EXPLANATORY CHARTER OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY—1725
GEORGE by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland king Defender of the Faith &cTo all to whom these Presents shall come GreetingWhereas Our late Royal Predecessors William and Mary King and Queen of England &cDid by their letters Patents under their Great Seal of England bearing Date at Westminster the Seventh day of October in the Third year of their Reign for themselves their Heires and Successors Vnite Erect and Incorporate the Territories and Colonies commonly called or known by the Names of the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay and Colony of New Plymouth the Province of Main the Territory called Accada or Nova Scotia and all that Tract of land lying between the said Territorys of Nova Scotia and the said Province of Main into One Reall Province by the Name of Our Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New EnglandAnd Whereas their said late Majesties King William and Queen Mary did by the said recited letters Patents (amongst other things therein contained) for themselves their Heires and Successors Ordain and Grant that there should and might be Convened held and kept by the Governor for the time being upon every last Wednesday in the Month of May every year forever and at all such other times as the Governor of their said Province should think fitt and Appoint a Great and Generall Court or Assembly which said Great and Generall Court or Assembly should Consist of the Governour and Council or Assistants for the time being and of such Freeholders of their said Province or Territory as should be from time to time elected or deputed by the major part of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the respective Towns or places who should be present at such Elecc̃ons each of the said Towns and places being thereby empowered to Elect and Depute two Persons and no more to Serve for and represent them respectively in the said Great and Generall Court or Assembly and that the Governor for the time being should have full Power and Authority from time to time as he should Judge necessary to adjourn Prorogue and Dissolve all Great and General Courts or Assemblies met and Convened as aforesaidAnd did thereby also for themselves their Heires and Successors Provide Establish and Ordain that in the Framing and Passing of all Orders laws Statutes and Ordinances and in all Elecc̃ons and Acts of Government whatsoever to be passed made or done by the said General Court or Assembly or in Council the Governor of the said Province or Territory of the Massachusetts Bay in New England for the time being should have the Negative Voice and that without his Consent or Approbac̃on Signified and Declared in writing no such Orders laws Statutes Ordinances Elecc̃ons or other Acts of Government whatsoever so to be made passed or done by the said General Assembly or in Council should be of any force Effect or Validity any thing therein contained to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding as in and by the said letters Patents (relac̃on being therevnto had) may more fully and at large appeareAnd Whereas no Provision is made by the said recited letters Patents touching the Nominac̃on and Elecc̃on of a Speaker of the Representatives Assembled in any Great and Generall Court of Our said Province nor any particular Reservac̃on made of the Right of Vs Our Heires and Successors to approve or disapprove of such Speaker by the Governor of the said Province appointed or to be appointed by Vs or them for the time beingAnd no power is Granted by the said recited letters Patents to the said House of Representatives to adjourn themselves for any time whatsoever by means whereof divers Doubts and Controversies have Arisen within Our said Province to the Interrupc̃on of the Publick Business thereof and the obstruccon of Our ServiceKnow Yee therefore that for removing the said Doubts and Controversies and preventing the like mischiefs for the futureAnd also for the further Explanac̃on of the said recited letters Patents Wee of Our Especial Grace certain knowledge and meer moc̃on Have Granted Ordained and AppointedAnd by these Presents for Vs Our Heirs and Successors Do Will Grant Ordain and Appoint that for ever hereafter the Representatives Assembled in any Great or General Court of Our said Province to be hereafter Summoned shall upon the first day of their Assembling Elect a fit Person out of the said Representatives to be Speaker of the House of Representatives in such General Court and that the Person so Elected shall from time to time be presented to the Governor of Our said Province for the time being or in his absence to the lieutenant Governor or Com̃ander in Chief of Our said Province for the time being for his Approbac̃on to which Governor lieutenant Governor and Com̃ander in Chief respectively Wee do hereby for Vs Our Heires and Successors give full power and Authority to approve or disapprove of the Person so Elected and presented which approbac̃on or disapprobac̃on shall be Signifyed by him by Message in writing under his Hand to the said House of RepresentativesAnd in Case such Governour lieutenant Governor or Com̃ander in Chief shall disapprove of the Person so Elected and presented or the Person so Elected and presented being approved as aforesaid shall happen to dye or by Sickness or otherwise be disabled from Officiating as Speaker in every such Case the said Representatives so Assembled shall forthwith Elect an other Person to be Speaker of the House of Representatives to be presented and approved or disapproved in manner as aforesaid and so from time to time as often as the Person so Elected and presented shall be disapproved of or happen to dye or become disabled as aforesaidAnd Our further Will and Pleasure is and Wee do by these presents of Our more abundant Grace for Vs Our Heires and Successors Grant Ordain and Appoint that it shall and may be lawfull to and for the Representatives assembled in any Great or Generall Court of Our said Province for the time being for ever hereafter to Adjourn themselves from day to day (and if occasion shall require) for the space of two days but not for any longer time than for the space of two days without leave from the Governor or in his Absence [from] the lieutenant Governor or Com̃ander in Chief of Our said Province for the time being first had and obtained in that behalfe any thing in the said recited letters Patents contained to the Contrary thereof in any wise NotwithstandingProvided always that nothing in these presents contained shall Extend or be Construed to Extend to revoke alter or prejudice the Power and Authority by the said recited letters Patents Granted to the Governor of the said Province for the time being to Adjourn Prorogue and Dissolve all Great and General Courts or Assemblies of Our said Province.And Lastly Wee do by these presents for Vs Our Heires and Successors Grant that these Our letters Patents or the Enrollment or Exemplificacõn thereof shall be in and by all things good firm valid and Effectual in the law according to the true intent and meaning thereof notwithstanding the not rightly or fully reciting mencõning or describing the said recited letters Patents or the Date thereof or any other Omission Imperfecc̃on Defect matter Cause or thing whatsoever to the Contrary thereof in any wise notwithstandingIn witness whereof Wee have Caused these Our letters to be made PatentsWitness William Archbishop of Canterbury and the rest of the Guardians and Justices of the Kingdom at Westminster the Six and twentieth day of August in the twelfth year of Our Reign
By Writ of Privy Seal
- The Charters and General Laws of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay,…Published by the General Court. Boston, T. B. Wait and Co., 1814. 38–40. The date of the charter is August 26 [O. S.] September 26 [N. S.] 1725.