Columbia Library columns (v.28(1978Nov-1979May))

(New York :  Friends of the Columbia Libraries.  )



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  v.28,no.3(1979:May): Page 25  


The Duke's Laws


AST November Mrs. Charles Blyth Martin, a member of the
Van Cortlandt family, made a gift to the Rare Book and

^ Manuscript Library of a very rare manuscript copy of
the first laws of the Province of New York. The nature of the
volume is in part described on the title page:


Establisht by the Authority of his .Majesties Letters Patents graunted
to his Royall Highness James Duke of York and Albany bearinge date
the 12* day of Match in the sixteenth yeare of the Reigne of our
Sovcraigne Lord King Charles the Second.

Digested into one volume for the Publick Use of all the Territories
in America under the Government of his Royall Elighness.

Collected out of the several] Lawes now in force in other his Majes¬
ties American Colonies and Plantations.

Publisht March the first Anno Domini 1664 at a Generall Meeting
at Hempsteed upon Long Island, By virtue of a Commission from
his Royall Highness James Duke of Yorke and Albany to Collonell
Richard Nicolls, Deputy Governour, Bearing date the second day of
Aprill 1664.

The laws published March i, 1664/5 cover 132 pages of the
manuscript, all written in one hand. Bound in with these laws are
manuscript copies, in different hands, of nine sets of amendments
and additions (covering 52 pages) issued at various times between
1665 and 1677. Some of the additional documents bear the signa¬
tures of Richard Nicolls, the first English governor of New York
(1664-1668), or of Francis Lovelace, the second governor (1668-
1673); most are signed by Matthias Nicolls, secretary of the
  v.28,no.3(1979:May): Page 25