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[130] Their authority was nearly absolute; nothing
Chap. XIII.}
was reserved but a barren allegiance. Avarice is the vice of declining years; most of the proprietaries were past middle life. They begged the country under pretence of ‘a pious zeal for the propagation of the gospel;’ and their sole object was the increase of their own wealth and dignity.1

The grant had hardly been made before it became apparent that there were competitors, claiming possession of the same territory. It was included by the Spaniards within the limits of Florida; and the castle of St. Augustine was deemed proof of the actual possession of an indefinite adjacent country. Spain had never formally acknowledged the English title to any possessions in America; and when a treaty was

1667. May 23.
finally concluded at Madrid, it did but faintly concede the right of England to her transatlantic colonies, and to a continuance of commerce in ‘the accustomed seas.’

And not Spain only claimed Carolina. In 1630, a patent for all the territory had been issued to Sir Robert Heath; and there is room to believe that, in 1639, permanent plantations were planned and perhaps attempted by his assign.2 William Hawley appeared in Virginia as ‘governor of Carolina,’ the land between the thirty-first and thirty-sixth parallels of latitude; and leave was granted by the Virginia legislature, that it might be colonized by one hundred persons from Virginia, ‘freemen, being single, and disengaged of debt.’3 The attempts were certainly unsuccessful, for the patent was now declared void,


1 The two Charters to the Proprietors of Carolina, small 4to.

2 Hening, i. 552. Records in the office of the general court at Richmond, labelled No. 1, 1639—1642, p. 70.

3 Richmond Records, No. 1. 1639—1642, p. 93.

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