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Laurence Cromp Carolina HeraldThe Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina, drawn up by John Locke, provided for an hereditary nobility consisting of one landgrave and two cassiques from each of the colony's twenty-five provinces. The "Grand Model of Government", as the Fundamental Constitutions came to be known, stipulated that the dignity of the proprietors, landgraves, and cassiques be supported by grants of large estates and secured by making these estates forever inseparable from the titles and privileges of the respective orders.
In order to furnish to these nobles the outward and visible signs of their status, the Lords Proprietors in 1705 appointed Laurence Cromp, Esq., of Worcester to the position of Carolina Herald, with power to grant arms to the landgraves and cassiques. Whether Cromp ever made any grant of arms is uncertain, and it is unknown whether the Carolina nobility ever had the opportunity to wear their gold chains or robes of scarlet and gold specified by the document.
The text of the document, reproduced here in part, reads as follows:
"WHEREAS our late Sovereign Lord Charles the Second King of great Brittaine, France and Ireland and the Dominions thereunto belonging, of his special Grace and Favour did give and grant unto Edward Earl of Clarendon, George Duke of Albemarl, William Earl of Craven, John Lord Berkley, Anthony Lord Ashley, Sr. George Carteret, Sr. John Colleton Knts. and Barts. and Sr. William Berkeley Knt. our Predecessors and to their Heires and Successors forever, together with the Province of Carolina, Power, States, Degrees, both of Titles, Dignities and Honours, there to be Settled and Sett up as of Men well deserving the same Degrees to bear, and with such Titles to be Honoured and adorned, AND WHEREAS by our form of Government It was by our said Predecessor Established and Constituted, and is by us and our Heires and Successors for ever to be observed, That there be a certain Number of Landgraves and Cassiques who may be and are the perpetual and Hereditary Nobles and Peers of our said Province of Carolina, and to the End that above Rule and Order of Honor may be Established and Settled in our Said Province. We therefore...the Lord Proprietors of the said Province of Carolina being well Satisfied of the great Integrity, Sckill and Ability of you the Sd. Laurence Cromp, Doe hereby make, Constitute and appoint, and hereby have made, constituted and appointed You the said Laurence Cromp to be President of our Court of Honor and principal Herald of our whole Province of Carolina, by the Name of Carolina Herald. To hold the Same dureing the Term of Your Natural Life with such Fees, Perquisites and Proffitts as Shall be approved on and Settled by us, and as perpetual Monument of our Favour towards our Landgraves and Cassiques and their Meritt, We do hereby Authorise, Impower and direct you the said Laurence Cromp Carolina Herald, to devyse, give, Grant and Assigne to the said Landgraves and Cassiques of our Sd. Province upon the Face of the Sun in its' Glory Such Arms and Crest as you Shall think most proper, & upon the Escocheon of the said Arms a Landgraves & Cassiques Cap of Honor, which said Badges or Distinctions of Honor they are not to make use till assigned by You, and to Invest our Said Landgraves & Cassiques that are already made & to be made, in Robes of Scarlet Interlaced with Gold, to be by them worn on all great & Solemn Occasions, & also to Invest them with a Purple Ribbon or Gold Chain, with the Sun in its Glory Pendant at the Same, with this Motto about the Face of the Said Sun VIDIT QUE DEUS HANC LUCEM ESSE BONAM, which said Gold Chain and Sun or Purple Ribbon & Sun, We Injoyne and require them always to appear with. Draughts of all which are depicted in the Margin hereof, & We doe hereby grant & Confirm to the said Landgraves & Cassiques of our Said Province and their Heires for Ever all the above mentioned Honorable Distinctions of Nobility. And We do hereby further direct, Grant & impower you, under your hand & Seal to devyse, Give, grant and assign upon the Face of the Sun in its' Glory such Arms & Crests as you Shall think most ffitt & proper to all such Inhabitants of our said Province, that to you shall appear deserving the Same as an Everlasting Monumt. to them and their Posterity of their Rise & Descent from our sd. Province of Carolina, And We likewise Impower You to hold a Court of Honor & to Cite & Cause to appear before you all such Person or Persons, as Shall presume to use any Coat of Arms that they cannot make out their due Right to, then to deface the Same wheresoever borne or Sett up & make publick Proclaimacon thereof, and also we require that all the Inhabitants aforesaid duely observe the Rules & Orders of your Said Court. And you are also hereby obliged to keep a Register of all Such Arms, Crests or Alterations & Assignmts. of Arms as Shall by you be granted or Assigned to Any Persons Inhabitants of Our said Province, And you are to preserve & Register the Pedigrees and Descents of the Severall Familys Inhabitants of Our Said Province, And you are to regulate all Publick & Solemne Processions & Meetings & all & Singular the promisses above mentioned....Given under Our Hands & the great Seal of Our Province 1st June 1705."
Signed by Lords Proprietors Granville, Craven, Carteret, Ashley, and Colleton, this copy of the document was "Taken from the Originall in the Custody of Peter LeNeue...& now in the Custody of Mr. Hodgson...who is one of the Landgraves."
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