“The pages of this work are … compiled to show the origin of every barony, from its first commencement by writ of summons to parliament, to the time it became (as presumed) extinct, or terminated in an heir general in dormancy; or in coheirs general in abeyance between them; accompanied with such remarks as appear explanatory of their course of descent.”
“Heralds and critics, that abusive throng; May as they please, speak of me right or wrong; Their praise will never give me any pride, Their spite, I heed not, and their snarls deride.”
“In the Appendix to the second volume is an account of the first settlement of the Scots in Nova Scotia, the occupation of the country by them, and the institution of the Order of Knights Baronets therein. No similar account has ever before been published; and, indeed, the several writers who have attempted to show the said first settlement, have made most erroneous representations in asserting that Sir William Alexander, after his grant from the crown, ever sold the country to the French, and that king Charles I, by the treaty of St. Germains, ceded it to them. The contrary of all this will be substantiated by the Documents herein set forth.”
“After this institution, and not long before his death, king James formed the idea of founding a similar order of rank for his Scottish subjects; and inasmuch as the one just mentioned, was for the security and defence of the kingdom of Ireland, and for encouraging persons of ambition, wealth, and consideration to make settlement therein, so the institution of Nova Scotia; baronets was intended for the advancing the plantation of that district of country in America, which he had recently annexed to his kingdom of Scotland, and for establishing a colony there, to the aid of which these knights were designed. His majesty, by charter dated at Windsor the 10th day of September, 1621, made a grant to Sir William Alexander, of Menstrie, knight, his favorite counsellor and secretary of state for Scotland, of a certain extent of territory in America, contained within particular boundaries recited in a copy of the said charter, set forth in No. I. of the appendix hereto attached, which territory in all time therefrom, and thence ensuing, was to be denominated Nova Scotia;, and annexed to his majesty’s kingdom of Scotland; the said name being given in contradistinction to that other territory of country, which had theretofore been granted by special charter (situate also in America), to certain persons incorporated by the name of the Plymouth company, and which territory was then designated new England. King James having deceased shortly after this grant to Sir William Alexander—and his son Charles having succeeded to the throne, he was pleased to carry out the intententions of his royal father; and for that purpose, by another charter, called de Novo Damus, dated at Oatlands, the 12th day of July, 1625, re-gave and confirmed to Sir William Alexander, his heirs and assignees all the said territory of Nova Scotia;, to be enjoyed by him and them in full regality, hereditarily for ever; with very special previleges, rights, and immunities, as detailed in a copy of the charter printed in No. 2, of the appendix hereto.
And Sir William had seisin under the said charter given to him at the castle of Edinburgh, soon after, as therein mentioned No. 15. and ordained. On reference to the first charter, in 1611, it will appear that notice is therein made of the knights baronets of Nova Scotia; but in the subsequent charter of Nova Scotia, in 1625, they will be found particularly alluded to; and that the groundwork of the by agreeing with Sir William Alexander, for a certain district of land in that country, to be erected into a barony, to be holden either of Sir William, or of the king, as might be agreed on by the party; and having thus qualified, a patent of creation should be then passed free of any compensation to be made by the said baronet, for the obtainment thereof from the crown: for this purpose the charter thus recites, viz. : “ And that men of honorable birth may be incited to the undertaking of that expedition, and the settling of planters in the said lands, We for us and our heirs and successors, with advice and consent aforesaid, in virtue of our present charter, give and grant free and full power to the said Sir William Alexander, and his foresaids, of conferring favors, privileges, offices, and honours on the deserving, with plenary power of disponing and overgiving to them, or any of them, who shall happen to make the aforesaid agreements or contracts for the said lands, with him, Sir William, and his aforesaids, under his subscription, or theirs, and their seal, any portion or portions of the said lands, &c., as to him shall seem fit, &c.” Further, the charter recites, viz. : “Therefore that this our present charter, may be more effectual, and that seisin thereupon may be more conveniently taken, it is necessary that seisin of all and sundry the aforesaid lands, of the said country and lordship of Nova Scotia; be taken within our said kingdom of Scotland, and on the grounds and lands of the same in the most eminent place thereof, which can neither conveniently nor lawfully be done without an express union of the said country and lordship of Nova Scotia; to the said kingdom of Scotland. Wherefore for the advantage and readier convenience of the aforesaid seisin, we with the advice aforesaid, have annexed, united and incorporated, and by our present charter, unite, annex, and incorporate with our said kingdom of Scotland, all and sundry the aforesaid country and lordship of Nova Scotia;, with the teinds and teind sheaves thereof included, and all and sundry parts, purtinents, privileges, jurisdictions, and liberties of the same, and others generally, and specially above mentioned ; and by our present charter, will, declare, decern, and ordain, that one seisin now to be taken at our castle of Edinburgh, as the most eminent and principal place of our said kingdom of Scotland, of all and sundry the said lands, country, and lordship of Nova Scotia;, or any part of the same, with the teinds and teind sheaves thereof included, respectively, is, and shall be sufficient seisin for all and whole the aforesaid lands, country, and lordship of Nova Scotia;, notwithstanding the said lands, country, and lordship of Nova Scotia; are far distant, and lie discontiguous from our said kingdom of Scotland, as to which, we, with advice and consent aforesaid have dispensed, and by our present charter for ever dispense, without prejudice and derogation always to the said privilege and prerogative granted to the aforesaid Sir William Alexander, and his heirs, and assignees, of making and establishing laws, acts, and statutes concerning all and sundry the aforesaid lands, country, and lordship of Nova Scotia;, as well by sea as by land; and by our present charter we declare, that notwithstanding the said union, which is declared to be granted solely for the advantage and convenience of seisin, the said country and lordship of Nova Scotia; shall be judged, ruled, and governed by the laws, and statutes made, and to be made, constituted and established, by the said Sir William Alexander, and his heirs and assignees, relating to the said country and lordship of Nova Scotia;, in like manner, and as freely in that respect as if the said union had never been made, or hitherto granted.” “And further, notwithstanding the aforesaid union, it shall be lawful to the aforesaid Sir William Alexander and his heirs, and assignees, to give, grant, and dispone any parts, or portions of the said lands, country, and lordship of Nova Scotia;, heritably belonging to them, to and in favour of whatsoever persons, their heirs and assignees, heritably, with the teinds, and teind sheaves thereof included (provided they are our subjects) to be holden of the said Sir William Alexander, or of us, and our successors, either in blench farm, fee farm, or in ward and relief, at their pleasure, and to intitle and denominate the said parts and portions by whatsoever stiles, titles, and designations shall seem to them fit, or be in the will and option of the said Sir William Alexander and his aforesaids, which infeftments and dispositions shall be approved and confirmed by us, or our successors, freely, without any composition to be made therefor. “ Moreover we and our Successors shall receive whatsoever resignations shall be made by the said Sir William Alexander, and his heirs and assignees, of all and whole the aforesaid Lands and Lordship of Nova Scotia;, or of any part thereof in our hands and (those) of our successors, and commissioners aforesaid, with the teinds and teind sheaves thereof included, and others generally and specially above mentioned, to and in favour of whatsoever person or persons (provided they are our subjects, and live under our obedience) and they shall pass infeftments thereon, to be holden in free blench farm of us, our heirs and successors, in manner above mentioned, freely without any composition.” “Further we for us, and our successors, with advice aforesaid, have given, granted, ratified, and confirmed, and by our present charter, give, grant, ratify, and confirm to the said Sir William Alexander, and his heirs and assignees, all places, privileges, prerogatives, preeminences, and precedencies whatsoever, given, granted, and reserved to the said Sir William Alexander, and his heirs and assignees, and his successors, lieutenants of the said country, and lordship of Nova Scotia;, on behalf of the Knights Baronets, and remanent portioners, and associates of the said plantation, so as the said Sir William Alexander, and his heirs male descending of his body, as lieutenants aforesaid, shall and may take place, prerogative, preeminence, and precedence, as well before all Esquires, Lairds, and Gentlemen of our said kingdom of Scotland, as before all the aforesaid Knights Baronets of our said kingdom, and all others, before whom the said Knights Baronets in virtue of the privilege granted to them, can have place and precedency, for the advancement of which plantation and colony of Nova Scotia;, and in respect of it, especially the said Knights Baronets were, with advice aforesaid, created in our said kingdom of Scotland, with their state and dignity, as a special token of our favour conferred upon such gentlemen, and honourably born persons, portioners of the aforesaid plantation and colony; with this express provision always, that the number of the aforesaid never exceed one hundred and fifty.”
Thus far the charter, under which the Nova Scotia; Baronets were primarily created, and grants of lands conceded to be made to them, to constitute their respective qualifications, and to enable them to further out the intention of colonizing the plantation, and of sustaining their title and dignity. The repugnance to recognise the order, may account for the few persons who came forward to accept of it; so that Sir William Alexander was left chiefly to his own means, and the king’s countenance, to carry on his undertaking: In 1629, however, Sir William had so far succeeded, as to have a thriving colony in Nova Scotia;, and his eldest son and heir apparent, Sir William Alexander, had gone there as his lieutenant. This being the case, his majesty king Charles, to give stronger encouragement to persons of honour and character to join their assistance; and also to render the dignity of baronet more inviting to seek, was pleased to confer upon the order the special distinction, that the said baronets and their heirs male, should thenceforth wear, and carry about their necks, an orange tawny silk ribbon, whereon shall hang pendant in an Escutcheon Argent, a Saltier Azure, thereon, an Escutcheon of the Arms of Scotland, with an imperial crown above the Escutcheon and encircled with this motto, “ Fax mentis honeste gloria.”
It is here to be observed that the right of creating the baronets, did not rest in the king, but in his grantee, Sir William Alexander,—the institution of them was not like a peerage flowing from the grace of the crown for the mere purpose of conferring honour; but it was specially erected to carry into effect a particular object, which object was made a stipulation to give an interest to the baronet thereupon created, to promote it;—thus the king having granted away the whole country of Nova Scotia;, had divested himself of the lands and territories comprehended in his charter, and this charter was confirmed (as before mentioned) by the parliament of Scotland, his majesty himself being present therein.”
Banks, T. C. (Thomas Christopher), 1765-1854. Baronia Anglica Concentrata, Or, A Concentrated Account of All the Baronies Commonly Called Baronies In Fee: Deriving Their Origin From Writ of Summons, And Not From Any Specific Limited Creation, Shewing the Descent And Line of Heirship As Well of Those Families Mentioned by Sir William Dugdale, As of Those Whom That Celebrated Author Has Omitted to Notice, (interspersed With Interesting Notes And Explanatory Remarks), Whereto Is Added the Proofs of Parliamentary Sitting, From the Reign of Edw. I to That of Queen Anne, Also, a Glossary of Dormant English, Scotch And Irish Peerage Titles, With Reference to Presumed Existing Heirs. [England]: The author, 1843-4. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015025951651, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015025951867