|This remarkable document is a grant or patent from the Lords Proprietors of South Carolina, dated 1699. It was issued to an Englishman named John Wyche (a relative of the then-Palatine or chief Proprietor), and conferred on him the status of Landgrave, with the right to claim 48,000 acres of land between Cape Fear and the Savannah River. In the late 1690's, the Lords Proprietors were anxious to implement their elaborate scheme for a colonial landed aristocracy, in an attempt to stabilize Carolina politics. The Grant was written in Latin, but an English translation was subsequently made.|
|The grant is engrossed on vellum, with the Great Seal of the Proprietors still attached. It is one of only two such 17th century documents known to survive with their seal (the other, from1672, is at the S.C. Department of Archives and History).|
The library is grateful to Prof. Robert Weir, Department of History, and Charles H. Lesser, of the S.C. Department of Archives & History, for their examination of the Wyche grant and associated documents. For further background on Wyche and South Carolina in the period of the Lords Proprietors, see Charles H. Lesser, South Carolina Begins: the Records of a Proprietary Colony, 1663-1721 (1995), esp. pp. 150-152.