Words To Remember

"The truth is this--genealogy is our living, and we are busy every minute, [and we] could use more hours." --Jane Wethy Foley, 1942

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oaths of Allegiance, New Jersey, 1665-1668: Part 1

New Jersey was originally a part of New Netherland.  As early as 1618, the Dutch had erected a trading post at Bergen and, up until the Dutch surrendered New Netherland to British control in 1664, settlers living in the area--regardless of their nationality--were subjects of the Dutch West India Company, the original proprietor.  All now included in New Jersey was granted in 1664 by the Duke of York to the Lord John Berkely and Sir George Carteret.  Carteret was once the governor of the island of Jersey in the English Channel and gave name to the new province.

On 18 Aug. 1664, four British frigates arrive at New Amsterdam and the Dutch reluctantly surrendered. Col. Richard Nicolls was established as the new governor of the Duke’s territories.  New Amsterdam is renamed New York; New Jersey is called Albania by the local English. In late 1664, Gov. Nicolls issued conditions upon which plantations would be created. Gov. Nicolls granted patents for settlement on Achter Koll (Newark Bay) on 1 Dec. 1664, which had been purchased from the Indians on 28 Oct. by John Ogden, Luke Watson and others.
Berkeley and Carteret published concessions and agreements based on Carolina’s concessions in early 1665 and in April that year, Gov. Nicolls granted patents for the Navesink/Monmouth tract (Middletown and Shrewsbury settlements.)  In August 1665, Capt. Philip Carteret, a cousin of Sir George, arrived as governor of the new colony.  Elizabeth-Town was named in honor of Lady Elizabeth Carteret, the wife of Sir George. 

As Dutch colonists, settlers in New Jersey were required to take an oath of allegiance to the king and the proprietors. But, after living under British control for eight years, the Dutch rebelled and, on 1 Aug. 1673, they recaptured their former colony of New Netherland and began to set up government at Achter Koll (New  Jersey).  Their gain, however, lasted only a few months and once more the Dutch were forced to give up New Netherland in February 1674.

In 1674, the province was divided into East and West Jersey, a distinction which is preserved to some extent to the present day.  In mid-March, Lord Berkeley sold his joint but as yet undivided interest in West Jersey to John Fenwick in trust for Edward Byllynge.  Berkeley had sold his proprietorship to a number of Quakers, some of whom settled near Burlington.  Carteret sold his part to William Penn and eleven other Quakers.  

In June 1674, King Charles II made a confirming grant of New Jersey to his brother James, Duke of York, reserving the right of customs and duties. Edmund Andros was commissioned governor of New York by Duke James on 1 July 1674. 

The Oath of Allegiance was as follows:
"You doe Sweare upon the Holy Evangelist Contained in this Book to bare true faith and Allegeance to our Soveraine Lord King Charles the Second and his Lawfull Successors and to be true and faithfull to the Lord Proprietors their successors and the Government of this Province of New Jarsey as Long as you shall Continue an Inhabitant vnder the Same, without any Equivocation or Mentall Reservation whatsoever and so help you God."


Klett, Joseph R., Using the Records of the East and West Jersey Proprietors. (New Jersey State Archives, 2008). Retrieved from https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/New_Jersey_Land_and_Property, 28 June 2011.

Morris, Charles, L. L. D., A New History of the United States, The Greater Republic. (W. E. Scull, 1899). 

Whitehead, William A., ed., Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey, Vol. 1 1631-1687. (Newark, NJ: Daily Journal) 1880, pp. 48-51.

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