it may be, peers and equals, and of the neighborhood, and men without just exception. In cases of life there shall be at first twenty-four returned by the sheriff for a grand inquest, of whom twelve at least shall be to find the complaint to be true; and then the twelve men or peers to be likewise returned, shall have the final judgment; but reasonable challenges shall be always admitted against the twelve men, or any of them: but the manner of returning juries shall be thus, the names of all the freemen above five and twenty years of age, within the district or boroughs out of which the jury is to be returned' shall be written on equal peices of parchment and put into a box, and then the number of the jury shall be drawn out by a child under ten years of age. And in all courts persons of all perswasions may freely appear in their own way, and according to their own manner, and there personally plead their own causes themselves, or if unable, by their friends, no person being allowed to take money for pleading or advice in such cases: and the first process shall be the exhibition of the complaint in court fourteen days before the tryal, and the party complain'd against may be fitted for the same, he or she shall be summoned ten days before, and a copy of the complaint delivered at their dwelling house: But before the complaint of any person be received, he shall solemnly declare in court, that he believes in his conscience his cause is just. Moreover, every man shall be first cited before the court for the place where he dwells nor shall the cause be brought before any other court but by way of appeal from sentence of the first court, for receiving of which appeals, there shall be a court consisting of eight persons, and the Governor (protempore) president thereof, (to wit) four Proprietors and four freemen, to be chosen out of the great Council in the following manner, viz. the names of sixteen of the Proprietors shall be written on small pieces of parchment and put into a box, out of which by a lad under ten years of age, shall be drawn eight of them, the eight remaining in the box shall choose four; and in like manner shall be done for the choosing of four of the freemen.

XX. That all marriages not forbidden in the law of God, shall be esteemed lawful, where the parents or guardians being first acquainted, the marriage is publickly intimated in such places and manner as is agreeable to mens different perswasions in religion, being afterwards still solemnized before creditable witnesses, by taking one another as husband and wife, and a certificate of the whole, under the parties and witnesses hands, being brought to the proper register for that end, under a penalty neglected.

XXI. That all witnesses coming or called to testify their knowledge in or to any matter or thing in any court or before any lawful authority within the Province, shall there give and deliver in their evidence by solemnly promissing to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to the matter in question. And in case any person so doing shall be afterwards convict of willful falsehood, both such persons as also those who have proved to have suborn, shall undergo the damage and punishment both in criminal and in civil; the person against whom they did or should have incurred, which if it reach not his life, he shall be publickly exposed as a false witness, never afterwards to be credited before any court; the like punishment in cases of forgery, and both criminals to be stigmatized.

XXII. Fourteen years quiet possession shall give an unquestionable right, except in cases of infants, lunaticks or married women, or persons beyond sea or in prison. And whoever forfeits his estate to the government by committing treason against the Crown of England, or in this Province, or by any other capital crime, the nearest of kin may redeem it within two months after the criminals death, by paying to the public treasury not above one hundred pounds, and not under five pounds sterling, which proportion the common Council shall determine, according to the value of the criminals estate, and to the nature of the offence; reparation to any who have suffered by him, and payment of all just debts being always allowed.

XXIII. For avoiding innumerable multitude of statutes, no act to be made by the great Council shall be in force above fifty years after it is enacted; but as it is then de novo confirmed, allways excepting these four and twenty fundamental articles, which, as the primitive charter, is forever to remain in force, not to be repealed at any time by the great Council, tho' two parts of the Council should agree to it, unless two and twenty of the four and twenty Proprietors do expressly also agree, and sixty six of seventy two freemen; and when they are one hundred forty four, one hundred thirty two of them; and also this assent of the Proprietors must be either by their being present in their own persons, or giving actually their votes under their hands and seals (if elsewhere) and not by proxies; which solemn and express assent must also be had in the opening of mines of gold and silver; and if such be opened, one third part of the profit is to go to the publick Treasury; one third to be divided among the four and twenty Proprietors, and one third to Proprietor or planter in whose ground it is; the charges by each proportionately borne.

XXIV. It is finally agreed, that both the Governor and the members of the great and common Council, the great officers, judges, sheriffs and justices of the peace, and all other persons of public trust, shall before they enter actually upon the exercise of any of the employs of the Province, solemnly promise and subscribe to be true and faithful to the king of England, his heirs and successors, and to the Proprietors, and he shall well and faithfully discharge his office in all things according to his commission, as by these fundamental constitutions is confirmed, the true right of liberty and property, as well as the just ballance both of the Proprietors among themselves, and betwixt them and the people: it's therefore understood, that here is included whatever is necessary to be retained in the first Concessions, so that henceforward there is nothing further to be proceeded upon from them, that which relates to the securing of every manes land taken up upon them, being allways excepted. And provided also' that all Judicial and legal proceedings heretofore done according to them, be held, approved and confirmed.

Drummond. Robert Burnet. Bar. Gibson. Robert Gordon. Gawn Lawry. Perth. William Gibson. William Dockwra. Thos. Dart. Thomas Barker and as proxy for Ambrose Riggs. Clement Plumstead, proxy for Barclay. Ar. Sonmans. Robert Turner and Thomas Cooper.

(1) Verified by " Grants and Concessions of New Jersey." Leaming & Spicer. 2d Ed. pp. 153-156. Back

From Quaker Electronic Archives

First published in 1675.




Published in 1675 during the first half-century of the Quaker movement. As an apologia, it seeks to offer a rational and theological justification of early Quaker belief and practice.

Concerning the true Foundation of Knowledge.

Seeing the height of all happiness is placed in the true knowledge of God, ("This is life eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent,") the true and right understanding of this foundation and ground of knowledge, is that which is most necessary to be known and believed in the first place.

Concerning Immediate Revelation.

Seeing "no man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son revealeth him;" and seeing the revelation of the Son is in and by the Spirit; therefore the testimony of the Spirit is that alone by which the true knowledge of God hath been, is, and can be only revealed; who as, by the moving of his own Spirit, he converted the chaos of this world into that wonderful order wherein it was in the beginning, and created man a living soul, to rule and govern it, so by the revelation of the same Spirit he hath manifested himself all along unto the sons of men, both patriarchs, prophets, and apostles; which revelations of God by the Spirit, whether by outward voices and appearances, dreams or inward objective manifestations in the hearts, were of old the formal object of their faith, and remain yet so to be; since the object of the saints' faith is the same in all ages, though set forth under diverse administrations. Moreover, these divine inward revelations, which we make absolutely necessary for the building up of true faith, neither do nor can ever contradict the outward testimony of the scriptures, or right and sound reason. Yet from hence it will not follow, that these divine revelations are to be subjected to the examination, either of the outward testimony of the scriptures, or of the natural reason of man, as to a more noble or certain rule or touchstone: for this divine and inward illumination, is that which is evident and clear of itself, forcing, by its own evidence and clearness, the well-disposed understanding to assent, irresistably moving the same thereunto; even as the common principles of natural truths move and incline the mind to a natural assent: as, that the whole is greater than its part; that two contradictory sayings cannot be both true, nor both false: which is also manifest, according to our adversaries' principle, who -- supposing the possibility of inward divine revelations -- will nevertheless confess with us, that neither scripture nor sound reason will contradict it: and yet it will not follow, according to them that the scripture, or sound reason, should be subjected to the examination of the divine revelations in the heart.


Concerning the Scriptures.

From these revelations of the Spirit of God to the saints, have proceeded the scriptures of truth, which contain, 1. A faithful historical account of the actings of God's people in divers ages, with many singular and remarkable providences attending them. 2. A prophetical account of several things, whereof some are already past, and some yet to come. 3. A full and ample account of all the chief principles of the doctrine of Christ, held forth in divers precious declarations, exhortations, and sentences, which, by the moving of God's Spirit, were at several times, and upon sundry occasions, spoken and written unto some churches and their pastors: nevertheless, because they are only a declaration of the fountain, and not the fountain itself, therefore they are not to be esteemed the principal ground of all truth and knowledge, nor yet the adequate primary rule of faith and manners. Nevertheless, as that which giveth a true and faithful testimony of the first foundation, they are and may be esteemed a secondary rule, subordinate to the Spirit, from which they have all their excellency and certainty; for as by the inward testimony of the Spirit we do alone truly know them, so they testify, that the Spirit is that guide by which the saints are led into all truth: therefore, according to the scriptures, the Spirit is the first and principal leader. And seeing we do therefore receive and believe the scriptures, because they proceed from the Spirit; therefore also the Spirit is more originally and principally the rule, according to that received maxim in the schools, Propter quod unumquodque est tale, illud ipsum est magis tale. Englished thus: "That for which a thing is such, that thing itself is more such."


Concerning the Condition of Man in the Fall.

All Adam's posterity, or mankind, both Jews and Gentiles, as to the first Adam, or earthly man, is fallen, degenerate, and dead, deprived of the sensation or feeling of this inward testimony or seed of God, and is subject unto the power, nature, and seed of the serpent, which he sows in men's hearts, while they abide in this natural and corrupted state; from whence it comes, that not their words and deeds only, but all their imaginations are evil perpetually in the sight of God, as proceeding from this depraved and wicked seed. Man, therefore, as he is in this state, can know nothing aright; yea, his thoughts and conceptions concerning God and things spiritual, until he be disjoined from this evil seed, and united to the divine light, are unprofitable both to himself and others: hence are rejected the Socinian and Pelagian errors, in exalting a natural light; as also of the Papists, and most Protestants, who affirm, That man, without the true grace of God, may be a true minister of the gospel. Nevertheless, this seed is not imputed to infants, until by transgression they actually join themselves therewith; for they are by nature the children of wrath, who walk according to the power of the prince of the air.


Concerning the Universal Redemption by Christ, and also the Saving and Spiritual Light, wherewith every man is enlightened.


God, out of his infinite love, who delighteth not in the death of a sinner, but that all should live and be saved, hath so loved the world, that he gave his only Son a light, that whosoever believeth in him should be saved; who enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world, and makest manifest all things that are reproveable, and teacheth all temperance, righteousness, and godliness: and in this light enlighteneth the hearts of all in a day [Pro tempore: for a time], in order to salvation, if not resisted: nor is it less universal than the seed of sin, being the purchase of his death, who tasted death for every man; "for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."


According to which principle (or hypothesis), all the objections against the universality of Christ's death are easily solved; neither is it needful to recur to the ministry of angels, and those other miraculous means, which, they say, God makes use of, to manifest the doctrine and history of Christ's passion unto such, who, living in those places of the world where the outward preaching of the gospel is unknown, have well improved the first and common grace; for hence it well follows, that as some of the old philosophers might have been saved, so also may now some -- who by providence are cast into those remote parts of the world, where knowledge of the history is wanting -- be made partakers of the divine mystery, if they receive and resist not that grace, "a manifestation whereof is given to every man to profit withal." This certain doctrine then being received, to wit: that there is an evangelical and saving light and grace in all, the universality of the love and mercy of God towards mankind -- both in the death of his beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the manifestation of the light in the heart -- is established and confirmed against the objections of those who deny it. Therefore "Christ hath tasted death for every man:" not only for all kinds of men, as some vainly talk, but for every one, of all kinds; the benefit of whose offering is not only extended to such, who have the distinct outward knowledge of his death and sufferings, as the same is declared in the scriptures, but even unto those who are necessarily excluded from the benefit of this knowledge by some inevitable accident; which knowledge we willingly confess to be very profitable and comfortable, but not absolutely needful to such, from whom God himself hath withheld it; ye t they may be made partakers of the mystery of his death -- though ignorant of the history -- if they suffer his seed and light -- enlightening their hearts -- to take place; in which light, communion with the Father and Son is enjoined, so as of wicked men to become holy, and lovers of that power, by whose inward and secret touches they feel themselves turned from the evil to the good, and learn to do to others as they would be done by; in which Christ himself affirms all to be included. As they then have falsely and erroneously taught, who have denied Christ to have died for all men; so neither have they sufficiently taught the truth, who affirming him to have died for all, have added the absolute necessity of outward knowledge thereof, in order to the obtaining its saving effect; among whom the Remonstrants of Holland have been chiefly wanting, and many other asserters of Universal Redemption, in that they have not placed the extent of this salvation in that divine and evangelical principle of light and life, wherewith Christ enlighteneth every man that comes in to the world, which is excellently and evidently held forth in these scriptures, Gen, vi, 3. Deut. xxx. 14. John i. 7, 8, 9. Rom. x. 8. Tit. ii.11.


Concerning Justification.

As many as resist not this light, but receive the same, in them is produced an holy, pure, and spiritual birth, bringing forth holiness, righteousness, purity, and all those other blessed fruits which are acceptable to God; by which holy birth, to wit, Jesus Christ, formed within us, and working his works in us -- as we are sanctified, so we are justified in the sight of God, according to the apostle's words, "But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." Therefore it is not by our works wrought in our will, nor yet by good works, considered as of themselves, but by Christ, who is both the gift and the giver, and the cause producing the effects in us; who, as he hath reconciled us while we were enemies, doth also in his wisdom save us, and justify us after this manner, as saith the same apostle elsewhere, "According to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost."


Concerning Perfection.

In whom this holy and pure birth is fully brought forth the body of death and sin comes to be crucified and removed, and their hearts united and subjected unto the truth, so as not to obey any suggestion or temptation of the evil one, but to be free from actual sinning, and transgressing the law of God, and in that respect perfect. Yet doth this perfection still admit of a growth; and there remaineth a possibility of sinning, where the mind doth not most diligently and watchfully attend unto the Lord.


Concerning Perseverance, and the Possibility of Falling from Grace.

Although this gift, and inward grace of God, be sufficient to work out salvation, yet in those in whom it is resisted it both may and doth become their condemnation. Moreover, in whom it hath wrought in part, to purify and sanctify them, in order to their further perfection, by disobedience such may fall from it, and turn it to wantonness, making shipwreck of faith; and after "having tasted of the heavenly gift, and been made partakers of the Holy Ghost, again fall away." Yet such an increase and stability in the truth may in this life be attained, from which there cannot be a total apostasy.


Concerning the Ministry.

As by this gift, or light of God, all true knowledge in things spiritual is received and revealed; so by the same, as it is manifested and received in the heart, by the strength and power thereof, every true minister of the gospel is ordained, prepared, and supplied in the work of the ministry: and by the leading, moving, and drawing hereof, ought every evangelist and Christian pastor to be led and ordered in his work of the gospel, both as to the place where, as to the persons to whom, and as to the times when he is to minister. Moreover, those who have this authority may and ought to preach the gospel, though without human commission or literature; as on the other hand, those who want the authority of this divine gift, however learned or authorized by the commissions of men and churches, are to be esteemed but as deceivers, and not true ministers of the gospel. Also, who have received this holy and unspotted gift, "as they have freely received, so are they freely to give," without hire or bargaining, far less to use it as a trade to get money by it: yet if God hath called any from their employments, or trades, by which they acquire their livelihood, it may be lawful for such, according to the liberty which they feel given them in the Lord, to receive such temporals -- to wit, what may be needful to them for meat and clothing -- as are freely given them by those to whom they have communicated spirituals.


Concerning Worship.

All true and acceptable worship to God is offered in the inward and immediate moving and drawing of his own Spirit, which is neither limited to places, times, or persons; for though we be to worship him always, in that we are to fear before him, yet as to the outward signification thereof in prayers, praises, or preachings, we ought not to do it where and when we will, but where and when we are moved thereunto by the secret inspirations of his Spirit in our hearts, which God heareth and accepteth of, and is never wanting to move us thereunto, when need is, of which he is alone the proper judge. All other worship then, both praises, prayers, and preachings, which man sets about in his own will, and at his own appointment, which he can both begin and end at his pleasure, do or leave undone, as himself sees meet, whether they be a prescribed form, as a liturgy, or prayers conceived extemporaneously, by the natural strength and faculty of the mind, they are all but superstitions, will-worship, and abominable idolatry in the sight of God; which are to be denied, rejected, and separated from, in this day of his spiritual arising: however it might have pleased him -- who winked at the times of ignorance, with respect to the simplicity and integrity of some,and of his own innocent seed, which lay as it were buried in the hearts of men, under the mass of superstition -- to blow upon the dead and dry bones, and to raise some breathings, and answer them, and that until the day should more clearly dawn and break forth.


Concerning Baptism.

As there is one Lord and one faith, so there is "one baptism; which is not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience before God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." And this baptism is a pure and spiritual thing, to wit, the baptism of the spirit and fire, by which we are buried with him, that being washed and purged from our sins, we may "walk in newness of life;" of which the baptism of John was a figure, which was commanded for a time, and not to continue for ever. As to the baptism of infants, it is a mere human tradition, for which neither precept not practice is to be found in all the scripture.


Concerning the Communion, or Participation of the Body and Blood of Christ.

The communion of the body and blood of Christ is inward and spiritual, which is the participation of his flesh and blood, by which the inward man is daily nourished in the hearts of those in whom Christ dwells; of which things the breaking of bread by Christ with his disciples was a figure, which they even used in the church for a time, who had received the substance, for the cause of the weak; even as "abstaining from things strangled, and from blood;" the washing one another's feet, and the anointing of the sick with oil; all which are commanded with no less authority and solemnity than the former; yet seeing they are but the shadows of better things, they cease in such as have obtained the substance.


Concerning the power of the Civil Magistrate, in matters purely religious, and pertaining to the conscience.

Since God hath assumed to himself the power and dominion of the conscience, who alone can rightly instruct and govern it, therefore it is not lawful for any whatsoever, by virtue of any authority or principality they bear in the government of this world, to force the consciences of others; and therefore all killing, banishing, fining, imprisoning, and other such things, which men are afflicted with, for the alone exercise of their conscience, or difference in worship or opinion, proceedeth from the spirit of Cain, the murderer, and is contrary to the truth; provided always, that no man, under the pretence of conscience, prejudice his neighbor in his life or estate; or do any thing destructive to, or inconsistent with human society; in which case the law is for the transgressor, and justice to be administered upon all, without respect of persons.


Concerning Salutations and Recreation, &c.

Seeing the chief end of all religion is to redeem man from the spirit and vain conversation of the world, and to lead him into inward communion with God, before whom, if we fear always, we are accounted happy; therefore all the vain customs and habits thereof, both in word and deed, are to be rejected and forsaken by those who come to this fear; such as the taking off the hat to a man, the bowings and cringings of the body, and such other salutations of that kind, with all the foolish and superstitious formalities attending them; all which man has invented in his degenerate state, to feed his pride in the vain pomp and glory of this world; as also the unprofitable plays, frivolous recreations, sportings and gamings, which are invented to pass away the precious time, and divert the mind from the witness of God in the heart, and from the living sense of his fear, and from that evangelical Spirit wherewith Christians ought to be leavened, and which leads into sobriety, gravity, and godly fear; in which, as we abide, the blessing of the Lord is felt to attend us in those actions in which we are necessarily engaged, in order to the taking care for the sustenance of the outward man.

The End

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