. In Jan. 1630 the New England Council, reciting its patent, note 2
above, granted to
“Wm. Bradford, his heires associates and assignes for ever,” both the lands in Massachusetts
on which the Plymouth Colony was settled, and a tract “which lyeth within or between
and Extendeth it self from the utmost of Cobest-cont alias Comasecont Which adjoyneth
to the River Kenibeck alias Kenebeckick towards the Westerne Ocean and a place called
the falls of Nequamkick in America aforesaid and the Space of Fifteen English milles
on Each Side of the said River Commonly called Kenebeck River and all the said River
Called Kenebeck that Lyes within the said Limitts and Bounds Eastward Westward Northward
and Southward Last afore mentioned.”
The grantees were to pay one fifth of all gold and silver found to the Crown, and
another fifth to the grantors, “for all Services and demands Whatsoever.” Morison,
Destination and the Pilgrim Fathers' Patents,” 38 Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns.
387, 407–413 (1959). See 1 Andrews, Colonial Period
293–296. Bradford held directly from the King by virtue of the requirement of the
Statute of Quia Emptores
, 18 Edw. 1 (1290), which had not been waived in the 1620 patent. Id.
at 335. Known as the “Plymouth Patent,” this grant was the foundation of the Kennebec
Company's land claims in the 18th century. See Doc. II
below. The “surrender” of the patent was the act by which Bradford, on 2 March 1641,
“by the free and full consent, approbacion, and agreement of the . . . old planters,”
who had joined him in financing the early days of the colony, did “surrender into
the handes of the whole Court, consistinge of the freemen of this corporacion of New
Plymouth, all that ther right and title, power, authorytie, priviledges, immunities
and freedomes granted in the said lettres patentes by the said right honorable counsell
for New England, reserving his and their personall right of freemen, together with
the said old planters aforesaid, except the said lands before excepted [certain tracts
previously agreed to be reserved for the old planters], declareing the freemen of
this present corporacion, together with all such as shalbe legally admitted into the
same, his associates.” Records of the Colony of New Plymouth, 2:10–11 (Boston, ed. N. B. Shurtleff, 1855).
The patent was actually surrendered “in publick Court” and returned to Bradford for
at 11. See Morison, “Pilgrim Fathers' Patents,” 38 Col. Soc. Mass., Pubns.