Government of Portsmouth

Government of Portsmouth

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We, whose names are under [written doe acknowledge] ourselves the legall dubjects of [his Majestie] King Charles, and in his name [doe hereby binde] ourselves into a civill body politicke, unto his lawes according to matters of justice.

[Signed by William Hutchinson and thirty associates.]

According to the true intent of the [foregoing instrument, wee] those names are above particularly [recorded, do agree] joyntly or by the major voice to g[overne ourselves by the] ruler or judge amongst us in all [transactions] for the space and tearme of one [yeare, he] behaving himselfe according to the t[enor of the same.]

We have freely made choice of [    ] to be ruler or judge among us.

We have also, for the help and ease [of the conducting of] public business and affairs for [the colony] for one yeare, allso chosen unto him William Ballston, William Freeborne, John Porter, John[    ], John Wall, Phillip Sherman, as allso William Aspinwall to lay out lands as they shall be disposed.

We have also made choice [    ] amongst us for this yeare ensuing.

It is appoynted that there shall be [a court held every] yeare, every quarter, one for to doe right betwixt man and [man–a] jury of twelve men; as also it is [ordered, that]the eight men chosen unto him [shall hold a] meeting amongst themselves, to consult [together]; as also to put an end to any controverzy, if it amount not to the value of fortie [shillings.] The Judge, with the rest of the eight men [shall decide it] if brought to ye publicke Court.

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