“Denization of Herman” (January 28, 1661)

Dutch harbor full of small and large sailing vessels in the mid-seventeenth centuryKing Charles IIDetail from the Herrman Map of Virginia and Maryland showing a compass rose, Native Americans, and a nautical instrument

This record of the Council of Maryland’s proceedings, dated January 1661, shows that Augustine Herrman was given letters of denization, which formally provided the foreign-born trader and ambassador with trading and property rights. At this time, the Council advised the proprietary governor of Maryland. He was given access to the resources and protections of the colonial government in exchange for drafting a map of the area between the Delaware River and Virginia to solidify Maryland’s borders and claims to the region. As part of this bargain, Maryland’s government went on to offer Herrman permission to purchase a tract of 4,000 acres from the Susquehannock Indians, whose land it was. This became his plantation named Bohemia Manor.


[Denization of Herman.]

Csecilius absolute Lord and Proprietary of the Provinces of Maryland and Avalon Lord Baron of Baltemore &c. To all Persons to whom these presents shall Come Greeting in our Lord God Euerlasting. Whereas Augustine Her-man late of Manhatans Marchant haueing of long tyme used the trade of this our Province hath besought vs to grant vnto him leaue to transporte himselfe and family into this our Province here to inhabit, And for our satisfaction and the bennefitt of trade hath drawne a Mapp of all the Riuers Creekes and Harbours therevnto belonging Know yee that Wee willing to giue due encouradgment to men of his profession, and to reward all such as haue well deserued from vs Doe

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hereby Declare him the said Augustine Herman to be a free Denizen of this our Province of Maryland, And Doe further for vs our heires and Successors straightly Enioyne Constitute Ordaine and Comand that the said Augustine Herman be in all things held treated reputed and esteemed as One of the faithfull People of vs our heires and Successors borne within this our Province of Maryland, And likewise any lands Tenements Revenues Services and other hereditaments whatsoeuer within our Said Province of Maryland may inheritt or otherwise purchase receiue take haue hould buy and possess, and them may occupy and enioy giue Sell alien and bequeath, as likewise all Liberties, ffranchises and Priviledges of this our Province of Maryland freely quietly and peaceably haue and possess occupy and enioy as our faithfull People borne or to be borne within our said Province of Maryland without the let molestation Vexation trouble or Grieuance of vs our heires and Successors any Custome to the Contrary hereof in any wise notwithstanding. Given at Saint Maryes Vnder the Great Seale of our said Province of Maryland the ffowerteenth day of January in the Nyne and twentieth yeare of our Dominion over the said Province of Maryland Annoque Domini One thousand Six hundred and Sixty. Wittnes our Deare brother Philip Calvert Esquier our Lieutenant of our said Province of Maryland.

APA Citation:
Maryland, Council of. “Denization of Herman” (January 28, 1661). (2022, March 10). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Maryland, Council of. "“Denization of Herman” (January 28, 1661)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (10 Mar. 2022). Web. 19 May. 2024
Last updated: 2023, September 11
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